Minutes of the GNSO Council meeting 8 May 2014
The meeting started at 15:06 UTC.
List of attendees: NCA – Non Voting – Jennifer Wolfe joined call after first hour
Contracted Parties House
Registrar Stakeholder Group: James Bladel, Volker Greimann, Yoav Keren,
gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group: Jonathan Robinson, Ching Chiao, Bret Fausett
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Thomas Rickert
Non-Contracted Parties House
Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG):Tony Holmes temporary alternate, Osvaldo Novoa, Gabriella Szlak provided proxy to Jon Berard in case of connectivity issues, John Berard, Brian Winterfeldt, proxy to Petter Rindforth, Petter Rindforth
Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG): Klaus Stoll, Maria Farrell, David Cake, Avri Doria, Amr Elsadr, Magaly Pazello
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Daniel Reed
GNSO Council Liaisons/Observers:
Alan Greenberg – ALAC Liaison
Patrick Myles – ccNSO Observer – absent, apologies
David Olive – VP Policy Development – absent, apologies
Marika Konings – Senior Policy Director
Rob Hoggarth – Senior Policy Director
Mary Wong – Senior Policy Director
Berry Cobb – Policy consultant
Lars Hoffmann – Policy Analyst
Glen de Saint Géry – GNSO Secretariat
Eric Evrard– Systems Engineer
Item 1: Administrative matters
The agenda was approved.
Item 2: Opening Remarks / Review of Projects & Action List
Arising from the Action List:
- Multistakeholder Innovation Panel report has been submitted and acknowledged.
- The SSAC liaison to GNSO item is still open.
- Meeting Strategy Working Group (MSWG)
Support the existing draft or make any modification so that it can be submitted to Sébastien Bachollet, the MSWG chair, by 23:59 UTC on Friday, 9 May 2014.
Item 3: Consent agenda
The Council confirmed the new Chair and Co-Chairs for the Data and Metrics for Policy Making non-PDP working group, namely Jonathan Zuck (IPC) as Chair as well as Rudy Vansnick (NPOC), Olevie Kouami (NPOC) and Cheryl Langdon-Orr (At-Large) as Co-Chairs.
The Council confirmed Avri Doria as a member of the GAC / GNSO Consultation Group and as the replacement for Mikey O'Conner.
Item 4: MOTION – Specification 13 to the New gTLD Registry Agreement
Thomas Rickert, seconded by Bret Fausett proposed a motion to the Council in response to the NGPC's letter with respect to Specification 13. Bret Fausett proposed an amendment on behalf of the Registries SG, which was considered friendly by the maker of the motion, Thomas Rickert.
Volker Greimann, noting that he was taking into consideration the various concerns voiced by individuals (including himself) on the Council mailing list, proposed an amended motion that he believed would not only clarify the policy position of the Council, while at the same time creating a way forward for the community to find a practical solution but also a solution which he believes avoids the hollowing-out of policy recommendations at the request of any one interest group and offers a constructive path to address any concerns with the existing policy recommendation.
Volker Greimann's amendment was not considered friendly by the maker of the motion and the Council duly voted on the amendment to the resolved clauses as follows:
- that the proposed right to only use up to three exclusive registrars, as contained in Specification 13 is inconsistent with Recommendation 19 as (i) the language of this recommendation of the final report of the GNSO does not stipulate any exceptions from the requirements to treat registrars in a non-discriminatory fashion and (ii) the GNSO new gTLDs Committee discussed potential exceptions at the time, but did not include them in its recommendations, which is why the lack of an exception cannot be seen as an unintended omission, but a deliberate policy statement;
- that the Council does not object to the implementation of Specification 13 subject to the removal of the clause allowing a Registry Operator to designate up to three exclusive Registrars.
- that the Council requests the ICANN Board to implement appropriate safeguards for this and future new gTLD application rounds to ensure that Recommendation 19 is not eroded and that any rights granted to .BRAND TLDs cannot be used for scenarios other than those specifically covered by Specification 13;
- that the Council reserves the right to initiate a policy development process, potentially resulting in Consensus Policy affecting both existing and future TLDs, to assess whether exceptions to Recommendation 19 or any subsequent provisions should be allowable in this circumstance, and under what criteria future requests would be considered.
