Names Council -- Scribe's Notes
I. Welcome – Sheppard
II. Adoption of Minutes
A. All in favor.
III. Verification of telephone patch-in of remote Board Members
IV. At-Large Study Committee
A. Presentation of final report
B. Presentation delivered – http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/icann/mdr2001/archive/pres/bildt-alsc.html
2. Verification could follow a variety of methods, perhaps including in-person attendance at an ICANN meeting.
3. Reevaluation should be ongoing, not only after six years.
4. Need to begin moving forward promptly with technical implementation issues.
5. Sheppard: Funding for ALSO?
• Bildt: Seems like ALSO needs to be small. Limited funding may cause members to be especially committed and determined. Details still need to be worked out.
6. Cochetti: Concerned about economics of the ALSC proposal. What are the basic costs of the ALSC’s recommendations? Sources of funding?
• Bildt: Election should be cheap. (Cheap to verify users via domain name registration or certain other methods. Less than $1 per voter, most likely.)
• Dyson: Need to do more design work here. But must start somewhere. If we don’t begin the process, can never move forward.
• Wong: Other entities may step forward to help with ongoing ALSC funding.
• Costello: Have not tried to presuppose the nature of the costs because that presupposes the activities. Forms will vary across regions, with correspondingly different costs.
7. Mueller: Not concerned that Board will be captured by At Large members, because AL is only to be a portion of the Board and AL reflects such a variety of interests. Capture concerns should consider the formation of the rest of the Board.
• Bildt: Must carefully think through “public/private.” Concerned that this distinction is not the most sensible way to think about those interested in ICANN.
8. Martinez: Why do you suggest restructuring at large rather than restructuring ICANN?
• Bildt: We were doing a clean-sheet study, but wanted to keep legacy in mind. It was never possible to achieve a consensus inside ICANN about how to move forward, given what we had before.
9. Stubbs: Are we developing a plan that, financially, can never be implemented? The solution must be practical, in light of the current state of the economy, otherwise we’re back where we were 18 months ago. The costs of effectively bringing message to 40 cultures could be staggering.
• Bildt: Agrees that these are valid concerns. The current state of the economy supports an incremental approach:
• Dyson: This is going to require volunteer/activist support. The organizing staff should be lean.
10. Kane: Who do you see as the collectors of the dues paid by opted-in registrants that want to be part of at-large community?
• Michel: No definitive answer.
• Wong: It’s still open.
11. Park: Domain name owners have been using the Internet for some time and therefore are the At Large. But they are only 5% of Internet users. Need to include others. Don’t want to be accused to exclusion. Understand constraints here but must ensure openness.
• Bildt: Domain name registrants are the core of the AL. But other methods of membership are possible too, providing that they are implementable and cost-effective.
12. Sheppard: Appreciate the presentation. Issues of detail still pending. Look forward to working with ALSC on this.
• Bildt: More at 6pm today and later this week.
A. Cochetti: Amount of time? Previously, thought NC needed to discuss a substantive report. Now, that’s not the case?
1. Sheppard: Took 20 minutes away from this for AL.
B. Cade (Interim Chair to Transfers Task Force): Some concerns within Registrars Constituency re transfers. Registrars Constituency working on this and progress is being made. Other constituencies have become interested also, and a Task Force has been formed. A listserv (opt-out among NC members) has been created for discussion of this. Task Force report is not yet complete.
C. Cochetti: Which constituencies have decided not to designate representatives to the Task Force? Any similar situation in the past?
1. Sheppard: Previously, constituencies have only been slow to nominate but have never decided not to.
D. Stubbs: Compliments to Cade in recruiting involvement. Constituencies are on notice that they need to act now to take advantage of opportunities to participate.
1. Cochetti: No problem. We should just be clear about our approach to this.
E. Chicoine: Timeframe? Expected work product is a proposal for all registrars to follow?
1. Cade: Right. Estimate that 70% of domain registrants are indirect, and may be unaware of who their registrars are (by choice!). Policies need to take this into account. Perhaps ISPs or corporate registrars also need to change their practices to suit policies here.
F. Tindal: Need to think through the question of enforcement.
G. Kane: Appreciate NC’s participation in discussion of these issues. Discussion began in March, and we need to bring discussion to a resolution and a close. Registrants are upset that names are not being transferred as requested and as promised, and we need to get this straightened out. Could pass a resolution asking ICANN staff to grant assistance to our efforts to get this resolved.
