Response to "Joint Proposal"
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.