I seem to have done a lot more typing than thinking today. It’s what my old LSE prof, Patrick Dunleavy would call a classic work displacement technique. One method I use to keep me focused on very long sessions is to take close to verbatim notes – it keeps my mind from wandering and makes me think harder about what I hear. As I’ve spotted that the public GAC/Board meeting that just finished only has an audio stream on the meeting website, I’m posting my Completely Unreliable Notes in case they’re useful to anyone else.
I hesitate to post these notes as the last thing I want to be known as is Typing Girl. This may be ICANN and it may be 2010 and the day after International Women’s Day, and not an episode of Mad Men. But the next thing I know, someone will be slapping me on the rump as I fetch their coffee. (In much the same fashion that Alec Baldwin grabbed Kathryn Bigelow’s after he gave her the 2nd Oscar. Classy guy.)
Anyway, I’ll run the risk of the perils of patriarchy and reproduce the notes after the fold, as a public service. Enjoy.
Disclaimers: if you read anything surprising or controversial, check against the audio recording in my link above. I’m far too lazy to put people’s proper names, and in the case of a couple of GAC reps, I don’t actually know them. So employ your best guess that ‘Bertrand’ is the suave Frenchman, Bertrand de la Chapelle, Rod B is indeed ICANN’s CEO Rod Beckstrom, and ‘Norway’ is, ahem, the government representative from Norway. Full list of GAC members is here.
Gac board session 9 march
Item the first: Institutional evolution in the post jpa environment
report from co chairs of joint working group – heather dryden and ray plzak
heather dryden – jwg on sunday discussed liaisons. There’s value in gac members being liaisons. Govt’s role isn’t always well understood. Travel support for developing countries; hope to recommend an approach for a long term basis. Talked about secretariat support. Malta briefed us. Important; secretariat should be sustainable model and be independent, and give continuity long term. Would be helpful to have something drafted on gac operations – what’s formal and informal advice, communiques, etc. what happens to gac advice. On redelegation, 2005 gac principles on cctlds were raised, clarity needed on public policy advice to the board – whether principles are formal or not. We need to clarify our own understanding of what constitutes formal advice.
Ray plzak – on gac advice, how does it get to the board is important, as well as what the gac do with it. We’ll look at that. Advice by gac into the policy process – discussion about how to get it into the process earlier to have more impact. One comment made – the longer you wait in a process, the stronger your statement has to be.
Janis – gac had draft principles on idn cctlds. Did intersessional work on it. We will follow up on the process to see how these principles are being discussed.
Maria sweden – what happens if the advice from gac contradicts others’?
Peter – wg was set up in response to a PSC recommendation in sydney. Important ot maintain secretariat independence but don’t get too hung up on how it’s provided. On the ccnso, there was a lot of mistrust when it was formed but icann started providing secretariat services. The work was a huge improvement on the work done. The concern about independence disappeared in a shorr time. The principle is important, but getting the work done is a high priority. On advice, there’s been a tendence to confuse everything the board sends to the gac as advice. Advice should be reserved for very serious things that invoke the bylaw. We should have different layers of communication, of which advice is the highest. On how the board gac correspondence is managed, we can do better at it and rod is looking into that. I’m concerned about the question of our notification to the gac about an action, we have relied on the gac liaison and that will work well. On liaisons getting involved with different working groups is fantastic. Shifting the inertia of a pdp late in the piece is very difficult. The first time gac members came out of their room and took part in a policy process was in rio. I compliment the french member for getting active early and having an influence.
Bruce – the gnso originally had its own budget and no policy staff. The real benefit of policy support is progress between meetings when everyone is back at their day jobs. So when you get here, you’ve got a substantive document to discuss.
Heather – yes, most important thing is to conduct the work efficiently. Perspective of gac members – they’re concerned about the optics from outside the organisation.
