[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Fwd: [Membership] comment to be read at the MAC meeting]

>>From: cabell@mama-tech.com
>>Your opinion is strongly supported by many of the MAC members and we
spent most
>>of the last two days debating this single issue.  At this time, we are still
>>not in agreement about it.

Fair enough.  Don't feel obligated to bring my comments up specifically at
the meeting, I just wanted to make sure the point was being publicly

>>Some of us, including me, reject your assumption that a corporation is
>>the sum of its staff.  An employee of L.L.Bean (or an ISP) does not
>>share the opinions of management, particularly concerning domain names.
I do
>>not think we should expect the employee to vote the "company line"
instead of
>>his/her personal interests, or expect that L.L.Bean's interests will be
>>adequately represented by staff who may only be temporary.  They are
>>and distinct entities with separate and distinct interests and this is
why the
>>law treats them separately.

Actually, that was not my assumption at all.  I didn't elaborate too much,
because I wanted to try to keep my comment short if it was going to be read
at the meeting, but perhaps I should have delved a bit further on this point.

My assumption was actually essentially the same as yours.  The interests of
a company (I'm wasn't just speaking of corporations, but we'll talk about
them for now) are really only relevant to the extent that they affect
certain people, and only to the degree that it affects them.  These
interested parties *may* be employees, owners, business partners, clients,
investors or others, but one cannot assume that just because Jane Smith
works for CyberFoo Megacorp that she really wants them to vote a certain
way on a particular Internet-related issue.  The only way to be sure that
all affected individuals are given fair and equal representation is to
simply allow each person to participate if they so chose, and to vote the
way they feel their complex interplay of interests leads them.

Does the fact that a friend of mine and I formalized our software
activities by setting up a corporation entitle us to an additional
collective vote in ICANN matters?  I don't think so.  The interests of the
company are expressed by the two of us personally, and only we can decide
if matters affecting our company should override other possible interests
we may have.

I think we are arguing very similar points here.

>>Another reason I support corporate membership is because I think ICANN needs
>>it.  I am not at all assured that there will be enough individuals to
>>financially and politically support ICANN through the very difficult and
>>possibly combative hurdles it faces [snip]

Very true.  And this is definitely something that should be taken into

>>I do not support giving corporations more than one vote (and we
>>debated whether the person voting for the corporation could also vote as an
>>individual and in the DNSO).

I should qualify all of this by stating that, when it comes right down to
it, I am not actually totally against the idea of giving organizations a
single vote either. (More than one each would be a big problem, I agree.)
I'm mostly arguing this point to make it clear that when we talk about
"corporate interests", we're really talking about the business interests of
some group of people.  In the end, giving each corporation a vote isn't
really going to skew things too heavily toward Big Business unless
individual membership turns out to be too apathetic.  In which case it's
our own fault if Bill Gates ends up on the ICANN board. :)

>>Individual membership works well if there are lots of people
participating.  It
>>doesn't work as well with only a handful of activists.

Right on.  If we get a few hundred thousand (or more!) individuals
participating, I am very optimistic about this thing's chances at true

Thanks for your comments,
- Paul

Paul Stauffer, MCSE
Systems Analyst/Administrator       ----====<< Quotes 'R' Us >>====----
Boston University                 ---==<< http://quotes-r-us.org/ >>==---