[CWG-Stewardship] drift in v5

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Sat Jun 13 17:48:55 UTC 2015

On Sat, Jun 13, 2015 at 04:06:50PM +0000, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> I think we have different notions of what "separability" means. To me it means a community and customer-driven decision to change operators, not a decision by ICANN to move assets from one corporation to another.

Milton and I certainly don't agree about everything, but in this we
are in lock step.  The basic point of the ability of a community's
ability to decide to change operators is, at bottom, the only real
mechanism a community has to ensure that its oversight of the function
is performed.  That means that each operational community needs the
effective ability to move its operations, even if the others do not.

Having reflected on this for a couple days, it occurs to me that the
transfer of the mark and domain name to PTI could be a problem in a
somewhat different way.  Suppose that at least one non-names
operational community elects to stay with ICANN as opposed to
contracting directly with PTI.  ICANN will then be in the awkward
position of contracting for a function without actually having
guaranteed permanent access to the domain name or trademark or both.
The proposal that transfers these assets to an independent trust (in
the actual case, the IETF Trust, but my impression is that that was
just because it happened already to exist) has the presumed advantage
that everyone involved in any IANA work automatically gets access to
the trademark and domain name.  (I am assuming that the IETF Trust was
also picked because of its history of holding such assets under quite
permissive licenses, as a matter of policy.)

This seems to be a dimension of the topic that needs serious
contemplation, since the other operational communities could easily
decide that if the terms on the IANA mark or the domain name are
unfavourable, then they ought not to be accepted.  Such a decision
could be bad for the transition, or could result in IANA fragmentation
when it is least desirable.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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