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RE: [ga] GNSO Council: Taking 21 months to arrive at bad decisions

  • To: "'Nevett, Jonathon'" <jnevett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "'Danny Younger'" <dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx>, <ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [ga] GNSO Council: Taking 21 months to arrive at bad decisions
  • From: "Michael D. Palage" <mike@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 15:00:58 -0400


I believe I find myself with Danny on this issue, and it should come as
no surprise to you based upon our previous in-depth discussions on this
issue. In fact I specifically raised this point in the recently closed
public forum on new gTLDs, see

However, I am a little confused over your claims that allowing
registries to go direct will place consumers at risk. If the registry is
providing domain name registration services either directly or
indirectly to the registrant, ICANN has a direct contractual
relationship with the registry.

To demonstrate how registries can go direct and still protect
registrant's interests, consider the following four gTLDs: .EDU, .GOV,
.MIL and .INT. While these are all legacy gTLDs, they are nonetheless
still gTLDs in which the respective registries value very highly the
interests of their registrants. However, none of these four TLDs uses
registrars. The registry merely deals with the registrant. As I have
previously said, I do believe that at this time the default mechanism
for domain name distribution should be through ICANN accredited
registrars, however, I do believe there are situations in which this
requirement is a burden and impedes competition and innovation. 

While some registrars have put forward the compromise of allowing ICANN
accredited registries to own ICANN accredited registrars, I find this
"compromise" rather self serving given that a number of ICANN accredited
registrars are likely to be submitting bids on new gTLDs next year
either directly or through one of their sister companies. Given that
this comprise only raises the cost for a new registry entrant to the
market place that wishes to go direct, I believe this fact goes directly
to the legal concerns raised by Danny.

Obviously if a registry goes direct there is the need for scrutiny to
make sure that a registry does not abuse its position as a sole source
provider. However, as has been demonstrated in the case of .EDU, .GOV,
.MIL and .INT, consumers are not being harmed even though they are I
some cases paying higher per domain name registrant costs than
equivalent registrants in the .COM space.

Just my two cents and I look forward to a rather constructive dialog on
this topic.

Best regards,



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Nevett, Jonathon
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 12:29 PM
To: Danny Younger; ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [ga] GNSO Council: Taking 21 months to arrive at bad


In the wake of the RegisterFly controversy, you and other folks on this
list have been advocating for ICANN to enforce requirements in the
Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) in order to better "protect
registrants."  I have been very vocal in encouraging ICANN to enforce
the requirements in the RAA.  Doing so is good for registrants and the
DNS, as well as helps to level the competitive playing field for

You also have been advocating for changes to the RAA to add additional
requirements or regulations on registrars.  Indeed, as of this morning,
you alone account for over 70% of the posts on the comment forum on
potential changes to the RAA.  I am leading a group of registrars that
will work with ICANN to discuss potential changes to the RAA.   

With this background, I was quite surprised to read the below post from
you, in which you argue that the current model of having registries only
selling domain name services through registrars is a "poor
recommendation" for new TLDs.  I can't imagine how you can argue that
ICANN should add additional requirements on registrars on one hand and
then seek the abolishment of the current registrar model for new TLDs on
the other.  Only ICANN-accredited registrars are bound by the terms of
the RAA.  If registries sold domain name services outside of the
registrar channel, ICANN would have no contractual relationship with the
sales channel and no rights whatsoever to enforce.  How could opening
the floodgates to permit any entity to sell such services without any
contractual requirements place registrants in a more protected position?

The GNSO Councilors must have understood this to be the case when they
approved Recommendation 19 without dissent.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Danny Younger
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 10:09 AM
To: ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [ga] GNSO Council: Taking 21 months to arrive at bad decisions

The GNSO new gTLDs PDP was launched quite some time
ago and has arrived at a number of horrible
recommendations.  Consider recommendation #19 that
would require all new gTLD registries to rely
exclusively on ICANN-accredited registrars.  Public
comments thus far have shown opposition from a chinese registrar
(BeijingIDC.com), from Michael Palage, from Karl Auerbach, from Guanghao
Li, from Milton Mueller, and from Vittorio Bertola.  Beyond that, we now
see that the .museum proposed agreement also serves to undermine the
proposed recommendation.  Earlier, I too, raised my concerns with the
prospect of anti-trust issues.  Finally, even the registries have cited
concerns with this recommendation -- see their "Impact Statement" at

This leads one to ask:  If that many well-informed and reasonable people
are in opposition to a particular GNSO recommendation, then how did the
process allow for this poor recommendation to be agreed upon by the GNSO
Councillors?  What is so fundamentally wrong with GNSO mechanisms that
results in bad decision-making? 
Logically, we should also be asking "How do we go
about correcting the problem?"

I'm told that the Board Governance Committee's Working
Group on GNSO Improvements will soon be meeting with
current and former GNSO Council Chairs prior to
issuing a new draft recommendation.  Let's hope that
this committee asks some of the hard questions lest
they arrive at nothing but cosmetic changes in their
new iteration of "GNSO improvements".

Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect.  Join Yahoo!'s user
panel and lay it on us.

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