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[council] A few comments on RAA amendments

  • To: GNSO Council <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] A few comments on RAA amendments
  • From: Kurt Pritz <kurt.pritz@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 10:29:14 -0800
  • Accept-language: en-US
  • Acceptlanguage: en-US
  • Cc: Mike Zupke <Mike.Zupke@xxxxxxxxx>
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: AcmCP3x+2a25/OjZh0SRgK/fWIDQaA==
  • Thread-topic: A few comments on RAA amendments

Council Members:

Some members of the GNSO Council have requested clarification about the
procedures available to ICANN to implement an amended Registrar
Accreditation Agreement (RAA) absent two-thirds approval by the GNSO. I
thought it might be helpful to provide some writing on this even though we
are just before the Council meeting. This can also be described during the
meeting given that most will not have time to read and consider this before
the meeting.

In the "GNSO Briefing Paper on Proposed RAA Amendments" provided to the GNSO
Council on 29 October 2008 (see
http://gnso.icann.org/mailing-lists/archives/council/msg05617.html), two
possible adoption paths were described for amending RAA:

1. The RAA includes a provision for the adoption of changes that can be
incorporated in a new contract that can be made mandatory for all registrars
upon renewal. Specifically, RAA Subsection 5.4 details the process for RAA
renewal and substitution of revised forms of the RAA, and sets forth a path
that includes undertaking a consensus process as set forth in RAA Subsection
4.3. (The full text of RAA Subsections 5.4 and 4.3 are reprinted in Appendix
I.) This process is similar in several respects to the current GNSO policy
development process, encompassing community outreach and public comment, a
written report and supporting materials documenting areas of agreement and
disagreement and a recommendation adopted by at least a two-thirds vote of
the Council. It is expected that such a consensus process would consider the
set of proposed amendments as a whole. Consideration of changes to the set
might require use of the formal GNSO PDP process.

2. An alternative approach would leave the determination for approving the
new form of RAA with the Board. However, since the consensus process
described above would not be followed under this approach, the new form RAA
might not be imposed mandatorily on registrars due to the RAA requirement.
In order to gain acceptance under this approach, there might be incentives
to encourage voluntary adoption of the new contract. One advantage to this
approach would be that adoption could proceed without waiting for a renewal
cycle to pass. There might be several potential incentives for registrars to
adopt the new form of RAA immediately upon approval by the Board:
a. Recognition of those registrars agreeing to the new terms with a ³higher
standards² status by ICANN and the community (a ³gold star² approach);
b. Fee incentives; 
c. Heightened accreditation and renewal standards going forward;
d. Community and peer support for adopting the new form RAA.

Because the GNSO did not approve the proposed amendments to the RAA with a
two-thirds majority, the second approach described above now remains as the
most viable path forward. Staff is currently evaluating this possibility.
That is, the ALAC comments and recommendation and the results of the GNSO
vote would be forwarded to the Board. The Board might consider the set of
amendments for approval. This approval would not make the amendments
mandatory in the RAA at any time and ICANN might offer incentive(s) for
Registrars to adopt them. Again, this path is not certain.

I hope this is helpful. I am free to discuss this on email or on the phone.



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