IP Clearinghouse Question
The draft IRT report states that the IP Clearinghouse should be operated by an outsourced agency not affiliated with any party contracted with ICANN. Can the IRT specify if this proposed "contracting party" prohibition would apply to technical infrastructure providers as well. For example Validation Party wins the ICANN RFP to maintain and operate the IP Clearinghouse database. Validation Party then proposes to subcontract with a EPP database infrastructure provider to either license their software or host the database, and this infrastructure provider does have a contact with ICANN. Would this be permitted or prohibited under the contracting party prohibition as currently proposed by the IRT? The reason for this very detailed/specific question is because this very issue is being debated within the context of registry/registrar separation, and any actions/recommendations by the IRT might have an impact in these other areas. The IRT may also wish to look at the legal/competition concerns that have been raised in the context of registry/registrar separation as the grant of the IP Clearinghouse will provide that entity with a excusive sole source provider contract with a potential monopolistic impact on the global domain name marketplace as has been raised by a number of parties that have filed comments.