[At-Large] [lac-discuss-en] Vistaprint is abandoning .vista

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Mon Jul 16 19:18:19 UTC 2018

Roberto: As you know I've been in opposition to the "stakeholder" model 
of governance since before ICANN was created.  And as many foresaw way 
back then, certain "stakeholder" groups have become rather more powerful 
than others to the degree that one can fairly argue that ICANN is a 
regulatory/governance body that has been captured by those who it 
purports to regulate.

Let us not forget that when ICANN was created promises were made that a 
majority of the seats on the board of directors would be chosen by the 
public.  That promise remains unfulfilled.  The community of internet 
users ought to have a loud and commanding voice in ICANN yet the 
stakeholder model has left the community of internet users with little 
more than an easily ignored whisper.

One of the things that amuses me, or concerns me, is that stakeholder 
thinking tend to pre-conceive what a given person or thing might be 
interested in - in other words, it ordains, without ever consulting the 
person involved, where a person's "stake" lays.  That kind of 
top-down-imposition is, well, not very bottom-up.

Let's look at my own case.  Which "stakeholder" pigeon hole box should I 
be stuffed into?  Or, should I be allowed to operated as several 
"stakeholders" and thus (unfairly) multiply my voice?

   - I am an individual

   - I own for profit business corporations (both as a founder or as a 

   - I am a member of public-interest groups.

   - I live in a country (and citizen of two.)

   - I and my corporations register domain names.

   - I and my corporations have trademarks, copyrights, patents and 
other intellectual property.

   - I and my corporations have public IP address space (allocated from 
Jon Postel, not by the RIRs.)

   - I am an attorney who is involved in intellectual property matters.

   - I have written full internet standards that continue wide use on a 
daily basis.

   - I have property (partial ownership) interests in domain name 
registries and registrars of ICANN granted TLDs.

I am hardly unique in this way.  Every person is a bundle of interests 
that are often at odds with one another.  It ought to be up to each 
individual to reconcile these interests, to formulate a vote based on a 
self-made evaluation of which personal interest is more important and 
ought to prevail.  Stakeholderism deprives people of the right to 
reconcile their interests; stakeholderism imposes an externally pre-made 
decision onto that person about what are that person's most important 

Stuffing me into one stakeholder box or another the organization (or 
whoever is creating that taxonomy) is a Procrustean act that arbitrarily 
pre-decides which of my interests best express my views.

Stakeholderism, like Procrustes, chops off our arms and stretches our 
legs in order to make each of us fit onto whatever iron bed the 
organization feels is most appropriate.

(For those of you who wonder about "Procrustean" - here's the wikipedia 
page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustes )

I suggest that the atomic unit of interest is the individual human 
being.   And as a consequence, the only thing that should have a 
countable vote in matters of internet governance are individual human 
beings.  Anything else, corporations, domain name owners, intellectual 
property warriors, etc ought to have no voting authority - but will, of 
course, retain the power to articulate arguments to try to convince 
individual people to use their vote in certain ways.


On 7/16/18 8:28 AM, Roberto Gaetano wrote:
> It is of course a risk that the multi-stakeholder model be tilted 
> towards the interests of one part of the stakeholders - this is why, 
> incidentally, Fadi was talking about *global* *equal* 
> multi-stakeholder (“GEMS") model.
> That there is a potential corruption of the model is no good reason 
> for rejecting it, in particular in lack of a better system. So I would 
> argue that the way to go is to make sure that the voice of the 
> different stakeholders compose with the requirement of being “global” 
> (meaning all have a chance to get to the table) and “equal” (meaning 
> all have the same voice).
> In practice, civil society, because of the inherent limitations about 
> financial power, should be subsidised to participate, and civil 
> society itself has to make sure that it avoids infiltration of 
> lobbyists among its rank and file.
> Cheers,
> R
>> On 16.07.2018, at 00:05, bzs at theworld.com <mailto:bzs at theworld.com> 
>> wrote:
>> On July 16, 2018 at 01:486.Internet at gmail.com 
>> <mailto:6.Internet at gmail.com>(Sivasubramanian M) wrote:
>>> On Mon, Jul 16, 2018, 12:16 AM <bzs at theworld.com 
>>> <mailto:bzs at theworld.com>> wrote:
>>>    Multistakeholderism is open to all -- like the Ritz Hotel.
>>> ( Understand that it is an anology that isn't perfect). Going by 
>>> this anology,
>>> it merely requires a simple, very simple fix:  Reserve a third of 
>>> the hotel by
>>> unconditional funding to the stakeholder group that can't afford it, 
>>> and to
>>> anyone relatively less privileges even from within even the wealthier
>>> stakeholder groups. Then we will find the elusive balance.
>> I was thinking of how it exists, specifically ICANN, rather than some
>> hypothetical implementation.
>> The problem is that there is no tie-in (GAC possibly excepted but they
>> are advisory) between those who participate and those who are affected
>> by the various policy development processes.
>> Yes in theory anyone, even the poorest internet user, could simply buy
>> themselves plane tickets and hotel rooms etc and participate in the
>> meetings.
>> Given the actual way it's organized one would likely have to do that
>> three times per year for a few years to rise to any level of
>> participation beyond open mikes.
>> But it's open to anyone! Much like the Ritz Hotel.
>> It's no accident that multistakeholderism has been referred to as
>> system which is "of, by, and for the lobbyists"*.
>> In a nutshell get rid of anything remotely resembling popularly
>> elected voting members (even indirectly) and just let the big
>> registries, registrars, and others with financial interests be the
>> stakeholders and do all the policy development and approval.
>> Yes one can identify the occasional exception to that.
>> * That point was essentially on the wikipedia page for
>> multistakeholderism under "Criticisms" but disappeared about a year or
>> so ago.
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Multistakeholder_governance_model&diff=768793583&oldid=750897618
>>    Criticism of multistakeholderism comes from Paul R. Lehto,
>>    J.D.{{Citation needed|date=March 2014}}, who fears that in
>>    multistakeholderism, those who would be lobbyists become
>>    legislators, and nobody else has a vote. Lehto states that "In a
>>    democracy, it is a scandal when lobbyists have so much influence
>>    that they write the drafts of laws. But in multistakeholder
>>    situations they take that scandal to a whole new level: those who
>>    would be lobbyists in a democracy (corporations, experts, civil
>>    society) become the legislators themselves, and dispense with all
>>    public elections and not only write the laws but pass them,
>>    enforce them, and in some cases even set up courts of arbitration
>>    that are usually conditioned on waiving the right to go to the
>>    court system set up by democracies. A vote is just a minimum
>>    requirement of justice. Without a vote, law is just force
>>    inflicted by the wealthy and powerful. Multistakeholderism is a
>>    coup d’etat against democracy by those who would merely be
>>    lobbyists in a democratic system."{{Citation needed|date=March
>>    2014}}
>> --
>>        -Barry Shein
>> Software Tool & Die    |bzs at TheWorld.com 
>> <mailto:bzs at TheWorld.com>            |http://www.TheWorld.com 
>> <http://www.theworld.com/>
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>> The World: Since 1989  | A Public Information Utility | *oo*
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