Board Activities and Meetings
Transcript Part II - EC-POP Meeting with ICANN Board Members
[??]: I think one of the problems which has to be solved in the near future, but don't look for the initial board to solve it right away. Like, maybe I may bring in some of the discussion I am aware of on the trademark issue and the definition of the famous names. I believe that the business community and the international community has itself some obligations to give clarity on this.
As on other occasions, the ICANN board or the ICANN organization will be the enabler to keep a continuous growing and stable Internet. But many of the issues are either political issues or are copyright issues, trademark issues, or international policy issues to be dealt with on an international level. And what I've learned up to now is that I am, and Jon Postel and others, and let's say the Internet community at large has been able to solve these problems, to work their way around without referring to international treaties, and using what was available. And I believe that at least I would like to work and build ICANN in that tradition, to set a not-for-profit private corporation which can stimulate discussion, can guide to solutions without referring to international treaties and government like structures.
Michael Schneider: Thank you. I am very pleased to find that Keith Gymer is going to make a statement. Hopefully he will follow up to what he said earlier and to the ICC's position, for example, on the SOs. Thanks.
Keith Gymer: I'm not going to follow up on that immediately. I was actually going to pick up on this issue of the ccTLDs and the ISO3166 lists that Bob, I think, very helpfully clarified. Because I noted that Boudewijn, in his presentation, stated explicitly that there is no difference between ccTLDs and GTDLDs other than in the perception of the user. And I think that's very important to remember for the board in the future. And I hear exactly what Hans said, that it's obviously not something that the board wants to leap into considering. But you certainly shouldn't . . . Speaking from the business perspective, where we're moving to a situation where we're seeing these ISO3166 TLDs being used in a way which is not the traditional method of association with a geographic region or the country or location, but a ________ gTLDs. Those do raise issues which are common to the same sort of concerns that arise in relation to the existing gTLDs and any future gTLDs. In that instance, I think it would be very difficult to say that because you happen to be on the ISO3166 list, you should be treated to some special level of autonomy which doesn't apply to other gTLDs. And I think that issue needs to be looked at as a policy issue in the future. It's one that shouldn't be discounted in saying, oh no, total autonomy for anyone on 3166 list. I don't think that would be appropriate.
Michael Schneider: I think this requires a statement of one of the ccTLDs or CENTR.
[??]: It's on the agenda. But what I can say within CENTR, the constituency of CENTR, the members now, I think all of them are operating in the style of the sense that the ccTLD is something on a national level. That doesn't imply automatically that it's not allowed for a ccTLD to register some name coming from abroad. But that's not the rule.
But there are many ccTLDs within CENTR that are explicitly having a rule that those who are not incorporated in the country are not allowed to have a name under that ccTLD.
Michael Schneider: Thank you. Daniel Karrenberg?
Daniel Karrenberg: Daniel Karrenberg again, RIPE-NCC. I'd like to . . . As somebody not involved in names . . . But I've historically been involved with some of the ccTLD conflicts and things like that. I'd like to, for those who are relatively new to this game, put Bob Shaw's comments into perspective because while they're all true, everything that he has said is true, the vast majority of the ccTLDs, as far as I know at least, are operated in the sense that Boudewijn has sketched. By some entity that's within that country, that very importantly accepts the jurisdiction of that country and requires a registrant to accept the jurisdiction of that country which is very convenient, you compare it to gTLDs who have to operate on a global level. So you shouldn't . . . While everything that Bob has said is true, you shouldn't get the impression that the whole ccTLD ISO3166 system is falling apart or is being taken over by interests that wants to turn them into gTLDs.
That is certainly happening, and it's a result of the shortage of genuine gTLDs. But that doesn't mean that ccTLDs that are operated properly have no legitimacy at all. To the contrary.
Michael Schneider: Okay, Esther?
Esther Dyson: Yeah. As everybody has pointed out, we have a lot to learn, and we come to this knowing very little. But I do understand that it's the fact that things worked okay previously doesn't mean that we don't need to start thinking about how to make some more formal rules and deal with things a little more explicitly than was done in the past.
I personally find this issue of ccTLDs fascinating intellectually, as well as being an important issue. And I see the ccTLDs, especially the weirder ones, as models of what we might either want to consider or avoid. But to the extent that they exist, they are kind of a lab for different policies. And so I think we're going to spend a lot of time trying to understand this, not simply in order to make policy, but to actually look at it as kind of a set of experiments in how things work and do not work without encouraging people to go wild. And then see whether from that we can, in consultation with all the parties affected, start becoming a little more explicit and a little more directive about what should be happening.
And so, of course, we welcome all kinds of input and actual information about what is really happening with a variety of these ISO3166 TLDs.
Michael Schneider: Thank you. Any additional questions or remarks? Please.
Paul Kane: My name is Paul Kane. I'm coming here wearing a number of hats, one of which we administer a number of small ccTLDs on behalf of national governments. And actually at the Boston meeting, an administrator of a ccTLD came forward and asked if we would administer theirs.
The issue I would like to back up, really what Daniel and Boudewijn said . . . It is relatively easy to have a restrictive practice, only to reserve ccTLDs for nationals. However, it is also very easy for third parties to act as effectively nominee holders of ccTLDs to circumvent such regulation. And through experience, it is easier to have an open-door policy with policies well defined so that should someone violate the rights of third parties, they are fundamentally nailed. And that, in itself, is effectively like a self-regulating, self-policing activity.
Wearing another hat, we are fundamentally a data processing house, and we run databases for a number of G7 information society[??] projects. Some 935,000 users currently are in our system. And the thing that is fundamental to all users, I believe, on the Internet, is stability. And I would urge that if ICANN is considering any changes, it does so very slowly, rather than potentially suggesting policy for comment a little possibly prematurely.
And whilst I agree that there is need for some ccTLDs to have a direct, possibly an agreement with the ICANN board, possibly such things should be clearly thought through on a longer-term basis. And possibly by the fall board of ICANN rather than the interim board. Just a few thoughts. Thanks.
Michael Schneider: Thank you. I should like to encourage the other speakers to limit their statements to one or one and a half minute, due to time constraints, please.
