GNSO gTLD committee: Final draft available.

Philip Sheppard has posted a draft final report to the GNSO Council gTLDs committee (HTML version here). Writes the ALAC’s Wendy Seltzer: I’m concerned that the detailed recommendations perpetuate the “beauty contest” mode of selecting new gTLDs r…

Philip Sheppard has posted a draft final report to the GNSO Council gTLDs committee (HTML version here). Writes the ALAC’s Wendy Seltzer: I’m concerned that the detailed recommendations perpetuate the “beauty contest” mode of selecting new gTLDs rather than making name addition a routine process.

Comments can be submitted to ALAC’s forum address.

Travel Funding for NomComm Appointees?

The Nominating Committee FAQ touches on travel funding for NomComm-appointed GNSO Council members only briefly, by quoting the bylaws’ non-obligation to provide funding as a response. It appears that ICANN would prefer GNSO Council members to fund…

The Nominating Committee FAQ touches on travel funding for NomComm-appointed GNSO Council members only briefly, by quoting the bylaws’ non-obligation to provide funding as a response. It appears that ICANN would prefer GNSO Council members to fund their own travel. That’s unfortunate: For being effective on the council, it’s crucial to be physically present at ICANN meetings. ICANN’s apparent expectation that GNSO Council members fund their own travel will lead to a dilemma for the Nominating Committee: Either, they send people to the Council who can’t (or don’t want to) commit meeting expenses, and won’t be effective. Or they send people who can easily cough up the necessary expenses (entry level at $6,000 – $9,000 a year, flying economy), but probably have a commercial interest in the GNSO Council’s decisions. Both alternatives would be contrary to the very reason why there will be nominating committee appointees on the council. Either way, the reformed ICANN won’t work unless ICANN comes up with appropriate funding for the bodies it creates and the volunteers it appoints.

Disclaimer: I haven’t submitted any statement of interest, and I won’t do so during the 12 minutes remaining until the deadline expires.

ALAC: draft comments on WIPO2

The At-Large Advisory Committee has posted draft comments on the WIPO2 recommendations. In the draft, we raise concerns about the idea of implementing these recommendations through the ICANN process, for two main reasons: 1. What WIPO recommends s…

The At-Large Advisory Committee has posted draft comments on the WIPO2 recommendations. In the draft, we raise concerns about the idea of implementing these recommendations through the ICANN process, for two main reasons: 1. What WIPO recommends seems to amount to the creation of new rules which are not backed by existing law — even the WIPO2 report makes that observation. That is, in order to follow WIPO’s recommendations, ICANN would have to overstep its mission and get into the law-making business. 2. The WIPO recommendations seem to call for a dispute resolution process which would (unlike the UDRP) not be subject to review in regular court. Once more, this sounds like a kind of law-making for which the ICANN process is not suitable.

As a conclusion from these concerns, we support the GNSO Council’s advice to separate discussion about the WIPO recommendations from UDRP review. We also urge the board to ensure that any policy-development process addressing the WIPO recommendations stays within the confines of ICANN’s mission, and is limited to implementing existing legal consensus (as opposed to creating “new law”).

In an Annex, we provide some preliminary observations on some of the individual recommendations’ merits.

The draft is up for public comments. Comments can be submitted to the usual forum address, and will be archived publicly. An RSS feed of the comments we receive is separately available.