[At-Large] [BMSPC-2020] Board seat 15 selection

Roberto Gaetano mail.roberto.gaetano at gmail.com
Thu Nov 21 17:13:33 UTC 2019

After repeated failures of my email, I am posting with a new email account, but it is still me, Roberto Gaetano   :-)

I have a different reading than Olivier of both turning points that he mentions. First of all, I am not so negative about the Bildt recommendation. I might agree that the risk of having registrants captured by domaines was a possibility, but I did not see it so dangerous at that time, maybe because I was naif about the potential push from civil society to avoid that.
Also, I am a long time supporter of the approach where “the best is good’s worst enemy” - I assume that you say that in English similarly to how we say in Italian. 

A completely different story is my reading of the IAHC vs NewCo proposals. I have been a supporter of the IAHC (actually, I was a member of the POC - Policy Advisory Committee - as well as in the Executive Committee of  CORE - Internet Council of Registrars - so I admit I might have been biased.
I never believed that NewCo would have delivered a “power to the people” solution (neither would have the IAHC, btw), but at least they could have broken NetSol’s monopoly - but even this minimal result was achieved only partly, in the sense that the market share was left almost untouched, but at least there has been a price control (the very thing that is being now released). The Green Paper looked like something that had been put together in a hurry, with the sole purpose of stopping - or slowing down - the IAHC proposal, that with CORE becoming operational as organization at the end of 1997 and with development plans for an SRS ongoing was becoming dangerous. However, the White Paper was different, it showed that there was a serious effort to build an alternative proposal. That was obvious also looking at the financial supporters, organisations like ATT, IBM, etc., letting alone the power of USG. Having worked for 12 years for IBM I have learned two things: they never release centralisation of the power (this is the main reason why their network architecture failed, but this is another story) and they never - or very, very rarely - bet on losers.
So I was convinced that, although the IAHC had the best approach, NewCo would have prevailed in the end, and that it was a mistake not to get involved in that project to try to obtain at least something. This was a minority view in CORE and I ended up in being the only CORE ExCom member to attend the first IFWP meeting in Reston.
Anyway, long story short, had we the IAHC solution in operation, registries would be acting as non-profit, leaving the competition and the commercial aspect to registrars. This also means that we would not have been here discussing about the sellout of a non-profit registry to sa commercial investment fund that will transform it into something different.
But we can’t rewind history.

On one point I fully agree with Olivier. As Chair of the DNSO GA, I can confirm that some of the DNSO mailing lists discussions were indeed toxic.


> On 19.11.2019, at 07:43, Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com> wrote:
> Dear Wolfgang,
> thank you for your follow-up. Please find my comments inline:
> On 18/11/2019 22:05, Wolfgang Kleinwächter wrote:
>> Bildt proposed that At Large membership should be open to "individual domain name holders". The idea was to form six regional At Large Councils (with five members) and a global At Large Council (with 12 members/two from each of the six regions). Recognized At Large members would have a right to vote for the five members of their regional council and also vote for the regional Board director. The plan was to have a balance in the ICANN board among "developers" (technical community), providers (business) and users (civil society) of services, with governments in an advisory capacity.
> A significant mistake was made by the Bildt Committee and that's to propose restricting membership to "individual domain name holders". The DNS is used by all users, not only by domain name holders. In fact, there is a designation for individuals that hold a large number of domain names and that's "domainer". So in fact Bildt was proposing ICANN to close itself into its microcosm of domain name businesses and domainers, quite the contrary from the openness that was displayed when ICANN first started.
> This was a significant step back for end users and I understand how some supporters of ICANN Version 1 were irritated enough to leave the process altogether. They felt betrayed. As someone who had been actively involved in supporting the "other" proposal, the Internet Ad-Hoc Committee (IAHC - https://icannwiki.org/IAHC <https://icannwiki.org/IAHC> ), resulting in a gTLD MoU ( https://icannwiki.org/GTLD-MoU <https://icannwiki.org/GTLD-MoU> ) the debate became political very quickly, with concerns by US politicians that the Root and its resources would leave the USA. Upon hindsight, perhaps the IAHC's proposal was not end-user friendly, but I remember that one of the significant points made in the presentation of ICANN, along with the Green and White papers, was that it had a very strong end user component, through its election process. I think that a lot of people, reading this, myself included, shifted our view from supporting a gTLD MoU future to an ICANN future when this end user component was promoted. What happened during the re-organisation of ICANN was, in my view, nothing short of capture, and it took me until 2008 to accept it. BTW the DNSO mailing list discussions were toxic.
> Kindest regards,
> Olivier
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