[GNSO-TPR] Notes and action items: TPR WG Meeting #100 on 15 August at 1600 UTC

Julie Hedlund julie.hedlund at icann.org
Tue Aug 15 19:50:05 UTC 2023

Dear TPR WG members,

Please find below the brief notes and action items from today’s meeting.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 22 August at 1600 UTC.

Best regards,

Berry, Caitlin, and Julie


  1.  Re: Preliminary Recommendation #1 – Staff to tighten the language including taking out the examples and putting them into the rationale.
  2.  Re: Preliminary Agreement #5 -- WG members to consider suggesting a floor and ceiling or other fee structure, whether fees should be included in the policy or elsewhere, and impacts on Preliminary Agreement #1, and put these suggestions in the Working Document at: Preliminary Agreements [docs.google.com]<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/docs.google.com/document/d/1gX1N8d3qoktbniRmfGE4-8Un9dPavIKQ3IZYaoe9b0E/edit__;!!PtGJab4!6lqXMHrkgFDbZYoJluxIXU-iDUjzBh52NeSc42zf-Y58tHzAlG1DH7iMbNmd6i9MZCs4fSk58bGkpMfmDnd8aH3WTP0E2kLYEvKI$>.

Transfer Policy Review - Meeting #100

Proposed Agenda

15 August 2023

1. Welcome and Chair updates

  *   Reminder that we have three meetings to conclude the discussions on bulk transfers.
  *   Quite a few comments in the working document.  Thanks to all who reviewed.

2. Continue discussion of Preliminary Agreements [docs.google.com]<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/docs.google.com/document/d/1gX1N8d3qoktbniRmfGE4-8Un9dPavIKQ3IZYaoe9b0E/edit__;!!PtGJab4!6lqXMHrkgFDbZYoJluxIXU-iDUjzBh52NeSc42zf-Y58tHzAlG1DH7iMbNmd6i9MZCs4fSk58bGkpMfmDnd8aH3WTP0E2kLYEvKI$> from Charter Question i1 (Full Portfolio Transfers AKA Bulk Transfers) and Charter Question i2 (Change of Sponsorship AKA Partial Bulk Transfers) – See also attached slides, starting at #36

i1) In light of these challenges described in section of the Final Issue Report [gnso.icann.org]<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/gnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/file/field-file-attach/final-issue-report-pdp-transfer-policy-review-12jan21-en.pdf__;!!PtGJab4!6lqXMHrkgFDbZYoJluxIXU-iDUjzBh52NeSc42zf-Y58tHzAlG1DH7iMbNmd6i9MZCs4fSk58bGkpMfmDnd8aH3WTP0E2v4caSRV$>, should the required fee in Section I.B.2 of the Transfer Policy<https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2016-06-01-en> be revisited or removed in certain circumstances?

i2) Should the scope of voluntary bulk transfers, including partial bulk transfers, be expanded and/or made uniform across all registry operators? If so, what types of rules and considerations should govern voluntary bulk transfers and partial bulk transfers?

Preliminary Agreement #1: The Working Group recommends that Registry Operators MAY charge a fee to implement a full domain name portfolio transfer* from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another ICANN-accredited registrar. The Working Group recognizes that there may be instances where the Registry chooses to waive this fee, such as cases where [a registrar is involuntarily terminated by ICANN org due to a compliance breach, non-responsiveness to renewal notices, etc.]


  *   Highlighted text relates to comment received.
  *   First question, is highlighted text clear enough?
     *   Language is clear, but not who would invoice whom.  That’s covered in another recommendation.
     *   Would be more clear if we change ROs to RO (plural to singular).
     *   Perhaps “portfolio” could be replaced by “the holdings of that registrar”.
     *   Staff will endeavor to tighten the language.
     *   Question: No indication of numbers.  Is that on purpose?  Answer: This is talking about the entire portfolio – could be any number but it doesn’t matter.
     *   Simply second sentence to change the comma to a period and strike the rest (delete examples).
     *   Is it useful to provide the examples? Maybe in a footnote?
     *   Best if we don’t mention involuntary (or voluntary) termination.
     *   This applies to both voluntary and involuntary.
     *   The chances of gaming are limited because there are three parties involved.

ACTION ITEM: Re: Preliminary Agreement #1 – Staff to tighten the language including taking out the examples and putting them into the rationale.

Preliminary Agreement #4: Due to the variable nature of the fee associated with full portfolio transfers, the Working Group recommends that Registry Operators MUST provide notice to registrars of any fees associated with full portfolio transfers upon request and prior to the completion initiation of the full portfolio transfer. How Registry Operators choose to provide notice of fees will be up to the Registry to decide, i.e., password protected portal, website, written notice, etc.


