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[registrars] Parting from Afilias, a painful decision.

Dear Fellow Registrars:

In the last 38 years, I have never resigned from any group of which I was a 
member (job, technical committee, Church or fraternity) as a protest.  I 
had learned the hard way that it was impossible to change the group from 
outside.  Rather, I have stayed engaged and did what I could to effect a 
change from within.  There were times that it was tempting to resign from 
the CORE Excom.

Now I face a dilemma.  I am one of 13 Directors of Afilias.  I was elected 
for a three year term.  The terms were 3, 2 and 1 year based upon the 
plurality of votes of other Afilias members.  I considered selection by my 
peers to this position by such a majority to be a weighty 
responsibility.  For those of us who understand Japan, "responsibility" is 
a heavy weight upon our consciences.

I have not hidden my disappointment with the way the Sunrise Period turned 
out.  It was an abomination.  There were some serious miscalculations of 
what might happen.  Many registrants have made Landrush applications in 
good faith only to see their selected domains cut out from under them 
because of mostly fraudulent applications made by registrants who did not 
have trademarks -- many of whom did not even make a credible pretense at 
providing the required Trademark data.  While I was not a part of the 
Technical Working Group, I was very active in the Policy Working Group 
which crafted the Sunrise policy.

I was pleased when Afilias decided to become the challenger for obviously 
fraudulent applications.

I have worked with registrants and public observers to craft a way to 
provide fairness for the good faith applicants who have seen their 
applications cut out from under them.

It was my proposal that each registrar escrow its queue of domains that 
have been preempted -- to escrow them shortly after the Sunrise Period with 
Afilias.  These would be run after the challenge period had been completed 
later this year.  The reasons for escrowing them *now* rather than later 
was to prevent additional applications for the same domains  from being 
collected, which would jeopardize the modicum of fairness we would be able 
to provide under my proposal.

During a teleconference on 13 August, I asked for a simple list of SLDs 
registered during the Sunrise Period.  Said list would permit us to set 
aside the applications for domains already taken during Sunrise.  I was 
told that there was no provision for providing the SLDs but that I could 
have the zone file.  To obtain the zone file, it would be necessary for us 
to request it by submitting Appendix N.  I submitted our application on 14 

I was then told there was some ambiguity about the way Appendix N was 
originally drafted.  I was to receive a corrected copy immediately.

Last week, I spoke about our need by telephone with a senior member of 
Afilias management.  We discussed the Appendix N again and our need for the 
zone file.  He said the corrected copy would be sent.   Still nothing.  I 
am being pestered by applicants who don't want their applications sent 
during land rush.  I am in agreement that they should not be submitted to 
Afilias until a credible system is developed for disposing of the Sunrise 
registrations successfully challenged.

We still don't have the zone file nor do we have an ETA for receiving it. 
Most of our Directors and Officers are in Montevideo.  They will scarcely 
get back to Newtown, PA in time for the Landrush to start next 
Wednesday.  It is now almost too late to supply the zone file or to solicit 
other registrars to prepare a "post landrush queue" of domains wrongly 
registered during Sunrise.

While it is anathema to me to leave Afilias, I need to look at the broader 
picture.  My responsibility does not stop with the other 17 members of 
Afilias.  It extends to all Afilias Accredited Registrars, to <.info> 
registrants, to ICANN and to the Internet Community in general.

I therefore believe that is would be best for us to dispose of the firm 
which holds the shares of Afilias stock.  I shall not resign as a Director 
at this time.  However, whoever acquires our firm will have the option of 
appointing my replacement for the remaining two years left in my 
term.  Maybe he or she will be able to get the job done.

Sorry it has come to this.  PSI-Japan will remain an Afilias Accredited 
Registrar for <.info> and I shall continue be a constructive critic of 
Afilias policies and practices.

Sincerely, BobC

"It doesn't do any good to run
if you don't start on time!"

"A stitch in time saves nine."

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