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RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Final charter proposal

  • To: <Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Final charter proposal
  • From: "Rosette, Kristina" <krosette@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 11:09:33 -0500

I believe it is our function as set out in the resolution:  "the PDP shall 
evaluate which policy recommendations, if any, should be developed on the topic 
of vertical integration between registrars and registries affecting both new 
gTLDs and existing gTLDs, as may be possible under existing contracts and as 
allowed under the ICANN Bylaws."  
Based on the resolution, I also disagree with your characterization of our task.
We have an obligation to identify the potential effects of policy 
recommendations we make.    It may be the case that some of those potential 
effects are considered significant enough to warrant modifying a policy 
recommendation.   It may also be the case that none is.
If you're accusing me of trying to intentionally delay the advent of new gTLDs 
and game the system, Milton, please say so.  If you're not, I suggest we 
dispense with the innuendo.  It's unnecessary.


        From: owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Milton L Mueller
        Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 11:00 AM
        To: Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx
        Subject: RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Final charter proposal


        "Policy development" and "assessments of the effects of policies" are 
separate functions. Typically, the best way to assess policy effects is after 
the policy has been implemented. If you want to do predictive studies, 
fact-finding or to project the effects of various policies, call for an issues 
report and/or ask ICANN to hire yet another economic consultant to do yet 
another study. Don't burden the PDP with it. It is not our function. 


        This is a basic choice: is this a PDP or an open-ended research and 
investigation group? I think the answer is obvious, but apparently Kristina 


        The AoC's call for assessing the results of policies is irrelevant 
here. ICANN can fulfill those obligations by commissioning studies to assess 
results once the actual effects are known. 


        We have a very simple task wrt to the DAG and cross-ownership. We have 
to determine whether the DAG proposals are consistent or inconsistent with 
existing policy. If they are consistent with current policy, that is the end of 
the story. If they are new policy we need to set the policy and not allow staff 
to negotiate it. We are not authorized to rewrite established policy on a 
retroactive basis and it is not the function of a PDP to conduct research on 
the effects of past policies. We are chartered to look at VI and CO on a 
forward-looking basis. 


        I have heard many people in the industry complain that certain parties 
have vested interests in delaying the advent of new gTLDs as long as possible. 
I can't think of a better way to do that than to turn this process into an 
open-ended research project on anything and everything that interests someone 
about the economics of registries and registrars. Let's not game the system. 
Objective #5 is clearly out of scope and needs to go. 





        From: Rosette, Kristina [mailto:krosette@xxxxxxx] 
        Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:31 AM
        To: Milton L Mueller; Jeff Eckhaus; Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx
        Subject: RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Final charter proposal


        I disagree that it's beyond the scope.  It is my view that identifying 
possible effects of policies under consideration is an essential component of 
informed policy making.  The AoC calls for this type of assessment, the GAC 
has, and the Council itself has in connection with other PDPs.





                From: owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Milton L Mueller
                Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:05 AM
                To: Jeff Eckhaus; Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx
                Subject: RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Final charter proposal

                Like several others, I was unable to even access this draft 
until this morning. 


                I strongly agree with Jeff E. that Objective 5 needs to be 
removed. Objective 5 is not even a policy development objective; it calls for a 
predictive study of "what effect" a particular contract proposed in the DAG 
would have on "the retail and wholesale markets for domain names and on 
consumers." This is way out of scope for a PDP. If some people want this 
question answered I suggest that they hire economic consultants to do it (I 
would happily put my name into consideration to perform such a study but the 
price tag would be in at least the 5-figure range, and the time scale about 4 
-6 months). 


                This is a policy development group, not a research team. We are 
authorized to determine whether the DAG contract violates current policy; we 
are neither authorized nor properly constituted to do scientific studies of 
what "effect" certain structural arrangements might have on consumers and 






                From: owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jeff Eckhaus
                Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 2:22 PM
                To: Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx
                Subject: RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Final charter proposal


                Sorry for the late response on this, but I have been travelling 
and have only had a chance to review this draft this morning.


                Objective # 5 is one that after careful review seems that 
either needs clarification of the objective or needs to be removed.


                Objective 5: To determine what, if any, effect that the 
potential changes to the current restrictions and/or practices concerning 
registry-registrar separation and equal access contained in the options set out 
in DAGv3 and considered by ICANN staff will have on the retail and wholesale 
markets for domain names and on consumers of domain names.


                Since the current gTLD contracts have a broad range of 
provisions that range from no CO to full CO, what are the changes we are trying 
to predict here?  The changes from what standard? Are we trying to predict what 
the effect will be on new TLDs? Is that our objective to predict the future or 
just list out what we see as possible outcomes? 

                We have already seen many predictions on what will happen if 
there are changes to VI/CO/Equal Access and they range from increased 
competition and lower prices to market manipulation and doom and gloom.

                I do not think that we will get to consensus on what will 
happen in the future, and I believe that was one of the points in the Staff 
report, so I am just unsure if that is the objective in front of us, that we 
really believe this WG can tackle or is it something else and I am missing the 













                -----Original Message-----
                From: owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:owner-gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Stéphane Van Gelder
                Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:43 AM
                To: Kristina Rosette; briancute@xxxxxxxxxxxx
                Cc: Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx
                Subject: Re: [gnso-vi-feb10] Final charter proposal


                Thanks Kristina and Brian for providing those comments.




                I have upgraded the proposed charter to reflect what I read as 
being able to reflect consensus within our group.


                I found your Objective 2 much clearer than the previous one we 
had and have therefore adapted it nearly word for word, simply removing the 
last part of the sentence which not only seems like making the same point 
again, but also lists the registrars as belonging to the registries. I think it 
would be a mistake to portray things in this way.


                I have also integrated your Obj 3, removing the reference to 
community solutions as this seems such a wide-ranging field that almost 
anything could be included and it would make the WG's work very difficult in my 
opinion. I have included Obj 4 and 5 with the same approach.


                My personal view is that your additions increase the area the 
WG will have to cover and may make it difficult for the WG to reach all its 
objectives within the given time frame. But as there have not been any adverse 
reactions to your proposals within the agreed-upon time limit, I have included 
them and I hope in a way that is satisfactory to your group. Please let me know 
if that is not the case.


                I have opted not to remove the definitions at this stage as I 
do not believe there are clear definitions elsewhere of the topics this charter 
is addressing. Margie, if that is wrong and as Kristina suggests, there are 
definitions that the Board and Staff have been using, please let us know and 
point us in the direction of these definitions so that we may include them in 
the charter.




                I have upgraded Obj 1 to reflect your comment.


                On the definitions, please provide suggestions for complete 
alternative text if you are not happy with the definitions as listed. 
Alternatively, following on from my point above, if Margie comes back with 
definitions already used by Staff, would you be happy to accept those?


                On the reference to consensus policies, I could not find the 
original text for that.


                Whilst these final edits are being ironed out, may I already 
ask all of you to take this latest version of the charter back to your groups. 
I would like to set a deadline for final approval at this time next week, say 
16 UTC Tuesday Feb 23rd. If the group agrees, that might allow the Council to 
vote on the charter on the list, rather than waiting for its next meeting on 
March 10th, and therefore the WG would be given a few well-needed extra days to 
carry out its work.





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