1. Sheppard: Agree that we need to get this resolved.
H. Holmes: ISPCP constituency discussed this, and a communiqué is forthcoming. ISPCP supports the task force. Should set milestones for the task force and should ask and expect the task force to complete its work within three months.
1. Sheppard: Sounds sensible. Completion by Ghana.
2. Cade: Our practice is to have one constituency member per task force. Should consider flexibility if a constituency wants a second member on the task force (say, to assure that multiple perspectives are represented).
• Tindal (gTLDs): Would have difficulty with only a single representative.
• Mueller: Agree. But have to make sure that votes are not skewed as a result.
• Cochetti: It’s fine if a constituency does not wan to participate. We should just be clear that this is our practice and our policy. Also, need to think through relationship between registrant and registrar – whether or not registrar gets power of attorney, etc.
• Chicoine: Concerned about delays when transfers do not work. But other concerns too, such as inconsistency between registrars.
3. de Blanc: Constituencies are not “refusing” to participate. Rather, they’re abstaining. Important in thinking through what constitutes consensus.
4. Tindal: Want to be clear that we are not talking about transfers of ownership (between registrants) but transfers between registrars.
5. Kane: Some delays to date in receiving positions from registrars. Work of task force is archived online for public review. Propose motion that NC note the importance of the Transfer Task Force’s work; asks ICANN staff to assist and to revise contracts (Registrar Accreditation, etc.) as needed; notes that completion of this discussion is expected by March.
• Cochetti: Seems redundant to ask them. Can just ask them for assistance; no need to be so formal about this.
• Cade: Important to ask staff for advice and assistance. Kane suggests that NC should note the importance of the Task Force’s work.
• Kane: Clarification from ICANN staff would be helpful in resolving ambiguity in contracts. A resolution from the NC might assist in getting the time and attention of ICANN staff.
• Forsyth: Seconded.
6. Kane: “That the NC shows its support for the Transfer Task Force and the importance of its work. The NC requests ICANN staff to assist the task force in any legal definitions and the identification of any contract modifications that may be needed. The NC looks forward to receiving a resolution of this important issue by the Ghana meeting (March 2002).”
• All in favor.
IV. International Domain Name Task Force – Porteneuve
A. Little progress to date. NC Task Force on IDNs seeks progress in understanding IDN issues and consequences of IDNs. Some complication because a variety of Internet services rely on domain names. All services (email, WHOIS, etc.) may not work with all implementations of IDNs. Modifications may be required on end-user software.
1. Sheppard: Should work to better inform the task force?
• Porteneuve: Might be useful.
B. Mueller: Confused about the IDN situation. What is ICANN’s role here? ICANN’s leverage? Concerned to see a resolution on one day, a revised resolution the next day, and a ballot the day after that. Doesn’t feel like a consensus process. IETF sets technical standard, and marketplace decides what actually gets used.
C. Kane: What is timetable for Verisign IDN testbed rollout? New TLD registries considering introducing IDNs?
D. Cade: Response to Mueller: Understand that IDNs will be a part of the DNS. This makes IDNs a part of ICANN’s proper responsibility for overall stability, reliability, and utility of the Internet.
E. Cochetti: Verisign Registry announced testbed about a year ago and planned to move forward as quickly as possible. Have not yet placed IDNs in DNS for resolution.
F. Tindal: Will launch a multilingual .BIZ when consistent with ICANN policy. Of course, want consistency in IP protection, etc.
G. Forsyth: ICANN provides “cautionary leadership” re preferred standard for IDNs. We should follow that model.
H. Park: Prior IDN Task Force’s Terms of Reference reflected consultation with those who have been thinking about these issues. ICANN’s attitude should be consultative, not regulatory. Should allow bottom-up formation and selection of best IDN implementations.
I. Chicoine: Are waiting for IETF to come up with a proposed standard. Timetable for this?
1. Porteneuve: IETF work has been postponed slightly. It was for that reason that it has not been necessary to pursue the motion promptly. But must not rush here.
J. Kane: Consumers anticipate that an IDN implementation will offer functionality as good as existing domain names. A partial IDN implementation may cause huge costs for registrars as they attempt to resolve consumer confusion resulting from partial functionality. Proprietary implementations will also cause high tech support costs.
