2019-01-06

News Review | ICANN EPDP Timeline: Final Report Due Feb 1, 2019

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2019-01-06 with analysis and opinion: Features • 1) ICANN EPDP Timeline: Final Report Due Feb 1, 2019,  2) GDPR & ICANN WHOIS:  EPDP Meetings and the EPDP Legal Committee,  3) .NET DeclineVerisign $VRSN, and more, 4) ICYMI: California Splinternet, Contract for the Weband more, 5) Most Read.

1) ICANN EPDP Timeline: Final Report Due Feb 1, 2019
EPDP Timeline as of Jan 3, 2019: Final Report due Feb 1, 2019 (source: ICANN.org).
Editor's note--so much to do, so little time left--the Final Report, due Feb 1, 2019, will most likely be a "rush job" written by ICANN staff (as was the Initial Report).  At last week's meeting (Jan 3), it was obvious very few EPDP members have actually read the public comments to the Initial Report, relying instead on ICANN staff summaries and interpretations. The EPDP Legal Committee (see further below) just had its first meeting January 2, 2019. This dysfunctional EPDP is looking more and more like another ICANN GDPR Train Wreck:
Definition of "train wreck" -- a chaotic or disastrous situation that holds a peculiar fascination for observers.
2)  GDPR & ICANN WHOIS:  EPDP Meetings & EPDP Legal Committee
EPDP Meetings were previously scheduled for Tuesday Jan 8, 2019, and Thursday Jan 10, 2019, at 14:00 UTC (9am EST), but may not be held due to a proposal sent by EPDP Chair Kurt Pritz late Friday (Jan 4) to cancel those meetings and have three small groups consider the public comments to the EPDP Initial Report. Read the EPDP leadership's proposal (pdf) and check the EPDP wiki and mail list for further updates as to this coming week's meetings.

For regular EPDP meetings, observers may use Adobe Connect, or browser / app audiocast. Links: EPDP Initial Report (pdf); comments to the Initial Report; Public Comment Review Tool PCRT;  GNSO Council EPDP page and updates; links to all EPDP meetings' transcripts and recordings are on the GNSO calendar. Other EPDP links: wikimail list; action itemsTemp Spec; EPDP Charter (pdf); Data Elements Workbooks (pdf).

Editor's note: see last week's News Review for more info on the January 3rd EPDP meeting, which I summed up by quoting EPDP member and NCSG Chair Stephanie Perrin:
"Let us ask the legal counsel to explain how one goes about elucidating purposes of processing. It is a bit late, but we are a long way from bringing this thing home, in my opinion. Better late than never .... My comment about seeking legal advice, was to try to explain to us what this process is. We do not have a sound methodology, people are all over the map, in my view because they do not really understand what we are trying to do."
At the January 3rd meeting, the EPDP working group did reject the few suggestions they considered from the public comments in regard to "Purpose 1" including my suggested "primary purpose"--
"As subject to registry and registrar terms, conditions and policies, and ICANN consensus policies: to record and maintain records of the names and contact information of domain name registrants."
As noted above, the EPDP Chair sent out a proposal (pdf) late Friday, to not have plenary meetings this coming week and instead have three small teams meet to consider the public comments. The upcoming EPDP face-to-face (F2F) meeting is in Toronto, 16-18 January 2019. After the F2F  meeting in Toronto ends January 18th, the EPDP working group will have only two weeks to prepare and file its "Final Report" by Feb 1, 2019 (see EPDP Timeline above).

The EPDP Legal Committee met Jan 2, 2019, and will meet again on January 9. See also action items and  legal mail list. Initial questions (from the Jan 2 meeting) below:
Question 1: "The EPDP Team also took note of a related footnote which states, “[if contact details for persons other than the RNH are provided] it should be ensured that the individual concerned is informed”. The EPDP Team discussed whether this note implies that it is sufficient for the Registered Name Holder (RNH) to inform the individual it has designated as the technical contact, or whether the registrar may have the additional legal obligations to obtain consent. The EPDP Team agreed to request further clarification from the EDPB on this point. (p. 33 of Initial Report)"
Question 2: "(For the EDPB) If registrars allow registrants to self-identify at the time as a natural or legal person, who will be held liable if the registrant incorrectly self-identifies and personal information is publicly displayed? Apart from self-identification, and educational materials to inform the registrant, are there any other ways in which risk of liability could be mitigated by registrars? (p. 53 of Initial Report)."
Question 3: "As noted below, the EPDP Team disagreed about the application of Art. 6(1)b, namely, does the reference ‘to which the data subject is party’ limit the use of this lawful basis to only those entities that have a direct contractual relationship with the Registered Name Holder? Similarly, in relation to Art. 6(1)(b), questions arose regarding how to apply “necessary for the performance of a contract”; specifically, does this clause solely relate to the registration and activation of a domain, or, alternatively, could related activities such as fighting DNS abuse also be considered necessary for the performance of a contract? The EPDP Team plans to put these questions forward to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) to obtain further clarity in order to help inform its deliberations. (p. 57 of the Initial Report)."

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a.  The Continuing Decline of  gTLD .NET: Verisign's second-largest top-level domain .NET has been declining in total registrations for 3 years now (2016-2018), from a total of 15,805,487 (Jan 2016) to beginning 2019 with only 13,956,864 .NET domain name registrations, a decline of 12% or almost 2 million .NET domain name registrations. Editor's noteCause? Price-gouging by both ICANN and Verisign, plus a diminution of need (rationale) for any defensive registrations in the face of a glut of hundreds of new gTLDs, i.e., "if you have the .COM, that's all you really need."
gTLD .NET decline in domain name registrations 2016-2018
gTLD .NET decline in domain name registrations 2016-2018
Thanks to its .COM monopoly (which continues to grow in total registrations), Verisign $VRSN was among the best performers of 2018 among the NASDAQ-100--$VRSN up 29.6% in 2018 (sources: FactSet.com and Marketwatch.com):
$VRSN
b. Where Have All the Vowels Gone? | NYTimes.com: "... tech companies like Tumblr and Flickr arrived on the scene, dropping e’s both for distinctiveness and because the altered names made it easier to trademark, claim [.COM] domain names on the internet and conduct other practical business."

c. How to: Build a photography website in 2019…what you need to know--emulsive.org. See also  fstoppers.com--"Trademark for Photographers: Protecting Your Brand and Photography Business."

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News:  California Splinternet & More
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. California Splinternet: California May Soon Get Its Own Version Of The Internet--wired.com.
 Many Splinternets

b.  Fair Use Continued to Bear the Weight of Protecting Speech and Innovation--2018 in Review | eff.org. See also Data Privacy Scandals and Public Policy--eff.org, and Encrypting the Web to Encrypting the Net--eff.org.

c. The Internet Became Less Free In 2018. Can We Fight Back?--wired.com.

d. Government of India Wants Tech Companies To Give Law Enforcement 24-Hour Access To User Data And Broken Encryption--techdirt.com. See also133 Internet Shutdowns by Governments in India 2018--thecitizen.in, and Proposed rule changes for online platforms--indianexpress.com.

e. New Web Contract--France is the first country to sign a new "web contract" which aims to make the internet accessible, safe, and reliable worldwide--southeusummit.comEditor's note: for more info go to Contract for the Web | contractfortheweb.org:
 Contract for the Web

f. is for faster--year after net-neutrality’s repealinternet is faster than ever?--bostonglobe.com.

5) Most Read this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com

-- John Poole, Editor  Domain Mondo 

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