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

  • To: "'elliot noss'" <enoss@xxxxxxxxxx>, <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 22:05:38 -0400


I thought I provided this answer previously, but just so there is no
confusion let me restate my personal opinion.

I believe there should be a presumption that all ICANN accredited
registries use ICANN accredited registrars. However, I believe this
should be a rebutable presumption where the registry operator can
demonstrate a unique set of circumstances, i.e enhancing diversity,
competition, and/or innovation, etc. I believe Danny's Google
hypothetical is one such example, and is potentially relevant in other
circumstances, especially where the registry operator's business model
may involve giving away domain names for free. 

I believe TUCOWS own history points to the fact of why people need to
keep an open mind on expanding the name space and spurring innovation.
Prior to TUCOWS OPENSRS, most of the original test bed registrars were
selling domain names at about $30 per year, a $5 per domain name year
savings. Your OpenSRS model kind of rocked the registrar landscape early
on dropping prices to around $10 per domain name year.

Having worked with a number of smaller sponsored registries, I have seen
first hand how the existing registrar distribution chain can be rather
restrictive. Based upon this experience, I had originally thought that a
fixed domain names under management threshold would be a good measuring
stick for when a registry had to use ICANN accredited registrars. You
may recall our discussions with Louie back in Montevideo in 2001 on this
topic. However, as Danny's Google hypo illustrated, there may be a case
where a registry wants to give domain names away for free to an existing
client, in which case the imposition of using ICANN accredited
registrars seem less than logical.

So to answer your question, I do not see a situation in the current
marketplace that would justify VeriSign being able to go direct with
either the .COM or .NET registries.  I do believe however there are
likely a number of business models for new TLDs that I have not even
dreamed of that would benefit by a more liberal distribution model.

I hope that answers your question, and thanks for the constructive

Best regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: elliot noss [mailto:enoss@xxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 9:27 PM
To: Michael D. Palage; ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Danny Younger
Subject: Re: [ga] GNSO Council: Taking 21 months to arrive at bad

mike, danny, do you feel this way for new tlds or for com/net as well?

On Sep 4, 2007, at 3:00 PM, Michael D. Palage wrote:

> Jon,
> 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
> http://forum.icann.org/lists/gtldfinalreport-2007/msg00073.html
> 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
> 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,
> Michael
> -----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
> decisions
> Danny:
> 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
> registrars.
> 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.
> Thanks.
> Jon
> -----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
> http://www.gtldregistries.org/news/2007/2007-06-07-01.pdf
> 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  
> 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".
> ______________________________________________________________________

> __
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