K. Tindal: This will be a less serious problem when there is a standard in place. Hear estimates that vary between a few months and eighteen (or more).
L. Stubbs: Suggest that we should get an answer (re implementation time) directly from the engineers working on this.
M. Cochetti: Understand that implementation could be in place within six months or as long as two+ years.
N. Park: Correction to Porteneuve’s comments – some groups already thinking about interoperability issues.
V. GAC Reaction to NC Resolution
A. Link: http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/20011026.gac-answer-NCresol.html
B. Wilkinson: GAC found that a “safety valve” necessary in the .INFO registry. Support to date from .INFO registry and from ICANN Board. Don’t want to get into excessive detail here, but we think a “holding phase” is necessary for the most sensitive strings. Many countries would have preferred to protect more strings (city names, etc.).
C. Sheppard: Pleased to see that there is no retrospective intention here. Some NC members had been concerned about this. Concerned about “the special nature of .INFO,” and we think the concern here may result from the timing of introduction of domain names (i.e. this is among the first) rather than inherent to the .INFO string.
1. Wilkinson: Agree in theory. Choice of specific strings is difficult and time-consuming, but .INFO (“information”) is of great importance on the Internet. No decision yet re GAC’s comments on future new TLDs.
D. Cade: can you comment on …
1. Wilkinson: WIPO is looking into whether ICANN could an ad hoc observer to the November meeting. WIPO has incentive to move forward.
2. Cochetti: Re: in GAC’s report (sec. 3). Wants Wilkinson to clarify what ‘modify’ means. What is the scope of GAC’s interest in the subject?
• Wilkinson: there are 100s of names going into the challenge process. Some people feel intensely strongly that the names belong to municipalities.
• Cochetti: GAC’s concern might be only ‘deceptive trade practices’. Or it might be concerned over pure authority, regardless of deceptive uses – should govts have authority to preempt any competing uses of domain names. What is GAC’s concern? - Wilkinson: GAC has not restricted it’s concern to either. Countries vary.
3. Kane: Why does the GAC communiqué refer only to English names, even though each country has it’s own way of referring to itself?
• Wilkinson: That’s not quite right. The references are in Latin characters, and it is the name in Latin characters that is protected.
4. Stubbs: How far down the line do we go? Take Geneva as an example. Swiss govt probably feels strongly about Geneva as a Swiss canton/city. But what about the residents of Geneva, Wisconsin, USA? Will we end up trading countries against each other over these names? And what about the interests of Geneva watch co?
• Wilkinson: GAC recommendation doesn’t enter into these complexities. The issues should be debated and dealt with by the NC – names conflicts are a classic issue for the NC.
5. Martinez: even in Latin characters, there are different ways to spell country names. Spanish and English (both using Latin characters) spell country names differently.
• Wilkinson: ISO 3166 is in English, and taking account of the various languages was beyond GAC’s limited mission on this issue.
6. Chicoine: Does GAC support exclusion of reserve names when confronted with trademarks?
• Wilkinson: there are few trademarks that coincide exactly with country names, but trademark names would take precedence. This will be discussed in WIPO at the end of November.
7. Robles: Have you considered abbreviated country names (e.g. USA) for countries that go by these short names.
• Wilkinson: GAC used the short names, and the relevant countries didn’t express an interest in their longer names.
8. Cade: In the past, we were fortunate to be able to punt to WIPO, but ICANN can’t do this here. Suggests that NC work with ICANN staff to make sure that we don’t collide with WIPO. We want to make the Internet easy to navigate. Glad that ICANN is going to be an observer at WIPO meeting.
9. Cochetti: Does this fall under any of the existing NC task forces? Suggests that Sheppard, as chair, assign this issue to one of the task forces. There are obviously continuing developments in the area of governments’ preemptive rights over domain names.
10. Le Blanc: concerned that mission creep is going on.
11. Mueller: the most likely task force is the UDRP task force.
12. Cade: It would be useful for UDRP task force to monitor the work that is going on and to consult with ICANN staff re WIPO observation.
VI. Adoption of Final Report from the DNSO Review Task Force
A. Sheppard: This report is presented. http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc06/doc00013.doc
B. Cochetti: NC has only as much influence as it earns in respect from Internet community, primarily via consensus management process. Already, DNSO must manage the consensus process in a certain way (documenting the determination of consensus). DNSO Review report proposes certain changes to this process. Report also proposes new methods of managing task forces.
