One of the campaigns that has been working against the sale of PIR and the .org registry under the “Save dot Org” moniker is planning to picket ICANN’s headquarters in LA.
Save Dot Org are planning on picketing the Los Angeles’ offices of ICANN on Friday January 24th:
Date: Friday, January 24, 2020
Time: 9 am – 11 am
Location: ICANN, 12025 Waterfront Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90094
Needs: Come as you are. We’ll have shirts and signs, and you are welcome to make your own!
More details here.
What the event organiser hope to achieve with this protest is unclear.
Their call to action seems to be to demand somehow that ICANN involve them in the process:
Don’t let a private equity firm take over .ORG! Join us in demanding that ICANN commit to a process that includes the voices and priorities of nonprofits and grassroots organizations. The .ORG domain isn’t up for sale without our participation.
However that’s not how this kind of process works. ICANN cannot “simply” insert itself and 3rd parties into mergers and acquisitions. As ICANN has outlined in several blog posts and letters, they are going to follow their processes. And historically there have been changes of control and ownership of both registries and registrars which have not involved 3rd parties.
So why would ICANN suddenly change this?
Oddly enough I’ll be in LA next week, but I probably won’t have time to watch this play out.
You’re right, that’s “not how ICANN works”. But you can also argue that a lot of stuff that has happened at ICANN is “now how ICANN works”. Like ICANN org deciding to move legacy TLDs to the new TLD contract and inserting provisions of the new TLD contract (e.g. URS), deciding to remove price caps from certain TLDs through what was not a bottoms-up process, etc. I think it’s too late to stop the .org transfer because it’s in the contracts, but if someone wants to call attention to it, that my spur future participation within the “correct” process in the future. That would be a good thing.
Michele Neylon says
The contract change and the PIR sale are two different things.
While I can appreciate the arguments about the contract change I don’t see how ICANN is meant to insert itself into a private transaction.
The SaveDotOrg campaign seem to think that they can force ICANN to block the sale and somehow insert themselves into that process, which I honestly do not understand.
ICANN is “in” this private transaction: it is a party to the registry contract and has to give its approval. Whether or not it can “reasonably” withhold its approval is a legal argument. (My guess is not, but I’m not a lawyer.) So I can understand why SaveDotOrg would apply pressure to ICANN, as it’s the only party that could stop the transfer. While I don’t think the picketing will do anything, I think it’s good whenever a group sheds light on things that are going on at ICANN. If nothing else, perhaps some of these parties opposed to the deal will get more involved in the ICANN process going forward.
Michele Neylon says
Sure, but it would make more sense to me for people to try and fix the issues they see where they can actually be fixed.
And I’d love to see more people getting involved with ICANN constructively going forward, but it’s unlikely to happen.
Pedro La Papa says
Who knows, maybe we will have more pickets. Something like: “Follow the bottom-up MS ICANN process or there will be Pickets,” It works with governments that betray their legitimacy.