(Changed/added language is marked in bold-cursive for easier reference.)
The motion to amend failed.
Voting results (CPH Total 42,9% in favour, NCPH Total 23,1% in favour) (Simple majority required to carry motion) three abstentions.
Reasons for abstaining:
Avri Doria: My reason for abstaining is that while I believe that Volker's amendment was an improvement on the motion, the fact that the amendment allows clause 1 of specification 13 that exempts all 600 new gTLD registries from having to go through the actual review that would review these for public interest. So they would also be exempted for that– so I would still have to vote against the motion.
I want to support Avri's argument entirely.
I have to abstain because it is also not clear for me. So I go the same direction of Avri. I'm not clear about the proper change in the motion and I don't have enough experience with this language.
Thomas Rickert, seconded by Bret Fausett proposed a motion (as amended by Bret Fausett and John Berard) in response to the NGPC's letter with respect to Specification 13
the NGPC has adopted a proposed Specification 13 to the Registry Agreement to reflect requests by .BRAND TLDs whilst delaying the implementation of an additional clause contained therein, which will allow a Registry Operator to designate up to three exclusive Registrars;
the NGPC has sent a letter to the GNSO Council Chair asking for advice as to whether the GNSO Council believes that this additional clause is inconsistent with the letter and intent of GNSO Policy Recommendation 19 on the Introduction of New Generic Top-level Domains;
the GNSO Council thanks the NGPC for referring the matter back to the GNSO Council;
the GNSO Council has discussed the matter including with the Brand Registry Group (BRG) and considered the background information provided by the BRG;
the GNSO Council has reached out to participants in the Policy Development Process at the time of developing the policy and the associated Board Report on the Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains (11 September 2007);
the Council acknowledges and understands the proposal made by .BRAND TLD operators;
It is now RESOLVED:
that the right to only use up to three exclusive registrars, as contained in Specification13 is inconsistent with Recommendation 19 as (i) the language of this recommendation of the final report of the GNSO does not stipulate any exceptions from the requirements to treat registrars in a non-discriminatory fashion and (ii) the GNSO new gTLDs Committee discussed potential exceptions at the time, but did not include them in its recommendations,which is why the lack of an exception cannot be seen as an unintended omission, but a deliberate policy statement;
that the Council, notwithstanding resolved 1, does not object to the implementation of Specification 13 as a whole, including an additional clause which will allow a Registry Operator to designate up to three exclusive Registrars, given the specific circumstances and the fact that a public comment period on Specification 13 was conducted in 2013 without objections from the GNSO, save for that from certain registrars, which was subsequently withdrawn;
that the Council reserves the right to initiate a policy development process, potentially resulting in Consensus Policy affecting both existing and future TLDs, if and when the right granted to .BRAND TLDs is at risk of, or bears the risk of, being used for augmenting and / or circumventing the conditions of Specification 13 or any subsequent provisions;
that the Council's acceptance of a variation from original policy recommendation may not be taken as a precedent for any future decisions.
The amended motion carried.
Item 5: DISCUSSION – Internet Governance Issues
Council agreed that the transition of the IANA function from the US government oversight is a critical issue, and it is important that the GNSO's particular focus, with regard to being an interested party is not lost, and is supportive of a bottom-up consensus-driven community based deliberation of the transition of the NTIA responsibilities.
Jonathan Robinson, on behalf of the Council is to provide comments regarding a plan for a Cross-Community Working Group (CWG) intended to make a substantive contribution to the Principles and Mechanisms and the Process to Develop a Proposal to Transition NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions.
Item 6: Update – Forthcoming review of the GNSO
Jennifer Wolfe provided the Council with an update of the forthcoming review of the GNSO
- Working Party formed to provide input and serve as a liaison between the GNSO/GNSO Council and the SIC for the review of the GNSO.
- The SIC is planning a 360 review to be facilitated by an independent auditor. This will seek input from the community on a variety of topics.
- We will have the opportunity to contribute to how that 360 Review is framed and structured, but the SIC will make final decisions on the scope and structure of the 360 review.
