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Re: [bc-gnso] BC statement on IRT

  • To: BC gnso <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [bc-gnso] BC statement on IRT
  • From: George Kirikos <icann@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 12:08:29 -0400


On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 3:43 AM, Mike Rodenbaugh wrote:
> George was quite loud in the room yesterday, but probably he was not
> shouting.  I apologize for that characterization and agree it is not
> helpful.

You know, it is said that those experiencing cognitive dissonance


can perceive certain words to be "loud" as they resonate in their
minds due to oversensitivity. Or, it might simply be that the
audio-visual staff  set the volume of the speakers in the room to
"11"!! I'd say it's 50:50. ;-) ('twas a joke, folks, to lighten the
mood, for those who are humour impaired). I accept your apology, Mike.

I'm reminded of the famous play/movie "12 Angry Men"


While we are not debating matters of life and death, one can certainly
learn from that drama. As most folks will recall from the story,
initially the jury had a single dissenting juror, who felt the accused
was not guilty. In this masterpiece, one of the important lessons one
can learn is to keep talking, to refine one's arguments and explore
those of others, to attempt to convince the other side about why you
support a position, and exactly what parts of the other side's
arguments are unsupported by fact. Unanimity would be a powerful
signal to be able to send.

When there's disagreement, it usually means more words need to be
spoken by both sides, not less. Both sides need to elevate their game,
think deeply about why they support something, and what parts of the
other person's argument might be correct. This is not about summary
judgments, or pointing to some vague past vote, or attempts to end
debate too soon. There's an important process involved in trying to
state your argument in a logical manner, and rebut the argument of the
other side. It forces you to examine and reexamine your own position
and that of the other side, and attempt to get to an even better

Recall, many of us share a lot in common. My company is strongly
against cybersquatting. We're for thick WHOIS. We're against new
gTLDs. We've thought about the issues deeply and carefully, and are
prepared to defend them and "keep on talking" to ensure folks fully
explore their own ideas, and make it clear what it is that they
support and what it is that they don't.

So, let me try to fill Henry Fonda's shoes for a moment.

1. Going back to first principles, the BC's mission involves ICANN
*policy* positions. That's in our mission statement, that's in the BC
charter. We're part of the GNSO.

What is the IRT, and why would we even make a formal statement on it?
If it's not "policy", then while we as a constituency might hold
opinions one way or the other, individually or as a group, then a
single dissenting member can and should be able to point to our
charter and say "Since this is not policy, it's out of scope of the BC
to make any statement at all."

However, as many of us are aware and even convinced, the IRT is not
simply "implementation", it IS policy. Policy should go through the
GNSO, and the appropriate process, and one constituency (the IP
constituency) cannot simply dictate policy using "expediency" as an
argument. That is why the language of my proposed statement expressly


"The BC looks forward to working with the IP constituency, and other
constituencies within the GNSO on an improved version of the IRT's
report, one that can achieve consensus support of all stakeholders."

(note, the proposed statement was only the 8 lines at the top of that
link, and not the rest of the post which was explanatory in nature)

So, explain to us all, is the IRT report policy, or is it not? If it's
not "policy" why are we talking about it? If it IS policy, why did it
not properly go through the GNSO, and what exactly do you object about
the above sentence from my proposed statement  that says we look
forward to working on an inproved version of the IRT's report within
the GNSO that needs to achieve consensus support?

2. In my prior post at:


I gave two specific examples about why we oppose the URS (there are
more, but we limited it to just those 2 initially).

a) Explain to us, if you support the URS, why do you need it to apply
to domain names whose age is greater than say 6 months? Or 2 years, or
even 10 years? What urgency is there that would make a markholder need
a rapid suspension for a domain that a registrant has owned for long

b) Explain to us what laws are broken by sending a person who wants to
opt-in to receive notification via fax of a URS complaint, just like
the UDRP has done for the past 10 years? Is it so unreasonable that
domain registrants would want *actual notice* of a complaint so that
they have time to properly defend themselves?

3. I made a very substantial comment on using the notion of
"easements" to resolve certain issues at the top level.


It was not even considered by the IRT (no mention of it in the report,
and not even in ICANN's staff summary of comments). I heard during
yesterday's meeting about how markholders would be upset at having to
continue to monitor TLD applications even if they had previously
successfully opposed an application. It costs them a lot of time and
money. The approach I suggested would give every com/net/org a veto
over a conflicting new TLD, using a broader notiion of "dilution and
public confusion" pulled from Tim Berners-Lee's comments on new TLDs.
For example, if you owned verizon.com, or verizon.net or verizon.org,
NO ONE could get dot-verizon (i.e. .verizon) as a TLD without your
consent. There'd be no expensive monitoring. And if you owned all 3,
you control your destiny and could easily get the TLD for yourself.

The proposal for "ascended TLDs" really works to strengthen property
rights, and would have solved a lot of issues that TM holders had
using simple economics. I'd appreciate knowing in detail why you think
this would have been such a terrible idea to strengthen people's
existing property rights in such a manner, or perhaps you do support
the idea but never thought about it because it wasn't even mentioned
in the IRT report.

I encourage others to continue to engage in dialogue, to "raise their
game" and to listen twice as much as they speak. The more we think
about and refine our arguments, the more we might find there is even
greater common ground to find something we all would support, namely a
better and well thought out position.


George Kirikos

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