Re: [gnso-vi-feb10] Areas of complete and irreconcilable disagreement
- To: Eric Brunner-Williams <ebw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [gnso-vi-feb10] Areas of complete and irreconcilable disagreement
- From: Volker Greimann - Key-Systems GmbH <vgreimann@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2010 18:38:30 +0200
I would have preferred a longer discussion of that topic as well.
Regarding the 15% limitation, no rationale has been put forward why this
(and no other) percentage will solve all problems and reduce the risk of
gaming to an acceptable level. The arguments seem to revolve mostly on
the "legacy" argument which does not explain anything. Even in 0%
scenarios, there will be gaming, if no other systems of checks and
penalties is provided. And once we have a system that will resolve these
issues, the limitation does not make any sense at all. A limit for the
sole purpose of introducting a limit, or because it sounds nice, or
because it is easier to sell sells the entire process of introducing new
gTLDs short and stifles competitions by restricting access to the market
in favor of some of the incumbent providers. It will thereby weaken the
position of all new TLDs.
As an example, how does forcing interested registrars to find outside
investors to finance the remaining 85% of a registry benefit a new TLD?
The investors may in all likelyhood only be interested in high short
term gains, but keep out of the day to day managemant due to lack of
experience, leaving the registrar effectively in control, but pushed
towards maximizing profits by the investors, increasing the risk of
gaming, not reducing it. In the best case, the registry will be run just
like a 100% co-owned registry would be, in the worst case, it will
resort to gaming to assist the venture capitalists to get a faster ROI.
In the end, nothing is gained by the limitation. Erik, you said that the
limit is anticipatory, but I do not see how anything will be achieved by
the proposal you support. In my view, it is a giant step in the wrong
direction. It is a guardian knight in shining armor in the time of
gunpowder. It looks nice, but does nothing.
So yes, I vehemently oppose any limitation at this stage as I see it as
ineffective and unconstructive. As stated before, the discussion of a
limit is a red herring, what we should be discussing is finding ways of
reducing the chance of abuse effectively. The proposed solve-all
achieves the opposite of its intention. As Erik states, the specific cap
is one area of non-agreement.
Some proponents, as Erik points out, look towards competition
authorities to fix all problems. Face it, they won't. It makes sense to
involve them in the application process, to prevent some possible
conentrations of market power, but in the end, you will need the same
system of how to react to abuse when it happens, or even prevent it
entirely. Abuse will only become visible once the new TLDs are up and
running, not in the application process.
I am confident that our WG, with all the combined experience, can come
up with a system that will be able to set a code of conduct that all
registries must follow, or else... Such a system will allow any possible
percentage of co-ownership. It would have been helpful if the WG could
have been set up at the the beginning of the process, maybe with DAG 1,
or at least when the overarching issue became evident, but this does not
prevent us from doing our best to solve the problem, instead of trying
to just make it go away, since it won't.
I will support a proposal that will clearly define all risks and harms
so far proposed and find general principles on how to prevent these from
happening (code-of-conduct) or how to react if abuse is encountered. The
4Reg proposal put forth by JC, Stephane, Michele and me was intended as
a starting point for the discussion I am trying to steer the WG towards.
I will support a proposal that will level the playing field for all
potential and incumbent registries, registrars and providers. Such a
playing field can only benefit the consumer as well.
I am afraid that many of the new gTLDs currently in planning, some of
which already proposed openly, will be severely handicapped otherwise.
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Volker A. Greimann
- legal department -
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