[At-Large] [ALAC] Fwd: A million domains taken down by email checks

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Mon Jul 7 14:20:00 UTC 2014

I am reminded by Kerry's comments of my involvement in negotiations
regarding the RAA <http://icannwiki.com/index.php/RAA> that were taking
place about five or so years ago, before I was on the ALAC.

I recall that Beau Brendler, who WAS at that time on the ALAC, was involved
with me in trying to embed an assertion of registrants rights into the RAA.

This happened at one meeting -- I believe it was this one
<http://sel.icann.org/node/7372>, held during the Seoul ICANN meeting in
2009, which became a kind of verbal firing squad. A room full or registries
and registrars on one side, Beau and me on the other, taking what I can
best rexcall as a relentless attack. How DARE we try to affect the business
models of registrars?!?!

Though we had come to the meeting to simply explore the idea, Beau and I
were put on the spot to indicate EXACTLY what kind of rights we had in
mind. Over a matter of a few minutes, pressed for time, I came up with a
list that I thought was a reasonable first stab, intended to be later
expanded and reworded but at least giving an idea of what we were hoping

That list, preserved here
asserted that a registrant has the right to

   - have accurate, current and complete contact and locative information
   regarding their registrar
   - be the sole entity capable of asserting and changing ownership
   information for their domain
   - have ample opportunity to renew their existing domain(s) at the same
   rates as new domains
   - protect their trade name against unauthorized use
   - refuse the transfer of their personal information to unauthorized
   - expect ICANN to enforce its agreements with registrars

We didn't think there was anything really contentious in that list.
Nonetheless, it was dismissed by the registrars and registries in the room
as out of the scope, and that while the ALAC could do whatever it wanted
with this "aspirational set of rights" they would never find their way into
the RAA. We went for support elsewhere amongst registrant constituencies in
the GNSO but found no takers -- the commercial side was obsessed with
protecting trademarks and the non-commercial side obsessed with protecting
anonymity. Not having found any partners to fight for something that wasn't
even really within ALAC's remit, Beau and I eventually gave up on it (Beau
eventually gave up on ICANN), and only scant records exist
<http://nbo.icann.org/node/8896> to verify that the effort ever existed.

So I hear you, Kerry. ICANN has served its vested interests well, and the
rest are left to fend for themselves. Sell as many domains as possible and
let the consequences sort themselves out later. (Such is the mantra of the
current gTLD expansion as well.)

But this is why I focus on the end user side of things. While I feel for
the small business registrant that has been sideswiped by consultants and
agents (and have rescued a few of them myself!), in this forum I am most
mindful of the end user.  Registrants have their own designated champions
within ICANN; if they can't do the job we can't fight their battles for
them. We can barely fight our own.

The core point of this thread, the suspension issue and the ALAC position
-- is that domains must have clear contact information. Kerry's comments
that this is necessary both in the case of abuse *by* a registrant and
abuse *of* a registrant.

- Evan

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