GA summary 2002-07

This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list’s (and related) discussions and news during the 7th (and the beginning of the 8th) week of 2002. GA list archives are available online at [www.dnso.org]. Please feel free to forward this summary as you believe to be appropriate.

“I have made this letter longer than usual

because I lack the time to make it shorter.”

– Blaise Pascal

Votes

There were no ongoing General Assembly votes during the time covered.

Call for Sponsors

Names Council chairman Philip Shepard published a call for sponsors for the webcasting of DNSO meetings in Ghana. [www.dnso.org]

Topics

(i) Lending of Registry Access. Alexander Svensson forwarded an advisory from ICANN on inappropriate lending of registry access. This advisory elaborates on some obligations registrars have under the agreement. The advisory points out that “at least one registrar access-lending scheme currently in operation raises significant issues under these provisions of the RAA.” [www.dnso.org]

(ii) Read-only access to the names council list. Danny Younger asked what happened about Alexander’s January 8 request for read-only e-mail access to the Names Council list. In a reply, the DNSO secretariat pointed out that such access “is already done through a transparent access to archives”. In a follow-up, Alexander pointed out that his request was about e-mail access, _not_ web access. [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].

(iii) Whois task force. Danny Younger asked for public access to the raw survey data. [www.dnso.org]

(iv) Redemption grace period. Ross Rader posted a link to a discussion paper from ICANN, on “Redemption Grace Periods for Deleted Names.” In that paper, a solution for the problem of unintentional domain registration deletions is suggested: Any “delete” of a domain name results in a 30-day grace period, during which the domain name will be in registry-hold mode and removed from the zone file, yielding the domain unresolvable, so registrants notice that they have a problem. During that grace period, “registrants could redeem their registrations through registrars.” [www.icann.org]

William Walsh replied that “it should be stated that the registrar can only redeem the registration for the original registrant.” [www.dnso.org]

Harold Whiting suggested that there should be uniformity with respect to the current registrar-dependent “grace period”: “If all registrars are mandated to follow the same procedure during the 45 day window and delete names uniformly, we solve not only the ‘mistakes’ but also the hoarding issue.” According to him, the proposal adds “another layer of opportunity to manipulate the system.” [www.dnso.org]

Abel Wisman elaborates on the point that redemptions would lead to registrants paying “renewal fees, plus a service charge, to the registry operator.” He sees a connection to the WLS proposal, which would create an additional demand for such a redemption grace period. William Walsh followed up on this message to suggest that the service charge be removed from the proposal. [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].

Genie Livingston points out that, in Verisign’s answers to questions about WLS (see below), there is indeed a pointer to the redemption grace proposal: According to their Q&A document, Verisign had suggested a 15-day registry hold period. “In the revised WLS proposal, this provision was removed because ICANN is going to take the lead in the process that hopefully will lead to such a procedure.” If ICANN process on this takes longer than implementation of WLS, Verisign “would be willing to consider implementing an interim procedure to provide for this need.” [www.dnso.org]

Don Brown says that he is in favor of the redemption grace period document, with some modifications: The suggested grace period “should be a ‘minimum’ period for the domain name to be on-hold”; the grace period should be longer when considering the effect of DNS cache expiration; the domain should be on hold the day following expiration; on-hold status should be reflected in whois information; the grace period should not be conditioned upon payment of a fee to Verisign registry by registrars; pricing for the service fee is to be based on Verisign’s cost; only the original registrant should be permitted to redeem a domain; there should be a policy to prevent hoarding; there should be a fine or other monetary penalty for infractions. [www.dnso.org]

Marc Schneiders pointed out that some registrars he has checked have an “auto-renew” option, which, he says, fully takes care of the problem discussed in the ICANN document. He also asks for facts and figures to back up the “anecdotal evidence” which “indicates that a significant portion of the demand for registration of deleted domains involves domains that the former registrant did not intend to have deleted.” (Quote from the ICANN document.) [www.dnso.org]

Alexander Svensson points out that “e.g., register.com’s service called SafeRenew is simply an attempt to charge the credit card the renewal fee” – an attempt which would of course be subject to the possibility of failure. Alexander also quotes a message from Dave Crocker to the ncdnhc-discuss list where Dave estimates the core costs for domain registration to be $0.5 – $2. As Alexander says, “the late renewal fee should definitely be less.” Also, “the only ones negatively affected are companies and individuals trying to make a business out of the current situation where at least some domains are deleted without the owner realizing it.” [www.dnso.org], [www.icann-ncc.org].

Elisabeth Porteneuve suggests that we learn from other than domain name services. As an example, she quotes public services in France, where suppliers are allowed to charge subscribers’ bank account periodically. (BTW, it works similarly in Germany.) Elisabeth suggests that “a ‘long term option’ based on a kind of automatic periodical payment could be added to registrant’s choice.” [www.dnso.org]

(v) Verisign responses to questions received regarding the revised WLS proposal. Verisign posted their response to the revised WLS proposal as a 25-page PDF document. [www.dnso.org], [verisign-grs.com].

In follow-up messages, Harold Whiting and William Walsh both agree that the paper “is an excellent exercise in answering by not answering.” (William’s wording.) [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].

Genie Livingstone points out that the WLS proposal does not bring any solution to the problem of deleted domain hoarding at registrars. Unless this is resolved first, Genie finds WLS unacceptable “in any shape or form.” [www.dnso.org]

Finally, Chuck Gomes announced that, responding to a request by the registrars’ constituency, Verisign is extending the deadline for comments on the proposal to 7 March 2002. [www.dnso.org]

(vi) Structure; At Large Membership. Danny Younger quoted the idea “to involve ISPs in support of the At-Large membership,” and elaborates on some details of it. [www.dnso.org]

Danny also pointed out that Philip Sheppard has published v6 of the structure task force report. Danny considers that report “garbage.” [www.dnso.org]

In the subsequent discussion, Chuck Gomes of Verisign writes: “Regardless of whether you like Danny’s choice of words or not, it appears to me that what he is saying is probably quite accurate, at least with regard to the fact the report is primarily one prepared by Philip. I know for a fact that the gTLD Registry Constituency submitted fairly significant comments to the TF only to be largely ignored.” [www.dnso.org]

In a different message, Danny points out that he believes that the task force’s chair (Philip) demonstrates business constituency bias, and asks for Philip to be replaced. [www.dnso.org]

On the other hand, Philip claims that the current draft reflects input from all constituencies. [www.dnso.org]

To this, Chuck objects that “it certainly does not contain input provided by the gTLD registry constituency.” [www.dnso.org]

(vii) A somewhat different approach to ICANN structure. A message from ICANN director Andy Müller-Maguhn made it to the GA list through several forwarding layers. According to Andy, Joe Sims was in Brussels today for some closed door meeting with the European Commission, where he presented plans for a complete restructuring of the ICANN board, without an at large participation, and with “parts of the DNSO.” Apparently, Andy was not able to get hold of any details. [www.dnso.org]