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Re: [council] Next steps with the new gTLD recommendations


I would like to comment on a few points.

I agree that the GNSO must not become a block to new TLDs and that getting this policy developed is one of our highest priorities. But I also think we need to produce a policy recommendation that is complete and balanced enough to be able to achieve consensus, if possible, as well as address the complex interplay of elements with a transparent, open, predictable and workable solution. While delaying the release of this policy is problematic, coming out with a policy that is either not finished or does not have consensus would, to my mind, be worse. I am not arguing for the perfect solution and am willing to satisfice, but I am arguing for a solution that is well formed, workable and meets ICANN mission and core values as a minimal condition.

In answer to your specific question, personally, I believe that we will have to talk through each of the recommendations separately to determine the council's, as a council not a committee of the whole, level of support for each recommendation. I think several questions need to be considered:

- to what degree have we reached consensus on the recommendations? While level of support was roughly measured on each of the recommendations by the chair, those levels of support have never been formalized with a list of councilors pro and con.

- to what extent does the council accept the aggregation of the results from the 3 WGs (IDN, RN, PRO) into the committees draft final report. These WGs were neither the council nor the committee of the whole itself and their recommendations need to be evaluated by the council in relation to their inclusion in the new GTLD recommendations.

- in those cases where we have reached some sort of consensus, does the text clearly represent what people are agreeing to? there were often unresolved nuances in the discussions where we just moved on to the next question perhaps to return at some future time to the open issues. On several occasions, the level of support was determined while something was still being discussed and where the wording was still somewhat fluid. Does the text satisfy those who support the recommendation?

Assuming that there is strong support for a recommendation as written, we should be able to confirm that support with a list of every councillor that openly supports the position relatively quickly. In places where we do not have strong support for a recommendation we should be able to indentify that quickly as well and add the issue to the 'work to be done' list. I think doing this work is an integral part of:
wherein the Council will work towards achieving a Supermajority Vote to present to the Board.
and something we must do before we ask others to consider the report.

I also think we need to take a formal vote at the end on the full and final-final report before sending it off to the Board as required by by-laws. And we will need to decided as a council whether there may be issues that require more expert opinion as indicated in the by- laws 10b:

. The Council may, if it so chooses, solicit the opinions of outside advisors at its final meeting. The opinions of these advisors, if relied upon by the Council, shall be (i) embodied in the Council's report to the Board, (ii) specifically identified as coming from an outside advisor; and (iii) be accompanied by a detailed statement of the advisor's (x) qualifications and relevant experience; and (y) potential conflicts of interest.

thanks for asking


On 28 maj 2007, at 17.58, Bruce Tonkin wrote:

Hello All,

With respect to the Council meeting on 7 June, I would like to get a
sense of how the Council wants to handle the current new gTLD

As others have pointed out, some of the recommendations require further work with respect to developing dispute resolution processes. There
are also no doubt some recommendations with stronger support than
others.    The intent is that the recommendations as currently drafted
by staff are capable of supermajority support based on the discussions
during the new gTLD committee meetings.

My current concern is that if we don't move the work we have done to
some kind of vote - which may accept all or some of the recommendations
by super-majority vote - we are in danger of losing the consensus that
has been built up through many meetings.   I also feel we are at the
point of diminishing returns. No significant new issues were raised in
Lisbon that had not already been discussed in the new gTLD committee.

I feel that there is a community expectation that the GNSO Council
either conclude its work, or at least identify which bits are concluded to allow the Board to consider the recommendations and to allow staff to
begin to do further work.    We don't want the GNSO to be seen as the
barrier to new TLDs (either IDN or non-IDN based).

If we can't make some sort of statement about the level of consensus of
the recommendations, it becomes hard to justify ICANN staff spending
additional time working on the implementation details.

I expect that as staff begin working on the implementation details of
dispute processes and other implementation details, that they may seek
further clarification of the recommendation, or even recommend the
removal of a recommendation if not external dispute process can be
developed.     I would also expect that we will get more input on the
dispute processes once detailed drafts are published - this will ensure
that issues such as freedom of speech are properly addressed in the
dispute processes.

No doubt as new people become involved in ICANN and the GNSO - there
will be desire to reset the clock, and start the policy development
again. I feel however that we will never get a perfect answer, and that
it is better to proceed in such a way that minimises risk in the first
round, but also allows flexibility to update the recommendations based
on experience of the first round.

It would be useful to hear the views of Council members on this topic
via the Council mailing list prior to the Council meeting next week.

Bruce Tonkin

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