Sunday, November 27, 2005

ICANN's NCUC on Settlement

The complete NCUC statement is here.
On this forum, too much comment is focused on the specifics of VeriSign and in particular the alleged rate increase. We believe that more general and more important process issues are at stake. The Noncommercial Users Constituency sees a risk that private bargaining between ICANN staff and its contractors will replace the policy development process of ICANN's constituencies. While we do not believe that every change in registry contracts should be subject to collective oversight, in this case we believe that ICANN staff has crossed the boundary between contracting and policy making. We also see a dangerous conflict between ICANN's putative oversight role and its incentive to negotiate generous financial agreements with a contractor that is at the same time ICANN's main source of revenue. Accordingly, our comments have three actionable items:
1. We would like to see the "no criticism of ICANN" provisions stricken from the settlement agreement.
2. We would like to see ICANN's GNSO initiate a policy development process on the issue of registry renewal expectancy, and produce and adopt a uniform policy that would apply equally to all registries.
3. We would like to see a policy development process on the issue of price caps for registries, and adoption of a uniform policy that would apply equally to all registries.

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