FINAL VERSION SUBMITTED (IF RATIFIED)
The final version to be submitted, if the draft is ratified, will be placed here by upon completion of the vote.
FINAL DRAFT VERSION TO BE VOTED UPON BY THE ALAC
The final draft version to be voted upon by the ALAC will be placed here before the vote is to begin.
Staff to create
The ALAC supports the proposed changes to the .asia (DotAsia) renewal agreement, with the following comments:
Universal Acceptance (UA): While Clause 1.2 of the proposed .asia (DotAsia) agreement encourages the adoption of Universal Acceptance (UA), it recognizes that registries may experience technical difficulties in its implementation. DotAsia already promotes UA within Asia and is a lead participant in the UASG, supported by the DotAsia Board. Therefore, the ALAC proposes that Clause 1.2 of the agreement be amended to read: ICANN encourages Universal Acceptance for all top level domain strings in contract with DotAsia.
Public Interest Commitments: The ALAC strongly supports clause 2.17 on Public Interest Commitments for DotAsia.
Fees to be paid to ICANN org: In respect of Section 6.1 of the proposed renewal agreement, the ALAC counsels for both the registry fixed fee (presently proposed at $6,250 per calendar quarter) and the registry-level transaction fee (presently proposed at $0.25 for each annual increment of an initial or renewal domain name registration) to be adjusted for inflation on an annual basis. This adjustment ought to also be adopted in the base Registry Agreement.
DRAFT SUBMITTED FOR DISCUSSION
The first draft submitted will be placed here before the call for comments begins. The Draft should be preceded by the name of the person submitting the draft and the date/time. If, during the discussion, the draft is revised, the older version(S) should be left in place and the new version along with a header line identifying the drafter and date/time should be placed above the older version(s), separated by a Horizontal Rule (available + Insert More Content control).
At-Large recommends the addition of Universal Acceptance (UA) into the DotAsia Registry Agreement. Commitments to IPv6 and DNSSEC are already incorporated into their current Registry Agreement.
As a Registry Operator which offers Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) registrations across the Asian region, DotAsia already promotes UA within Asia and is a lead participant in the UASG. This initiative is fully supported by the DotAsia Board. At-Large is also encouraged that following ICANN64 and the interest that was raised during the Kobe meeting, the ICANN Board Chair endorsed community support for this renewed UASG effort.
During the Kobe meeting, the At-Large community discussed Universal Acceptance and formed two areas of consensus. Firstly, that the interests of Internet end users, particularly those using non-Latin scripts, are being undermined by a lack of Universal Acceptance around the world. Secondly, there was enthusiasm to experiment with At-Large community mobilization on the issue of Universal Acceptance.
It has been recommended that the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group should look into including UA into the requirements for the next round, just as IPV6 and DNSSEC were included during the 2012 round.
While it is noted that the removal of price caps from other registry agreements that are also being considered in this round of public submissions, are currently under discussion, At-Large notes a report from DotAsia that it does not intend to make any changes to its current pricing agreements and will continue to maintain its normal annual renewal price to registrars per domain year.
Recommend the addition of Universal Acceptance (UA) into the DotAsia RA.
DotAsia already promotes UA within Asia and is a lead participant in the UASG, supported by the DotAsia Board. Following ICANN64 and the interest that was raised during the meeting, the ICANN Board Chair has also encouraged community support for this effort.
During the Kobe meeting, the At-Large community discussed Universal Acceptance and formed two areas of consensus. First, the interests of Internet end users, particularly those using non-Latin scripts, are being undermined by a lack of Universal Acceptance around the world. Second, there was enthusiasm to experiment with At-Large community mobilization on the issue of Universal Acceptance.
It is also recommended that the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group looks into including UA into the requirements for the next round, just as IPV6 and DNSSEC were included during the 2012 round.
Reposting comment (wiki issue had deleted):
From Maureen Hilyard:
Comments from the CPWG 10 April - which veered onto the pricing of domains being charged by registries. Jonathan suggested that this might require another session as time during this meeting did not allow for further discussion on this issue.
George Kirikos: They don't come back to ICANN.
George Kirikos: The fees between the registry operator and ICANN are unchanged.
George Kirikos: It's only revenue for the registry operator, pure profit for them.
George Kirikos: Plus, ICANN shouldn't see registrants as people to be taxed.
