Statement on IFRC and IOC - Post Application Start Date changes to the AGB
- To: ioc-rcrc-proposal@xxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Statement on IFRC and IOC - Post Application Start Date changes to the AGB
- From: Avri Doria <avri@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 12:48:57 -0500
In this statement I want to address the topic of making large modifications to
the Applicant Guide Book (AGB) to amend the special protections that ICANN
Board granted to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and to
the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Since the motion's recommendations
apply to both organizations and since the GNSO seems to have decided that the
motion cannot be split between the two organizations, I will not differentiate
between the two organizations in my comments. In any case such discrimination
would require further analysis on the basis for the merits of the special
treatment they are being granted, something I will not cover in this comment.
- I will avoid, in this note at least, any discussion of the quality of the
protection offered to the IFRC/IOC and whether the GNSO should add further
protection to the IFRC/IOC
- I will avoid, in this note at least, the question of whether the IFRC/IOC
deserve such protection.
- I will avoid, in this note at least, the question of whether the IFRC/IOC are
the only organizations that deserve this protection.
- I will avoid, in this note at least, the question of whether the IFRC/IOC as
a class of organization are unique regarding reasons for such protection.
- I will avoid, in this note at least, the question of whether the ICANN Board
did the right thing in creating, without a proper GNSO PDP, a new class of
modified reserved names.
- I will avoid, in this note at least, the question of whether it is
appropriate for the GNSO council to vote on a recommendation of a Drafting
Team draft without a complete AOC/ATRT/Board determined comment period and
without a call to the constituencies for comments. I.e.this note will not
address the appropriateness of the GNSO council circumventing the PDP and the
precedence this might set for future emergency policy issues.
- I will avoid, in this note, the analysis necessary to differentiate between a
policy issue and a 'mere' implementation issue.
The current Application guide book contains a section on the extraordinary
protections the ICANN Board already gave the IFRC/IOC. A question facing the
GNSO Council is whether it is appropriate to change the AGB in such a massive
way after the start date of the application period without resetting that start
Prospective applicants have already made decisions on their applications based
on the content of the AGB. While it is true that there has been a constant
stream of smaller changes, made in amendments to the AGB, there have not been
any changes of this magnitude, i.e. modifications that change what can and
can't be applied for. While there are some robo-application writers who can
crank out an application in a weekend, many applicants spend months worrying
about the wording of their application - especially if they are working on a
community or geographically based application. If a large change were to made
at any point after the start of the application window, it would disadvantage
some applicants and perhaps advantage other applicants. This would be
fundamentally unfair and would thus be a liability for ICANN.
Several comments have noted that perhaps the protections offered to the
IFRC/IOC should be undone. I argue against this for the same reason I argue
against adding all of the extra exemptions and privileges contained in the GNSO
motion. Removing this protection from the AGB at a date after the starting
date of the application period would change the basis of the decision on which
some possible applicants may have made their decisions. Again, making such a
change to the AGB at this point would put all of these possible applicants at a
disadvantage. It would also harm the IFRC/IOC as it would remove a protection
they had been able to count on. While it may have been a multistakeholder
transgression for the ICANN Board to have extended this extraordinary special
modified reserved name process to the IFRC/IOC without a PDP to define the new
class of reserved names, it was within their by-laws defined prerogative to do
so and was thus a legitimate decision. Had they not been extended such
special protection, the IFRC/IOC would have had the ability to create a
strategy and an application. In this case the special protections have been
extended, and we all need to live with that fact without modification, if we
are unwilling to reset the date for the beginning of the application period -
something I am not recommending.
Additionally, a fundamental principle of the GNSO recommendations for the new
gTLD process was for a predictable process. Any changes of this magnitude
would be done at the expense of that predictability and should be avoided by
the GNSO if it wishes to live up to its own principles on the new gTLD program.
For this reason I recommend that all GNSO council members vote against any
massive change to the AGB that would disadvantage members of the ICANN
community. This motion should be defeated or at least amended to remove
anything that would change the basis of applications for this round.