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Re: [discuss] PASS THE SICK BAG!


The following annotations form a very different sense of the history you cite:

At 04:16 PM 6/13/99 -0400, Antony Van Couvering wrote:
>*The POC was a closed shop, a black box, unreadable and unknowable from the
>outside, intransigent against efforts to open it up and see the
>decision-making process

It held closed meetings, but it interacted with other groups and 
individuals heavily, through a number of channels.  Its work was modified 
many, many times by the feedback received, including the very public and 
open 'request for comments' process that it ran prior to making major 

That's not closed.

>*Making everyone sign the gTLD-MoU before they got to play was an horrific
>miscue and an affront to Internet stakeholders (hence my attempt to
>introduce a very watered-down "gTLD-MoU lite", consisting of a few
>unobjectionable principles - alas, to no effect).

There is a different between signing a document to become a member of an 
advisory body, versus having to sign it before being listened.  The former 
is what happened.  The latter is not.

>*If the POC hadn't forced CORE to charge $10K to anyone who wanted to become
>a registrar, which was done just to make sure that "unstable" people didn't
>join, but instead had charged, say, $500, like Nominet does in the UK, we
>wouldn't have had the Green Paper, the White Paper, or the ICANN, which is
>starting to act just like POC, but with less excuse since they have already
>seen that kind of thing fail.

It might be amusing to try to list all of the entirely different opinions 
that have been put forward, strongly and rigidly, with the primary message 
being "if the IAHC/POC had just done this ONE thing differently, then 
everything would have been fine."  There are reasonable, serious and strong 
arguments, for and against, each of the actions taken.  It is impossible to 
be sure which of them is right or wrong and what changes in those decisions 
would have changed the outcome.

My own belief is that none would have, due to the massive Washington 
lobbying that was going on, beyond the ken of any really public process.

>*Basically, NSI did try to torpedo the gTLD-MoU, but that's not why it

Right.  NSI and a couple of other companies' high paid lobbyists had no 
effect at all upon the White House...

>*That it's just possible that NSI doesn't realize how horribly they've
>treated everyone, that they actually think they're the good guys, and that
>therefore they should be encouraged to become part of the community and stop
>playing the spoiler.

That's pretty much an accurate assessment about the line staff at NSI.  It 
is not at all correct about the senior management, which is not nearly as 
naive or "community oriented" as you would paint them.  They are trying to 
protect a cash cow and they are doing everything they can think of to 
accomplish it.

>*That the POC has mostly itself to blame for the Green Paper and the White
>Paper and the plodding interference of the U.S. Government.  Do you think
>Magaziner *wanted* to step into this minefield?  All you had to do was let a

Actually, yes he did.  He has a track record of such mis-steps.  And the 
Green Paper shows quite clearly that a) he didn't perceive it as a 
minefield, and b) he likes to micromanage.  The White Paper reflects his 
learning that he made a mistake, albeit too late to be of benefit to the 
Internet community, since the Green Paper fully destabilized the 
well-established authority of IANA.

>*The only reason NSI plays at all in this sandbox is because the only
>gorilla larger than it, the US Govt., is standing over it with a big stick.

The particular part of the US government that is the REALLY big stick is an 
anti-trust action in the US courts.  If NSI slips up and demonstrates too 
well that they are acting on their own rather than under color of the US 
government, they can kiss their monopoly good by.  To protect their 
position, they have to give some ground.

The ground that NSI is being made to give leaves NSI in an astonishingly 
good and unreasonable place.  It leaves them as a commercial monopoly at 
the back end -- charging a rate that is a serious multiple of what SHOULD 
be charged -- AND they get to operate as a front-end service too, so far 
with considerably preferential treatment by the back-end service.

This violates basic concepts of competition.  Given Judge Green's behavior 
with AT&T, it is highly unlikely that the US Courts would permit NSI such 
unreasonable advantage.

>Magaziner wanted to get in the middle of this thing?  I know, because I was
>there, that almost any movement toward an accommodation with the gTLD-MoU
>would have led to negotiations that might have got us somewhere.  But no.

Since I was on the IAHC, permit me the benefit of better information than 
you appear to have:  For roughly 5 months the IAHC had regular and 
extensive discussions with the White House and with the major factions they 
reported as being unhappy.  Those discussions resulted in many changes to 
IAHC positions but, somehow, no changes were ever enough.

The real rigidity came from a few, large trademark multi-nationals and NSI.


Dave Crocker                                         Tel: +1 408 246 8253
Brandenburg Consulting                               Fax: +1 408 273 6464
675 Spruce Drive                             <http://www.brandenburg.com>
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