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Comments from ARI Registry Services

  • To: "rysg-charter-19sep12@xxxxxxxxx" <rysg-charter-19sep12@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Comments from ARI Registry Services
  • From: Donna Austin <donna.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 07:43:46 +1100

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed Amendments to 
the Registry Stakeholder (RySG) Group Charter.

ARI Registry Services (ARI) welcomes the amendments to the Charter that will 
allow, among other things, for the creation Observer Interest Groups.
ARI believes that this will provide a valuable mechanism for RySG Observers to 
initiate discussion and coalesce around areas of common interest. We note that 
this inclusion in large part replicates clause D of the Charter allowing for 
the creation of interest groups among RySG members.

While not directly related to the specific amendments to the Charter that have 
been posted for comment, ARI would like to express concern about an apparent 
anomaly in the current GNSO structure, which does not provide potential new 
entrants to the ICANN community with equal representation in the GNSO currently 
afforded existing stakeholder groups and constituencies through membership and 
voting rights.

ARI has been investigating the feasibility of creating a new constituency 
specifically for back-end registry service providers (RSPs). This investigation 
has revealed the following:

*                RSPs not under contract with ICANN are not eligible to become 
members of the Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG); and

*                RSPs are not eligible to form a new constituency under the 
Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG).
Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG)
The RySG would appear to be the obvious place for RSPs to participate in the 
GNSO because it represents "the interests of gTLD registry operators" and it 
focuses on consensus policies that "relate to the interoperability, technical 
reliability and stable operation of the Internet or the domain name system." 
However, membership is only open to registries that are currently under 
contract with ICANN to provide gTLD registry services in support of one or more 

The RySG does provide observer status for entities that "... may not be 
eligible for full membership ... and for entities that have applied, or have 
demonstrated both the intention and the means to apply, for a contract with 
ICANN to provide gTLD registry services in support of one or more gTLDs." 
However, Observers do not have voting rights in the RySG and are not eligible 
to participate in leadership elections.

If the participation in the New TLD Applicant Group (NTAG) is any indicator, 
the membership of the RySG will significantly increase with the introduction of 
new gTLDs. However, ARI is concerned that the majority of this new membership 
may not have technical and operational expertise commensurate with the existing 
membership of the RySG to engage in technical discussions because a majority of 
new gTLD applicants are outsourcing the provision of their registry services to 
RSPs. Conversely, RSPs such as ARI could be excluded from participating in 
technical consensus policy discussions in which they, alongside the existing 
contracted registry operators, are able to share their direct expertise as it 
relates to interoperability, technical reliability and stable operation of the 
Internet and the domain name system because they are not eligible, under the 
current RySG Charter, to become a member of the RySG.

Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG)
According to the CSG Charter, the CSG "... represents the views of commercial 
Internet users and relevant sectors of the ICT industry, including large and 
small business entities, business organisations, Internet connectivity 
providers, intellectual property owners and intellectual property 
organizations." The CSG Charter also includes provision for the creation of new 

The membership section of the CSG Charter notes that membership is open to any 
additional Constituency recognised and approved by the ICANN Board according to 
its Bylaws and assigned to the CSG. However, the charter also states:
"... user-related commercial interests should be interpreted as being distinct 
from registry and prospective registry, registrar, re-seller or other domain 
name supplier interests."

This clause has been strictly interpreted as excluding RSPs from creating a new 
constituency under the CSG.

Possible solutions

*         Amend the RySG Charter to accommodate RSPs as full members; or

*         Change the CSG Charter to remove the exclusion of registries from 
membership or eligibility to create a new constituency.
ARI acknowledges that these are very simplistic solutions and that considered 
debate will be necessary to resolve the anomaly as identified. ARI stands ready 
to engage in these discussions and notes that this anomaly may be wider spread 
than represented in our comments. Our investigation was specifically targeted 
at finding a vehicle for RSPs to participate and influence debates at ICANN on 
equal footing with existing GNSO stakeholder groups and constituencies.

The important aspect of this issue is ensuring that as the ICANN community 
grows and becomes more diverse as a result of the expansion of gTLDs, that 
there is flexibility within the current structure to allow these groups to 
contribute to important discussions on equal footing and thereby ensuring the 
success of the ICANN multi-stakeholder model.



Donna Austin
Policy & Industry Affairs Officer
ARI Registry Services
Melbourne | Los Angeles
P +61 3 9866 1779
E donna.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:donna.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
W www.ariservices.com

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