- If we think it would be in its best interest to conduct an additional self-review to address topics not included in the 360 Review, we will propose a framework to do so.
- If we think the 360 Review sufficiently covers the areas of interest, we will review the data gathered as part of an independent Self-Review.
- The key aspect of the Self-Review is that we (as the GNSO) self-determine the scope of the review and analyze data through our lens for comparison with the independent auditor review and conclusions. This will allow us to compare and contrast results in a meaningful and efficient manner.
Time Frame and Next Steps
- Working committee to meet weekly through London to provide feedback to the SIC on the structure and scope of the 360 Review. Thereafter, we will set a schedule tied to the review schedule.
- Our goal is to come to the London meeting with recommendations on whether or not a self-review is needed, and if so, propose a framework for doing so.
- The Review is scheduled to continue through summer with GNSO response during the October meeting.
Questions to the Council
- Do you agree with this approach?
- Should we extend invitations to the broader community to participate or observe this working committee?
- Specifically the BRG has requested the opportunity to participate.
- Should each stakeholder group have at least one?
- We need to keep the size of the group manageable, but ensure everyone has the opportunity to be heard and provide for full transparency.
There should be at least one member from each of the stakeholder groups/constituencies on the Working Party.
If a Councillor cannot participate, then that counsillor should be able to nominate somebody from their constituency or stakeholder group to take their place.
Go beyond the Council, but contain the public space in the Working Party to members of the GNSO but it would be appropriate make sure that the channels are open to groups that are active within the GNSO but not formally part of the GNSO.
Part of the 360 assessment is to allow groups like the Brand Registry Group to participate. To a certain extent, they have a built-in opportunity to provide feedback during the 360 assessment without necessarily curbing the Working Party.
Extend the invitation and see who responds so as to move forward and give anyone the opportunity to provide comments through Jen Wolfe or anyone else on the Working Party.
Staff to issue 'Call for participation' and ensure there is active participation through all of the GNSO Stakeholder Groups/Constituencies.
Item 7: Update – Work on IDN Variants
Mary Wong, in the absence of Steve Sheng, provided the following update.
Two fundamental points were noted:
(1) IDN variants will NOT be implemented or introduced into the root zone until all community work on the necessary code point repertoire and on generating the Label Generation Rules (LGR) for the 17 identified scripts is completed; and
(2) a sufficient number of technical and linguistic experts (per the calls for such that were issued last year) are recruited from the community to help develop the code point repertoire and LGRs, including integrating them.
A full primer (introductory, background, issue overview) session, is being scheduled soon, hopefully before London, for the GNSO Council and the community. As with the regular staff updates, this is another follow up step from the discussions in Singapore.
The Council and the community will be informed once the primer session is scheduled. In the meantime, information is available at ICANN's background page on the IDN Variant Project: http://www.icann.org/en/resources/idn/variant-tlds
Item 8: Update – WHOIS Studies
Mary Wong reported that all the commissioned studies on WHOIS have been completed and published.
Bearing in mind that 'WHOIS' is ongoing within the GNSO and elsewhere in the community and that the result of some of these studies are being utilized, for example in the Privacy and Proxy working group or as starting point for other work, it seems appropriate that the GNSO Council might want to consider formalizing the end of these studies and put forward such a motion for the next Council meeting.
Prepare a motion for the next Council meeting.
Item 9: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – Planning for London
Volker Greimann drew Council's attention to the change in schedule for Thursday and that the GNSO Wrap-Up session will be early on Thursday morning.
Time has been set aside on Sunday afternoon for Stakeholder/constituency meetings.
Special mention was made of the informal Council/GNSO meeting on Tuesday after the Stakeholder and Constituency meetings and the value that this added to the discussions at the Council meeting the next day, Wednesday.
All input and topics for discussion are welcome and should be sent to the Council mailing list and /or Volker Greimann.
Item 10: Any Other Business (5 mins)
- Public comment on the Strategic Plan
Councillors are encouraged to provide comments to the Strategic Plan.
Jonathan Robinson adjourned the GNSO Council meeting and thanked everyone for their participation.
The meeting was adjourned at 17:10 UTC.
The next GNSO Council meeting will take place on Thursday, 5 June 2014 at 18:00 UTC.