Alice kenya – thanks for having the meeting in kenya. We need to ask what the meetings leave behind. There was badly handled communication around the meeting security. It should have been handled more diplomatically and respectfully of kenya. Nearly all contracted parties are missing. What does this mean for the processes? Should we introduce a global competition framework. Congratulate principles of transparency, use of twitter, etc. issues that affect a country’s prospects should be handled carefully, e.g. investment and tourism. Hope icann begins to really internationalise, and handle other perspectives.
Thomas netherlands – on secretariat support. Tomorrow is a crucial day. It needs to be sustainable and independent. We can use the support from icann.
Rod b – thanks alice. The staff worked extremely hard to make sure this event stayed in nairobi and that wasn’t easy. It was due to our commitment. When we made the AOC to the world for transparency., transparency doesn’t always correspond to diplomacy. That was similar in the icm case. We try to be sensitive to the situation in kenya. At the same time, we have community members demanding full information from us. We strive for the balance. We appreciate the terrific efforts to support this event, but at the same time was our responsibility to disclose any information we might have. We find it difficult at times to find the right balance and will contine to strive to do our best.
Item the second – New gtlds
Janis – we will present our comments tomorrow on new gtlds.
Mark UK – we are drafting a letter from gac chair to chair of board to include advice on this. It will be attached to our communique. It’ll stress potential benefits of the new gtld space. Letter will say where further work is needed before the launch, that must be done. 4 areas. Needs to be no negative impact on sec & stab (the root scaling issue). No increase in use of dns for malicious conduct. Broad support for STI proposals – trademark clearing house and uRS – but more work to refine them and maximise protection of trademark owners. no country or territory names as new gTLDs Press for conclusion of economic studies we’ve long pressed for – costs, benefits, market power, defensive registrations. Need to improve objection mechanisms. Comms strategies for new gtld programme – developing countries.
Peter – on geographic, what’s the basis for wondering if new gtlds will increase malicious conduct– might happening, before we develop a program to prevent it? What fact based studies are you considering? More work on trademarks – what further work is needed? We need detail. In yesterday’s forum, peace has broken out between the warring parties. If the gac wants to go further than this, we’d like to know where and why.
Jjs – there is a natural drive for requests for names. Have you omitted mentioning this or will it be included? Ensuring the diversity of needs is met – ngo’s, cultural entities, etc. secondly, completed economic studies – I beg to differ. A pretext to delay the introduction of new gtlds. However legitimate business interests may be, this is not a make or break consideration for icann. The inclusion of economic data is of importance, but it should not be a blockage to implementation or to finalisation of the guide book.
Rod – on comms strategy for new gtlds, we’d apreciate gac’s advice and assistance on the >90 countries you are in on how we can deliver a programme. On economic studies, i’ll have kurt pritz give an update.
Kurt – to keep progress going, we have 2 economists engaged, 3 deliverables. One on cost of defensive registrations. One on benefits versus costs for the programme overall. One on can individual gtld apps be assessed to see if they have cost benefit. Some will report by june.
Bruce – where do geographic names begin. Are regions – i.e. africa – to be for govts. Cities? Regions within countries? Can we be clear on which part of the hierarchy fall within the c-space. And also what’s the benefit with the c space over the g space. In g space we have contracts to do things like protect trademarks which you don’t in the c space. You can also have country law taking precedence over the contract, which gives you the best of both worlds.
German govt – geographic acronyms are not geographic, e.g. nyc (..missed rest of comment)
bertrand – we could consider the cctlds were the first in a category of more general geographic names. Different types of contract. On ec. Studies -need better understanding of structure of the domain space. Better understanding of competitionneeded. .ibm doesn’t compete with .sport. Not enough attention at the moment paid to single registrant tlds. i.e. .brand. On generic terms, we can go to 63 latin characters, however, short strings corresponding to dictionary key words are of particular value. The meaning of a common word belongs to the community as it is part of language. Should special attention be paid to who applies for strings of dictionary key words. There’s more public interest in them.
