[bc-gnso] RE: Important--Registry Registrar Separation issue

George Kirikos icann at leap.com
Fri Jul 31 21:14:38 UTC 2009


On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 4:13 PM, Ron Andruff wrote:
> We support Michael Palage's statement that the BC needs to take a position
> on this matter, even if there are some dissenters within the constituency
> (which can addend a note clarifying their disagreement with the position
> taken).  Whether members agree with George's arguments or not, what matters
> here is that ICANN staff (former CEO?) has unilaterally brought this
> forward.  ICANN is a bottom-up, consensus-driven organization and it is on
> this point the BC must take a stand.  Reversing such a significant decision
> as this one, without the BC raising our collective voice, would demonstrate
> what many have said about the Business Constituency, i.e., it no longer has
> any relevance to the ICANN process.
> 'Status quo' is not the argument here.  It is about fundamental principles.
> Let's get a call scheduled to discuss this in detail, and then take a vote
> on a position.  A drafting team can then articulate the outcome in a BC
> position.

Where's the fire? We don't even have basic information as to the who,
what, where, when, why, and how of why this is suddenly an "issue of
importance" at this time. We saw what happened last time when the
officers suddenly unilaterally declared an emergency position
supposedly on behalf of the entire constituency on the IRT, in hasty
fashion (there should have been a vote called, as previously discussed
at length).

Our existing charter spells out a procedure (section 7) for developing
written policy:


There should be a Rapporteur. There should be a draft position
circulated for comment. There should be a 14 day comment period. The
draft can be changed/amended. If there's more than 10% opposition of
paid-up members (do we even have a current list of members posted on
our website, as I've asked numerous times on this list? we've not had
a contacts list updated in many months, despite membership changes in
the interim), there shall be a vote.

There were multiple comment periods already on the Draft Applicant
Guidebooks for new gTLDs. My company submitted comments, as did many
other members of this constituency. We did it on time.

All these sloppy, rushed and ad-hoc processes do not convey a good
impression of this constituency and its operation. I understand some
BC members are affiliated with registrars. Other BC members are
affiliated with registry operators, or are wannabe registry operators
who want to get their hands on a new gTLD. Why should the rest of us
(those of us that don't have these conflicts of interests) even care
about your quarrel, about who picks Door #1 or Door #2, the false
choice when Door #3 (i.e. competitive tenders for operation of a
registry) is the clear winner to benefit consumers/registrants, and is
the position of the NTIA/DOC/DOJ and would result in the lowest

Folks might find Philip's statement in the GNSO Council mailing list


as it discusses implicitly these conflicts of interest. Or Mike
Rodenbaugh on the same topic:


"Obviously, those entities should find a place somewhere in the
contracting party house where their interests are aligned, whether as
observers or whatever, but
they should not be allowed on the other side where interests are clearly

(i.e. in the context of wannabe registry operators being a
constituency in the Commercial Stakeholders Group)

Yet, those same people (wannbe registry operators, or others with
important interests as registrars) are already in the BC! Re-read the
following by Philip:


".....because of the current uncertainty of where new Constituencies
for groups such as Registry Operators, Applicant City TLDs, Applicant
Registries, Resellers should sit. The Contracted Parties are adamant
they belong in the Commercial Stakeholders Group because all of these
groups do not have an ICANN Contract. Having the ability in our
Charter to argue such groups do not sit well in our SG seemed a wise
precaution in this transitional stage."

If these groups "do not sit well in our SG", why should the rest of us
be witness to their machinations, pretending that they are
"businesses" and belong in the BC, when their true intentions are to
become new gTLD operators, and thus are NOT ALIGNED with the BC?

I recall submitting detailed comments on a draft charter for this
constituency, as did others. That topic suddenly disappeared from the
constituency agenda, as we're "too busy" with other things. Yet when
new gTLD applicants want something put on our agenda, we as a
constituency suddenly "jump"? Why? There are several active public
comment periods (and some that recently closed):


What amount of BC discussion on those has taken place? Isn't Root
Server Scaling important? Or eUDRP? Why aren't price caps an important
issue, far more important than splitting the "spoils of war" between
registrars and registries? Most businesses are neither registries nor
registrars, they are REGISTRANTS, with clear interests aligned with

We had news months ago that ICANN is going to cover travel expenses of
GNSO Council, for example, meaning that the BC budget should be
lowered to remove those planned expenses. Why isn't that on the
agenda, rebates to members to reflect lower expenses? We had several
new registry services applications by VeriSign:


that this constituency didn't make a statement on. My company did:


and now the registrar constituency sees the need for more study.

So, in conclusion, I don't see why the agenda of new gTLD applicants
and the registrars are the concern of the BC at this time. They should
be recusing themselves from this discussion within the BC, and
following the principles of "Divisional Separation" which are
mentioned in our charter:

"Applicants and members which do participate elsewhere are required to
demonstrate that their BC membership will be divisionally oriented
meaning that separate individuals will represent those divisions in
ICANN affairs, and ********that the entity will only represent user or
consumer perspectives within the Business Constituency.*******"
(emphasis added)

instead of so clearly trying to sway the BC to take their side in a
dispute that harms consumers either way they each wish to go. The best
route forward is to ignore the concerns of both those sides, and do
what's best for consumers/registrants and "normal businesses" (i.e.
excluding registrars, registries and wannabes, and their respective


George Kirikos

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