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Cross Community Working Group (CWG) on Naming Related Functions Draft Transition Proposal Public Comment

  • To: comments-cwg-naming-transition-01dec14@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Cross Community Working Group (CWG) on Naming Related Functions Draft Transition Proposal Public Comment
  • From: Dr Eberhard W Lisse <dns-admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:32:02 +0200

On behalf of the Namibian Network Information Centre, the .NA(R)
ccTLD manager I wish to comment as follows:

The US Government (USG) has only recently, and retroactively,
claimed control over the root through the flimsy argument of
referring to an obscure contract (the Teranode Contract), which does
not state anything in this regards.  And only very recently it has
started to use the term stewardship which, to our knowledge, is not
defined anywhere in this context.

We have never agreed to this arrangement but from our perspective it
has worked out reasonably well after Jon Postel had died.  Therefor
we did not see any need for a change in status quo, while reserving
all our rights.

The USG now wishes to relinquish this control which means it will
hand over (control of) the root zone database to another entity.

We would like ICANN to be this entity.

This does, however, pose the question what it is that is handed
over, and it clearly is Intellectual Property (whether sui generis
as a database or under traditional definitions as a Compilation).

To our knowledge the USG can not acquire for example Copyright under
its own Federal Legislation.  However, even if the alienation
process where to follow USG rules, it removes any basis for a
relationship between the IANA Function Manager (ie ICANN) and any
and all of those ccTLDs whose Managers have not entered into a
contract with ICANN (by then).

This poses great risks to ICANN and the multi stakeholder model.

We believe it requires ICANN to negotiate contractual agreements
with each incumbent ccTLD Manager (and, of course each new, incoming
one).  This would be quite different from the gTLD situation since
there are existing rights involved, and the IANA Function Manager
can not use a One-Fits-All model and/or a Take-It-or-Leave-It
approach.  Rather the IANAN Function Manager will have to enter into
proper negotiations with each ccTLD Manager.

We strongly believe that negotiations with ccTLD Managers will be
neither a difficult nor a long drawn out process if they followed
the Framework of Interpretation2 with particular reference to
restraints on the IANA Function Manager against unilateral

Until these contracts are finalized, we feel strongly that ICANN and
the multistakeholder process will be best served by ICANN stating
that the current status quo with regard to each individual ccTLD
will be maintained and that no unilateral decisions will be taken.

greetings, el
Dr Eberhard W Lisse
Managing Director
Namibian Network Information Centre (Pty) Ltd.

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