Re: [gtld-council] FW: [council] Next steps with the new gTLD recommendations
- To: Ray Fassett <ray@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [gtld-council] FW: [council] Next steps with the new gTLD recommendations
- From: Robin Gross <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 09:33:29 -0700
Thanks for asking. Our concerns come under three broad categories: i)
lack of respect for free expression rights, ii) expansion in trademark
rights, and iii) arbitrary decision-making processes by unaccountable
Our main objection continues to be Recommendation #6: "strings must not
be contrary to generally accepted legal norms relating to public
order". This provision ignores the freedom of expression guarantees
from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but perverts the UDHR as
justification to impose "sensitivity" in the new gtld space. Its worth
noticing which language from the UDHR is ignored and which is latched
onto to justify particular positions. We would like to see recognition
of and respect for freedom of expression guarantees stated in our
recommendations. (Rec #5 that forbids places names and people
descriptions also goes too far in controlling people's use of language
and will prevent ordinary words being used for entirely legitimate
purposes. I don't subscribe to the idea that we must blindly and
mindlessly go along with GAC principles. If we think some are
misguided, we should say so.)
Recommendation #6 is also objectionable since it would reject or defer
an application based on a public comment period in which any sector of
the world could object. So we seem to be asking for world-wide
agreement on every new string applied for, giving institutions like the
Catholic Church an opportunity to stop a domain ".gay" because they find
it offensive. We cannot institute a process of objective and
measurable criteria with a process that allows for any possible
opposition from any sector of world to reject an application.
Recommendation #11 is flawed because it calls for the use ICANN staff
and processes such as expert panels to decide which ideas are too
controversial and which applicants are the proper spokesman for an
idea/string. Besides the free expression problem, this recommendation
will lead to arbitrary and subjective decisions and open ICANN up to
legal liability for its decisions. (Note IG-F(iv) gives ICANN Board the
Recommendation #3 privileges trademark owners over non-commercial uses
of a word since its gives them a prior right of registration. Under
the law, a nonprofit organization that acts as a watch-dog to companies
like Enron has an equal right to register the domain ".enron", but our
recommended policy only privileges Enron's rights, and ignores the
rights of legitimate non-commercial speakers to discuss Enron.
I hope that sheds some light on our concerns.
I will try to propose some new language that addresses these concerns.
Ray Fassett wrote:
Robin, if I may ask, specifically which of the 6 principles, 19
recommendations, and/or 15 implementation guidelines is the NCUC not in
[mailto:owner-gtld-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Robin Gross
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 4:43 PM
To: Gomes, Chuck; gtld-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Bruce Tonkin
Subject: Re: [gtld-council] FW: [council] Next steps with the new gTLD
Here's how I propose we move forward:
1. We should at least consider the input from outside experts to
address the unresolved issue of how well our recommendations track
2. Than have a discussion on our various views about the recommendation
(move the 7 June discussion back a couple weeks).
3. We will have to consider and vote on each of the recommendations
individually to determine which actually belong in our final report. I
agree that we can have 3 categories:
i. Very strong support - many parts of the proposal are not
contentious and so we don't need to spend a lot of time on these.
ii. Medium support - where a minority perspective on a particular
recommendation is shared by several council members.
iii. Weak support - where only half of the council supports a
4. Then then council needs to vote on report as a whole. I don't
believe we can delegate the responsibility of approving recommendations
to a committee. The council must vote on the final report as a final
recommendation on a package of recommendations.
Gomes, Chuck wrote:
In my opinion there have been some very helpful comments in response to
Bruce's message and I find that I am in agreement with most of the
points made, although I won't repeat them here. In that regard, I would
like to suggest the following as a means to help us decide how to move
forward in a constructive and timely way.
First of all I think that it is helpful for us to consider the tables of
Implementation Principles, Proposed Recommendations and Implementation
Guidelines that Liz distributed in categories that will hopefully help
us narrow down our focus in the remaining work to be done. I suggest
that the principles, recommendations and guidelines be grouped into the
following three categories: 1) those for which there appears to be broad
agreement; 2) those for which work has not yet been completed; and 3)
those for which many of us thought work was completed, but some members
are now questioning.
To make it easier to work with the principles, recommendations and
guidelines, I created and attached a MS Word document that organizes
them according to how I think they might be categorized. Interestingly,
if my assessment is accurate, I think that we probably have broad
support for a large majority of the principles, recommendations and
guidelines. I only identified four for category two and didn't identify
any for category three although I would expect others to put a few in
category three instead of category one.
In the attached document I suggest the following next steps as a way
1. Identify which items that I have placed in category one that
should be moved to category three
2. Complete the work for the items in category two
3. Decide how to resolve any issues in category three.
Using this approach it would not seem necessary to do any backtracking
except possibly for items put in category three, nor would it seem
necessary to consider each item separately except for those in
categories two and three. If this is deemed to be a workable plan for
wrapping up our work, then I would predict that it will be relatively
easy to take Council vote at the end to validate a 2/3 majority and to
include any minority positions if necessary.
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[mailto:owner-gtld-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bruce Tonkin
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2007 6:44 PM
Subject: [gtld-council] FW: [council] Next steps with the new
On Behalf Of Bruce Tonkin
Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2007 7:59 AM
To: Council GNSO
Subject: [council] Next steps with the new gTLD recommendations
With respect to the Council meeting on 7 June, I would like
to get a sense of how the Council wants to handle the current
new gTLD recommendations.
As others have pointed out, some of the recommendations
work with respect to developing dispute resolution processes.
are also no doubt some recommendations with stronger support than
others. The intent is that the recommendations as currently drafted
by staff are capable of supermajority support based on the
discussions during the new gTLD committee meetings.
My current concern is that if we don't move the work we have
done to some kind of vote - which may accept all or some of
the recommendations by super-majority vote - we are in danger
of losing the consensus that
has been built up through many meetings. I also feel we are at the
point of diminishing returns. No significant new issues
were raised in
Lisbon that had not already been discussed in the new gTLD committee.
I feel that there is a community expectation that the GNSO
Council either conclude its work, or at least identify which
bits are concluded to allow the Board to consider the
recommendations and to allow staff to
begin to do further work. We don't want the GNSO to be seen as the
barrier to new TLDs (either IDN or non-IDN based).
If we can't make some sort of statement about the level of
consensus of the recommendations, it becomes hard to justify
ICANN staff spending additional time working on the
I expect that as staff begin working on the implementation
details of dispute processes and other implementation
details, that they may seek further clarification of the
recommendation, or even recommend the removal of a
recommendation if not external dispute process can be
developed. I would also expect that we will get more input on the
dispute processes once detailed drafts are published - this
will ensure that issues such as freedom of speech are
properly addressed in the dispute processes.
No doubt as new people become involved in ICANN and the GNSO
- there will be desire to reset the clock, and start the
policy development again. I feel however that we will never
get a perfect answer, and that it is better to proceed in
such a way that minimises risk in the first round, but also
allows flexibility to update the recommendations based on
experience of the first round.
It would be useful to hear the views of Council members on
this topic via the Council mailing list prior to the Council
meeting next week.