Philip Sheppard: Thank you. It's Philip Sheppard here from AIM, the European Brand Association. I'd just like to raise one word, which is that of trust. The way businesses, successful long-term in the past has been where you build consumer trust. This is going to be no different on the Internet, and trust in electronic commerce is absolutely essential.
Where trust is undermined is where you have deception and where you have confusion. And I think where we've seen uses of country codes as pseudo gTLDs is precisely where there was intentional deception and intentional confusion. I think it does the long-term future of the Internet no good at all if we are sort of happy with that sort of thing in the past. Because we must be looking to the future and, in particular, to our responsibilities I think here, in saying that user trust on the Internet should be the fundament for the ICANN board wishes to establish. And therefore, removing abuse like this misuse of the ISO codes, I think, should be a very important principle that I would like them to consider at the earliest possible stage.
Michael Schneider: Thank you. Any other statements? Please.
Siegfried Langenbach: My name is Siegfried Langenbach. I am coming from Germany and speaking on behalf of myself this time. Esther and Hans mentioned some timeframes they were thinking of. And I would like to know a little bit more about these, about your imaginations of the next steps, when the supporting organization should be installed, when they, in your opinion, should start activities.
Esther Dyson: To be honest, probably slower than we expect. We'd like to do this, as I mentioned earlier, as quickly as possible, but not before these supporting organizations are ready. And so, as we found with our own establishment, these things often take longer than anybody plans. And I can tell you when our next board meetings are. They are in March and at the end of May. And those are the points at which we make big informal decisions following proposals, open comment, and so forth. And so to some extent, it depends on whether there are SOs ready to be recognized. And we just heard that that may not happen by March, so it may be at the end of May.
[??]: May I add something? Supposing the address part is ready to start and the other was not because they have some problems of whatever it is. Is it assumable that it will start, for example, with the one supporting organization only?
Esther Dyson: Yeah, that's entirely possible they will come in one at a time. And, in fact, that's probably going to be easier in terms of . . . Again, we don't want to make our decisions hastily, and making them one at a time is probably easier. Because when the time comes, we're going to have to hear from at least one supporting organization, possibly several. We're going to have to hear from their critics. It's not a simple send in a form and we'll recognize you kind of process. And we're hearing both do things right away as long as you do them the way we want, and don't do anything at all until you know everything. Don't let the initial board do anything at all. And so, again, we're dealing with a lot of conflicting advice, and we need to operate deliberately and make sure that we earn that trust by doing the right thing and by being seen to do the right thing.
[??]: Allow me a final question to the floor before I ensure that we get our slot in the queue. Not considering the delegation of new gTLDs, and taking into consideration that the issue between the U.S. government and NSI has been settled, does anybody of you see any good reason to rush now with regard to the establishment of the NSO or with regard to any action in the DNS?
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Amadeu Abril i Abril speaking. Personally, I do not understand the question. You say, some reason for rushing into that? The question should be, is there any reason for delaying ICANN doing its work and the supporting organization working? And I would like saying something about what Hans Kraaijenbrink said before. He said, you know, talking about the domain and supporting organization and the participant ____________, I encourage all of you to strike compromises in everything and try to come with agreements.
Well, yes and no. As Bob has said, there are some registries that prefers self-dealing and registering domain names for themselves in the ______________. You will never make these people agree for clear economic reasons. With those that think that about the registration be publicly available in order to make _________ searches and the conflicts resolution policies easier.
You will not make easily compromises between those that think that the data into the database registries are the proprietary right of the registry and those who believe that they are public resources. You will not have easily convincing everyone to agree whether lots of new gTLDs or no gTLDs is the best thing, because there are people on both sides and many of them in between with valid reasons for all of them.
Indeed, making everybody agree 100% is impossible. You will need, as a board, to strike whether is to the side, whether there is 90 or 95% agreement on something, and then you can go forward or not. If not, nothing will happen. Absolutely nothing will happen in the domain name area. And remember, this is your best bet. Protocols and numbers had been run quite smoothly for the last years, and within all these grand plans for ensuring continuity and stability there yet. It probably will be the case in some years, but not yet.
The really sticky question was domain names. And somehow, ICANN's usefulness will be judged with, you know, against the ability of taking reasonable decisions on that that satisfy the larger person of the Internet community and the general business allot [??].
Michael Schneider: Thank you. I allow one further comment on my question, please.
Werner Staub: My name is Werner Staub. I come from . . ., and I speak for myself at this time. When I hear the question rushing or delaying, I very often get the impression that people talk about people just being impatient or people wanting improvements. I don't think that's the situation we have here.
We have a patient here. The best picture that we could use would be a cartoon of the last century by ______________, who pictured doctors quarreling while the patient dies. And that is precisely what I am concerned about.
We have to look at the figures, and the figures are we have in an accumulation of power in some locations, especially in one location, don't need to name it, that is changing the equilibrium progressively so that it is no longer going to be the same thing. We've already seen the results, up to now, in terms of decisions not being possible anymore. Corrections no longer being possible, like if you look at the rights to the NSI database and discussion, it turned out that action came too late. It was no longer possible to correct it, and the power of that basically undocumented ownership, was basically just cast in concrete by dollars. And we have to be concerned about that. This is a moving system, and this system is going to move, whatever we do, even if we do nothing. And if we don't act, we will possibly not be able to recognize it in the future.
Michael Schneider: Thank you. I think those have been two great final statements and I now should like to hand over to Esther Dyson and Christopher Wilkinson for their wrapup and for lunch.
Esther Dyson: Honestly, I don't think we're ready to wrap up yet. I think we will go to lunch and continue the discussion. Most of these issues are combined, and so this has been very helpful, not that it has led us to any decisions, but I look forward to more after lunch. And Christopher is going to . . . Is there anything we need to tell them?
Christopher Wilkinson: I think there are enough people who have been here that have [drop in tape] The cafeteria is on the fifth floor. There are a number of restaurants in the vicinity. We reconvene at 2 o'clock.
