[At-Large] Fwd:  Final Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures
kankaili at gmail.com
Thu Dec 10 12:59:51 UTC 2015
In short, consumers' interests must be protected, but only under solid technical and economic conditions, and within ICANN's capacity.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Auerbach" <karl at cavebear.com>
To: <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2015 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: [At-Large] Fwd:  Final Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures
> On 12/9/15 11:31 PM, Avri Doria wrote:
>> On 09-Dec-15 17:56, Christopher Wilkinson wrote:
>>> More generally, TLD policy should protect the Registrant. Apparently that is not part of the new gTLD deal. Or is it?
>> To an extent. ...
> I very much agree with Avri's positions here.
> ICANN was not constructed to be a consumer protection agency. It was
> constructed to assure stability - in fact in the beginning the word
> "technical" was always pre-pended to "stability". Stability is not
> permanency. A DNS TLD is stable if it doesn't wobble within time frames
> measured in weeks and months. But "stability" of anything related to
> the internet does not extend to terms measured by unbounded numbers of
> Now it is true, and remains true, that ICANN denies third party
> beneficiary rights to registrants. Thus domain name registrants have no
> legal standing to compel TLD operators to meet existing ICANN
> established standards of operational quality. That is something that
> would be very valuable and would be easy to put into place but which
> ICANN has resisted for its entire existence. If anything should be
> fixed, it is that.
> The question should be: "How much larger do we want ICANN's already
> large footprint to become?"
> ICANN's regulatory footprint is already large and heavy.
> ICANN required TLD applicants to set aside a full three years of
> operating costs - that was something I have not seen in any other area
> of business, even businesses that involve human health and safety. That
> cost was an enormous burden to applicants, and prevented many people and
> groups to refrain from even bothering to apply for a TLD. Isn't three
> years of funded operations "stable"? Should it be ten years, fifty
> years, a century?
> And ICANN already requires the new TLD operators to have hired backup
> operators on hot standby. That added no small amount of initial cost
> and creates a significant operational overhead cost.
> Much of what is being proposed strikes me as a revival of centralized
> five-year style planning, but this time for the internet. I can't say
> that that kind of centralized planning has had a great history of
> success. And success is particularly unlikely for something that is so
> rapidly changing and evolving as the internet.
> I remember back in the early 1970's when we were playing with packet
> switched networks that the telephone companies were raising the roofs
> claiming that we were playing with fire, that we would destroy the
> wonder-of-the-world which was the national and international telephone
> network. They were right; we did, eventually. But it was not the
> economic disaster that was predicted.
> ICANN can not be, and ought not to be, a guarantor of anything more than
> the technical quality of upper tier DNS operations. To do more risks
> strangling the golden goose of the internet or, more likely, sending the
> goose elsewhere.
> The example of VW's cheating on emissions was raised as some sort of
> analogy to ICANN. I do not see that analogy. In the VW case, express
> statements were made to governments and buyers that vehicles would meet
> certain emission, power, and mileage numbers. Explicit promises to
> buyers were knowingly and intentionally broken - or in the words of the
> law, there was a misstatement of material facts upon which people relied
> to their detriment - in a word, fraud. In most places fraud is unlawful
> and those harmed can bring actions to recover their losses. And when
> really bad, fraud can rise to the criminal level and those responsible
> be punished.
> No such promises are made by either ICANN nor TLD sellers beyond that
> TLD operations will meet certain minimum ICANN established
> requirements. And no one has said that those requirements are not being
> ICANN's own long term requirement for many TLDs that domain names
> registrations be limited to no more than ten years undercuts arguments
> that domain name buyers some how believe that acquisition of domain
> names is something with permanency similar to a common law fee simple
> absolute right in real property. Even the word "registration" rather
> than "purchase" tends to suggest impermanence.
> I believe that some of the new TLD offerings did make it part of their
> business plans to provide very long term guarantees. But if I remember
> correctly, those offerings were orders of magnitude more expensive per
> year than the more routine TLD offerings. In other words, consumers
> have options to purchase long term guarantees by choosing those TLDs
> that make such warranties.
> If one pushes ICANN to be a consumer protection agency than domain name
> prices will be forced to significantly rise. Consider how much it would
> cost to acquire an business continuation insurance policy. The actuaries
> will crank the numbers in order to maintain 100% continuity for an
> indefinite period in the face of even unforeseeable risks and come up
> with a whopping dollar number that will strangle DNS innovation or drive
> people to do what has always been possible but always been dismissed
> because the existing system runs very well: competing DNS systems
> outside of the ICANN realm.
> But if one looks at an even longer time scale - say ten years - it is
> becoming very clear that DNS names - which includes all TLDs - are
> slowly submerging to become internal internet machinery and not really
> of much interest to users. Things like Facebook and Twitter handles and
> URL's (which don't need to contain domain names at all) are becoming the
> names and addresses of the internet. In that future *all* TLDs are at
> risk of loosing revenue streams.
> ICANN is already bloated to the degree that one fears that it is at risk
> from just one thin wafer (that's a Monty Python reference). There is not
> much that is funny when one begins to compare ICANN's staff size and
> budgets to that of the ITU (especially if one plots the growth of those
> numbers of each body over time and asks "when will they intersect?")
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