Registries Stakeholder Group
The gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group Corp. (RySG) is a Stakeholder Group within the Contracted Parties House under ICANN's GNSO. It represents the interests of the gTLD Registries currently under contract with ICANN and provides them with gTLD Registry Services. It also facilitates communication among the gTLD Registries and voices the views of the Registry Constituency to the GNSO Council and the ICANN Board of Directors, with a special emphasis on ICANN consensus policies, which relate to the technical reliability, interoperability and the stable operation of the Internet or DNS.
The most current and contentious debate between the Registry Stakeholder group and ICANN has been over the Registry Agreement related to New gTLD operators. Many members can be seen to represent not only their own applications but those of their clients, though forthcoming registry operators have also formed the separate New TLD Applicant Group within ICANN.
The RySG seems to be most strongly opposed to ICANN's attempt to integrate a "unilateral right to amend" into the Registry Agreement. The point would give the ICANN Board to amend the Agreement with a 2/3 majority vote, under the current registry agreement special amendments need the approval of registries representing two-thirds of all registry fees paid to ICANN before they became law. The RySG claims that ICANN is essentially doing away with the bottom-up multistakeholder model in favor of a restructuring that does not rely on GNSO policy development. ICANN and its defenders claim that the change is necessary given the large amount of new registries to be created and prepare for any future Registry Agreements, where getting hundreds of operators to agree will be near impossible as evidenced by the 18 months spent working on the most recent Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). The RAA put forth by ICANN around the same time as the Registry Agreement has an identical "unilateral right to amend" clause.
Organization and Membership of the RySG
The membership of the RySG is open to all TLD Registries. Registries must apply for membership via the application process. Every Registry needs to identify a Voting Delegate and, if desired, alternate Voting Delegates. The membership application can be found on the RySG website at: https://www.rysg.info/join-us
Funding for the RySG is provided by its members. Every member joining the Group needs to pay an initial membership fee as well as a fixed annual membership fee and a variable annual membership fee as per the schedule of the RySG. A member loses its voting rights if it fails to pay the fees as previously invoiced within thirty days after a written notice of non-payment.
Structure of the RySG
The RySG consists of an Executive Committee, which is comprised of a Chair, an Alternate Chair, and a Treasurer. The main responsibilities of the Executive Committee are to facilitate policy coordination meetings, to support the GNSO Council and the ICANN Board, as requested by ICANN, and to manage and administer elections.
- Donna Austin, Neustar, Chair
- Samantha Demetriou, Verisign, Vice Chair, Policy
- Beth Bacon, PIR, Vice Chair, Administration
- Jonathan Robinson, Afilias, Treasurer
GNSO Council Representatives
The following individuals represent the Registry Constituency and its views within the larger Generic Name Supporting Organization:
- Keith Drazek, North America, October 2015 - AGM 2016
- Donna Austin, Asia Pacific, October 2014 - AGM 2016
- Rubens Kuhl, Brazil, October 2015 - AGM 2017
For the sake of collaborating on vital issues of common interest within the RySG, members self-organize themselves into different Interest Groups. The main responsibilities of these specific Interest Groups is to nominate candidates for GNSO Council Representatives, participate in the GNSO policy development processes, and develop position statements with special emphasis on the ICANN consensus policies.
Prior to the GNSO restructuring, the Registries Stakeholder Group was known as the Registry Constituency. It was comprised of the registry operators for the .net, .org, .name, .com, .pro, .museum, .aero, .coop and .info gTLDs, which were the only TLDs at the time.