George Kirikos: It's not about "cents", it's about many dollars per domain per year.
John Laprise (ALAC): What I was trying to communicate is that If Registries are charging more, so should ICANN.
Jonathan Zuck: there's a fundamental question whether ICANN should be a price regulator. a cost+ model is a dangerous place to start down that road. I don't think we'll resolve this on this call.
John Laprise (ALAC): Agree Jonathan...unfortunately, there's no one else
Alan Greenberg: George is right from a theoretical point if view, but that is not where we are now. This is a business, pure and simple.
Alan Greenberg: But our perspective should be from a user point if view (and in this case the user is the registrant.
Jonathan Zuck: we've expected them to act like businesses. when they ask for marketing support, we tell them to do it themselves, etc.
Alan Greenberg: We have granted monopolies in each TLD. It is (perhaps sadly) to late to change that.
The point I made about the current pricing is that at present, according to Article 6 (page 16), the fees to be paid by the Registry are fixed numbers that were decided when the contract was initially signed. For .ASIA it is US$6250 per quarter and $0.25 per transaction.
At present, this number can continue in perpetuity, irrespective of inflation. When the contract was initially signed, $1 bought you more than $1 buys you today. As a result, ICANN's costs, even if it kept exactly the same size and number of activities, meetings etc., naturally continue to rise, due to salaries continuing to rise as well as costs continuing to rise due to inflation. Yet, the income of ICANN is not rising. That essentially means that ICANN will be more and more inclined to reduce its activities and its support of its communities.
It is only natural that the fees to be paid by Registries need to rise according to inflation, just like any other service out there.
Greg pointed me to Section 6.5 of the agreement
Adjustments to Fees. Notwithstanding any of the fee limitations set forth in this Article 6, commencing upon the expiration of the first year of this Agreement, and upon the expiration of each year thereafter during the Term, the then-current fees set forth in Section 6.1 and Section 6.3 may be adjusted, at ICANN’s discretion, by a percentage equal to the percentage change, if any, in (i) the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average (1982-1984 = 100) published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, or any successor index (the “CPI”) for the month which is one (1) month prior to the commencement of the applicable year, over (ii) the CPI published for the month which is one (1) month prior to the commencement of the immediatelyprior year. In the event of any such increase, ICANN shall provide notice to Registry Operator specifying the amount of such adjustment. Any fee adjustment under this Section 6.5 shall be effective as of the first day of the first calendar quarter following at least thirty (30) days after ICANN’s delivery to Registry Operator of such fee adjustment notice.
The point I am making is that this is "at ICANN's discretion" and what we would like is for inflation to be taken into account in all cases as we have concerns that ICANN might not have the actual resolve to impose this rise, if it is "at ICANN's discretion".
I find the wording in the response for .org .biz and .info to be rather good for inclusion here:
(III) Fees to be paid to ICANN org
In respect of Section 6.1 of the 3 proposed renewal Agreements, the ALAC counsels for both the registry fixed fee (presently proposed at $6,250 per calendar quarter) and the registry- level transaction fee (presently proposed at $0.25 for each annual increment of an initial or renewal domain name registration) to be adjusted for inflation on an annual basis. This adjustment ought to also be adopted in the base
I think that when we formulate the final submission for .asia, we will add a separate comment incorporating a general comment that can be agreed up on by the CPWG to take note of the arguments above.
From: George Kirikos
See comments in the discussion held with Glenn, Jonathan and Eduardo last week. Briefly, the URS represents a top-down imposition of new policy, without regards to the bottom-up multi-stakeholder. The RPM PDP working group is reviewing the URS, and one of the key questions is whether or not it should become consensus policy applicable to legacy TLDs. ICANN staff should not be predetermining that outcome by imposing it in contracts negotiated directly with registry operators. As for the pricing issue, those registries can already raise fees by 10% annually, and under a tender process the fees would be below USD $1/yr per domain (e.g. the .in ccTLD had a tender, and the fees were 70 cents/domain/year). Legacy gTLDs are inherently different than new gTLDs, and should not be treated the same with regards to the unlimited fee increases permitted in new gTLD registries (whose registries were bought and paid for). I also agree wholeheartedly with the comments of the Internet Commerce Association, as expressed in a recent letter. These comments are applicable to all 4 registry contracts that are open for public comment (.org, .biz, .info and .asia).
