[registration-issues-wg] Fwd: PICDRP Panelists Feedback

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Thu Apr 20 17:45:34 UTC 2017

You may find this of some interest.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steve Chan <steve.chan at icann.org>
Date: Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 7:47 PM
Subject: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt3] - PICDRP Panelists Feedback
To: "gnso-newgtld-wg-wt3 at icann.org" <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt3 at icann.org>

Dear WT3 Members,

Staff has recently received comments/input from two members of the PICDRP
(or, Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Procedure) Standing
Panel. For those that are not familiar, the procedure is intended to
address complaints that a Registry may not be complying with the Public
Interest Commitments(s) in Specification 11 of their Registry Agreement.
You can read more about the procedure here: https://www.icann.org/

The Standing Panel performed their first PICDRP evaluation in relation to
the .FEEDBACK registry – you can review the decision here:

While the PICDRP is within scope for this WT, it has yet to be discussed.
Once the WT does begin its deliberations, this input may prove useful.
Note, there may be a need to coordinate with WT2 if it is determined that
the PICDRP and the requirements in the Registry Agreement need to be better

Finally, I would note that both panelists have indicated their willingness
to participate in future discussions or provide additional input as deemed

*Input received from David JA Cairns:*

“Dear Steve,

I write as a member of the PICDRP Standing Panel, and a member of the Panel
that recently provided the first evaluation under the PICDRP in relation to
the .FEEDBACK gTLD. Valerie Heng has suggested that you might find comments
from the members of the Panel useful for Policy development.

Our decision (which is publicly available on the ICANN website) was based
on paragraph 3.c of Specification 11, which is concerned with transparency
in establishing and adhering to registration policies. The Complainant
(‘Reporter’ in the language of the PICDRP) presented the Panel with
voluminous evidence of allegedly objectionable conduct by the Registry
Operator which the Reporter sought to connect to paragraph 3 of
Specification 11. Sometimes the connection was tenuous, and in fact raised
issues of the contractual compliance of the Registry Operator with its
Registry Agreement with ICANN outside the scope of the PICDRP, or possible
civil wrongs. In short, the Reporter sought to ‘stretch’ the PICDRP
procedure to address conduct it was not in fact designed to address. This
suggests two observations to me:

1.Paragraph 2 of Specification 11 envisages specific public interest
commitments made by each Registry Operator in relation to their gTLD. In
the .FEEDBACK gTLD Registry Agreement there were no specific commitments.
Unless there are specific commitments tailored for each registry agreement,
or the general commitments in paragraph 3 are elaborated to include a
broader range of objectionable behavior (such as deceptive marketing and
abuse of trademark rights as alleged in our case), then there will be
frustration that the PICDRP procedure is ineffective or simply not ‘fit for
purpose’ . in short, the PICDRP purports to be a dispute resolution
mechanism available to defend the public interest but really only addresses
a very limited range of public interest concerns.

2. Another option is to issue some guidance to potential complainants so
that they can distinguish between complaints that are properly addressed to
a PICDRP Panel, and complaints that should properly be addressed either
directly to ICANN or to the courts. There is no point presenting a
complaint to a PICDRP Panel where the Panel is powerless to address the
issues raised.

I hope these comments are useful to you.

Yours sincerely,

David JA Cairns”

*Input received from Scott Austin*


David and I had discussed this previously and we agreed that given some of
the concerns we confronted in reaching our decision we should be consistent
among the members of the panel with our suggestions. I write to register my
concurrence with David’s points and observations, and would also add that
our course was one of “judicial restraint”, albeit after persuading my
fellow panelists (and exercising presiding panelist privilege) to request
additional time and make inquiry with ICANN for clarification of scope, as
noted in the decision. Without our agreement to that approach and the
resulting clarification, the decision could have cut a much broader (and
possibly unintended) swath, broadly interpreting 3a. or even leaping the
bounds of Specification 11 to other Specifications to address the wrongs
complained of in the complaint.

It may be in the best interest of the PICDRP process and ICANN’s effective
and consistent implementation of same to open a dialogue with the full list
of PICDRP panelists to identify best practices or policy element
clarifications to meet the goals of the process from ICANN’s perspective,
and discuss whether  expansion of the scope of Section 3a. to cover
Registries or developing incentives for gTLD applicants to submit
self-imposed PICS anticipated by Paragraph 2 of Specification 11 should be
a matter of policy change and decision focus going forward.

Best regards,




*Steven Chan*

Sr. Policy Manager


12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300

Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536

steve.chan at icann.org

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