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.
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).
*24 April 2019 - Gregory Shatan
ALAC Statement on the Proposed Renewal of the .ORG, .BIZ, .INFO and .ASIA Registry Agreements
17 April 2019:
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).
George writes that the Proposed .org Renewal Agreement includes Uniform Rapid Suspension (“URS”) when there is currently a discussion going on in the Rights Protection Mechanism Working Group on whether the URS should become a Consensus Policy. The question then becomes whether there is any point in continuing to engage in the established “bottom-up multi-stakeholder model” when in the end this process will be ignored by ICANN Legal and the URS will be mandated.
George suggests that dispute resolutions should not only be in English. It should be in the language of the dispute filed.
One thought is to add a requirement to ensure that all domains will work with universal acceptance.
George is also very concerned about the price hikes listed in this agreement and thinks that the previous price caps should be continued.
I think that the standardization of all the contracts is a good thing since it allows for transparency and predictability and makes it easier for the community as they only have to focus on one contract instead of many contracts.
Adding the URS to the .org Registry Agreement is not a "top-down imposition of new policy." It's not "new policy" at all. Registries are free to enter into bilateral Registry Agreements that include additional RPMs. The URS has been added to prior renewal RAs without objection by ALAC. I understand that the Internet Commerce Association, which represents domain investors, is fiercely opposed to the URS, and this has been their consistent position for the last several years. They have stated this in response to each RA renewal public comment period. However, ALAC has not opposed the addition of the URS to Registry Agreement renewals, nor has it been opposed to the URS in general. This is consistent with the interests of end-users, who benefit from the existence of the URS.
This does not usurp the multistakeholder process, either. If the RPM WG makes policy recommendations regarding the URS, which are approved by the GNSO Council, these will almost certainly be adopted as policy, and the Registry Agreements revised to reflect it. The issue of whether the URS should be consensus policy has been a relatively small part of the overall work of the RPM WG, though it is not an unimportant question. There's no basis for claiming that this process will be ignored by ICANN Legal, which is not the arbiter of such things, anyway. There's no reason to cast this as an imposition on multistakeholder policy-making, much less a death knell.
Uncapped pricing is a more nuanced issue. ALAC has not objected to the base Registry Agreement, or to its use in prior renewals. ALAC did express concern about the 10% price cap in the latest .NET renewal, although this was not a new proposal, but rather a feature of prior .NET agreements. On the one hand, the possibility of significant price increases for domain names cannot be ignored. On the other hand, it shouldn't be exaggerated, as ICA does. The mission of Public Interest Registry should provide considerable comfort in this regard, which is not available for .biz or .info.