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Response to "Joint Proposal"

  • To: <gnso-improvements-report-2008@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Response to "Joint Proposal"
  • From: "Neuman, Jeff" <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 22:55:51 -0400

In my personal capacity I want to completely endorse the comments raised
by Chuck Gomes and also post a statement that I sent to the At-Large
list earlier today when this topic came up.


It is of course no surprise that the same document which purports to
"strike a balance" between contracted and non-contracted parties has
ensured that the GNSO Council could always obtain a Supermajority Vote
without ever even involving the Registries and or Registrars in any
policy process.  This is true despite the fact that it is the registries
and registrars that are contractually bound to follow those policies.  


It is also no coincidence that no registries or registrars were even
asked to participate in the process to come up with the "joint
proposal."  It is extremely telling of how the signatories of the "Joint
Proposal" plan on conducting policy in the future ... namely, without
the involvement of the registries and registrars.  


If the "users" believe that the current structure swings the pendulum
too far in favor of the contracted parties (a point I strongly disagree
with), the solution is NOT to swing the pendulum completely in the
opposite direction (as done in the "Joint Proposal", but rather to find
some common ground amongst all of the constituencies.  


That did not happen here.  In fact, the process the signatories used in
coming up with the "Joint Proposal" is actually a model of how consensus
policies should NOT be established.  


In addition to the comments I made earlier, it is ironic that this joint
proposal came out less than a week after the GNSO Council passed by a
Supermajority vote a policy on Domain Tasting where all of the
constituencies were able to come together and find a workable solution
to attempt to solve the abuses of the Add Grace Period.  Was the
solution one in which the Users advocated from the beginning?  No, they
wanted to eliminate the AGP.  However, the Registries and Registrars
presented evidence of the benefits and uses of the AGP.  Together all of
the groups were able to find a "consensus" on a solution that would
preserve the AGP for legitimate purposes, but also discourage using the
AGP for tasting.  It is because of the current balance in voting that
the parties were forced to work together to come up with what we believe
was a solution that could work for all parties (Users, Registries and
Registrars).  If the "balance" proposed in the "Joint Proposal" existed
during that process, the Users would have had a Supermajority without
ever seeking input of the registries and registrars.  In addition,
despite the evidence presented of the benefits of the AGP by the
registrars, the AGP would have been eliminated by a Supermajority vote
and that solution would have been forced upon the contracted parties.
The "Users" in essence would have dictated a solution without even
working with the contracted parties.  That is not policy development by
consensus, but rather policy development by regulation.  ICANN has
always said that it is NOT a regulator, but a bottoms-up organization
that facilitates policy by consensus.  If the ICANN Board adopts the
"Joint Proposal", ICANN will become the regulator it has tried to avoid
for so many years.


P.S. -- As a side note, although the "Joint Proposal" makes it seem like
the registries and registrars always vote alike, one only needs to look
at the vote in the GNSO Council on Domain Tasting.  Registries supported
the motion with all of its votes while the registrars split their votes
with 4 going against the registries.  




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