Christopher Wilkinson: Good afternoon. Welcome back. Just a few minutes late, I apologize. The moderator for this session will be Thomas Bertrand. He represents the high level strategy group of the electronic telecommunications and related and consumer electronics industries of . . . He's been an active member of the European community panel of participants, many members of which are here present. So let me pass the floor over to him and his speakers, which he will introduce. Madame Géraldine Capdeboscq, a member of the board, has also agreed to reply to the debate on behalf of the ICANN board. But, of course, all the board members and other participants who wish to contribute to the discussion in the time available will be able to take the floor. Over to you, Thomas. Thank you.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you, Christopher. Just as a lead in, my name is Thomas Bertrand, and I am representing, today, the HLSG, as Christopher said, the high level strategy group. This is made up . . . Essentially, this is a . . . For lack of a better term, a working group made up of Etno [??] which is network operators in Europe, ECTEL, which is communications equipment manufacturers, Eurobit, which is IT equipment manufacturers, as well as SATEBU which is broadcasting in cable operators. And, of course, ECAM which is electronic consumer products in Europe. So there are five different trade associations which are working together within the HLSG, particularly on standards, strategic standards issues. And this is, obviously, a topic of great interest to us.
I hope you all enjoyed your caloric intermission, and that between the cold outside and the number of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau still circulating, I hope that we can have a bit of an energized session this afternoon.
From the HLSG perspective, I would like to provide support today. We give our support, today, to the ICANN organization. We believe that it should reflect the role of IANA. This was a body that has continued to provide the administration and numbering functions of the Internet. This is a critical role to our businesses. It is also vital that this transfer take place in a timely manner. It is also very important that it remain. We welcome this session today, and we believe it's important this level of transparence continue. And I understand from Esther's earlier presentation, this is the plan. We welcome that decision.
There also has to be a very efficient and effective body in place because the level of innovation today taking place will put significant demands upon this body in terms of . . . Just as an example, next year, a number of very large PC manufacturers will be integrating high-speed Internet modems as a standard component in a number of their PCs, the home PCs, etc.
Another issue is, for example, is the fact that wearable computers are no longer science fiction films or very specific applications. These are applications that will be hitting the market within the next couple of years. So these will put enormous pressures on a body which is there to serve the administrative function. And stet need to be aware of that in designing this body or implementing the design in terms of being flexible to the requirements or the needs this type of innovation will create.
I must make one point in that I would have preferred to have seen more representatives from ICANN at the meeting. I understand, though, that while we're here discussing the question of ICANN, most of the other reps are back in the U.S. discussing the question of can I? Can I eat more turkey? Can I eat more apple pie in the annual feast of Thanksgiving? That's forgivable. But the point being that for us, the HLSG, most of us are global operators, obviously, and we have a global focus. There is no regional issues or divide for us, so we need to see that it is the operation of the ICANN body. I see no reason why it wouldn't be so.
Let me move quickly into our presentation. We have a very broad topic: industrial end-user aspects. And I let the speakers define a bit of the issues so that we can move quickly into a discussion following that. Our first speaker will be Cecilia Jorgensen from IT Finance where she has been a managing director. Our second speaker will be Christian Van der Valk, who is here from ICC, the International Chamber of Commerce, where he is a deputy director of policy commissions. And finally, Géraldine, from the board of ICANN, will present briefly. Can I ask Cecilia to start please?
Cecilia Jorgensen: Good afternoon. I would just to like to give perhaps a few background about myself. IT Finance is a company specializing in Internet training for senior management. This was started in late '95, and before that, I was a Vice President for J.P. Morgan. For your information, I am also the chairperson for the forming committee of the Internet Society chapter of Belgium, which is, in fact, going to get started now in December. So whoever is interested in joining us, we are very happy to see you.
Well, I was ________ only two days ago by the European commission to speak about user issues. It means that my observations are fairly rapidly pulled together. Before we get started, I would like to define the word user. And I've, in fact, drawn a little model here that we are going to work from which shows, in fact, what's happening in our society today. I'm going to do it very fast, don't worry. We're talking about the information age society and what does that mean? Does it work?
What it means is that we have a big change process taking place. The change process is driven by Internet technologies. And you see that one in the middle, a round ball, it's not very round, but this was not me drawing it. This represents the driving force of our society today. And in that little ball are all people involved in the Internet systems. I think you're all here today, the registrars, the DNS systems, the telecom providers, it's all a whole series of organizations and providers helping to drive the new information age process.
So, the three balls around this Internet which is pushing them, who are they? Well, the first one is up to the righthand corner. It's basically what I call . . . It's pushing the lifestyle changes of individuals. The catch word is empowerment of the individual. The individual is now able to purchase on the Internet. He can have communication all over the world. I mean, I don't have to give you the whole list of items that the individual can do today which he couldn't do before Internet came into place.
And that lifestyle change drives changes as well into the little ball at the bottom, and that is strategy. Company strategies have to change in order to meet the new behavior of the individual. So that is the strategy at the bottom there, and then we have the ball up there to the left that is the organization itself. New organization structures are needed.
And today, what I am going to speak about is the lifestyle, because that is the entry point, in fact for most people. The individual end-user. I've identified four, let's say, points that I think is important for the end-user. Now these points are not unique. Nothing is unique today. I mean, we have heard about them many times before. I have just sorted them in a little bit of a different way, perhaps, and I've actually changed my sorting as I sat through these sessions today, because ICANN itself . . . I wasn't quite sure what the mission for ICANN was. And from this morning's session, I can see that there's a very much focus on the technical side. So I'm starting with that, in fact, that one of the four needs of the end-user is a reliable infrastructure. That's what we heard here before. That was one of the missions of ICANN to provide that.
Now in the infrastructure, I also include, of course, not of course, but I also include a good regulatory system. For the user, this is part of an infrastructure that can work. During the round table recently, Sir Leon Britain said, "What we need now are global laws, not detailed national laws. But the laws have to be feasible to implement." The new privacy law in Sweden, where people were prohibited from posting individual stet persons' name on the Internet without their approval, is impossible to implement. Local governments can only control local production, but not local consumption.
