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Re: [wg-c] Choosing the intial testbed
On Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 01:39:53PM -0500, James Love wrote:
> Now if Mark has a plan for getting the DNSO to look after the public
> interest, fine, I'm all ears. I assume it is full of conflicts of
> interest, and the best you can hope for is for various groups to come up
> with something reasonable.
A start would be to scrap the constituency model and move towards a
more open democratic model. The only purpose I can see the
constituency model serving is to limit capture of the various
controllilng boards by any one corporation. The entire model is
broken; while paying lip-service to bottom-up democracy, it's anything
The IETF, often touted here as a model for how the DNSO and ICANN
should operate, isn't a fair comparison. To a very great extent, the
IETF is full of technical experts who may also have a vested financial
interest in the decisions made, but at least have the good taste to
suppress their urge to let that interest guide their decisions most of
ICANN, on the other hand, is pure, unbridled land-grab in the guise of
a technical policy group. Given that, the best we can hope for is
to reign it in at every opportunity, since demolishing it completely
is out of the question.
Does this mean that no progress will be made? of course not. But it
does mean that, if people are successful in restraining the
capitalistic tendencies masquerading as policy decisions, the majority
of the players are going to get upset, and quite possibly exit the
Is this a good thing? I don't know.
The interplay right now is a dynamic tension among all the various
companies, who are out to maximize their profit from this process.
They only thing keeping them in check is their own competition.
Unfortunately, in these types of situations, those without the
financial captial and legal resources (read: individuals) get
left out entirely, because they have no leverage with which to
change the dynamic.
> But I also think the noncommercial constituency is ok. At the Cairo
> meeting, it seemed to be fairly close on policy issues. Maybe this is
> too optimistic, but things seems fairly good at that meeting. I think
> it's become a stronger constituency with the efforts of the Markle and
> Ford Foundations to support NGO involvement too. And, I don't see a
> big conflict with trademark owners in the NC group.
The noncommercial attendees at the Cairo meeting? Which noncommercial
constituency members had enough money and time to travel all the way
to Cairo for just over a day's worth of open meetings? Let's not
forget that noncommercial does not equal individual stakeholder.
They've made that VERY clear. As far as I can tell, the NCDNHC is
full of ISOC chapters and university groups, and several
'questionable' groups, such as Kent's boat club. Just because the
title includes the word "noncommercial" does not exclude the
participants from having a financial interest in these decisions.
Indeed, I do believe several of the NCDNHC members would easily
qualify as members of other constituencies, all of which are
> > > For the voting proposal. ICANN does have a membership system. It is
> > > in place. If there was a "ballot" on 3 TLDS, it would give people a
> > > reason to register as a member. It's open and free right now. It may
> > > have flaws, but compared to what?
> > Actually, the membership system is NOT in place. Nobody has received
> > the mailings that were supposed to follow the initial on-line registration,
> > becuase ICANN has not mailed them yet. There is no At-Large membership,
> > period. ICANN never followed through.
> Well, ICANN has created the mechanism to become a member. Of
> course, having a real vote would require more follow through. Is this
> doable? Of course it is.
It's "doable" but ICANN seems to be unwilling to do it. They already
fear the Great Unwashed Masses enough to have completely changed the
manner in which the public can join the ICANN BoD, and have held up
completing the registration process until some unannounced future
> > > The ballot proposal could include proposals, that included
> > > management systems. If there were more than one management proposal,
> > > you could add the votes to make the "cut" and then have a run off on the
> > > different proposals. Or you could just take the top 3 votes, including
> > > the proposed management structure.
> > The TLDs should be separate from the business model petitions. There
> > is no reason whatsoever to tie them, and to do so may impart both an
> > unfair advantage as well as an illusion of 'ownership'.
> I don't agree completely, although I would be flexible on this
> point. In some cases, the support for a TLD would depend upon how it
> would be used. For example, I would be much more supportive of a .union
> TLD that was restricted or chartered, to an international labor
> organization, and I would for having .union be handled (mishandled) like
> ..org. But others might see it the otherway around.
> Kathy K's proposal for a .RTM TLD, available only to owners of
> registered trademarks, wouldn't make sense if everyone could get it.
This isn't a discussion about business model or registry then; it's
a discussion about whether some (any?) of the new gTLDs will be
chartered, and how that charter will be enforced by the chosen registry,
as well as how said registry will be policed to prevent the .com/.net/.org
> Also, the policy issue of business model or charter is at least as
> important as the string itself, which often isn't that important by
> itself (what was so special about .com or .org, except that they were
> what people could actually get?).
Marketing. It's all marketing, unless there's a charter. And there
was (is?) a charter for .com,, .net, and .org. NSI and others have
long since chosen to ignore it, however.
> The issue of "ownership" of a TLD is of course, pretty fundemental.
> But sometimes, possession is 9/10ths of the law. (Ask NSI).
Funny, you can't tell it by looking at the UDRP process.
Mark C. Langston
Systems & Network Admin
San Jose, CA