[GTLD-WG] [CPWG] [registration-issues-wg] Fwd: ISOC sells PIR

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Mon Nov 18 17:50:29 UTC 2019


Disclosure: My main personal domain is in .org

For the first time in my life I find myself liking the position of the ICA.

Having said that, it's way too late in this game to posture for ICANN to
step in now. The industry(*) has stepped back from or even prodded ICANN's
hands-off approach to ownership changes. The inertia of entitlement is
strong against ICANN's breaking convention this time.

Were I in a fighting mood, I would promote that ALAC endorse the ICA
position, and at least try to hold the PIR selloff to a level of scrutiny
not afforded ISOC's own stakeholders. But I'm not. This looks like a done
deal and ICANN would not listen even if ALAC was united on this.

I am extremely disappointed at ISOC, whose brand trades on the promotion of
"open" but was as opaque as it gets when it came to negotiating and
approving the deal. The lack of accountability by the Trustees, the lack of
NDA consultation with the Chapter Advisory Council and the lack of
community ratification is deplorable. Whether or not ISOC was *allowed* to
do this transaction is irrelevant; as a nonprofit, supposedly
public-interest body it has an ethical obligation is to go beyond the
minimum necessary by law and contract. Such was not the case here. All ISOC
Chapters, many of whom are ICANN ALSs, have been let down. For all its
posturing as a unique grassroots body ISOC has exposed itself as just
another American NGO, that does good things but has no legitimate claim of
community participation in its major decisions. Time will tell whether ISOC
has totally sold its soul for financial stability.

- Evan

(*) By "industry" I am not referring specifically of the ICA but to the
cabal of domain buyers and sellers that has captured ICANN writ large. And
yes, I know that ICANN is not a regulator.
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