When I think about, because I think you are particularly interested, of course, on the ISP registrars and what users wants from them, from ISP, we want to be sure that we are dealing with correct people. And I can give you an example in Belgium. The Internet Society Association, the ISPA, the Internet Service Providers Association, they have created a certain document called codes of conduct. I think that's an excellent initiative, and I'm sure that perhaps it exists in other countries.
The registrar in Belgium, Professor Verbaten [??], happens to be an ideal person. He is very ethical, he has got a great sense of responsibility, and he can, himself, be an arbitrator on domain name issues. But is that . . . So in all countries, I don't know. At least some kind of function has to exist which ensures that these organizations are behaving in a good way to the end-users.
So that was the infrastructure. Secondly, what the end-user needs is some kind of consumer protection. I can see a model which probably could be of interest to ICANN, although it might not be in your mission, eh? And that is the Security and Exchange Commission. I don't know if you have heard about that one. It's an American organization that is there to protect the private investors. So you can really feel that you can go to them for complaints if you felt that you were misled in your share purchases or any other thing.
And this organization is extremely busy to track down Internet fraud now on investments. I think that is a very good model that should be needed for Internet as well. And I think ICANN would be the ideal organization for that, because we need one organization, and this is what we have. And I think it's the common denominator for all of us when it goes to Internet.
Other organizations that could help in that is the Internet Society. This is a very very important end user organization which I am actually starting myself, as I said. But they have chapters in nearly 30 countries, and there are new ones starting all the time in formation.
The consumer protection should also include, let's say, lobbying for more reasonable prices on the telecom companies. I can give you, again, Belgium as an example, which I know the best. We pay $3.00 almost, per hour, for a connection. Now that is pretty bad if you want to promote the Internet development in Belgium, especially when you look at the United States, where you can call for free. So immediately we're going to see some very awkward and unfair, let's say, treatment of Internet users. And somebody needs to think about these issues. And I think as I said, ICANN would be a perfect organization for that.
Okay, the third item that I'm talking about which might be a bit detailed here, but we need to have meaningful ground rules. With ground rules, I mean not really loss, but let's say common conduit. And somebody has to put them down somewhere on a piece of paper. Today, we are self-governed, and I think it works fine, but it works even better if we can somehow put it down on a piece of paper. I'm just giving a few examples.
Unsolicited mail. There are easy ways to stop that. Two, intelligence ordering[??] cookies, I mean, you know, users are concerned about being tracked for their behavior and who they are. But they are not all bad either. It sometimes is good to get targeted advertising for _______ perhaps, so it's not all bad things. But again, somebody has to put some kind of rules in place not only sort of hoping that everybody is following these standards.
And talking about standards, we also have commercial ethics. I don't know how many of you have not been stuck with an online subscription and not being able to cancel it. I have. I tried for eight months to cancel my MSNBC subscription, and this is a serious company. Finally, I call American Express, ask them to stop my credit card, and they said, can't do it. You have to cancel your whole card, otherwise we cannot do it. Now that is a problem, I think, too.
And then, of course, we have harmful content and I'm more particularly thinking of parents, children, children getting access to pornography. And, also, the sheer nature of Internet with its interactivity, where these children can participate in chat rooms with nobody supervising them. I think that's a serious problem where we need also to have some rules or some kind of a supervisory system.
The fourth item, which is my pet favorite, that is called the need for education. That is absolutely critical. We cannot just have a whole work generation growing up just by learning themselves. I call it not being able to eat with knife and fork. I mean, I have been into the Internet world here since '95, and I find it sort of very complex. I mean, it's people communicate their thoughts and it's hundreds of papers, there is no structure, and we need to have some kind of improved education in that area. That's my opinion. And also, for the parents, again, who is supposed to check what their kids are doing.
Also for regulators, if you want to regulate, you have to understand what it is. And that is why we have put the little arrow into lifestyle. If you want to enter this whole information age, which comprises all of these four balls, you have to know, yourself, how this works. That is what I teach the senior managers who are already extremely isolated in their organizations. They'd rather stay completely away than to be part of it. But I just spoke over lunch, and you said that soon everything in the company will be posted on the Intranet, which is another topic. So you have to know how to do it. Pensioners are getting on with it too now. They are also learning how to use this tool.
Finally, I would like to, then, in this context, quote U.S. Senator McGovern who said recently, "There are three issues that block the development of Internet. The first one is education. The second one is education. And the third one . . ." I'm not going to say it. I think that's all I had to say. If you have any questions, I would be happy to take them.
Thomas Bertrand: I think we'll save the questions for the end. Can you please get the . . . I appreciate your help. Thank you Cecilia for a very interesting point of view from the stakeholder point of view, the stakeholder point of view of a user which we don't hear very often, especially the end-user. I need to reply immediately, though, as being a representative of an industry, the HLSG, I need to reply immediately in saying that we do not foresee . . . We certainly do not wish that the ICANN become involved in these rather global policy issues. ICANN has clearly an administrative task in front of it, and it needs to focus in doing that task as best as possible in the shortest time as possible. I think many people agree on that. I'm not making anything astounding a pronouncement here. But we would certainly not support the role of ICANN into these policy issues such as security, data protection. There are other ways . . .
[??]: Content control.
Thomas Bertrand: Content, etc., thank you. I think you might have had a reply as well. You asked to make a reply. [Drop in tape] Then I would like to move on, then, perhaps, then, from my point of view, from ICC. Christian? Thank you.
Christian Van der Valk: Right. Okay. I was. Good afternoon, everyone. I was even more unfortunate, because I only found out that I would be a speaker this morning. So during part of the morning session, I put together a very small PowerPoint presentation on partially what the ICC is, just for your general information, and a few words about the ICC's views on some of the governance and domain names issues that we've been talking about.
As a general introduction, the ICC is a . . . We call ourselves a world business organization, and I think that's justified. The ICC represents all types of business in about 130 countries. And if I say all types of business, it includes shipping companies, insurance companies, but also ISPs and anyone who would call himself a business is welcome to join the ICC. And companies throughout the world have been doing that for about 80 years now, to do mostly, one of the things that we've been talking about in the context of Internet and electronic commerce quite a bit, and that is self-regulation.
For 80 years, the ICC has been producing rules that apply to international transactions and business, globally, in quite a large number of fields that are not only being respected by business, but also being respected by governments and courts of justice throughout the world, applied as though it is the law.
