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Guidelines for Accreditation

I spent my valentine's day reading ICANN's "Guidelines for Accreditation 
of Internet Domain Name Registrars". What follows are my notes on the document 
in general, and then a few answers to the specific questions to which it 
solicits responses. 

Keep in mind, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I'm above all,
a techie who happens to be a small business owner as well. Said small
business happens to be a startup DNS hosting business.

In general I find the document heavily weighted in favour of WIPO. Aside
from that, the provisions are generally favourable to competition within
the existing gTLD's. What I think would *really* foster competition, and
isn't addressed in this document, is the introduction of additional gTLDs
(as noted below).

Section I.D.2
 >2. The registration process should embrace standard   
 >principles of good business practice, including legally
 >enforceable commitments by the parties to the registration
 >agreement. To the extent feasible, it should contain
 >procedures designed to prevent or minimize fraud or other
 >forms of illegal behavior associated with the assignment of a
 >domain name, and to ensure that the registrar's obligations
 >to its customers and to the registry administrator will be
 >fulfilled in the event that the registrar goes out of
 >business or otherwise fails to perform.            

As always when dealing with the Internet the issue of legality has to be
considered in terms of location, i.e. where does it have to be legal?
In the locality of the registrar? That of the SLD registrant? The locality
if the SLD's nameservers? It's webservers? It's all too nebulous to pin down
these days. For the sake of clarity I would say the process should be i) legal
in the locality of the registrar, and ii) legal under the terms of the ICANN
accreditation process.

> 3. The registration agreement should protect legal rights
>(including intellectual property rights) of the parties, and
>of third parties where applicable. It should contain
>provisions that minimize disputes over rights to use of
>particular domain names, and in the event of dispute, it
>should contain provisions that enhance the orderly and timely
>resolution of disputes.         

This weighs very heavily against the SLD holders/applicants and really stacks
the deck in favour of trademark holders. How on earth does a registrar protect
the IP rights of third parties? The answer I am _not_ looking for here is WIPO's
excluded SLD names list.

Also I think the dispute policy should give benefit of the doubt to the SLD
holder at least in the interval of the proceedings. As it stands now, a domain
can be placed on hold pending resolution. I think the domain should be able
to remain active pending resolution, if only so the SLD holder can begin the
process of redirecting to a new domain. 

Finally, I think each registrar should have the authority to set their own
dispute policy within the framework of the guidelines.

II.G Whois service

I think each registrar should operate it's own whois servers. I don't find the 
concern that the requirement of operating such a server 24x7 to be exclusionary, 
as on a technical level it's the very least that could be expected of a would be 

The level of whois customization registrars provide to their users would become 
another aspect of competition among them. I.e. those that provide full whois 
disclosure vs. those that facilitate complete customization. Having said that, 
I think all should furnish at least minimal information per query, i.e. 
nameservers and registrant.

II.L Application and Accreditation Fees

If somebody wanted to apply for the test run and were unsuccessful, would
their application be carried over to the post testbed pool? Or would they
have to re-apply?

The fixed and variable fees outlined seem reasonable.

Comments on specific questions

Q4: The mechanisms by which new gTLD's are introduced into the legacy root 
servers and an open process (similar to registrar accreditation?) by which
entry of a new gTLD can be initiated.

Q18: Monthly is too sparse, the number of SLD registrants suffering loss as
the result of some catastrophic technical failure would be too high. Suggest
daily updates, or even better, real time.

Q19: No, only data crucial to the delegation of the SLD and it's ownership.
I.e fields described in IV.3.i-x

Q26: Yes

Q27: Some other body. My concern here is that any Code of Conduct formulated
by ICANN will show undo favortism to WIPO and the tradmark holders. 

Q35: not really

Q36: yes

Q42: I think 30 days is a more appropriate timeframe.

|||| mark jeftovic    (MJ177)   ====  http://www.shmooze.net/~markjr     ||||
|||| easyDNS Technologies Inc.  ====  http://www.easyDNS.com		 ||||
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