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





... has already begun in Montreal: It's about the role of the GAC, with interesting implications for ICANN's contractual structure.

Despite all the justified criticism in the details of ICANN processes and their politics, and in the substance of some of the output, the GNSO has finally been starting to actually produce implementable consensus policies, as defined in the relevant agreements. For these policies to be binding, a considerable amount of process is required, including a written report, a 2/3 vote of the relevant supporting organization, and a vote of the board. Examples where this approach has finally started working include the WHOIS policies and the transfers policies; policies on deletes have made the necessary council vote, and are on their way to the ICANN board.

Enters the GAC: In Montreal, governments have been pushing two topics in particular -- WIPO2 and WHOIS. What's being asked for in both cases is remarkably different: With respect to WIPO2, the GAC is asking ICANN to adopt a globally uniform policy without going through a consensus process that would look at the substance of the proposed policy. This has nothing to do with the bottom-up ICANN envisioned by the existing contractual structure. I'd even argue that such a policy could not be made binding for registrars and registries against their will, under the current contractual structure.

With respect to WHOIS, the situation is somewhat different: What I'm hearing here (at least from the Europeans) is not so much the call for establishing globally uniform policy which is supposed to trump applicable law, but rather the desire to open up the existing policy environment so existing law can take its proper role.

I've no problem with the latter approach. The approach taken by the GAC with respect to WIPO2, however, is deeply troubling.

Mon Jun 30 17:11:55 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).