[At-Large] Notice of Motion: update to ALAC advice on gTLDs

Bret Fausett bfausett at internet.law.pro
Mon Dec 19 18:50:39 UTC 2011

First a disclosure. I have horses in this race, so I don't want to see the program derailed. 

At the same time, I think the resolution below is too broad and vague in two respects: it doesn't give the reader a fair indication of the nature of the objections and it doesn't provide any specific solution beyond suspension of the program. For those reasons, I don't think the resolution will accomplish much. 

On the specific objections, the second Whereas clause mentions the failure to address the points in the ALAC's Mexico City Declaration (http://www.atlarge.icann.org/files/atlarge/correspondence-05mar09-en.pdf), which I would probably link (the New TLD discussion is on pages 13-15). 

The Mexico City Declaration was nice piece of collective work by the members of the ALAC that starts with this general introduction:

"We agree with and support the expedient introduction of new gTLDs, especially those offering support for IDNs. In fact, we believe that a number of components of the proposed policy present unnecessary barriers to entry for the broadest possible variety of gTLD applicants."

I think a better a resolution would reiterate this point and then tick through the nine specific issues raised in the Mexico City Declaration and proscribe specific places where program changes could be made to accommodate those concerns. While the language of the Guidebook is fixed, at least half of the issues raised in Mexico City relate to the objections process and the objections resolution providers, which are issues that the ALAC still could affect for the better. 


On Dec 18, 2011, at 10:30 AM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> Hello,
> This message is to announce my intention to move this motion at the
> *JANUARY* ALAC meeting.
> This is being done in order to enable discussion to take place -- within
> ALAC, its gTLD working group, and the RALOs -- to determine the response to
> this issue which has been IMO simmering throughout the At-Large community.
> We are told by many (and officially by ICANN) that the program is set and
> we should stop complaining, But to refuse to express the point of view of
> the public interest within ICANN -- even if it is contrary to the
> predominant wisdom -- if to fail at the very basics of At-Large's
> bylaw-mandated role.
> Please distribute this to the four RALO mailing lists where I do not have
> posting rights, and translate if possible.
> - Evan
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> WHEREAS end-users and governments have only been invited to participate in
> the new gTLD program long after its foundation principles were determined;
> WHEREAS most of the problems identified by the ALAC in its Mexico City
> Summit declaration related to the new-gTLD program have not been
> satisfactorily addressed and indeed some have worsened;
> WHEREAS numerous complaints from governments, intergovernmental
> organizations and other bodies have indicated that law enforcement and
> public-protection measures in the current design of the gTLD program are
> insufficient;
> WHEREAS the ICANN Board, without explanation, has refused the
> cross-community endorsement of the Joint Applicant Support Working Group
> recommendations to reduce costs of new gTLD in developing economies
> independent of any fixed fund;
> WHEREAS the absence of a staggered release schedule or a fixed timetable
> for future rounds severely inhibits ICANN's ability to correct mistakes in
> the proposed application round;
> and
> WHEREAS ICANN has still not convincingly demonstrated the end-user need or
> benefit of a simultaneous launch of hundreds of new TLDs;
> RESOLVED THAT the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) convey to the ICANN
> Board and community the dissatisfaction of At-Large with the new gTLD
> program in its current form, and explicitly advises that its implementation
> would be harmful to the public interest. We request that implementation of
> the program be suspended until necessary public-interest modifications are
> implemented.
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