So self-regulations, one of my main points . . .
Christian Van der Valk: . . . last centuries, if not for much longer since the beginning of all commercial activity.
The ICC is, and I have to apologize, my battery has run out, so I have to look at my own slides behind me, the ICC is also operating the largest commercial arbitration court in the world. We settle hundreds of multibillion-dollar cases every month. And the ICC, obviously, is interfacing with global government organizations such as the U.N. and the U.N., agencies. Next slide, please.
This also, then, looking at what the ICC has been doing as general background, in the field of electronic commerce, we have been developing sort of extending that traditional ICC role into the field of electronic commerce. We've been active in that doing self-regulation for EDI. And today, we have produced a number of rules, guidelines, and codes in different fields relating to electronic commerce that are being applied by commercial players, again, throughout the world.
Finally, one of the things I would like to mention is that at the OECD ministerial that was held last month or two months ago, the ICC together with a large number of other global business organizations, put together what we call the global action plan for electronic commerce. That was supported by about 200 other organizations that tries to set out, comprehensively, which issues need to be addressed in electronic commerce, and by whom, in order to get a clearer picture of what the respective agendas of business, business organizations, and governments and governmental organizations are. Next slide, please.
Then in the field of Internet governance and domain names, the ICC has pulled together about a year and a half ago an international task force of business people from all continents that look at the different issues involved. And they have articulated as their main objective or the main objective of the transition that we're talking about here, and as the development of an effective, stable and equitable system of Internet government and the domain name administration. Next slide.
You will have seen . . .If not, I would encourage you to go and pick one up. At the table at the door, we have made available copies of the ICC's foundation paper called ICC Principles for An Electronic Commerce Friendly Domain Name System. This slide just briefly summarizes some of the objectives that that paper sets out from a business and user point of view.
The ICC, traditionally, is a great supporter of competition. One of the things that was not mentioned here, but obviously runs throughout this presentation, I hope, is the need from a business user point of view, competition. And competition is absolutely essential for this tool to work and even for governance to work.
Stability, integrity, and security. Obviously, again, it was said before from a user, from a sort of general business point of view, are absolutely essential issues. Predictability and certainty are part of that.
Secondly, we believe that business is the primary force of future investment in the Internet. It creates and trades most of the value that is traded over the Internet. And we feel that business ought to be fully included in not only the processes, but even in the formation of the different processes that we are talking about and we're trying to promote that.
There's a number of other principles that I don't think I should repeat, just to be a little bit brief. I would ask you to pick up one of those papers and read it carefully, if you're interested. I'll otherwise be ready to take questions afterwards. Thank you.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you, Christian. I'd like to have our final speaker then, Géraldine, give us the point of view from ICANN, since this is the reason that we're all here today. Thank you.
Géraldine Capdeboscq: I have been asked to speak about the industrial aspects, probably because I am coming from the industry. You know that I am one of the members of ICANN who are not at all participating in the process before a small number of weeks, I think now. And it is for me and this will be my contribution which is to hear and understand how we can, as well as possible, answer the different questions which are reasoned by all these discussions we have and all the requests which are pushed on ICANN to be solved rapidly.
I understand that while the first point is that for the users, I speak first of the industrial users. Very certainly, a problem which is to be sure that there will be continuity and that the ICANN organization will be able to continue what has been well done by IANA before. And this is ____ be our goal and this is, obviously, an area where we have . . . We are pretty sure that we will have the correct supporter of the technical information and technical organization. And this will be probably done not easily, but very . . . One of the first of our activities.
The second aspect is probably one which I have heard strongly was the relationship with the ISPs. With two kind of questions. The first one was, they want to have an efficient system, and probably there is the question of the relationship between the registries and the common APIs of the relation, the way information will be used through different registries. So this is certainly something on which we will have to work.
The second point which has been strongly mentioned this morning, was the fact that it seems to be a need for very increased number of IP addresses. And this means that we have to work on this subject rapidly. There is . . . It was in the process of establishing our bylaws, probably one of the subjects which was not covered. At the same time, in terms of openness, clarity, and concern about the fact that we ought to take into consideration the needs from each area of the world and have support from different countries.
When we speak of the industrial aspects, also it's inhibitance [??] that industry is commercial and that the key subject will be the relationship with the trademarks and intellectual property organizations. This will be . . . That was by the following round table. So I just mentioned it, but I think this is very important, and it will be one of our preoccupation [??] to create the correct bridges and have the good relationship with those organizations which are working on the different subjects to provide us in this area, as you know the areas, the best information, the best corporation so that we can find the good ways to solve these difficult questions.
For the end-users, the question is how to associate easily the name and the address. And this has also different aspects. It is certainly done by important industries, but there is a lot of potentialities to create newer activities in this area. The end-users want to have the same name everywhere, even if it can be the case for societies, organization. It can be the case for individual users. But it doesn't take the same way to solve this kind of problem, so we have . . . We will have certain need to take council and be informed about the ways to solve these kind of questions.
There will be probably also the need to develop directories in the different registries, or there is a certain number of subjects which have been written and we have to be more informed about it to know what we can do on this subject.
Just to be sure upon the question, behind all of this, we will not be able to deal with all the contents of all the different aspects which were reasoned by the previous interrogators[??]. We want to have the maximum information coming from different organizations dealing on different subjects, and how our real objective will be to take the time and the efficiency and the rapidly, however, the time to come to provoke discussion and consensus and create a ground for solutions which will be as much as possible, based on anonymity, but certainly not always based on anonymity. Very soon based on efficiency and rapidity to answer the needs which are provided by all of you and which will be given to us to solve.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you, Géraldine. That was a very quick ______________ from the end-user perspective to the very broad commercial interest of the International Chamber of Commerce, finally ending up with Géraldine's perspective from ICANN.
I would like to open it up now for questions. Please respect the previous protocol of introducing yourself first and which organization you are from and who you are representing. And the time, yeah. We have a very tight schedule. Questions?
