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RE: [ga] Proposed GA Adcom
> > > The NC is the elected body - elected by the Constituencies - to
> > > administer/manage the affairs of the DNSO, and to act as the channel to
> > > the Board.
> > Ah, but there are many who do not feel that they have a constituency for
> > their interests. So we need to be careful not to think that the NC is
> > perceived by all as being a broad-based entity.
> Tell me more. Is the issue the Individual Domain Name Holders
> constituency - which I support - or something else ?
Something else... (And I really appreciate that you are asking. It's a
nice change from the confrontational politics we all seem to be sucumbing
(As everyone may or may not know, the IDNO is recovering from some very
painful growing pains and is organizally somewhat under the weather.
(How's that for euphemisms? ;-) In any case, I expect it to recover.)
But the IDNO isn't the issue (although it is part of it.) (And I might
add that the IDNO is very concerned about the thought that it might have
to raise several thousands of dollars in order pay DNSO constituency
We really ought to recognize that the 7 constituencies represent a
snapshot of what someone thought are important DNS interest groups.
But as we have seen there are several kinds of gaps in that coverage.
First, there's the issue that is near to my heart, that of finding a place
for individuals - and not merely ones who "own" domain names (that's the
IDNO) but also for those who actually use domain names. This is a
somewhat vague group, and their interest is mainly formed from notions of
ease of use of the net, but there is also a large interest in terms of
"opportunity value". I personally feel that there ought to be a voice to
represent those who could wake up one day and say "hey, I'd like to do
something on the net and I need some name to put onto my Internet flag".
A case in point is "yahoo.com" - it started life as a hobby by a couple of
Stanford students. Another example of "opportunity" interest is indicated
by eBay.com - it started out as someone's hobby collecting Pez dispensors.
An additional aspect of that somewhat vague concern is that of the yet
unspoken needs of those people who live in the yet underdeveloped parts of
the world. I'm very concerned that when this new medium finally is widely
deployed everywhere that people in those nations don't wake up to discover
that they are too late and that all the good things have been pre-empted
or taken. Perhaps I'm being condescending or paternalistic, but I feel
that the DNSO really needs to actively encourage advocates of those
communities which are not yet today on the net. I don't know how to do
that very well, but I think having a wide open door with a big "welcome"
sign wouldn't hurt. And I suggest that our current constituency scheme
presents a rather contrary image.
Another group that seems to have been left out are small businesses. They
are swamped by the big guys. And there may well be a strong
differentiation of interest between local business that indend to stay
local and local businesses that want to use the net to engage in worldwide
Also, there is a skewing even within the chartered constituencies. For
instance, intellectual property is important to two groups - those who
"own" the property and those who use it. (We often forget that the legal
foundation of marks contains a strong element of protecting the consumer
of goods and services.) Tand there is a tension between the needs of
those who own trademarks and the consumers of goods and services that
those marks identify and distinguish: mark owners generally want the most
broad application of their mark while consumers needs are often best
protected by highly focused marks. And the concepts of
dilution/tarnishment are not necessarily in the interest of those who
consume marked goods and services.
Yet, the IP representation in the DNSO is primarly representative of those
who own marks rather than those who consume marked goods.
Also, lumping churches, schools, community groups, political parties,
artists, free-software-writers, trade unions, local governments etc under
the single umbrella of "non-commercial" both under-represents those groups
and also mixes folks who do not necessarily share a common point of view.
(As a case in point - the theatre group I do volunteer work for is a
non-profit corporation. Yet it has a budget of several million dollars a
year, employees a significant full-time staff, leases several buildings,
and engages in internet, print, and media advertising. Its point of view
is in many cases more aligned with business interests than with a
child-protection group. Yet both are forced into the non-commercial
I would personally have preferred not to have pre-formed constituencies,
but rather allow coalitions to form, evolve, and disolve over time.
Finally, the DNSO really does have a strange balance of groupings. Where,
for example, is a place for those who write (and often give away) Domain
And why should all non-commercial groups be lumped into one bucket while
registries/registrars are microscopically subdivided so that, as a net,
they get multiple constituencies?
There is, of course, no perfect structure that everyone is going to agree
to. But the current form of the DNSO is seen by a significant number of
people (and organizations) as being a very exclusive club.
I submit that it is likely that DNS policy is going to be subjected to
political review in various nations. I'm hoping that the work the DNSO
does will be wise and good. And if it is, I would hope that it not be
torn down or fragmented because of opposition by those who are opponents
mainly because they were not allowed to participate fully in the