[At-Large] gTLD Review Group decisions regarding the comments by IT for Change, India

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Thu Sep 27 18:59:55 UTC 2012

Most would know that I have already declared on these lists an abiding
interest in maintaining a strict observation of the Review Group's remit.
 Consequently, I am on record as rejecting - and urging the Review Group's
rejection -  oversight of this issue.

I am also on record for recommending a punt to the relevant At-Large WG.
This happens to be the gTLD WG, largely determined from its charter.  To
the extent that the Chair accepts the materiality of the issue, I am
prepared to vigourously debate the matter, if only for the intellectual

All this aside and knowing where we are today, I am also on record for
describing the central idea at issue - ably outlined by Evan - and its
likely resolution as 'attempting to shut the gate when the horse has
already bolted'.

Kind regards,
- Carlton

Carlton A Samuels
Mobile: 876-818-1799
*Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*

On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM, Avri Doria <avri at acm.org> wrote:

> hi,
> the token holder was used to designate the person who thought the issue
> was important enough to be brought up and included on the list.
> the expectation, stated repeatedly in the group, was that others
> interested in this topic would aggregate around this person and actually
> get a recommendation drafted for the group to consider and work on.
> there was also component it that while I would track the work and build
> tables that referenced it, I was not going to be the one as chair of the
> group to actually work each of these issues.  I would put them on every
> meeting's agenda and see if anything had been done.  and if after a long
> time nothing had been done, i would ask the group whether they thought the
> topic should be dropped from the list of issues worth considering and
> working on.
> if the term is so odious or confusing please suggest another.
> on the other hand, you could just accept the term and either do something
> or say you don't want to hold the token.
> cheers
> Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:
> >On 27 September 2012 11:57, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>
> >wrote:
> >
> >
> >> You say that it is within the scope of the WG to give advice on the
> >> private gTLD issue. You have pointed to me to the page where the
> >listed
> >> issues for the WG can be seen. Here I see that on the issue of
> >private
> >> gTLDs the token holder (not exactly sure what it means though) is
> >Evan
> >> Leibovitch.
> >>
> >
> >Actually, I'm not sure what the term "token holder" means either. I
> >know I
> >have had an interest in the issue, done significant research, and
> >participated in many relevant ICANN working groups to date. But, then,
> >so
> >have many others here.
> >
> >
> >> However, in an email on 25th Sept, on the newspaper article that I
> >did
> >> on private gtlds, Evan had the following to say....
> >>
> >>     " This would have been an extremely useful intervention ... three
> >> years ago.   In its current form it's merely an act of hindsight, and
> >as
> >> such its value is severely diminished."
> >>
> >> In response to my input to the Dev's WG, which he was kind enough to
> >post
> >> on the ICANN website, Evan posted a response which claims that
> >>
> >>     "While I share the concerns and have expressed many myself, the
> >> ability to affect gTLD expansion policy in this direction is also
> >long
> >> passed."
> >>
> >
> >Indeed, and I stand by that.
> >
> >
> >> If the token holder of the issue of private tlds so firmly believes
> >that
> >> this issue is not something that anything can be done about at
> >present, I
> >> wonder what is the discussion about.
> >
> >
> >
> >The ALAC has the bylaw-mandated remit to advise ICANN on any component
> >of
> >its operation, at any time. And its gTLD working group has the ability
> >to
> >advance any issue to the wider ALAC for consideration as formal Advice
> >to
> >the ICANN Board.
> >
> >In the current application process the ALAC has been given a further
> >capabilty to launch specific objections against specific applications
> >for
> >one of two very specific reasons:
> >
> >   1. The string being applied for is overly offensive of obscene
> >   2. An applicant for a community TLD is not properly representing the
> >   claimed community
> >
> >Your objections do not fall under one of the above categories, so they
> >are
> >beyond ALAC's capacity to object using its explicitly granted authority
> >in
> >this regard. As such, it becomes just another general policy issue, and
> >I
> >am suggesting that this particular issue is long past its due date.
> >
> >Your core issue -- the private ownership of public words -- was long
> >ago
> >settled by consensus, a consensus in which At-Large participated (and
> >with
> >which some of us -- myself included -- had severe reservations). The
> >embodiment of that consensus is the gTLD Applicant Guidebook, the
> >subject
> >of years of debate and side-debates that is now used as a contractual
> >document. ALAC has the formal freedom to demand the issue be re-opened
> >--
> >against the desires of every other stakeholder and our own
> >participation in
> >the consensus -- but I believe that to so do would be utterly pointless
> >and
> >ill-advised.
> >
> >So let's be clear. There was no ALAC "discussion" on the issue before
> >your
> >(and some domain-industry) comments were brought to our attention. The
> >core
> >issue you advanced -- whether or not it had merit -- is now moot.
> >Companies
> >have filed legitimate good-faith applications, and given ICANN monetary
> >deposits, under published guidelines that allow private ownership of
> >TLD
> >strings. So even should I agree with you on your core issue, advancing
> >it
> >at this time (which we are *technically* entitled to do) would either
> >get
> >us ignored or get ICANN sued.
> >
> >Had you raised them when the applicant guidebook was under intense
> >debate,
> >you may have indeed sparked very useful debate, and perhaps affected
> >opinions and the ALAC's attitudes at a time when we could have had
> >influence on the final expansion policy. But your voice and this PoV
> >was
> >non-existent then. In fact, the real time to make such a case was even
> >longer ago, when precedents were set by the private allocation of TLDs
> >for
> >common words such as .name and .museum.
> >
> >Lest there be any doubt, I have long held the position -- that most in
> >At-Large can verify -- that the gTLD expansion process as a whole is
> >(with
> >a very few exceptions) an utter waste of resources and, on the balance,
> >harmful to the public interest. As such I have great understanding and
> >and
> >empathy for your position. But I (and other expansion cynics) could
> >have
> >used your support long ago, when the debate might have produced actual
> >policy results.
> >
> >Right now, though, aggressively stating this case simply comes across
> >as
> >bitter hindsight. And even that hindsight may be misplaced, IMO  -- but
> >that's a different topic for, perhaps, a different discussion. Suffice
> >to
> >say for now that it's interesting that the only comments I have seen
> >opposing private ownership of public strings -- besides yours -- come
> >from
> >the domain speculation industry.
> >
> >Just my opinions.
> >
> >- Evan
> Avri Doria
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