Anthony ________: Thank you Mr. Chairman. My name is Anthony ________ and I wear two or three different hats. The hat I am wearing for this question is chairman of round table three and the ICT partnership organized by DG13. We look at quality of service. It's a term I have not heard. The question is, does either IETF or either one of the associated organizations deal with the quality of service issues? If not, will you be tackling this topic, or is it outside your limit?
And also, among the audience, are there anyone who is interested in working on quality of service, or is there some studies being carried out? Thank you.
Esther Dyson: First, I have a question. Do you mean quality of service in the sense of service quality, or quality of service in terms of protocols for guaranteeing it?
Anthony __________: Yes. Quality of service as seen by the user. In particular, the e-mail and telephony over IP. So it would be the call user's parameters as accuracy, quality of the security aspects, the quality of the mail when you receive ___________ and the way it has been sent, and in the case of telephony it will be quality of speech, etc. It would be those parameters which are of relevance to the user.
Esther Dyson: Someone from the audience may also want to answer. But let me just . . . Pardon? Oh, go ahead. Okay, I want to step back a moment and kind of clarify what ICANN is for.
The example of the Securities and Exchange Commission, I liked in one sense in that although it is U.S. based, investors actually and particularly companies wanting to raise money go to the United States in order to come under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The problem with the Securities and Exchange Commission, of course, is that it is run by the U.S. government. And we are not. We are run by an international board, and, therefore, it's appropriate for us to operate worldwide.
But it is likewise not appropriate for us to deal with a lot of issues, and those include, as noted before, consumer protection, content control, fraud, redress of fraud, service quality, all those kinds of things. They follow from some of the standards that are set by the IETF and the protocols and the protocol supporting organization that we will recognize in due course, but we are not directly connected with those issues. And we are very careful to be controlling only the administration of some of the basic functions. We are not a government, and, therefore, we do not want to take over a lot of government functions. And for better or worse, that is the way we are currently designed.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you. Any other points or questions?
[??]: With this comment from Professor _____, I am one person interested in this aspect of quality of service. As Esther has said, ICANN is not that involved in deciding this aspect. But, of course, there are many many parameters affecting the policy's definition. In establishing criteria for _____________ to become a registry, to become a registrar, and to incorporate the quality of service perspective in those criteria because we are, of course, interested, too, in providing this kind of quality of service.
On the other hand, in the sideline aspects is . . . For instance, in the definition of protocols and standards __________ today is a normal practice, but it's important to insist on to incorporate this interest of quality of service. And I think that the approach, for instance, related, is very familiar in telecommunication. You know very well about the comparable performance indicators that is used in telecommunication business could be translated in some way to the services that leave[??] over Internet. But it's a matter probably more of . . . natural to deal with in some of the supporting organizations.
Esther Dyson: I am going to take the liberty of continuing to talk for a second, partly because what I see as open meetings is that you can actually watch the board learning and discussing these issues. And Eugenio has made some very good points that certainly, quality of service delivered is going to be one of the criteria that we expect to operate in the competing registrars that ultimately will arrive.
One point I would like to make here is that we are very concerned as an organization to foster competition. And our hope is that most of those criteria will be set in the marketplace by competition rather than simply by ICANN or even its designees. We're very much hoping to see a market in which market forces foster these kinds of results. And, of course, we will make sure that somehow that happens.
[??]: Yeah, market forces need not necessarily give you the best of . . . The best it can give you the lowest common denominator. There is a date . . .
Esther Dyson: We'll do that later.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you. Next question, please?
Manuel Hurtado: Thank you, Mr. President. Again, Manuel Hurtado from Asimelec, the Spanish Association of I Space. I see many things are happening here. I would like to speaking in a powerful industry, high space. We deal directly with the consumer, with the user. We talk to them every single day. We may get some needs. We identify part of the needs.
I agree with Esther that . . . Sorry I agree . . . I prefer be auditing by the market in my quality that for any kind of regulations. If I have any kind of bad quality in terms of services, of course I will be out of the market.
Either question is, if in this quality controls, will be a quality control of the process in terms of protocols, _____ elements, all these kind of things that make guarantee correct application , you know, then to give a balance _____ to everyone to protect their business or those situation. In terms of contents, we're dealing here with cultural behaviors, and cultural aspects. We always know that the thing this absolutely ________ in one country will be absolutely forbidding in other ones. So governments, they also have to work in their own way.
We may go to a newspaper stand in different countries and we may buy different items, depending in which country we are. So I would like to encourage IANA, new IANA, the ICANN, excuse me, this is the old _____, ICANN to go ahead and set up the basis and I invite the people on the floor, because at the end, the responsibility will be on our side, to participate in this supporting organizations will be no time to claim if we leave past the time longer, because in the middle time, we will have a lot of conflict that we have to resolve in America's future[??] So, anyway, we would like to encourage ICANN to distinguish between the part that they have to regulate and the part that the market would regulate by theirselves.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you. I don't know if there is a response from ICANN on that or accept that as given? Another question down front?
Erik Huizer: Erik Huizer, Internet Architecture Board. I'd like to go on on what you just said and react to the presentation by Cecilia Jorgensen at the same time, is, indeed, distinguish between the Internet as the information on there and the uses that's made of it. The Internet as a technical entity with its protocols, and the Internet parameters that need to be registered. And ICANN is only going to deal with this last part. ICANN is not, in my view, going to deal with contents of the Internet and regulation of contents, and will certainly not deal with protocols and standards on the Internet.
Let me make it absolutely clear that if there is a protocol standards, protocol supporting organization, and the IETF will be part of that, that we will still decide what standards will be made. And in the traditional way, we will do that in very close cooperation with the market. And with the ISPs and with software and hardware providers, etc. But it's not ICANN that decides what kind of standards we will make. Once we've made a standard and it needs parameters which needs to be assigned and registered, that's when we will ask ICANN to take on that task. It's not the other way around because[??] ICANN is going to decide which kind of standards we are going to make.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you. I had one last question out back?
Fred Eisner: My name is Fred Eisner. I am representing, I think, the European ISPs. I am President and CEO of the Dutch IPSA. I want to go in a bit more on the subject that Ms. Géraldine Capdeboscq raised, and also the rest of the description I heard, because we are largely _________ great concerns about let's say two topics. The relation with ISPs, I share that with Ms. Géraldine Capdeboscq. But I hear relation with ISPs and self-regulation. Those are two terms we hear a lot, last week in the States and also here in Brussels.
