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Last update: Sun Aug 17 22:48:44 CEST 2003





The At-Large Advisory Committee has posted draft comments on the WIPO2 recommendations. In the draft, we raise concerns about the idea of implementing these recommendations through the ICANN process, for two main reasons: 1. What WIPO recommends seems to amount to the creation of new rules which are not backed by existing law -- even the WIPO2 report makes that observation. That is, in order to follow WIPO's recommendations, ICANN would have to overstep its mission and get into the law-making business. 2. The WIPO recommendations seem to call for a dispute resolution process which would (unlike the UDRP) not be subject to review in regular court. Once more, this sounds like a kind of law-making for which the ICANN process is not suitable.

As a conclusion from these concerns, we support the GNSO Council's advice to separate discussion about the WIPO recommendations from UDRP review. We also urge the board to ensure that any policy-development process addressing the WIPO recommendations stays within the confines of ICANN's mission, and is limited to implementing existing legal consensus (as opposed to creating "new law").

In an Annex, we provide some preliminary observations on some of the individual recommendations' merits.

The draft is up for public comments. Comments can be submitted to the usual forum address, and will be archived publicly. An RSS feed of the comments we receive is separately available.

Ask Google

Wed Apr 30 21:07:12 CEST 2003 #



Some RSS feeds pointing into list archives, updated every three hours: ALAC, GNSO Council. More feeds (including for the ALAC's public comment addresses) are available from here.

Wed Apr 30 00:53:51 CEST 2003 #



Two valuable links from WIPO has published a comic on copyright. "Buying the CD means listening to it is your only right"; copying without permission is compared to stealing a car. Matt (the guy who originally blogged this one) describes his state of mind after reading the comic as shell-shocked. BTW, this is the same organization which is currently asking ICANN to extend the UDRP to create new rights in IGO names and acronyms, and country names. ("And, by the way, please also scrap that pesky review of UDRP decisions in ordinary courts, while you're at it.") More on that soon.

On the "useful references" front, OECD has published a report which compares DNS administration (including trademark and WHOIS policies) throughout its member states.

Tue Apr 29 13:04:37 CEST 2003 #



Comments submitted to ALAC are now being properly archived.

Tue Apr 29 10:24:54 CEST 2003 #



... is not such a new idea, as this mailing list posting from 1999 demonstrates. A slightly modified version of the example configuration file in that message is what I use for the possible prototype of an ALAC comments site discovered and announced by Bret.

Ask Google

Fri Apr 25 21:04:23 CEST 2003 #



Louis Touton to the GNSO Council: At its meeting today, the ICANN Board unanimously adopted the GNSO Council's 20 February 2003 recommendations on inter-registrar transfers of domain-name registrations. The recommendations will now enter an implementation phase.

Other topics: The board ratified a year's worth of board meeting minutes, and funding for the nominating committee. That funding includes expenses associated with a face-to-face meeting of the Nominating Committee. Preliminary minutes of the meeting.

Fri Apr 25 17:37:32 CEST 2003 #



Two drafts for ALAC statements (still subject to discussion and revision; comments welcome): new gTLDs; WIPO2.

Tue Apr 22 23:54:49 CEST 2003 #



Some bookmarks about the work of the GNSO Council's new gTLD "committee of the whole": list archives; version 3 of the committee's report. On yesterday's Council call, all GNSO council members were encouraged to forward that report to their respective constituencies.

There also seemed to be agreement that pargraph 7 of that document should be presented to the board as the advice it asked for (see also this message from Vint Cerf), and that the rest should be presented as a summary of other discussions the council had on the new gTLD topic.

Fri Apr 18 09:10:24 CEST 2003 #



"Problems experienced with the registration of [...] which is used to provide misleading information to the public via a site that is deceptively similar to the official WTO site" are cited as a prominent example in paragraph 147 of the WIPO2 report's section on protection of the names and acronyms of International Intergovernmental Organizations in the DNS. The report was part of the process which lead to these recommendations currently under consideration at ICANN.

A summary of a conference talk given by the guys behind which gives some more background information about the "problems" is available at LawMeme (scroll down to the end of the story; link through copyfight).

Thu Apr 17 00:44:08 CEST 2003 #



According to this story in the latest RISKS digest, Network Solutions is using a change of address database to update its customer data into which -- allegedly -- anyone can enter information without any kind of verification.

Yet another way to steal a domain name?

Wed Apr 16 09:12:08 CEST 2003 #



A handful of pictures from Rio de Janeiro, plus some from Bonn.

Tue Apr 15 23:54:35 CEST 2003 #



Seems like non-existing addresses start receiving bounces from a variety of sources. If you get (or got) spam from an address, please let me know.

Tue Apr 15 22:53:32 CEST 2003 #



Both Wendy and Bret point to a recent case in which Go Daddy's Domains By Proxy cancelled the privacy service upon receipt of a cease and desist letter. Bad enough, it seems like that's the behaviour Domains By Proxy is designed to show: On the one hand, there's RAA (I'll leave a discussion of the peculiarities of this rule to the blogging lawyers), and on the other hand, there's that quite lengthy section of DBP's license agreement entitled DBP's rights to deny, suspend, terminate service and to disclose your personal information.

So, ultimately, all this service gives you is an opportunity not to have your personal information published. It's not about anonymous registrations or protecting controversial free speech at all.

Tue Apr 15 14:54:26 CEST 2003 #



Sun Apr 13 12:30:01 CEST 2003 #



Louis Touton has informed the GNSO Council about a number of concerns he and Dan Halloran have with respect to the Deletes Task Force's recommendations.

