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ICANN approves VeriSign's .com monopoly

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It appears that VeriSign is going to control the .com registry for all eternity following a decision by ICANN Monday which guarantees it ownership until November 2007, and sweetens the pot with an option to renew for four years thereafter.

VeriSign will retain rights to the .org registry through 2002, and .net through 2005.

The deal favors VeriSign -- many would say to an outrageous degree -- by allowing it to continue selling domain names while controlling the domain name registry.

It was approved by a vote of 12-3, with one abstention. Vint Cerf, Ivan Moura Campos, Jonathan Cohen, Phil Davidson, Masanobu Katoh, Hans Kraaijenbrink, Sang-Hyon Kyong, Stuart Lynn, Jun Murai, Alejandro Pisanty, Nii Quaynor, and Linda Wilson voted in favor. Amadeu Abril i Abril, Karl Auerbach, and Andy Mueller-Maguhn voted against. Ken Fockler abstained. Helmut Schink had left the call by the time of the vote, according to meeting minutes which ICANN posted shortly after the deal went down.

Final approval by the US Department of Commerce is required, but no one seriously expects that process to involve more than a wink and a rubber stamp. ®

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