[NA-Discuss] [At-Large] Edits and comments to NARALO/ALAC position statement on GAC scorecard

Antony Van Couvering avc at avc.vc
Sat Mar 26 05:05:49 UTC 2011


I think you are making my point for me.

If consensus cannot exist without unanimity, then you're right, the "entire community" cannot have embraced the new gTLD program without the full assent of ALAC.  But by that reckoning, the ALAC cannot report consensus on this GAC scorecard paper as long as one person objects -- and I do.  

The difference is that the new gTLD program has been fully aired, all the stakeholder groups have been polled numerous times not just on the program as a whole, but on every minute detail.  The consensus within ICANN is not unanimous, in fact just about every group is unhappy about something, but as a whole -- which is what I meant by "entire community" -- it's clear that there is rough consensus on the new gTLD program as a whole, and on most of the major points. 

If the ALAC were to truly solicit comment and consider the points of view of its membership -- gather input, if you will -- then hopefully what I consider to be the correct answer would prevail.  But if it didn't, if my position was a lonely minority, then I would agree that the GAC scorecard paper had consensus despite my reservations.   But that hasn't happened, input has not been gathered.  

Furthermore, there is something to be said for consistency.  As an individual I am reminded when what I say now contradicts something I said in the past, and, as you know, pillorying the ICANN Board for inconsistencies is something of a blood sport at ICANN.  I think ALAC owes it to its standing as an institution to examine its current advice against the published advice of the past, and provide a rationale for the change if it differs.  It is a fair request; the same thing was asked of the Board when they announced their decision on vertical integration, which diverged massively from their Nairobi resolution.  

ALAC is on record as supporting new gTLDs.  The Board has made its call on where it sees consensus in the new gTLD process, and is also guided by the various experts it consults -- technical, legal, etc.  Governments are threatening to dismantle that consensus, making much the same argument that you hinted at before -- without full and unanimous consent of all parties, there is not consensus, and therefore the program should not go forward.   The question for GAC and ALAC and any other structure within ICANN, is when does the consensus of the rest of the community weigh more than your dissent?   Has something new happened, or are are you refighting old battles? When do you value an historic agreement, despite its flaws, more than the points you are arguing for?  Is consensus really the same thing as unanimity?

These are important points upon which people can differ.  But let's at least have the discussion and see what ALAC really thinks before hurrying something out the door.  


P.S. Sorry about misspelling your name.  Mine is also regularly mangled, so I should be more careful. 

On Mar 25, 2011, at 7:39 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> Hi Antony,
> Thanks for your input. I've made some changes to the draft document to
> address issues you raised:
>   - I've clarified the general position of trademark issues so that it
>   reads:
>   *We support the Scorecard's name-protection measures which are consistent
>   with the STI consensus recommendations, subject to the ALAC minority report
>   on the STI
>   *
>   - Support for 6.1.3 (going beyond exact matches for IP claims) did slip
>   through accidentally; that has been fixed.
>   The Statement already indicates that the ALAC opposes going beyond exact
>   matches for the URS (#6.2.13)
> Thanks especially for the catch on 6.1.3.
> *Categories are implicity problematic and despite what the authors have
>> written and what ALAC might feel on the subject, they have been rejected by
>> the entire community time and time again.*
> So... Despite what ALAC might want, you assert that "the entire community"
> has rejected categories. It logically follows that, in your opinion, ALAC is
> outside "the entire community". That's unfortunate.
> - Evan
> PS: If you're going to insist mentioning me by name in all of your emails.
> you could at least make a minimal attempt to spell my name right.
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