The Spinal Cracker
[Posted to Random Bytes on October 20, 2002 12:03 AM| Links to this post ]

I'm catching up on some reading tonight - everything from fog making FAQs to some recent press on the dotORG redelegation. One of these articles touched on a point of view that has never quite made sense to me. Dave Farber says that one of the problems with the PIR plan for managing dotORG lies with the proposal to divert some of the profits towards education and outreach. He says, "The danger is, the money from .org will be used to fund your favorite little projects. I have never thought it reasonable to 'tax' Internet users to fund somebody's particular interests."

Elisabeth Porteneuve makes a similar argument in a thread currently unravelling on the GA mailing list. "The question then arises: are that $67 million per annum collected by gTLD Registries from the non-US Registrants a tax? I guess some users and now governments feel concerned by something which looks like a planetary tax.Why ICANN maintain that enormous $6 cap fee per domain name in extra-judiciary international space? Why ICANN does not use that money collected worldwide for the benefit of international domain name Registrants?" she states.

These aren't taxes we're talking about here folks - it is revenue. And revenue always goes to fund someones particular interests. ICANN cannot be in the business of directing how cash generated through private enterprise is used (or not used). The fascinating thing about these two statements is that they come from people who otherwise argue that ICANN needs a narrower focus, that ICANN needs to stay out of local matters that do not concern them, that ICANN should only deal with matters of technical coordination.

My suggestion? This critical energy could be much better devoted to solving some of the real problems faced by the community.

"What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for individual competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis."
- W. Edwards Deming
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