An insult to contracted parties
Dear ICANN,I submit these comments on behalf of Key-Systems GmbH, a German registrar. I am a councillor for the RrSG on the GNSO Council.
We support the comments submitted by the Registrar Stakeholder Group, the Registry Stakeholder Group and NTAG.
Key-Systems further believes that these new additions contain certain elements that are deeply troubling.
Requirement to use registrars under the 2013 RAA:The requirement to only accredit Registrars that have signed on to a yet-unfinished agreement under the pretext of "public interest" is an insult to over a thousand honest businesses as it implies that allowing registrars under the current agreement would be against the public interest. For this stark claim, ICANN has offered no word of explanation. Registrars that have provided quality service under the 2009 agreement are - by this reference - declared to be unfit for participation in the distribution channel of the new gTLDs, without any rationale beyond ICANN desiring it to be so and claiming this requirement to rest in the "public interest". As the comments by the RrSG, the RySG and NTAG aptly point out, the opposite is true. It would be against the public interest to create such an artificial differentiation between registrars on the basis of what agreement they are under. The proposal ignores the contributions of registrars to the public interest. There has been no community call for such an amendment, no community consultation and no community support. Key-Systems calls upon ICANN to remove this insulting provision and come up with a better proposal of how to incentivize registrars to adopt a new agreement sooner rather than later that does not create an abitrary hurdle to offering a wide range of consumer choice and competition.
Ability to unilaterally amend:With this proposal (which has for good reasons been rejected by the community and the ICANN board in the past) ICANN ultimately proposes to abolish the multi-stakeholder model and hold registries and registrars hostage to its whims. If any clause of the contract becomes subject to unilateral revision by the ICANN board, the picket fence is abolished and registrars will be unable to rely on any contractual provision negotiated with ICANN in the past. Instead of elevating the industry, ICANN proposes to control it completely. The manner and timing in which this proposal was raised from the dead at a point where applicants are desperate to get their new TLDs launched sooner rather than later and where negotiation of even the simplest clauses of the agreement will cause them to be pushed back in the queue raises several questions, none of which help build a positive image of ICANN as a model of proper multi-stakeholderism. Why defend this model against governmental control when ICANN proposes to take the same level of control for itself and circumvent the multi-stakeholder model in its entirety? Like the propsal discussed above, this proposal is either very badly conceived, or an intentional and unprecedented power-grab.
"Whois Expert panel":While Key-Systems applauds the efforts of ICANN to reform the WHOIS or create a better replacement, we do not believe that the resuls of the discussions of an expert group chosen by ICANN without community input should be adopted without community consensus. There frankly is no need for this automatic implementation clause. Once the expert panel has published its results, these should be confirmed by the community through proper GNSO precesses and become binding policy. Should the community choose not to adopt these results as policy, the reason for that may be some flaw that should be adressed. We therefore call upon ICANN to rely on the established community policy-making processes.
In closing, Key-Systems perceives a the above proposals as an unprecedented power grab by ICANN to the benefit of the ICANN board and the detriment of the community, as well as a step in the direction of transforming the multi-stakeholder model we have spend years building and defending into a top-down organization structure. This is not elevating the industry. This is not defending the multi-stakeholder model. This is the opposite. We urge ICANN to reconsider and remove these amendments now.
Best regards, Volker Greimann General Counsel - Key-Systems GmbH GNSO councillor