Peter – qustion for mark. You mentioned geo names and moved on to post delegation dispute. Issue of geo names is the first time the board may conflict with the gac on this. We wrote to the board in mexico saying we may not follow the gac advice. We got a letter back from the gac reasserting its position. We may be about to formally disagree with the gac on geo names. If a governmetn gives a contract to a entity to run a geo names and the entity reneges, does the post delegation process not work for that, i.e. contracts where governmetn approval is a key term.
Rod b – thanks for great german govt event we went to. It was a showcase example of what hels from other governments to bring communities together to discuss new gtlds. We’ll do our utmost to deliver staff and materials.
Norway – post del procedures are not comprehensive enough and should be looked at in more detail. On country names and cctlds, national sovereignty and adherence and laws is best served within national jurisdiction.
Mark UK – we’ve reached a bit of an impasse on country and territory names. The post del stuff we’ve covered off as ongoing work wher ewe should continue to work together. On malicious conduct question, peter, we’re working with law enforcement agencies as i’m sure you are. 2 colleagues of mine from soca. If nothing is done, malicious conduct will increase, but i’ll have to consult with my colleagues on data to back that up. On STI we in europe will have a major problem, the european trademarks do not need substantive review for trademarks. The uk trademark office abandoned that in 2007. tm owners are complaining to me in the uk about the requirement that they pay is unfair. Why should they pay for the clearing house? On comms strategies, many of us are involved in various IGFs. Icann should engage with the igfs.
Peter – clearing house is not a rights protection mechanism, it’s a service to tms. Part of owning a mark is you have to defend it. The clearing house is an attempt to make brand owners not have to protect their brands in each domain. But it is their job to protect their own brands. If brand owners don’t want that service, they don’t have to pay for it. The idea that someone else should pay for a database to protect private property rights needs to be very carefully thought through. The assertion is unsupported – brand owners as we can see don’t go to every registry and register their names. The barnd owners need to do some thinking if they think this is some right they have. This is just a mechanism to keep their costs down.
Mike silber – the language may not be clear enough. Coming from a country where we created 2nd and 3rd class citizens, i’d hate to start creating 2nd and 3rd class trademarks. The issue is what the registry des with the trademarks. You simply note your interests in a tm and are entered into a database. It doesn’t deal with concurrent tm’s in multiple jurisdictions or multiple classes. The other option is an IP rights mechanism. If you are registered, a notice will go to the registrnt to say someone has a TM, we’ve not tested it, but there is a TM in the clearing house database which matches the name you are looking for – do you want to continue, bearing in mind that you may be challenged? That takes out the most common udrp defense of ‘I don’t know’, when people come up with a name of their own and didn’t know about someone else already using it. So that takes those people out. If you had a tm in the name richard, but didn’t want to protect it in tlds like .blog or .music. But you wanted to protect it aggressively in your own area, like if you were an engineer. That’s probably how people will go. Registries are entitled to look at the clearing house and see what to do with it. In one of the clearing house, you have to have the tm for 5 years to avoid a .eu type landrush. You could, but I think shouldn’t, impose on the registry a minimum period of one year. The registry chooses what to do with it, and informs everyone of how they plan to use the clearing house. If you can give us advice, with more detail, it is helpful, more helpful than saying ‘there is a problem, do something about it’.
Germany govt – thank you for the discussion on this. The regime we are developing is not only for trademark holders. It mitigates problems we may face concerning conflict. We are discussing now about arbitration. Arbitration bodies may give good indications, can give quick and less costly decisions. But nobody is obliged to use arbitration bodies, so it can’t be excluded that 3rd parties appeal to the public courts that aren’t bound by a decision in this regime of arbitration bodies. Therefore it is vital that icann’s processes meet international trademark law procedures.
Michael Niebel – Mike, thank you for this explanation. I know you don’t want a 2 class system. For us, dealing with 27 regimes, we had to avoid as well to stop regime-picking. It’s your job to propose something, a mechanism. I’m reluctant to do so. That’s your job. But we don’t want a 2 class system, we want open undiscriminated access to the system.
