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Re: [NA-Discuss] Users and the New gTLDs

  • To: dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] Users and the New gTLDs
  • From: "Cheryl Langdon-Orr" <langdonorr@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 12:51:03 +1100

Hi Danny couple of points Wich I will limit to the matters effecting the
ALAC not ICANN Policyt Development processes per se:-

1. It *is* on the Agenda as a main item
2. We (ALAC via at least two of the ExCom) has taken all the questions and
concernes discussed in Cairo by the Ad Hoc group and other attendees to the
1st of the GNSO Briefing session on this and they are listed on the
questions  list etc., as the transcripts show And will do so for the next
call on Dec 8th as well
3. The AdHoc will be formailised on Dec 8th as well (as per Agenda) and I
trust you and all the other "users" will not only  get involved as the aim
of this is to engage much wider than the ALAC per Se but to involve the
ALS's via the Regions, get REAL Regional input etc., and I look forward to
seeing what comes out of NARALO and other users in yur region on this matter
as a reasult of this process... (nice if it resulted in direct comments as
well being in the English speaking secotr of course your comments will be
required now by the 15th)  But all self organised activities from the wide
rangeof users you are in constant contact with is no doubt being fed into
the NARALO work on this important matter, will be inspirational to the work
of the other Regions  and contribute extensively to the final ALAC
Statements in January (as we need to incorporate the Nion English REgional
and User deliberations and interests.

CLO (from IGF Meeting where discussions on this topic with users continues)

2008/12/5 Danny Younger <dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx>

