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

Maureen Hilyard maureen.hilyard at gmail.com
Wed Nov 20 17:12:13 UTC 2019


Sounds like an interesting CPWG meeting coming up :)

M

On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 5:39 AM Bartlett Morgan <me at bartlettmorgan.com>
wrote:

> Imagine ICANN getting the pants sued off of it if it does...
>
> -
> Bart
> Sent from my mobile
>
> On 20 Nov 2019, at 11:28, Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:
>
> That's what I mean, re-delegating it from PIR to a real nonprofit.
>
> I will check, and maybe others can help.... but I believe that there is a
> clause in the registry agreement that allows ICANN to terminate if there is
> a major change in the status of the owner (in this case, PIR changing from
> nonprofit to for-profit).
>
> Of course ICANN has rarely if ever acted on this capability, but I believe
> it exists.
>
> ___________________
> Evan Leibovitch, Toronto
> @evanleibovitch/@el56
>
> On Wed., Nov. 20, 2019, 9:26 a.m. Eduardo Diaz, <
> eduardodiazrivera at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Evan:
>>
>> How .ORG can be re-delegated if it does not belong to ISOC but PIR?
>>
>> -ed
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 8:34 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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>>
>>
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