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[council] IPC Statement on WLS

IPC Statement on the Proposed Transfer Task Force Recommendations on WLS


The IPC strongly believes that the matter of  unintentional deletions is a
problem that does not distinguish among particular registries, registrars or
registrants.  While some inadvertent deletions occur because of registrant
failure to renew, too many are due to registry or registrar error or
misconduct.   It is an industry-wide concern, one that rightly should be
addressed at the ICANN-level as a matter of policy, and whose solution
should be applicable across the spectrum of gTLD registrars and registries.

Names associated with intellectual property rights are particularly
attractive to theft by hijackers and speculators who have been known to
modify information to make it appear as though a request for deletion of the
domain name has been made by the registrar.  A piecemeal solution of
individual business models, such as the proposed WLS, does not by itself
address the concerns of intellectual property owners, who, like ICANN, are
particularly troubled about the effects of accidental deletions on consumers
and businesses that are increasingly relying on the Internet to service
their commercial needs.


After reviewing the proposed recommendations posted by the Transfer Task
Force, the IPC has the following comments:

Since it appears that the TF cannot reach consensus regarding the proposed
WLS, the TF should present the Board with a summary of the divergent views.
The IPC does not support presenting an alternative recommendation regarding
WLS to the Board.  It is the IPC's position that the Task Force is charged
with providing, if possible, a clear consensus position on the WLS proposal
to the Board.  If no consensus has developed, the Task Force is duty bound
to advise the Board of the lack of consensus and provide the Board with a
summary of the various divergent viewpoints on the issues.  Accordingly, the
IPC urges the Transfers Task Force to consider adopting a single clear
recommendation to the Board.   We turn now to our specific comments
regarding the Task Forces Recommendations.


The IPC agrees with the Task Force recommendation that the proposed
redemption grace period is thus far the best and most practical insurance
policy yet derived to handle these and similar problems.  The IPC strongly
urges that implementation of the Redemption Grace Period must precede any
implementation taken on WLS.  Provided this condition precedent is met, the
IPC does not object to the proposed WLS.

The IPC notes that a representative of Verisign Global Registry ("VGRS")
presented amendments to its WLS proposal during its presentation to the
ICANN Board at the recent ICANN meeting in Bucharest.  Specifically, the
VGRS representative stated that VGRS would implement an "interim" Redemption
Grace Period ("RGP") for .net and .com until such time as fully-tested RGP
is implemented across all registries.  At present, the IPC has no further
details on the VGRS amended proposal.  Nevertheless, the IPC believes that
any RGP implemented by VGRS on an interim basis would have to be the
functional and operational equivalent of the RGP proposed by ICANN staff in
order to satisfy the condition precedent set forth in the preceding
paragraph.  To this end, the IPC supports the Task Force's recommendation
with regard to the requirement of a fully functional RGP and cannot comment
on the feasibility of the interim RGP proposed by VGRS.


The IPC disagrees with the Transfer Task Force recommendations on notice and
transparency.  To make public or to disclose to the registrant the identity
of the WLS subscriber would provide an incentive for a bad-faith registrant
to continue renewing a registration.   The interest in notice and
transparency can be fully met through the requirement that registrars verify
previously submitted contact data of a WLS subscriber before effectuating
the transfer of a registration to that subscriber (at which point the WLS
subscriber contact data will appear in Whois).


With regard to the issue of pricing, the IPC again notes that a
representative of VGRS stated that the WLS proposal was being amended to
revise the pricing model in the WLS proposal.  Specifically, the VGRS
representative stated that the pricing model set forth in its WLS proposal
would be revised to remove the rebate structure originally put forward in
its proposal and that VGRS would charge all registrars a consistent flat
$24.00 fee per subscription.  The IPC would like to note its appreciation
for the continued willingness of VGRS to revisit its WLS proposal based on
community input.    While taking no specific position on pricing, the IPC
believes that the pricing for WLS should be structured in order to
discourage gaming of the WLS by domain name speculators and cybersquatters.

The IPC wishes to point out that the position set out above is without
prejudice to the need for a uniform transfers and deletion policy, but
reflects the views we would like communicated to the Task Force by its July
22, 2002 deadline (since we know a uniform policy cannot be completed by

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