[gnso-vi-feb10] The need to evaluate options in a consistent manner
- To: "'Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx'" <Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [gnso-vi-feb10] The need to evaluate options in a consistent manner
- From: "Neuman, Jeff" <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 08:21:07 -0400
This last week has been an interesting one on this list, but one in which I
believe we have taken hypocritical inconsistent approaches.
What is interesting to me is that many on the list are advocating that we do
not need to look at the competitive landscape among registry providers, but
rather we need to look at the benefits/harms to consumers when talking about
vertical integration/cross ownership at the registry level. But when looking
at the registrar level, some of these same parties are arguing that we should
not look to the consumer benefits and harms, but rather only look at the
competitive landscape of registrar providers.
We need to choose to do one or the other and remain consistent in what we do.
If we choose to look at the consumer harms/benefits of having vertical
integration / cross ownership at the registry level, then we need to look at
the consumer harms/benefits of having registrars in the first place (especially
with respect to single registrant and community based TLDs. If we choose to
only look at the competitive landscape at the registrar level (and not the
consumer benefits/harms), then we should only look at the competitive landscape
at the registry level.
Some registrars are conveniently citing GNSO Recommendation 19 as a reason that
we should not open up the discussion about having to use accredited registrars.
They argue that that issue has been decided and we should not look back. I
have actually talked to a number of GNSO councilors that were on the council at
the time Recommendation 19 was approved and many of them assumed that the
vertical separation requirements would remain at least what they were today.
In other words, changing the VI/CO part of the equation changes the assumptions
that went into approving recommendation 19 in the first place. So if we change
the VI/CO part of the equation at the registry level, it is inconsistent (or
possibly even hypocritical) to not open up the other part of the equation at
the registrar level.
I am fine with either approach. What I am not fine with is how a number of
registrars on this list want to have it both ways. They argue that we must
look at the consumer benefits/harms of VI or CO at the registry level, but want
to dismiss looking at it at the registrar level. They often cite "fear of
gaming" at the registrar level as the reason we should not delve into issues of
Single Registrant TLDs not having to use registrars. Incidentally, the
Registries Stakeholder Group also argued the fear of gaming as a reason to
tighten the separation requirements between registries and registrars, but that
seems to have been lost in the noise because the same entities that would have
us look at the competitive landscape amongst registrars, do not want to look at
the competitive landscape amongst registries.
I know some registrars will attack this note, but I must request that the
chairs of this group apply consistency in how we work. Either we consider
consumer harms/benefits at both the registry and registrar levels, or we do not
consider it at all at either level. Like I said, I am fine with either
approach, so long as we are consistent. The proposal Neustar submitted was
contingent on looking at both sides of the equation.
Jeffrey J. Neuman
Neustar, Inc. / Vice President, Law & Policy
46000 Center Oak Plaza Sterling, VA 20166
Office: +1.571.434.5772 Mobile: +1.202.549.5079 Fax: +1.703.738.7965 /
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