As ISPs, we have, let's say, we are looking very critical at that because we are the ones who are running the actual domain name system for all the customers. I think it goes for more than 90% of the people here when you start up your browser and you type in www.icann.org, it's the DNS of your provider, who is providing you with the correct IP address.
So self-regulation, in this business, is very close to us. ISPs . . . I read in the papers, ISPs are considered part of the industry. We are not in the board. There is no supporting organization for that. That's one of the worries we have because we have to implement the policy, we have to do a lot of the technical work, and we do the day-to-day operations. Now we are very glad there was always a very good organization who did that job. There is now standing up another organization who is going to do that job, ICANN . . . We understand it's your problem, but we make it our problem also.
They offered a set of rules, the bylaws. They offered an organization. They offered the board of directors. And they want to do that job for us, for you, for all the world to see. The problem is, the way the things are going and the debate is running, we still have the question when, and if there is a consensus on doing that job. We still think there isn't. There is no general international acceptance, as you might say, because a large part of the Internet industry being the ISP industry, ISP industry is not all Internet industry, but we think ISP industry is a crucial part of Internet industry.
Still have a few problems, and those were also the problems Ms. Géraldine Capdeboscq mentioned. We would like to emphasize them. Because we still think, still after the last change, we still think the rules are inadequate. They are leaving too much open for the board to change at will. And that's, of course, a problem because, the second problem, the board is selected, well, let's say, in a not very transparent process, and still not very open in its decision making.
And we think the board is imbalanced, not quite put together representative, because, well, you can see what I am leading toward. All of the ISP industry is not incorporated in the whole of the decision making. And some other organizations are. That's a bit like . . . It remembers me . . . It reminds me of Animal Farm. We do it for the build[??] and all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. That's why we say, well, the board is a bit imbalanced. And we say either you make the board representative, but then you make it really representative, or you don't make it representative at all, and you choose the members through other criteria. Either way, that's still open to us, it's still open to discussion. But you have to choose. You can't just say, "Well now we made a choice and we call it a consensus." I'd like to state there is no consensus at this time.
Thomas Bertrand: How about a rough consensus? Seriously, though, I understand you have an issue. You have an opinion, but I've been following quite closely the process, and I've seen the ________ letters . . . response made to this particular issue by ICANN, the letter to the United States government, because these issues have been brought up by the Department of Commerce to the ICANN body. And maybe you'll pass that to Esther, but I think these issues have been covered at some length. While they're still valid opinions, I don't know if we need to cover that in great length here. Can I ask . . . ?
Fred Eisner: Well maybe _____ it by interference. We are not asking for a solution as yet. We just think while the process is still going on, while every organization who is putting himself forward to say, "We do a task" or "We have a responsibility," we think, also, the other sounds have to be heard.
Thomas Bertrand: I completely agree. Can I ask someone from ICANN to speak, please?
Esther Dyson: I want to respond in two ways. One, simply to correct a fact. There are, in fact, two members of the board who are intimately connected with the ISP industry: George Conrades was, in fact, CEO of BBN/GTE Internetworking. You may consider that not a representative ISP because it was so large, but it was.
And I, personally, am an investor, and through my fund, own about a third of an ISP in Poland called Poland Online. And I would take exception to that not being considered to be a serious operation. We are an ISP; we have all the same problems every other ISP has, including being ignored. And so, I assure you that there is some representation for ISPs on the board.
Nonetheless, I understand your concerns, and there's a further answer, which is, you're right. We were not elected. That's why we are going to resign within two years, because we should be replaced by people who are elected by an at-large membership and a supporting organization membership. We are going to make sure that the various SOs represent a consensus that includes ISPs in whatever they do, and I would assume that one way or another, the ISPs will also be somehow represented among the at-large membership and maybe more directly.
So, please keep giving us constructive criticism. Do keep giving us advice, and we hope you will find that we're responsive.
Thomas Bertrand: Just on the same subject, please, I see a hand in the back?
Dennis Jennings: Dennis Jennings, University College, Dublin. I have some difficulty understanding some of the contributions in this session. Because it seems to me that people are stating a problem, but not relating that problem to the mechanisms that are being discussed or to the roles and responsibilities of ICANN.
It would seem to me that if the ISPs have a particular concern, then those concerns should be addressed as proposals in the context of either the protocol supporting organization, the address supporting organization, the name supporting organization, or the at-large. But to simply state a problem and dump it and say, "I have a problem," is really not a very constructive way of moving this forward, in my opinion.
Thomas Bertrand: Thank you. I think we'll close here. And I would like to thank the speakers and the ICANN officials. And we can take this up later. There is another discussion at the end with the whole panel. Thank you, again. And I'd like to thank, again, the commission and ICANN for having organized this, what I hope is a number or a series of future open meetings. They seem to be quite useful. Thank you.
[??]: Thank you. Can we have the trademark team on board as quickly as possible. Thank you very much, Bertrand. [Drop in tape]
Keith Gymer: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If we move on, we're running slightly behind so this session will go now till 10 to, so we've only got 45 minutes instead of the original planned one hour. So we'll move on quickly. It's entitled Trademarks and Dispute Resolution, but that certainly wasn't intended to be restrictive and consistent with the scope of the WIPO processes for those of you who are familiar with it. I certainly intend this to be open to discussion of dispute prevention as well as dispute resolution, and if necessary, to touch on the issue of famous marks and gTLDs where they impact on the trademark issue as well.
I don't think there can be many people who aren't aware of the disputes and the types of dispute that are being on between trademark owners and domain name owners. The issue has, as a result I think perhaps wrongly and unfortunately, come to be polarized. It's seen as a polarized debate between owners of trademark rights and domain name registrants at-large. And I think that is actually unfortunate and not one that should be taken forward as I'm sure Geert will go into that further.
