[ALAC] Discussion: WT5 of PDP on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sun Aug 27 02:29:05 UTC 2017

The GNSO PDP on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures has decided to 
initiate a Work Track on the use geographic names at the top level, 
and the ALAC, along with the GNSO, ccNSO and GAC, has been invited to 

As a first step, co-leaders are being requested and as you know from 
the ALAC is seeking someone to take on this role on behalf of the ALAC.

The co-leaders, once selected, will work with the PDP WG Co-Chairs to 
establish the further procedures and the full terms of reference will 
likely be established by the WT itself However, it is envisaged that 
this new Work Track will operate with procedures comparable to a 
CCWG. If this is indeed what happens, the Work Track, unlike most 
GNSO PDP efforts, may include:

- Members formally appointed by the AC/SOs;
- Participants;
- A decision process wherein Members only may take part (used only if 
- The .

The ALAC needs to decide how it will participate, and the criteria 
for selecting Members (presuming this is the path chosen).

The first part, I think, is relatively simple. I believe the ALAC 
should agree to be a full participant with the understanding that we 
agree to the terms of reference, and that we are not bound by the 
outcomes until and unless we ratify them at the conclusion of WT5 work.

The selection of Members (if there are any) is more complex. 
Normally, we are allotted five Members and I would expect that to be 
the case here. We typically solicit volunteers and the ALAC Appointee 
Selection Committee makes recommendations to the ALAC, with the 
expectation is that there be one candidate per region.

This situation is more challenging in that the ALAC and At-Large may 
have a variety of positions ranging from:

- National or local governments should have absolute control over the 
use of their names (or other geographic identifiers); to
- We have many examples of the use of geographic names in existing 
domains and there is no evidence of harm, so we should allow a very 
liberal use of geographic names in the new TLDs.
- In between, there are views that there should be a mechanism to 
arbitrate when there are different parties seeking a name, or a 
process like the Trademark Clearinghouse where parties can register 
their "interest" in a name.

It is therefore really important to understand the variety of views 
and make sure that our delegation to the WT represents all of these.

In order to do this, I think we need a discussion of what positions 
are held. This is NOT an opportunity to agree or disagree with 
positions presented, but to simply understand how views vary within At-Large.

I would like to open the discussion on this list to start with, and 
once we have a good idea of ideas, to validate them with the wider 
At-Large Community.

With this mail, I am soliciting input on three questions:

1. Do you agree with my proposal on the conditions for participating 
or if not, what do you propose instead?

2. Assuming we will be asked to appoint Members, should we try to 
balance their views to make sure the majority of our community has a 
voice on the WT? This *might* mean we end up balancing views and not 
have all five regions represented.

3. What are your views on how to address the use of geographic names 
in Top Level Domains?


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