  *   Suggested change: Removing “completion” and changing it to “initiation”. [WG agrees]
  *   Keep this separate from partial transfers.
  *   But if we have similar wording make sure the language is consistent.

Preliminary Agreement #5: In the event a registry establishes a mandatory fee for full portfolio transfers, the Working Group recommends [the fee MUST NOT exceed $50,000 or $1 per domain name, whichever is less.]


  *   Do we want to consider/anticipate portfolio transfers that cover multiple registries? For example, how to coordinate (separately? individually?), how are fees determined, etc? Suggestions?
  *   One option for the fee would be to ensure that that all ROs are made whole, plus some type of administrative fee per RO for processing the change of sponsorship?


  *   Bracketed language is a suggestion from staff and not agreed to by the WG.
  *   WG should discuss whether fees should be included in the policy.  Concern was about abuse if fee is not mentioned.
  *   Is there a maximum?
  *   It shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive; cost recovery should be a goal, but this is a non-zero effort.
  *   There are a lot more registries, a lot more registrars, a lot more domains in circulation now.  This is looking at setting the cap.  10,000 names is a lot different than 10 million names. You know that the practical registry work may not be extremely big technically but you know they still have to go through and make sure.
  *   The fees right now in real life don’t happen that much.  Most of these registrars don't have portfolios that involve more than 50,000 names at a particular TLD.
  *   There could be 100K but it never reaches the threshold because it is split over 6 TLDs so there is no fee.  When you transfer 40,000 names it's free. But when you transfer 50,000 it's all of a sudden $50,000. It seems arbitrary that there's a cut off that jumps from $0 to $50,000.
  *   These portfolio changes happen a lot. The only blocker here within the gTLD space is the huge fees and not a standardized process that is applicable to all the TLDs.

This is about making sure the full portfolio transfer doesn’t get abused.

  *   History tells us this hasn’t really happened – is it more likely to?  What about from the idea that there are 10 separate TLDs?  There is another dimension here. Maybe talking about a flat fee at all isn’t right, maybe $1 per X [domain name, etc.].
  *   One of the other variable is a RO could be a 100 TLDs – could be a lot of different variables today.  Need to worry about the ceiling, not the floor.
  *   Floor might be good to have – this is a non-trivial effort for a RO.  Like the idea of a minimum and ceiling – minimum price and not to exceed price.
  *   Agreement #1 allows the RO to set a floor.  Sounds like people agree a ceiling makes sense but not on how to determine the ceiling.
  *   May be some that are more complicated – such as .bank, .pharmacy, etc.
  *   There are fees outside of the Registry too.
  *   Think about it in terms of a $1 per domain name; have a fee based on the registrar’s portfolio size.
  *   The WG likes the ceiling idea, but how to set the bound on the ceiling.  How do we make this fair and equitable?  Don’t know how you calculate a ceiling without setting numbers.
  *   Have both a floor and ceiling – if registrar’s portfolio is 50K names, then there is a charge of $1 per domain name spread across TLD operators but no more than $50K.
  *   Is there a domain number threshold?
  *   How do you invoice that? Does ICANN get involved?  Do we have to think about implementation.
  *   Do we base the fee on the volume irrespective of the number of TLD operators.
  *   Fee is based on the whole portfolio.
  *   How do you divide $50K between X TLD operators?  Issue is who does the billing? ICANN?
  *   If the fee is based on the registrar’s portfolio, this is a different orientation than we’ve considered.  There’s going to have to be a coordinating body – ICANN.
  *   Makes sense for involuntary transfers – but don’t know we have to require ICANN to be involved for voluntary transfers.
  *   Exploring some good scenarios.  It does get very complex.  One thing that is lost is to project manage this – to think about it wholistically; would have to be ICANN.
  *   Sounds like the WG is agreeing that a ceiling is a good idea and Jim has a suggestion for how to consider this differently.

ACTION ITEM: Re: Preliminary Agreement #5 -- WG members to consider suggesting a floor and ceiling or other fee structure, whether fees should be included in the policy or elsewhere, and impacts on Preliminary Agreement #1, and put these suggestions in the Working Document at: Preliminary Agreements [docs.google.com]<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/docs.google.com/document/d/1gX1N8d3qoktbniRmfGE4-8Un9dPavIKQ3IZYaoe9b0E/edit__;!!PtGJab4!6lqXMHrkgFDbZYoJluxIXU-iDUjzBh52NeSc42zf-Y58tHzAlG1DH7iMbNmd6i9MZCs4fSk58bGkpMfmDnd8aH3WTP0E2kLYEvKI$>.

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