Let me say from the outset, I have an independent mind-set, and I realise the post coming up will not be popular with everyone. Also, I'm playing bagatelle with ideas to see where things go, so it may richochet other people into raising alternative approaches to what Nominet has proposed. I always try to deal in realpolitik, and so although the idea of 'economically-controlled access' to drop-catching is clearly not what most people want, I think it is realpolitik to recognise that Nominet seem resolved to abandon the status quo. My personal position is that the status quo should be maintained for a 24 month interim period to give a chance to try out ways of making it work, and to close down cheats. I believe this is the right thing to do, which is why I signed Andrew's petition, because what I've realised on this forum from people like Murray is the impact Nominet changes will have on small businesses, individuals, families, at a time of pandemic and economic crisis. I think the fundamental issue is respect. Nominet owes that respect to its members. At the very least, a 24 month cooling off period, affording time to find solutions, would also give people more time to adjust financial models and prepare family finances for any more radical changes if they happened. That is a pittance, but it is the least that rule-abiding Nominet members have a right to expect. But that is all background. As I say, we are faced with realpolitik, and the reality that Nominet seem set on either auction or ECA. In this post I want to explore whether ECA could be reconfigured in a way that hits potential cheats, but ultimately protects long-term honest Nominet registrars, rewarding them for loyalty and good practice. It seems to me that multi-tagging has proliferated as a means of gaming Nominet's systems, cheating, and circumventing AUP without penalty. It is really hard to prove identity, control, and association of tags. However, the scale of abuse seems to me to have increased in the relatively recent past and through to the present (just watch events in early September...). The problem I foresee with Nominet's ECA model as proposed is it might still not be sufficient disincentive to put off cheats unless the fee is raised so high that it becomes punitive to the very bona-fide members it suggests need to be protected. Therefore, might there be a justifiable case for the cost of catching-access to be tiered, based on credibility gained through length of time as a Nominet member, with loyalty rewarded? Using this system, Nominet members would be locked out of the catching system for the first 2 years of membership (or arguably 3, but let's go with 2). Thereafter, for a fee they could buy access, along the lines of ECA: 3rd full year of membership: £2000 access fee. 4th full year of membership: £1000 access fee. 5th full year of membership: £500 access fee. 6th full year of membership: £100 access fee. 8th full year of membership: £50 access fee. 10th full year of membership: £0 access fee. I feel this would immediately reduce the volume of tag abuse, and would also provide a disincentive to game multiple identities, until people have been members for five years. I also think, as a further means of closing down speculators seeking to 'game' with multiple tags, there is a case for raising the initial membership fee to £5000 as a further disincentive against deploying multiple tag identities in the future. Annual renewal would remain £100 once you're a member, but as a cheat with a fleet of cheat identities, you would be paying £5000 for no gain for the first 2 years, for every single fake tag you want to launch, and still face cost in the first few years of actual catching. I recognise this could be frustrating for recently-subscribed Nominet members (which includes me) who have no intention of cheating. But the pay-off might be the continuation of drop-catching and a more honest system in the medium and long-term. The exact scale of tiers and prices could obviously be discussed and adjusted. Please note I am not advocating this model. I am only floating a concept because, as I say, the realpolitik is that the status quo is going down, unless Nominet grants 24 months to try to make it work, which I think they should out of respect to members, but which I doubt they will. Just interested in what people come up with in response, in terms of their own ideas, but please, suggestions that are not in denial about the realpolitik of our present situation. What can actually be achieved or negotiated? The cynics will say 'Nothing'. In which case, everyone gives up.