Re: [alac] 3rd settlement draft
- To: "John L" <johnl@xxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [alac] 3rd settlement draft
- From: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 14:48:45 -0500
Looks good. This section should be moved from the end of para 4 to
the end of para 5 again.
Market forces can have an effect on .COM registry prices in two ways:
(a) periodic rebids, and (b) a substitute service. The current
proposal does away with the rebidding, and we doubt that .BIZ or
.INFO or ccTLDs are a substitute for current registrants who already
have branded their .COM address.
I also agree that 2 pages with a larger font would help readability.
At 11:23 AM 12/1/2005 -0800, John L wrote:
Complete, I hope.
John Levine, johnl@xxxxxxxx, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://iecc.com/johnl, Mayor
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.
D R A F T
Concerns on the proposed ICANN / Verisign settlement
from the At Large Advisory Committee
1. We believe that it would be more appropriate to separate the
lawsuit settlement from the contract renegotiation. If the
settlement requires changes to the contract, ICANN and Verisign can
amend the current contract to reflect settlement terms.
2. We are concerned about the loss of accountability and oversight
both of the community over ICANN and of ICANN over Verisign. The
external oversight of ICANN's budget currently provided by the
registrars will no longer exist. The settlement provides no
meaningful checks on Verisign's behavior, unless they misbehave so
badly that ICANN voids their contract. As the registrars have
pointed out, the proposed "consensus process" is new and untested.
3. We are concerned about the use and misuse of personal
data. Under the agreement, Verisign is allowed to do whatever data
mining they want of COM zone usage and access. For example, they
could sell DNS traffic data about pepsi.com to Coca Cola, or about
greenpeace.com and other political sites to governments whose
policies they oppose. As a trustee for the Internet community, ICANN
should provide appropriate protections for the community's data. We
are also concerned that such data mining would be illegal in
countries with data privacy laws.
4. We believe that the proposed price increases for the COM
registry are inappropriate, since the registry is no longer required
to offer any justification for them. We are also concerned about
the tripling of ICANN's per-domain fee. Although the incremental
cost to each individual user will be low, the aggregate cost to
users will be in the tens of millions of dollars per year. Market
forces can have an effect on .COM registry prices in two ways: (a)
periodic rebids, and (b) a substitute service. The current proposal
does away with the rebidding, and we doubt that .BIZ or .INFO or
ccTLDs are a substitute for current registrants who already have
branded their .COM address.
5. We are concerned by the lack of economic and legal analysis of
the effects of the proposed settlement. To the extent that the .COM
registry is a monopoly, it requires stricter regulation than if it
is not. Analysis by a qualified economist of the price sensitivity
and substitutability of .COM and other domains, based on the
extensive historic data, should help understand the situation.
Similarly, qualified legal analysis of the likelihood of success of
ICANN's and Verisign's suits would help quantify the legal risks and
costs the settlement would avoid.
6. The proposed settlement makes Verisign the permanent source of
the majority of ICANN's revenue. By making itself dependent on an
entity not accountable to the public, ICANN endangers its
independence and hence endangers ICANN's public trust.
7. We share ICANN's concerns with the current budget and planning
process, which depends in large part on registrar approval and
quarterly financial contributions from numerous sources. We endorse
a budget and funding mechanism that would provide ICANN greater
certainty in the budget planning process and reduce the
administrative burden on ICANN of billing and collections.
Nevertheless, we believe very strongly that ICANN should consult
with the registrant and At Large community before it fundamentally
reshapes its funding mechanism through new contracts with the
registries. Ultimately, funds paid to ICANN from registrars or
registries come from us, the At Large community. We encourage ICANN
to engage the community in a larger conversation about how it should
be funded and how its budgets should be created and approved.
8. We are deeply concerned by the lack of transparent process. The
current (2001) .COM contract had a specific renewal timeline that
has been ignored, since the settlement includes a new contract that
would void the current one. ICANN offered no timetable or process
for consideration of the proposed settlement until forced to by the
CFIT lawsuit. The community does not know whether it has a month
or a year to collect its input and offer its advice, nor whether it
may be possible to modify the proposed settlement or it simply has
to be accepted or rejected.
9. With these considerations in mind, the ALAC advises the board to
reject the proposed settlement, to seek qualified advice on the
econmic and legal aspects of any proposed settlement, and to seek a
settlement that addresses our concerns.
Wendy Seltzer -- wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx
Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Chilling Effects: http://www.chillingeffects.org