Denis jennings – on economic studies, much of the work i’ve seen is describing an economy I don’t recognise. It’s based on a classic account of consumer goods and doesn’t take account of the particularities and strange things about domain space. Some recent work is better. I’m surprised about the passivity of the request for more ec. Studies. Most nations, including Ireland with the ESRI, have very powerful eonomic research available. They have much more powerful institutions than icann can have. It would help if you would go to them for a study of the internet, and feed that in, rather than passively ask us to do more and more studies when we are extremely budget limited.
Bertrand – i’d like an answer on eoi later on if a public entity applies for a gtld …
peter – it’s a gtld contract
bertrand – on eoi, gac is grateful to the board for following gac advice to allow community interaction. Huge work by staff to summarise comments on line. However, from the last 3 days, it’s clear there is no consensus in the community on a yes or a no on the current eoi. Our understanding is that within the board itself, it’s difficult to decide fully yes or fully no. the discussion ha nurtnered the debated, but it raises difficulties. A few points have emerged that seem like a trend. Certain number of actors that initially supported eois hve had second thoughts, including some applicants who fear it will cause further delay. Eoi in its current form is creating differential treatment of applicants. It’s changing the balance to favour some. Discussion on eoi has exacerbated or highlighted problems that are in the current dag. The more it goes, the more it seems to be recognised in community that it’s not a data gathering exercise but is a pre registration or even a registration phase of a new round. A separate eoi from the round doesn’t make sense. The eoi is necessarily connected to the round, because issues need to be resolved before rounds start, so value of eoi to the discusison. Gac said in seoul the need to explore track differentiation categories. We intend to furthe rpush the idea of cross community working on track differentiation.
Peter – you will remember, mr. chair, that the board was going to consider eoi at its feb meeting. You asked for more time. I think it’s only a fair question to ask what you’ve done with the time you got.
Janis – we spent more than an hour on eoi on sunday when it became clear that most gac members present were skeptical of usefulness of eoi. Prep work for new round is converging fairly well to the end point and eoi was adding additional complexity not helping to resolve problems. In sei=oul, in contrast it felt like everything was flaling apart. We engaged with community on monday and expressed our concerns. We are better informed and the board will be better informed about community sentiment.
Peter – I ask bruce tonkin who chaired the working group. Is their consensus on any aspect of eoi?
Bruce – I don’ tthink consensus on any aspect of icann really. (laughter) some keen to make things go faster don’t want eoi. Those that want to go carefully want an additional step before going forward. The timing of starting and finishing an eoi question, some were afraid the eoi might start before the dag dealt with some substantive issues. The board has reiterated that that’s not the plan. Bu tthen, how do you measure the level of consensus on the issues before you draft an eoi. After the dag is published in june, how do we measure consensus of whether we’ve addressed the overarching issues? Is the eoi 1, 2 3 or 12 months? 4th aspect is comms plan, and developing countries want it to start now. Developed nations say there’s no need, don’t want to hear any more until they can get specifics of when they can start and how.
Rod – thanks for all info in continued advisory role. I feel obligated to share this under AOC 3, 9. Icann’s role and req to preserve the security of the dns globally. The dns is under attack today as it is never before. I’ve personally consulted 20 registries and they are seeing more attacks and more complex. The dns is more vulnerable than ever before. The kaminsky attacks should have stopped the dns. Parts of that system are in your countries. I’m going to write to you and ask you what is in your countries. There is more wild carding, provision of false information. The system is under full scale attack. I am extremely concerned as ceo of attack. I’ve met with cybersecurity chiefs of the 3 biggest countries on earth. I will be asking you for advice, and for what ’s been accomplished by certs in your countries. I don’t want ot wait until brussels till that.
Janis – thank you. We are looking forward to engagement on this topic. We had a session today with greg rattray. Gac members are positive about measures icann deploys in this respect. I will bring this session to a close, thanking board and gac members, and community for being present and listening in.