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Re: [bc-gnso] IRT Final report

  • To: BC gnso <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [bc-gnso] IRT Final report
  • From: George Kirikos <icann@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 06:58:33 -0400


On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 4:47 AM, Philip Sheppard wrote:
> The enquiry was to understand the context of Mr. Kirikos's strong antithesis 
> to
> the IRT's abuse protection mechanisms in contrast to his concern about TLD
> expansion in general.
> The BC position is concern about TLD expansion in general BUT also in favour 
> of
> abuse protection mechanisms.
> This is thus different. It was a difference we wanted to understand.
> His web site did not provide this context as it mentions only Registrar and
> other consulting services.
> He has recently told us that his company is an owner of 500 domain names.
> The context is now a little clearer.

It's kind of silly to suggest that I only "recently told" the BC
anything, given on the very first day I joined the BC, I posted the
number of domain names my company owned. On February 3, 2006 I sent an
introductory post to the BC with the subject of "Thanks to Marilyn and
Gary" with the second paragraph beginning with:

"For those who don't know me, my company is based in Toronto and owns
approximately 500 domain names, with www.math.com being the most
active of them...." This was also fully disclosed on our application
to the BC of January 13, 2006. We own a relatively *small* number of
domain names, relative to most companies in the BC. And, as disclosed
in our BC application, the domain name registration services provided
to others form a tiny portion of our business, less than 0.1% of our
revenues (our account with Tucows/OpenSRS is focused on the management
of our own company's domain names). AOL (within Time Warner) owns a
registrar, and other current/former BC members or their related
companies have much larger registrar or registry interests than we do.

To suggest that we're against abuse protection mechanisms is a
ridiculous misreading of our postings and positions since we've been
involved in ICANN policy discussions and domain name discussions going
back to 2001 and earlier. e.g. a post in 2001 created a spreadsheet so
that people could monitor their domain names in case of hijackings (a
form of abuse that continues to this day):


We're against domain abuse. We've given concrete suggestions that have
balance, unlike those proposed in the IRT. One can go back and read
all our comments to the IRT draft:


and to the final report (which are preliminary, and we'll post
detailed ones later):


The IRT devised a system that almost guarantees defaults, because of
the lack of proper notification to registrants. They outright lied
(see footnote #30) about the costs of sending notification via fax
(very cheap to send a 1-page fax anywhere in the world using an email
to fax gateway, and all one needs is 1 page to give notification of
the procedure; they talk about potentially breaking laws if they used
faxes, which is hilarious since the UDRP already does so, and has been
doing it for 10 years on an opt-in basis!). With the very short period
to respond, and the heavy reliance on email to only the registrant (as
opposed to all domain contacts, including the technical and billing
contacts), the odds of "actual notice" are slim.

The IRT could have restricted the URS to domains younger than a
certain age (say 2 years), to limit this extraordinary procedure to
"truly abusive" domains that were "clear-cut". They did not. So, a
domain owned for 10+ years could be attacked using this procedure. Of
course, they say it's only for "new gTLDs", but you can bet that
they'd want it for .com/net/org too.

The IRT desire a special central registry where TM holders can post
their TMs, yet deny domain registrants a special registry of their own
(or just a supplement to WHOIS) to list their lawyers proactively, so
that if there is a domain dispute their lawyers can be notified
directly. Clearly, TM owners went out of their way to devise a scheme
to maximize defaults, and making sure the other side's lawyers are
never notified is one of the best ways to ensure this.

I'd be willing to wager that of the companies directly represented on
the IRT team, their win rate in UDRPs exceeds 97%. They were not happy
with that rate, and would only be happy if complainants won 100% of
the time, given the terms they inserted, and they terms they refused
to add.

Being against the unbalanced and extreme terms in the IRT report does
not magically transform someone into a supporter of domain abuse. We
suggested stronger abuse protection mechanisms like registrant
verification, which would be proactive in reducing overall abuse,
unlike the "reactive" approach of the URS which actually does nothing
to reduce abuse, it simply makes it faster and easier to take down
both guilty and innocent domains alike without due process.

If support of the IRT is some sort of "litmus test", i.e. "you're
either with us, or you're against us" then the BC has really sunk to
new lows. It is our position that a balanced approach is necessary,
one that protects the rights of businesses and gives them due process.

And to followup on yesterday's discussion about company "reach" and so
on, I find that it amusing that our company is charged the highest
fees in the BC as a Category 1 member, no differently than a Time
Warner, HP, eBay or Nike. When we've repeatedly suggested that the
Category 3 membership be redefined to reflect true definitions of
small businesses (i.e. 300 employees or less, without any reference to
revenues), it is Philip who has fought those changes the most.
Similarly when we've suggested that the BC vote on its budget, and
have an elected treasurer, an elected secretary, and spend less, who
has fought against that the most?

Since Philip is suddenly so keen on providing "context" to
discussions, according to his Statement of Interest:


he's a director of Zaparazzi sprl, which provides the Secretariat
services for the BC. In our opinion, that is an enormous potential
conflict of interest. Has the secretariat role ever been put out to
competitive tender, to minimize cost to members? As others have
pointed out, the fees to the BC are hard to explain, given nearly all
"services" provided can be obtained for free (like this mailing list)
or at very low cost. Have the BC officers continued to fight against
reform of the BC charter that would make the Secretary an elected
position? Have the BC officers fought against making the Treasurer an
elected position? Have the BC officers continued to delay and defer
charter reforms? Have the BC officers taken maximum advantage of
offloading of services to ICANN staff to save money? Have the BC
officers increased spending, instead of keeping it constant or even
reducing it in the midst of a global recession?

If one seeks to understand the "context" of why the BC officers refuse
these common sense changes, one doesn't need to look very far. I think
if the BC provided a public accounting of dollars going into the BC by
member, and dollars going out of the BC by member, over the last 5
years, the results would be very telling.


George Kirikos

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