[council] Process for renewal of new TLD agreement

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Wed Jan 18 02:09:46 UTC 2006

Hello All,

I find that the renewal terms for the gtld registry agreements are not
the same.

>From .biz:

"5.2. Procedure for Subsequent Agreement.

5.2.1. Registry Operator may, no later than eighteen months prior to the
initial Expiration Date, submit a written proposal to ICANN for the
extension of this Agreement for an additional term (the "Renewal
Proposal"). The Renewal Proposal shall contain a detailed report of the
Registry Operator's operation of the Registry TLD and include a
description of any additional Registry Services, proposed improvements
to Registry Services, or changes in price or other terms of service.
ICANN shall provide an initial response to the Renewal Proposal within
thirty days of receiving it and, during a period of at least six months
after receiving the Renewal Proposal, ICANN shall consider the Renewal
Proposal and meet with Registry Operator to discuss the Renewal
Proposal, but the decision whether to accept the Renewal Proposal shall
be in ICANN's sole discretion.

5.2.2. Only after the six-month period described in Subsection 5.2.1 may
ICANN call for competing proposals from potential successor registry
operators for the Registry TLD. Registry Operator shall be eligible, to
the same extent as similarly situated entities, to submit a proposal to
such a call. To the extent that the Renewal Proposal demonstrates (i)
substantial service in the interests of the Internet community, (ii)
enhancement of competition for registration services, and (iii)
enhancement of the utility of the DNS, such demonstration shall be among
the specific factors considered in ICANN's evaluation of any competing
proposals, but the choice from among competing proposals shall be in
ICANN's sole discretion."

I note that clause 5.2.1 gives "sole discretion" to ICANN to decide
whether to accept the renewal proposal - but does not really elaborate
on the criteria and basis for the decision.

I think it is appopriate for the GNSO to cosnider a uniform process for
renewal of an agreement, taking into account the current contaracts for
the existing TLDs.  
It is important from a competition and fairness point of view that
operators of more recent TLDs are not disadvantaged by the terms of both
the current and proposed .com agreement.    While the GNSO is
considering this, both ICANN (the legal entity) and the TLD operators
should progress using the process defined in their agreements.   In
other words polcies should be written in such a way that they apply to
apply to all gtld operators fairly.

Note that we have had a similar issue in the past with respect to the
approval process for new registry services.  The Board has approved the
consensus policy recommended by the GNSO, which now gives ICANN (the
legal entity) the appropriate basis for deciding whether to approve a
new registry service. 


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