[gtld-council] Comments from Chuck Gomes on draft new gTLD recommendations
Comments re. New gTLD PDP Report - 2 Nov 06 Regarding the latest version of the DRAFT GNSO Recommendation Summary of the New gTLD PDP Committee that is posted on the GNSO site, I have a few questions and comments. I understand that the report is not final, but do think it is important to communicate issues early so that they can be dealt with as soon as possible. I don't believe the issues I raise below will significantly affect the work of the GAC although I do think we should eventually send them a red-lined version that shows any changes made. One item that seems to be missing from the principles is "timeliness" of the process. I believe there was strong agreement on the committee that timeliness is critical. It could easily be added to the first principle as follows with my suggested change in bold font: "a) That new generic top level domains (gTLDs) will be introduced in an orderly, timely and predictable way." A second item that appears to be missing from the principles is: The process should be as objective and measurable as possible to minimize subjectivity. I do not believe there was any disagreement on this point by any committee members. This could be assumed in the word "predictable" in the first principle but I personally do not believe that the word 'predictable' means all that is needed. I recommend that this statement be added as the second principle because it follows reasonably from the first principle. Section 18.104.22.168 reads, "In the event that ICANN reasonably believes that the application for a particular string may not be compliant with the string requirements, ICANN will refer the issue to a panel of experts with appropriate backgrounds." My understanding was that the panel of experts would only be used in cases where ICANN was not able to make a decision on the string or when a decision is challenged. Am I incorrect on that? The way it is worded sounds like every negative decision that ICANN makes would be referred to the panel. If I am correct, I suggest that the wording be changed to something like this (edits in bold): "In the event that ICANN reasonably believes that the application for a particular string is not compliant with the string requirements, ICANN will notify the applicant right away and the application will be eliminated from consideration pending any reconsideration process that might apply. If ICANN is unable to make a definitive determination whether or not a string is compliant with the string requirements, then ICANN will refer the issue to a panel of experts with appropriate backgrounds." Section 2.6 says: "An applicant for a new gTLD must use ICANN accredited registrars to provide registration services to Registered Name Holders (registrants). The registry shall not act as a registrar with respect to the TLD (consistent with the current registry-registrar structural separation requirements, for example, see clause 7.1 (b) and (c) of the .jobs registry agreement). An organization wishing to become a registrar for a new gTLD would need to become accredited using ICANN's existing accreditation process." Why was the second sentence added? When the RyC raised the problems with regard to the requirement of always using ICANN accredited registrars for small gTLDs, the argument that was used by committee members was that the registry operator could become an ICANN accredited registrar. The wording of this section clearly precludes that and I don't recall that the committee ever agreed on that sentence being a part of the text. I suggest that the second sentence be deleted. If it is not deleted, then I believe that this issue needs to be revisited by the committee. It is clearly inappropriate for the RyC's concerns to be put aside using the rationale that a registry may become a registrar and then turn around and say that a registry cannot become a registrar. In Section 4.4, the term 'license holder' is used twice. I don't believe this term is applicable and would suggest changing it to something like 'contracted party' or 'registry/sponsor'. Section 4.9 reads as follows: "Initially rely on the appropriate external competition/anti-trust Government authorities to ensure compliance with laws relating to market power or pricing power. This can be reviewed after an initial term." Why does this start with the word "initially" and why was the second sentence included? I don't recall any discussion of ICANN ever becoming a regulator of competition/anti-trust issues or of any agreement to review this issue in the future. I suggest removal of the word "initially" and deleting the last sentence. If committee members want to leave the door open for ICANN becoming a competition/anti-trust regulator, then we need to have a lot more discussion on this issue.
Comments re New gTLD Report - 2 Nov 06.doc