[GTLD-WG] [CPWG] Discussion: End-users definition from At-large perspective

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sat Aug 10 21:10:41 UTC 2019

I have largely stayed out of this discussion but it seems timely to intervene.

On NCSG/NCUC and who can or should join:

The NCSG Charter says that organizational members must have at least one domain name. Curiously it does not need to be a gTLD, but could be a ccTLD name. For individuals, having a domain name is one of the criteria, but there are other criteria which do not require having a domain name. Note that there are 3 criteria for individuals - the NCUC Bylaws do not make it clear if a prospective member must meet any one of the three or all three, but the NCSG Charter makes it very clear that any one of the three is sufficient. Moreover, the NCUC Bylaws prohibit an ALAC member joining NCUC under its criteria 2 (but there seems to no such restriction if you have a domain name!

The NCUC has stated very clearly that they represent users, BUT have also said that their main focus is on privacy, freedom of speech and human rights in general. They are not limited to those topics but that IS their prime focus. So if these are areas that you believe you want to focus on in ICANN, then the NCSG/NCUC is definitely a prime home for you.

The NCSG has a mandate that is far wider.

Note that the NCUC is one constituency within NCSG (the other being NPOC). But you can be an NCSG member without belonging to either the NCUC or NPOC, and in fact that is the case for some At-Large people who are also NCSG members.

On the definition of "end user":

I addressed this in an earlier message but will repeat it here. I think the question is not relevant. Although we frequently talk abut whether an issue is of interest to end users, that is NOT the term that is used in the ICANN Bylaws in respect to the ALAC and the At-Large Community.

The Bylaws talk about "Individual Internet users". The word "Individual" is key, because it says our focus is on Internet Users (pretty much everyone who touches an Internet connected device) who are "Individuals" - those who are using the Internet purely on their own "individual" behalf. It excludes those who are using the Internet on behalf of an employers, or as part of running a business.

On Individual Users VS Registrants:

This is a debate that has been raised periodically and I thought we had settled it LONG ago. The vast majority of Individual Internet users have not and will never register a domain name. That being said, there are many Individual users who are domain name registrants, and where their needs as registrants do not conflict with the overall needs of non-registrant users, then we are here to represent them. Where their ARE conflicts, we support the needs of the majority of Individual users who are not registrants.

A number of years ago, one of our At-Large members raised the issue of the rights of a registrant related to domain name expiration. Specifically are they given sufficient warning that their name(s) will expire and if they miss that date, can they still retain their domain name? At the time, registrar practices coupled with registrant practices often made it difficult to know when a name would expire and if the date passed, regaining control of the domain might well be impossible.

It was relevant to us because:

- it is the individual working alone who is often the registrant who looses a name at expiration - they do not have the corporate infrastructure to support them and e-mail addresses (used for registrar contact) tend to change more frequently.

- Individual users, along with other users, depend on the web sites and resources they use - if they suddenly disappear, they are disadvantaged.

- There was no downside for the majority of (non-registrant) Individual users if we had better expiration rules.

As a result, the ALAC requested that the GNSO initiate  a PDP on expiration rules. The GNSO agreed and there was a PDP which resulted in the Expiration Registration Recovery Policy (ERRP) whichs provided enhanced publicly available information on expiration, predictability of fees, better notification when a name expires (even if your e-mail address changed!) and a guaranteed period after expiration in which to renew the name.

The NCUC did participate, but through a single person who was not particularly knowledgeable in or involved with the issue (although a very interesting person in his own right!) We had good support from the Business Constituency and strong opposition from the registrars.

I think that this is a excellent example of how we can relate to individual registrants without diluting our focus on Individual users.

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