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

Maureen Hilyard maureen.hilyard at gmail.com
Thu Nov 21 21:55:57 UTC 2019

+1 I agree with you Karl. At-Large had got to  change its approach if we
are to "draw ICANN" differently and I think that is what Brian has been
attempting to do.

I would like to hope that we in At-Large are on the way towards creating
change through everyone talking rationally to each other, sharing their
perspectives and moving each other more purposefully in a more focused
direction,  stumbling forward (as Wolfgang suggests) together as a

Theoretically, as end-users, our numbers should be our strength, but 200
odd ALSes and a few hundred individual users who are not yet engaged with
what ICANN does nor are they actively part of it, are not going to get us
very far..


On Thu, 21 Nov 2019, 10:14 AM Karl Auerbach, <karl at cavebear.com> wrote:

> On 11/21/19 10:25 AM, Christian wrote:
> Domain name registration via ICANN structures is not a public interest
> activity but a business with some strong cartel like features.
> That is true.
> In my own life I wear several hats - I am (obviously) a very pro-democracy
> advocate.  But I am also an intellectual property lawyer.  I also own and
> operate multiple businesses (via corporate forms), most of which have
> domain name and trademarks.  I also am a net techie (and have my name on
> full Internet Standard RFCs.)  I also have a financial interest in various
> domain name registries.
> In terms of power (by which I mean power to influence ICANN decisions) the
> least powerful of my hats is that of the individual here in ICANN.
> I spent last week among my intellectual property lawyer peers.  Those
> folks represent a seriously strong power block.  When they (or, rather, we)
> are figuring out how to make ICANN dance to our tune we can afford to
> dedicate serious resources, such as full time staff, to make sure we have
> the best chance of winning.  The public, the ALAC, the individual has
> nearly zero chance of winning.  Just witness how easily the intellectual
> property interests got the highly biased UDRP into place and how far ICANN
> policy over the ensuing decades has been shaped to cater to the interests
> of my friends in the intellectual property community.
> Same thing in my roles with my corporations and registry interests:
> Although not as well organized as the intellectual property industry, my
> business and registry friends are quite able and willing to expend
> resources (and hire dedicated staff) to ensure that their (our) interests
> are strongly expressed within ICANN.
> It is hard for individuals, hobbled by ICANN's Byzantine procedures,
> bureaucracy, layers ALAC "organizations", and a mere single public board
> seat,  to carry the day against well organized and well funded industrial
> opposition.
> And ICANN's fundamental structure not only allows, but encourages, this
> kind of industrial collaboration and combination of influence.
> The notion of "stakeholder" says that our voice within ICANN is measured
> by our self-interest, largely our financial self-interest, in maters before
> ICANN.   Because individuals - you and me - have a dilute interest, and
> often not an interest easily measured in financial terms, our authority
> within ICANN as stakeholders is written in lower case.  On the other hand,
> because Intellectual Property, business, registrar, and registry interests
> are organized and combined and have a high dollar value their role as
> STAKEHOLDERS in ICANN is written in upper case, in bold font, italicized,
> and underlined.
> It is no wonder, therefore, that the "non-profit/public benefit"
> corporation called ICANN has been captured by industrial interests, dances
> to their tunes, and allows sales of "Public Interest Registry" to a body of
> ICANN insiders with nary a shred of concern about the public or its
> interests.
> One might apply Jessica Rabbit's famous line to ICANN: "I'm not bad, I'm
> just drawn that way."
> ICANN will continue to favor organized business interests over the public
> benefit as long as ICANN retains its present form.
> If we want to make ICANN less bad then we will have to draw it a different
> way.
>         --karl--
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