Sat Apr 12 11:02:36 CEST 2003 #



The GAC has posted its communique from Rio de Janeiro, including a list of the liaisons they have sent. Also, there is now a list of the accredited representatives on the committee, including e-mail addresses.

Wed Apr 9 10:33:19 CEST 2003 #



Tue Apr 8 22:08:19 CEST 2003 #



Louis Touton has published the General Counsel's Analysis Regarding Challenge to Non-Commercial Users Constituency Election of GNSO Council Representatives. That analysis concludes that it would not be appropriate, based on Mr. Younger's challenge, to set aside the written designation of the NCUC's GNSO Council representatives.

The analysis also contains a number of Additional Observations which seem to hint at some doubts about the NCUC's functioning as a constituency, and suggest that a redesign of the constituency may be appropriate.

Tue Apr 8 22:03:34 CEST 2003 #



The Nominating Committee has published its (lengthy) Formal Call for Recommendations and Statements of Interest. The deadline for statements of interest is 5 May; the target date for announcing the committee's selections is early June.

Sun Apr 6 16:30:14 CEST 2003 #



...seem to be widely mis-understood.


Fri Apr 4 14:43:58 CEST 2003 #



I've revived the aggregator -- it's a site where you can find an aggregated version of a bunch of weblogs (possibly?) relevant to ICANN issues.

Fri Apr 4 14:20:07 CEST 2003 #



The Register has an interesting article concerning the "second superpower" piece Jim Moore has recently published in his brand-new Harvard blog. The article looks at the way in which Moore took over Google's idea of the "second superpower" in no time at all. Down and out in the magic kingdom, anyone?

Ask Google

Fri Apr 4 13:13:12 CEST 2003 #



ICANN has published an Advisory which explains the so-called 15-day period in the RAA's WHOIS accuracy provisions, and also explains where the 15 working day period in ICANN's September 2002 letter to the Verisign registrar came from, namely, registrar compliance provisions.

Fri Apr 4 11:01:51 CEST 2003 #



Esther Dyson on ICANN reform, user participation, and more fundamental issues: Yes, it matters to some extent who is on ICANN's board -- or who is in power in Iraq -- but it's not as important as it may seem. Change the structure and you don't necessarily change the texture that determines much of what actually goes on. Structure helps change things over time, but it doesn't work on its own. People need to know what to do to use and reinforce the structure. She then (accurately) observes the importance of having a physical seat at the negotiating table, as opposed to just participating online.

I'd emphasize the word "just" in the sentence above: Online participation works much better once you had a beer (or Caipirinha) with the people you are working with (or against). Of course, cynics would express this by saying that making friends and manipulating people is much easier that way...

Fri Apr 4 01:25:08 CEST 2003 #



I don't think this made it into ICANN blogsphere, yet... Immediately before the GNSO council's 20 February telephone conference (at which the WHOIS Task Force's consensus policies were adopted), I posted this statement on WHOIS policy on behalf of the Interim ALAC.

Fri Apr 4 01:02:41 CEST 2003 #



Some relatively recent, but pre-Rio, slides on WHOIS policy (and ICANN in general) are available here. I used these for a talk on WHOIS policy I gave to the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications, in the week before the Rio meetings.

Thu Apr 3 18:16:14 CEST 2003 #



Two pointers into the ALAC's list archive: A powerpoint file which I produced during some of the structure discussion; Scribe notes by Wendy Seltzer, covering the ALAC's meeting with some people from the Brazilian Internet community.

Thu Apr 3 15:19:12 CEST 2003 #



Just in time to be too late for any Rio notes, the Notebook is back on the net -- I could have done this earlier, but was too lazy and too sloppy to do it. (Let's see if anyone notices that it's back now.) Blogging from Rio was Bret's and Ross' business.

Rio impressions: Amazingly well-organized meeting (my deepest respect to the local organizers), amazingly beautiful landscape, amazingly bad architecture, the most ugly cathedral I've ever seen (ok, Taizé can compete), generally good conference atmosphere (despite humidity and heat). Oh, and don't try to spend local currency at GIG's duty-free -- they only accept US dollars, and you have no chance to change your Reals back to hard currency once you're through customs. (Despite the fact that Brazilian coins look like fake Euros nowadays...)

During ALAC's Sunday meeting, some of the structure discussions were relatively frustrating -- still, I'm optimistic that we'll come up with some pragmatic way of actually getting this entire structure to a point where it's used by people. If there's any conclusion which can be drawn from these specific discussions in Rio, then it's that nobody comes up with additional criteria for "at-large structures". There were some worries that ALAC may take over the NCUC (we're working on it ;-), or, more seriously, may compete with the NCUC for the same kinds of organizations. The answer to that one is that we don't want non-commercial organizations to speak on their own behalf (which is what should happen in the NCUC), but that we want them to speak up on behalf of individual Internet users. On ALAC's side, we're certainly hoping for synergies, and are not interested in competing each other into the ground.

On substantial topics, there was some progress on WHOIS, in particular at the GNSO Council meeting, and in the debate of that topic during the public forum. Too bad that Karl Auerbach still doesn't get it, and turned the board meeting on Thursday into an event which was even more dull this time than what it's usually like. I escaped elsewhere.

Wed Apr 2 15:29:25 CEST 2003 #





This is the personal blog of Thomas Roessler.

It's mostly used for comments regarding ICANN, and matters of ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization and At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).