Thanks to Greg Shatan for the 24 April draft statement.
My comments / suggestion are as follows:-
1. I wonder if it might be better to prepare (and submit) 2 statements instead of a consolidated one ie. one to address .BIZ, .ORG and .INFO and another for .ASIA.. This is because .ASIA had a "different playing field of no price caps" to begin with and in this way, any concerns about price cap removals for .BIZ, .ORG and .INFO can be addressed squarely in comparison with .NET and with reference to the ALAC's 2017 comment. Given that we don't seem to be offering comments to the inclusion of some RPMs.
2. In any case, the draft starts with "Background" but doesn't indicate where that backgrounder ends and where the present comment begins.
3. Related to the point about standardizing RAs as being a good approach, it might be useful to draw attention to the use of Addendums as the controlled means for handling necessary variations.
4. Would it not be incumbent on At-Large to also support (or least comment on) regularizing the inclusion of PICs in these RA renewals (if any)?
5. As for UA, it's not clear (to me at least) what we want all ROs to do about it at this point. Given community interest on UA has increased further in recent meetings, actual responsibilities might be better framed in due course. So, it may be prudent to tackle the inclusion of UA into the base Registry Agreement by amending Specification 6, or possibly by way of a consensus policy addition in Specification 1, at a later date.
I agree with Justine's points above.. The .asia agreement should be viewed completely differently from the others. With regards to the UA, there has been stated support from the DotAsia Board for its inclusion so this again is a separate issue. Greg's document is more about the other registry agreements and not as relevant for .asia and should be removed from this submission
In light of the statement that has been made for the other three registries, it is appropriate that we add a sentence to the .asia agreement advising that some consideration be given to inflation on an annual basis and any required adjustment to its fees should be adopted into the RA. I suggest the following addition to the statement.
(III) Fees to be paid to ICANN org
In respect of Section 6.1 of the 3 proposed renewal Agreements, the ALAC counsels for both the registry fixed fee (presently proposed at $6,250 per calendar quarter) and the registry- level transaction fee (presently proposed at $0.25 for each annual increment of an initial or renewal domain name registration) to be adjusted for inflation on an annual basis. This adjustment ought to also be adopted in the base Registry Agreement.
I have just spoken with Maureen and she is happy with a much shorter statement that simply supports the changes, with the three issues raised in discussions or above mentioned. Suggested text as follows:
The ALAC supports the proposed changes to the .asia renewal agreement, with the following comments:
Universal Acceptance: While clause 1.2 of the proposed Dot Asia Agreement enourages the adoption of Universal Acceptance (UA). it recognises that registries may experience technical difficulties in its implementation. DotAsia already promotes UA within Asia and is a lead participant in the UASG, supported by the DotAsia Board. Therefore, the ALAC proposes that Clausse 1.2 of the Agreement be amended to read: ICANN encourages Univeral Acceptance for all top level domain strings, in contract with Dot Asia.
Public Interest Commitments: The ALAC strongly supports clause 2.17 on Public Interest Commitments for Dot Asia.
Registry Level Fees: Clause 6.5 of the Agreement provides for the annual adjustment for inflation of the Registry Level Fees 'at ICANN's discretion'. The ALAC proposed thatboth the registry fixed feel (currently proposed at $$6,250 per calendar quarter) and the registry-level transaction fee (currently proposed atr $0.25 for each annual increment of an initial or renewal domain name registration, be adjusted for inflation on an annual basis, at the discretion of Dot Asia.
"at the discretion of Dot Asia" - no no no. This goes completely against the intent of the Statement.
Presently the base contract include a paragraph 6.5 which allows for ICANN to raise fees at its discretion. What we asked for in the paragraph for .ORG .BIZ and .INFO is for this raise to be mandatory and not rely on ICANN's willingness to raise prices, because ICANN has shown with time that it never had the resolve to raise prices and instead was more inclined to cut down the outreach and community support budgets.
Adding "at the discretion of Dot Asia" is exactly the opposite of what we want to say. Why is this being added to this paragraph when the same is not in the other Statement paragraphs?
I agree. We are making the statement reflect some of the issues included into the RAs of the other gtlds. I suggest that this new draft becomes the new statement for the .asia RA.