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[council] GA position on Verisign contract


I am few minutes late, as I did not take into account daylight savings time 
Please find below the report from the GA.



After thorough discussion, the GA has shown rough consensus in favour to 
option A, i.e. to keep the current contract.

A straw poll conducted between the 15 and 20 March has given the following 
- 24 in favour of the current contract (option A)
- 2 in favour of the new contract (option B)
- 1 neither of the above

The reasons for the choice, as expressed by some participants, are mainly:

1) "horizontal" separation between Registrar and Registry, foreseen in 
option A, is perceived as a better deal than "vertical" separation among 
TLDs, and a better safeguard against a monopolistic position.

2) The switchover to option B is perceived as a change in policy, done 
without previous consultation of the DNSO (whose mission is to provide 
recommandations on policy), and moreover within very strict deadlines, 
absolutely inappropriate to evaluate in depth the implications of such 
change. For instance, some of the details of the new proposal, like some 
attachments, are still unknown at time of writing. Also, this change in 
policy is considered irreversible.

3) The financial advantages for the Internet community of option B are not 
balancing off the drawbacks above, as it is understood that the investment 
will be done by VeriSign at its discretion, based on a commercial logic that 
is perfectly legitimate but out of the control of the Internet community. 
The benefits for the Internet community are therefore not identifiable at 
this point in time, and it may be even assumed that other competing 
operators might invest comparable amounts of money in the infrastructure as 
well, if granted similar contracts by ICANN.

4) The other claimed advantage of option B, i.e. a different management of 
.org, is minimal in value if of any value at all, because years of practice 
of sale of names without enforcement of the original charter have 
irreversibly altered the content of .org

Moreover, should a charter be enforced by ICANN and/or agreed with the .org 
registry (and this regardless on whether the registry changes owner, i.e. 
independently from option A or B being chosen), the GA is opposed to any 
action to cancel existing registrations. Any action of this type would be 
contrary to the legitimate interest of bona-fide owners of .org names.

Roberto Gaetano
GA Chairman

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