POLICY vs. IMPLEMENTAION (was [council] FW: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections)

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Thu Nov 29 17:39:52 UTC 2012

Jeff, well said.

For the record, your quote was  if not verbatim, 
pretty close. It was meant to be humorous, but 
was intended to reflect what has been going on at times, in my opinion.


At 29/11/2012 09:55 AM, Neuman, Jeff wrote:
>We have a very serious problem here that needs 
>immediate attention.  I am not referring to the 
>merits of whether any of these organizations 
>deserve protection or not, or whether there 
>should be additional safeguards for IP owners in 
>the new gTLD process or whether certain Whois 
>Review team recommendations could be put into 
>place .  Forget all of that.  Forget the merits 
>and substance of these important issues.
>The real issue is that new reliance on the terms 
>“policy” vs. “implementation.”  This is the 
>issue that should receive top priority.  To 
>quote Alan Greenberg (or at least paraphrase), 
>when one group wants something in place without 
>using the policy process, they call it 
>“implementation.”  Those that oppose it, call it 
>“policy.”  While that statement was made several 
>times by Alan partly in jest, that statement does have merit.
>Lets look at the following 3 examples:
>1.        IOC/RC – As the letter sent around by 
>Jonathan shows, the GAC is thoroughly annoyed 
>with the GNSO for starting a policy process on 
>the protection of IOC and Red Cross marks.  They 
>believe (although unstated), that they have 
>exclusive jurisdiction over these types of 
>public policy issues and do not want the GNSO to 
>take “years” to work out whether these 
>organizations (which they believe are protected 
>by law) should receive protections in the new 
>gTLD process.  Without commenting on the merits 
>of this argument, look at what they have 
>done.  They have called the protections as 
>nothing more than “implementation” and 
>therefore, the GNSO should explain itself as to 
>why we believe we have a right to start a policy 
>process on it.  After all, implementation can 
>just be enacted by the Board.  There is no need 
>for the GNSO to get involved, in their view
nor do they want it.
>2.       Whois Review Team:  The ICANN Board 
>sought guidance from the entire Internet 
>community on whether the recommendations 
>involved “implementation” or “policy”.  Why? 
>Because if it is implementation, there is no 
>need to involve the GNSO community and it can 
>just be enacted.  Those that supported the 
>recommendations wholeheartedly called them 
>“implementation.”  Those that opposed the 
>recommendations called it “policy.”  I believe 
>that many who called it policy actually truly 
>believe there are policy issues involved, but 
>some called it policy, to have it go through the 
>long drawn out process we call a PDP (with the 
>hopes that it dies a slow death).  Neither side of this debate is blameless.
>3.       The now infamous New gTLD 
>“straw-man”:  For the record, I was a part of 
>the group that discussed the straw man in 
>Brussels and LA over the past few weeks.  I 
>found those discussions very useful and 
>appreciate the efforts being made by the new 
>ICANN CEO, who I have a tremendous amount of 
>respect for.  I believe he truly will make a 
>huge positive impact on ICANN for many years to 
>come.  But, now the debate has turned into what 
>is policy and what is implementation.  The 
>IPC/BC and their representatives have called all 
>of their proposals “implementation”.   The NCSG, 
>Registries, Registrars and Applicants have 
>called much of it policy.  ICANN staff has now 
>weighed in on their thoughts and have classified 
>certain items as implementation (thereby 
>negating the need for GNSO policy development), 
>and other items as policy, thereby requiring 
>extensive involvement from the GNSO community – 
>note I did NOT say necessarily PDP).
>I believe we all need to take a step back from 
>the issues immediately and decide once and for 
>all an agreed upon bottom-up multi-stakeholder 
>definition of what is “policy” and what is 
>“implementation.”  Or at the very least a 
>framework for making that assessment when issues 
>arise.  I would advocate for a cross community 
>group made up of members from ICANN staff, the 
>GNSO, the GAC and others to come together to 
>figure this issue out, so that we get out of 
>this rut we are now in.  At the same time, we 
>need to fix the image of the GNSO policy 
>processes so that they are no longer feared, but 
>embraced.  They need to not be used as vehicles 
>for delay, but rather utilized for the common good.
>If we are able to do this, I believe many of the 
>issues we are now having will become easier to 
>resolve (and we can focus on the merits).  If 
>not, I see these issues getting much worse over 
>the coming months/years.  I believe the future 
>of the GNSO, and even the multi-stakeholder 
>model in general hinge on the definition of these 2 words.
>I would be very happy to volunteer to serve on such a group.
>Jeffrey J. Neuman
>Neustar, Inc. / Vice President, Business Affairs
>From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org 
>[mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org] On Behalf Of Jonathan Robinson
>Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:00 AM
>To: council at gnso.icann.org
>Subject: [council] FW: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections
>FYI.  Please see the attached letter received from the GAC last night my time.
>From: GAC Secretariat 
>[<mailto:gacsec at gac.icann.org>mailto:gacsec at gac.icann.org]
>Sent: 28 November 2012 21:38
>To: <mailto:jonathan.robinson at ipracon.com>jonathan.robinson at ipracon.com
>Cc: Steve Crocker; Fadi Chehade; Heather Dryden; 
>Maria Häll; <mailto:alice at apc.org>alice at apc.org; Choon Sai LIM (IDA)
>Subject: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections
>Sent on behalf of Heather Dryden, GAC Chair
>Dear Jonathan,
>Attached please find a letter from the GAC 
>regarding IOC and Red Cross/Red Crescent protections.
>Best regards,
>Jeannie Ellers
>Jeannie Ellers
>Manager, GAC Coordination
>Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
>1101 New York Avenue NW, Suite 930
>Washington, DC 20005
>Ph. +1 202 570 7135
>M. +1 310 302 7552
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