C. Sheppard: Intent of task force is not to change the process described. But need to define additional specific aspects of the procedure.
D. Mueller: Notion of consensus does not apply to ICANN or NC. We are a legislative body and base decisions on who has the most votes. It’s not clear that the parties here can reach agreements on controversial issues; instead, decisions reflect who has the most votes.
E. Park: Question regarding section three: How does this policy apply to the creation of new constituencies?
1. Sheppard: Wanted to think through the procedure when the NC is consulted if a new constituency applies to the Board for recognition.
2. Park: Consultation will be public?
3. Cade: If a new constituency wants to be recognized, question is what process will be followed.
4. Cochetti: Board of Directors will consult us.
F. Tindal: Reread the “due process” section of the report?
1. Sheppard: “does not remove from the NC the obligation to discuss issues and outreach to stakeholders via mechanisms such as task forces, working groups, and constituency liaisons”
2. Cochetti: But this language does not require the NC to do so? Does this obligation already exist?
3. Sheppard: I think it does, and I think that’s what it says. The obligation reflects what’s in the by-laws.
G. Cade: Sensitive to the concerns of those who have contractual relationships with ICANN. But many of us are affected by ICANN’s actions even as we lack such contracts. That’s why this text is so important. Welcome the certainty (in procedures) that is described in this document.
H. Stubbs: Business concerns – want to avoid undermining anyone’s business model. Doesn’t want NC to encroach on contractual obligations that can’t be modified.
I. Cochetti: Suppose I propose a repeal of the UDRP and I have the 14 votes. Without any consultation, task force, or review, this then goes to the ICANN board. Is this what we mean by consensus? There must be discipline to the consensus process, not just 14 votes.
J. Park: Wants to work toward approval of a specific time frame to allow entry of new constituencies.
1. Sheppard: What Park is trying to do is outside the scope of this specific task force.
K. Sheppard: We’re close to an agreement – it’s a question of language. But let’s hold off on a vote until task force has chance to sort out semantics.
L. Kane: Supports report as presented because there is a duty on the NC and the Board to assure a consensus process. If the NC were to recommend a policy to the board absent a consensus process, the Board would question that recommendation. But where a constituency decides to actively not participate, they could block the consensus.
M. Sheppard: let’s take this up again on Wednesday.
N. Cochetti: comfortable with the report, if NC takes it up again on Wednesday.
VII. .ORG Task Force Report – Mueller
A. Posted for public comment – http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc06/msg00142.html
B. Outstanding question: To what extent the new registry might limit marketing of .ORG names (not next to .COM, etc.)? Favorable comments so far.
C. Some “philosophical debate” about appropriate level of detail here. Own sense is that Task Force sets policy, and ICANN staff drafts RFP (which TF approves).
D. Anticipate sending final report to NC by December.
E. Cade: Do not agree that a TF should live on and should have ongoing “ownership” re implementation. Understand interest of TF members in assuring that their recommendations are followed. But we seek to provide precisely policy guidance. An ongoing role is not appropriate.
F. Mueller: Not talking about “management” of the process. Just about looking at the ICANN staff RFP draft. Do not intend to be involved in selection of registry or to enforce registry policies. But TF should review the RFP and make sure it reflects the actual policy here.
1. Sheppard: Ordinarily, seek to dissolve a TF when its work is done. But here what Mueller suggests seems sensible.
2. Cochetti: Wording is “task force approval shall be obtained” which is strong wording. Reflects delegation of approval to the TF. Want “consultation” rather than “approval.” And NC should do the work, not just the TF.
3. Cochetti: TF recommendations went beyond policy into implementation when they spoke to registering the same string in multiple TLDs and when they spoke to the question of fees.
• Mueller: Fees affect the number of registrars interested in providing this service. And preventing excessive defensive registrations in .ORG is a desirable goal.
G. Park: TF has been productive. We don’t have a precedent for task forces making decisions – this could be the first.
H. Chicoine: her task force was good and participatory. Dan Steinberg was very helpful.
I. Stubbs: invites the NC to dinner reception tomorrow at Chart House.
J. Sheppard: meeting adjourned.
For additional technical information, please contact:
Ben Edelman and Rebecca Nesson