[At-Large] - Price caps - was: The Case for Regulatory Capture at ICANN | Review Signal Blog

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Mon Jul 1 22:30:48 UTC 2019

On 7/1/19 2:23 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> The bias is not just geographical, it's also one of competence and interest.
> Individuals do not vote for the entities that govern automobile safety, 
> or ISO committees, or bodies like ICAO which governs air travel, etc. 

Two points:

   1. 99% of what ICANN does is plain old economic, legal, or cultural 
social engineering.  The claim that ICANN is so very technical that it 
can not be comprehended by normal people is a claim that does not 
survive inspection.

   For example, the recent discussion of price caps and trademark use of 
domain names are discussions without a whit of internet technical 
complexity and are exactly the kinds of things upon which normal people 
everywhere routinely have cogent opinions.

   A couple of decades ago I was surprised to learn that there are 
active, automated, commodity futures markets in places like Mongolia. 
That suggests that we ought not to be looking down upon "backward 
cousins" and, instead, respect people everywhere as intelligent and 
capable of comprehending their own interests and affairs.

   Else we would be building ICANN on the same paternalistic (I'm using 
the euphemistic word) principles that were expressed in the 19th century 
by King Leopold of Belgium and Queen Victoria of the UK when the 
exercised control over over "colonies".

   2. Most regulatory bodies - and ICANN is most definitely a regulatory 
body - don't usually put those who are being regulated into the driver's 
seat.  (Yes, those bodies often are captured or the influence of the 
regulated is domineering - but the companies don't usually get a direct 
yea/nay role.)  Plus there are usually rules of administrative procedure 
that try to assure that there is at least a place onto which the general 
public can step and say, with compelling force "no, this shall not pass."

If we want to follow the logic that ICANN need be controlled by those 
with expertise I would then argue that those of us who have all of the 
necessary skills are few and far between.  Who among us has the bundle 
of experience needed?  Internet techie, lawyer, IP address owner, 
trademark owner, domain name registrant, have an interest in a domain 
name registry, etc.


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