GA summary 2002-05

This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list’s (and related) discussions and news during the 5th 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. Name…

This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list’s (and related) discussions and news during the 5th 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.

Names Council Changes

Caroline Chicoine and Guilermo Carey are stepping down from the Names Council. The IPC is now represented on the Council by Ellen Shankman (Asia), J. Scott Evans (North America), and Laurence Djolakian (Europe). [www.dnso.org]

Dot-Org Divestiture Comments Process

The GA members’ statement on the .org task force’s report has been submitted to comments-dotorg last Friday, with a list of those who signed for and against the statement. GA members support the unrestricted character of .org for current and future registrations, emphasize the need for a complete divestiture, and thank Marc Schneiders for his work. [www.dnso.org]

The NCDNHC statement mainly supports the task force’s draft, with an emphasis on a noncommercial management organization for .org. Also, the NCDNHC members “oppose any attempt to restrict registrations in .org”, and “urge the board to increase competition and diversity”, “by ensuring that the market position of existing dominant actors are not entrenched nor enhanced through participation in, taking an interest in, or contracting to deliver critical services to the new .org management organization.” [www.dnso.org]

The business constituency’s comments agree on that particular point (pretty much verbatim), but support restricted access which is to be “applied in the least interventionist manner by way of ex-post challenge to future new registrations” , and the “sponsored” model for future management of .org. [www.dnso.org]

The gTLD constituency has no comments on the final report itself “that can be meaningfully expressed in a public comment” – whatever the latter part of the sentence actually means. However they are “concerned” by the business and non-commercial constituencies’ notes quoted above, and call a prohibition like the one suggested “fundamentally anti-competitive”. Also, the gTLD constituency says, excluding certain players could increase prices and hinder the performance of the .org registry because “the limitation may also exclude provision of services by the most efficient and reliable parties.” [www.dnso.org]

Milton Mueller replies to this that “if we were concerned exclusively with who was the low-cost provider we might not need to divest .org at all.” [www.dnso.org]

Topics

(i) WLS. Chuck Gomes of Verisign submitted a revised proposal for WLS, and a document titled “Justification for a registry-based Wait Listing Service”. In these documents, Verisign proposes the following process: Questions about the revised proposal should be provided until February 8 (this Friday). Verisign will respond until February 15. Final feedback should be submitted to Verisign until March 1st. [www.dnso.org]

In a follow-up to Chuck’s announcement, George Kirikos asks whether existing SnapBack holders are going to be grandfathered into the WLS system, and whether Verisign is continuing the current bulk deletion process. According to George, there have been no such deletions for weeks. There doesn’t seem to be any answer on these questions, and no rebuttal of George’s claim concerning current bulk deletion practices. [www.dnso.org]

In another note, Kristy McKee argues that WLS “simply adds another layer and increases the amount of money spent”. According to her, “those individuals and businesses currently ‘pounding’ on the whois database will continue to do so”. Instead of opening up new business opportunities, she argues, Verisign should improve their current registry system. [www.dnso.org]

Don Brown is not the only one to remark that the new proposal isn’t too different from the old one. As he sees it, “the only difference […] is the marketing spin on the objections”. In particular, he disputes Verisign’s claims that “offering the WLS at the registry level is the only way to maximize consumer value for such a service”, and that “the purchaser is free to decide how much it is worth and to act accordingly”: “When there is only one source of supply, […] the consumer will pay the tax man, because they have no choice.” [www.dnso.org]

(ii) Domain hoarding (this is also a deleted domains handling issue, and may be something you want to think about when discussing WLS). Marc Schneiders posted whois output concerning a domain registered with register.com. The domain expired on Feb 21 2001 (two thousand and one). Marc asks in what century the domain is going to be released. [www.dnso.org]

(iii) Names Council Elections. The discussion on Names Council elections continued mainly on the council’s own mailing list.

However, there were some notes on the GA list, including two replies (by David Farrar and Don Brown) on the gTLD statement on the elections. Both seem to agree with the gTLD constituency that the motion under debate should be deferred. As David puts it, “terms of office and term limits should not be changed in such a way which affect(s) an incumbent.” [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].

In a different part of the discussion, David also argues against Caroline Chicoine’s revised motion to waive the provision of the Rules of Procedure for the DNSO, which prohibits a retiring chair from running for re-election. He notes that waivers generally are used in exceptional circumstances, and expresses his hope that there is more than one member of the names council which would be suitable for the job. He also suggests a rotating chairmanship, like it is known from the European Union’s Presidency. (This message was also forwarded to the council list.) [www.dnso.org],

To this, Jeff Neuman of Neustar replies that the gTLD response is advocating precisely such a rotating chairmanship. [www.dnso.org]

A Names Council vote on the revised motion is about to be closed on February 5, 2002; results are due on Wednesday, February 6. On the same day, the nomination period for the GA chair begins. [www.dnso.org]

(iv) Renewal after expiry. Abel Wisman asks about Enom charging customers USD 20 surcharge for renewals after expiry date. To this, Rick Wesson replies that “most registrars contain a provision in their registration agreements that reserve(s) the right to charge a customer to ‘revive'” such a registration. According to Rick, there “may” be a lot of work involved with this, which justifies the surcharge. [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].

(v) Russ Smith on Verisign. Russ Smith of consumer.net sent four messages complaining about Verisign’s business practices. [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].