> With regard to new gTLDs document, at the ICANN Cairo session the Chair of
> the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) put foward this comment:
>
> "We have divvied it up totally to yet another ad-hoc Working Group.  So
> everyone has a section and we are at a point of not doing a line-by-line
> analysis as a whole but in a subset analysis.  But our Advisory Committee
> meets monthly as do each of the regional at-large organizations meet
> monthly.  It's now main point on their agenda.  So by December, we should be
> having meaningful responses that have actually gone out to community
> consultation and coming back in."
>
> How nice if this were actually true.
>
> 1.  If these representatives of the user community have actually formed an
> ad-hoc working group, then where are their discussions being held?  The rest
> of us "users" would sure like to know.  These user reps haven't communicated
> on the ALAC's gTLD-WG list (which hasn't seen a single comment since 8
> September), and they certainly haven't advised anyone of the formation of a
> new list that would allow for a subset or a line-by-line analysis by
> community members.
>
> 2.  Neither has there been any discussion on the lists of the Regional
> at-large organizations on this topic thus far -- that's a very far cry from
> being "the main point on their agenda".
>
> 3.  So we are now into December and no subset analysis has been put out for
> community consultation -- of course, there is no consequent grassroots
> feedback coming back in.
>
> OK... so what will likely happen next?
>
> Here's the probable scenario:  ICANN Staff will prevail upon a few members
> of ALAC to come up with some kind of Statement.  One person will wind up
> doing all the work while the other conscripts will contribute next to
> nothing to the discussion.  One person's Statement will be posted just prior
> to the commencement of the next ALAC meeting, and the Committee members
> (most of whom will likely not have even read the Statement) will exclaim
> "Great Work!" and vote to ratify the language therein.
>
> This is not what any of us expected the ALAC/RALO/ALS process to be.  It
> was not meant to be a "think tank" in which just a few select individuals
> speak out through "Statements" on behalf of the worldwide user community;
> instead the ALAC was meant to be a coordination point that facilitated an
> upward flow of input from grassroots communities on issues within ICANN's
> remit that were of concern to individual Internet users.
>
> So, because the ALAC, again, is not doing its job and is not making any
> real effort to involve the user community, I am asking for those in the
> at-large world (the public) to take a moment to really think hard about
> ICANN's new gTLD processes and the potential impact of those processes.
>
> Here are some of my own preliminary thoughts:
>
> A.  On the topic of pricing and non-discriminatory treatment -- When the
> U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) considered the question as to whether
> the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-25 (which relates to cost
> recovery through user charges by federal government agencies), was
> applicable to a nongovernmental entity such as ICANN, it determined that
> whereas ICANN is a project partner under the Memorandum of Understanding,
> ICANN is not subject to the Circular but necessarily is subject to the
> Department's policy to allow project partners only to recover actual project
> costs -- see http://www.gao.gov/archive/2000/og00033r.pdf
>
> Accordingly we have seen ICANN putting forward as a justification for their
> high new gTLD evaluation fees the notion of a "cost-recovery principle"
> which while in keeping with the above-mentioned DOC policy still raises the
> following set of questions:
>
> 1.  For the last ten years ICANN has chosen not to utilize the principle of
> cost-recovery as it pertained to the IANA costs incurred on behalf of the
> ccTLD community (although it had the option under contract to charge fees
> for such service):
>
> "After the effective date of this purchase order, ICANN may establish and
> collect fees from third parties (i.e. other than the United States
> Government) for the functions performed under this purchase order, provided
> the fee levels are approved by the Contracting Officer before going into
> effect, which approval shall not be withheld unreasonably provided the fee
> levels are fair and equitable and provided the aggregate fees charged during
> the term of this purchase order do not exceed the cost of providing the
> functions."  http://www.icann.org/en/general/iana-contract-09feb00.htm
>
> Is it discriminatory to invoke this cost-recovery principle against one set
> of TLD operators (the gTLDs) while not invoking it when dealing with a
> different set of TLD operators (the ccTLDs)?  I, for one, see it as grossly
> inequitable.
>
> 2.  If the cost-recovery principle is to be used for gTLDs, can we expect
> it similarly to be used to deal with IDN ccTLDs?  Is ICANN planning to
> charge the ccTLD world for ten years worth of IDN development costs and
> other ancillary policy development costs as it now seeks to charge the new
> gTLD operators?  If so, we will be taking a giant step backwards by creating
> an unnecessary barrier to entry for many in the developing world -- and this
> will seriously hurt that user community.
>
> This viewpoint is consistent with the recent position taken by the
> Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) in their Cairo Communique that stated:
>  "the charging of fees for the IDN ccTLD fast track process should be
> examined further to ensure that it does not constitute an additional
> difficulty for participation in this process."
>
> Policies need to be applied on a uniform basis.  If we have chosen not to
> abide by a project cost-recovery principle thus far in ICANN's ten-year
> history, now is not the time to rock the boat without widespread community
> agreement to this radical shift in policy.
>
> B.  On the topic of pricing and its consequent impact on users -- Are you
> aware that ICANN runs its own registry operation?  This registry (.INT) is
> managed by ICANN's IANA personnel and incurred no "evaluation costs" nor any
> other costs for that matter.  It offers a registration service to a certain
> very small class of registrants (IGOs).  This is a fine example of how the
> DNS is supposed to be managed -- small groups with defined needs are
> accommodated without the incumbrance of major costs.
>
> But what does ICANN have to say on the topic of fee reductions for the
> needy?
>
> "No practical method of ICANN financial assistance or fee reductions was
> identified for the first round of new gTLD applications, though an
> appropriate mechanism might be defined for subsequent rounds. If staff is
> able to identify sources for potential grants, financial assistance or
> match-making opportunities for applicants from qualified developing nations,
> and indigenous and minority peoples in need, the results will be
> made publicly available."
>
> While ICANN Staff somehow couldn't identify a solution (and I'll bet they
> tried really hard), there is indeed an obvious solution for these needy
> applicants that ICANN has overlooked -- the IANA can establish and manage
> other comparable sets of registry operations (akin to .INT) so that groups
> other than IGOs may benefit from a low-to-no-cost option (the registry and
> the registrar are the same organizational entity).
>
> But this is a policy choice that ICANN has chosen not to pursue as it is so
> much easier for ICANN to focus on an unprecedented and unwarranted naked
> money grab.  As I see it, ICANN views it as much more important to squeeze
> as many dollars as it can from the commercial world while placing the needs
> of the non-commercial and the developing world on the back burner.  What we
> have here is an organization totally consumed by the notion of launching its
> .brand initiative to the detriment of all other parties just so that its
> revenues will eventually rise to the level of the ITU revenue stream.
>
> And as we all know, the commercial world isn't too happy about this
> either... (just read the public comments already posted by firms such as
> Chevron and brands such as Lego).
>
> A closing thought:  Users shouldn't have to stand in the wings awaiting an
> opportunity for affordable new gTLD registries when the mechanisms to afford
> them a namespace are in ICANN's own hands.  Let's have ICANN (through the
> IANA) put forward a proposal to manage the namespaces of the needy in much
> the same manner as it now manages the .int domain.  If the ITU can take the
> time to craft new recommendations for the management of .int registrations
> -- see http://www.itu.int/md/T05-SG02-051206-TD-GEN-0106/e -- then
> certainly ICANN can put its nose to the grindstone in pursuit of the noble.
>  It's time for ICANN to do something positive for indigenous peoples, to
> protect endangered languages and the needs of the developing world, to give
> a damn about the users whose needs go far beyond a .brand namespace.
>
> If you value the concept of namespace for the users, this is your chance to
> write in and let ICANN know how you feel.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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-- 
Cheryl Langdon-Orr
(CLO)


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