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

John Laprise jlaprise at gmail.com
Wed Nov 20 14:21:06 UTC 2019


Oh I like that idea!

Sent from my Pixel 3XL

John Laprise, Ph.D.

On Wed, Nov 20, 2019, 6:33 AM Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:

>
> Or there could be totally new advice asking ICANN to re-delegate .ORG back
> to a nonprofit.
> It has that authority.
>
>
> https://gizmodo.com/private-equity-ghouls-buy-non-profit-that-handles-org-1839860118
>
>
> On Tue, 19 Nov 2019 at 17:25, John Laprise <jlaprise at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On the advice we issued on the change in contractual terms. It's within
>> ALAC's remit to issue advice on anything and this is exactly the kind of
>> situation that allows us to nimbly address a situation. George Kirikos
>> mentioned the s contingency in the list but by that time I'm pretty sure he
>> had established himself as shrill and was in the process of being report to
>> the ombudsman. We can ask the board to examine options here because we
>> issued advice in good faith and expectation of ISOC being a good Steward of
>> .org. selling it off to a VC firm was not something I considered likely and
>> had I, would not have advocated in the way I did.
>>
>> Sent from my Pixel 3XL
>>
>> John Laprise, Ph.D.
>>
>> On Tue, Nov 19, 2019, 1:22 PM Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On what issue John?
>>>
>>> Alan
>>> --
>>> Sent from my mobile. Please excuse brevity and typos.
>>>
>>> On November 19, 2019 1:31:18 PM EST, John Laprise <jlaprise at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I agree with Evan. This is an astounding sort sighted deal by ISOC
>>>> which essentially squandered the trust of it's membership for financial
>>>> gain. Trust is the most precious commodity of any non profit and hard to
>>>> regain once lost.
>>>>
>>>> Furthermore, ALAC and CPWG should urgently amend our advice on the
>>>> contractual issue to reflect new situation. I am no longer in support on
>>>> this issue.
>>>>
>>>> Sent from my Pixel 3XL
>>>>
>>>> John Laprise, Ph.D.
>>>> Show quoted text
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Sent from my Pixel 3XL
>>>>
>>>> John Laprise, Ph.D.
>>>>
>>>> On Tue, Nov 19, 2019, 3:58 AM Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 at 09:16, Hadia Abdelsalam Mokhtar EL miniawi <
>>>>> Hadia at tra.gov.eg> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> I would certainly assume that ISOC got a very decent amount of money
>>>>>> from Ethos for the deal to go forward. At this point I would assume that
>>>>>> ISOC has insured its way forward. However, what is still to be seen is the
>>>>>> effect on the .org prices, hopefully going forward they would have special
>>>>>> prices for non profits.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Two factors come to mind in considering the long term effects of the
>>>>> sale, over and above the financial-stability component of which we are all
>>>>> aware. Consider:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> *The substance:*
>>>>>
>>>>> PIR was more than just an ISOC asset. The Internet Society was
>>>>> custodian of the only global top-level domain that was, by nature and
>>>>> its very name, acting in the public interest. In a sea of TLD sharks,
>>>>> dot-org could be seen as a body that brought both financial stability to
>>>>> ISOC and social responsibility among the registries. Its size and
>>>>> nonprofit status would keep costs down and corporate direction
>>>>> serving a social mission. Its competitive presence could tamp down
>>>>> the excesses of the industry.
>>>>>
>>>>> And now that's gone. More important than the divestment of PIR is its
>>>>> change from nonprofit to Just Another Shareholder-Value-Maximizing part of
>>>>> the domain ecosystem, its uniqueness vanished in an instant. In the
>>>>> aim of maximizing its own revenue ISOC has eliminated from the the
>>>>> Internet the only publicly-accessible nonprofit gTLD. Gone is this substantial
>>>>> voice of public-interest sanity within the registry community,
>>>>> replaced by an entity barely more ethically motivated than Donuts. As a
>>>>> dot-org "owner", this hurts personally. But as someone trying to
>>>>> advance Internet domains as a component of progress, this hurts on a global
>>>>> scale.
>>>>>
>>>>> Stewardship of a socially-motivated registry was one of ISOC's core
>>>>> global functions IMO. With that gone, so is part of ISOC's value.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> *The process:*
>>>>>
>>>>> The path that led to the divestment of PIR, both before and after the
>>>>> decision had been made, has laid bare a core ISOC culture that is the
>>>>> opposite of the openness it asks the world to embrace. At a level of
>>>>> fiscal responsibility, ISOC's action was exactly what one would expect any
>>>>> for-profit entity to do. Maximize benefit through a secretive process that
>>>>> catches everyone unaware -- not just of the transaction but of the urgency
>>>>> to do it,
>>>>>
>>>>> Except ISOC is not a for-profit entity. It displays itself to the
>>>>> world as a community body that encourages involvement at a personal,
>>>>> regional, institutional or national scale. It has carefully crafted and
>>>>> evolved a Chapters Advisory Council explicitly designed to provide
>>>>> management with the view from the grassroots, alongside a parallel Council
>>>>> for corporate participants. This was combined with global virtual
>>>>> events such as InterCommunity that were created to give ISOC a global
>>>>> awareness of what was needed to promote a more-open Internet. And it has
>>>>> always had an individual-membership program, which isn't really talked
>>>>> about these days as these "members" have neither any costs nor any benefits.
>>>>>
>>>>> None of these mechanisms were employed, none of these entities
>>>>> consulted, before or after the decision, even under NDA. The community
>>>>> wasn't even aware that PIR was being shopped around. As a result, there was
>>>>> no open solicitation, no publicly-competitive process, no opportunity for
>>>>> any other firm to make a counter-offer that might keep PIR nonprofit. We'll
>>>>> never know. Or maybe it wasn't shopped around and someone just made ISOC an
>>>>> offer it couldn't refuse. But ISOC isn't Jack Woltz. The community
>>>>> had no idea of any sense of urgency to sell PIR, and certainly was never
>>>>> consulted about the ethics or consequences of turning PIR for-profit.
>>>>> The common nonprofit practice of having major decisions ratified by
>>>>> stakeholders at an AGM is also nowhere in sight.
>>>>>
>>>>> So now we know the reality of ISOC's corporate culture. Promote
>>>>> openness and consultation when convenient, but be opaque when it matters.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I don't know if ISOC considers me a stakeholder, or for that matter
>>>>> anyone else on this list, any Chapter or any Organization Member. In fact
>>>>> right now I have no idea who ISOC considers its stakeholders to be; it
>>>>> certainly didn't consult any before the fact or ask for any blessings
>>>>> afterwards. Not even informally. So who shows up at the AGM? Just the
>>>>> Trustees?
>>>>>
>>>>> In any case, the deal is essentially done. ISOC clearly appears to
>>>>> have assured its financial stability, which is certainly a Good Thing. But
>>>>> with a crown jewel of the Internet fading away and the shallowness of its
>>>>> commitment to openness and community exposed in the process, it is
>>>>> legitimate to ask whether ISOC has sold more than a registry.
>>>>>
>>>>> We won't know the answer to that for a while
>>>>> - Evan
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> CPWG mailing list
>>>>> CPWG at icann.org
>>>>> https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/cpwg
>>>>>
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>>>>
>>>>
>
> --
> Evan Leibovitch, Toronto Canada
> @evanleibovitch or @el56
>
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