There are a number of important initiatives taking place now, pursuant to the white paper, one of which is the WIPO initiative which you should be familiar with, and Francis Gurry will be talking on that for a few minutes later. And there's also a parallel initiative going to be initiated, if it hasn't already been in the States, following Senator Lahey's initiative there, I think, Esther.
And it has been noted since we're in the . . . People have been in the mood for pointing out where they perceive that ICANN board members might not be experts in the issues. Of course, in the trade, various people have suggested that there may not be any ICANN board expertise in trademark issues. I'll leave it to us. Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but it's certainly . . . I'm sure that from a trademark and commercial perspective, we would strongly recommend that the ICANN board takes full note of the WIPO process and WIPO's contribution, because WIPO certainly is an acknowledged expert in that area, and has made strenuous efforts to undertake a very wide consultation process on this issue.
Without any adieu then, in view of the short time, I shall move on and introduce Geert Glas, my first speaker. Geert is from Loeff Claes, Verbeek, a large Belgian law firm, and has been the chair of the INTA Internet subcommittee for the last year. He has also been INTA's representative on POC, and I guess is going to give us a few overheads. So if you could switch them on, thank you.
Geert Glas: Thank you, Keith. Okay. We're actually a totally new team, the gentleman who is putting up the slides and myself, so we'll have to rehearse a little bit as to how that goes. Mostly when I nod my head, it's about time to move the slide. However, I nod my head a lot when I talk.
The first slide which is coming on is actually one of saying, when you talk about the trademark owner's position, what is it not. And when I talk about trademark owners, I have one clear mandate, that is, to talk on behalf of the International Trademark Association, which has about 3 to 4,000 members and about 120 different countries in the world. I do not pretend to be able to talk on behalf of other organizations, although I am aware of the fact that other organizations have views which are similar to the ones that INTA has defended in the past and is defending today.
What is it not? I think it is not as Keith has suggested, a fight. Trademark owners . . . First, there's domain name owners. I think, at some point, people have tried to push both categories or both situations in a different category, and so that's the real fight. We don't think that is true. We think that it's . . . that you do injustice if you portray it that way, because as a matter of fact, a lot of domain name owners happen to have trademarks and a lot of trademark owners happen to have domain names. So I think that's the wrong perception.
The second thing which is not as . . . I do not come here as a representative of the International Trademark Association to say in a Khruschev way, no, no, no. The trademark owner's point of view is not one of an obstinate refusal of any new gTLDs. It's not an obstinate refusal against any change of the current system.
A second no is, or a third no is, we've tried. We're not always successful in that way, but we've tried since day one not to sit on the fence. And INTA was involved in the original IAHC, was involved in POC, and tries to remain involved, because I think that, in a way, sitting on the fence is maybe not the best way to try to influence the process and to have a voice in it.
And fourthly, what we're not about is we're not there to derail the whole process. We're not there to say ICANN has no authority, ICANN should not be there, etc. We're not there to derail it.
Four recommendations is a strong word, but four issues. One, the new gTLDs. In our view, it's something one should not talk about in abstract. You can't really have a debate as to should there be additional ones or should there not, because you have to look at the specific situations. Clearly from a trademark owner's perspective, noncommercial gTLDs are far less threatening than commercial ones. In the old IAHC and then POC plan, there was .nom[??] for individuals in order to prevent that Mr. Dupont [??] basically has his Dupont [??] TLD and then the company Dupont [??] can't have one anymore. I think, clearly, from a trademark owner's perspective, that's not much of a threat.
The same thing with political, religious, and other gTLDs. At the beginning of POC, there was a proposal. Bob Shaw, I think, can testify to that, of I think IATA, who wished to have a .air gTLD, saying, "We are the International, what is it, "Air Transport Association." We have members. We'd like to administer a .air domain space. And we have our rules. I mean not everybody can just become a member of IATA, and we'll just do that.
And clearly, we know that's something that from a trademark owner's perspective, you can't be very much against. So we say let's distinguish between gTLDs. And don't say, they're all good or they're all bad. What we also say is that the WIPO process is probably the first time that people have really looked at the issue in an organized and reasoned way. Because there's been lots of gut feelings about this. I mean people have said I'm convinced that there should be another 100 gTLDs. As people have said, I am convinced there should be none. I think it's the merit of the WIPO process that Francis will talk about that at least for the first time, the questions asked to a lot of people, there is input from a lot of capitals in the world. And we support that initiative fully, and people of the INTA have been both in the experts panel and testifying before. We welcome that initiative.
Which is why we say in the end, as INTA, our approach is what we call a reasoned go slow. Reasoned in the sense that we like there to be a serious debate. We like there to be a little bit evidence as to what is the effect of additional gTLDs on trademarks, etc. And we think that that's what WIPO is doing and what will come out of the WIPO process, which, in a way, is also a hints[??] that we would have a hard time understanding if ICANN or the DNSO would not even await the outcome of the WIPO process before making . . . And make decisions in that regard.
It's a reasoned approach. It's also a go slow approach, because we do believe that should it appear that, indeed, additional gTLDs are necessary or should be implemented, that you should do so not in an avalanche way, but that you should do so in a go slow process, one by one or two by two.
The second issue which is dear to our heart: minimum standards for domain name registrations. It's a little bit of a slogan, but we say, "Accountability means identity." In the sense that if you have a domain name out there, if you want to be active on the Web, well we think that we should know or that as a third party, you should know who is behind a domain name. And people have valid privacy concerns about this.
But our view is that those privacy concerns can be met in a different way and do not outbalance the fact that as a third party, have the right who is the owner of who has a domain name. And so we plead for contact addresses for service of process addresses to know who is this person, who is this company and where can I contact him and, if necessary, where can I sue them because of the content of what's on his Web page or because of the name itself.
We like people to accept the jurisdiction. We like the ISPs to clearly state, in their contract, with whoever signs up a domain name, that by doing so, you do accept the jurisdiction forever of, for example, of that particular ISP. Because there's nothing more frustrating than to have a conflict that's with somebody and to have no place in the world to bring the dispute that you have with that person. And we also plead for an accessible, be it a database or a Web page, but a way of getting that information in a public and clear way.
We don't go as far as I once called somebody who we call a cyber squatter who had registered a couple of hundred . . .