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Do *not* settle

  • To: settlement-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Do *not* settle
  • From: Dominique Quatravaux <dom@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 15:10:33 +0100

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Dear ICANN Board Members,

I'm not a native english speaker, so please bear with my quirky
syntax. The lyric emphasis, however, is fully intended.

The leading "I" in your organization's name was once held in great
honor among us, the people on the Internet. I myself authored a
vulgarization book where I praise the efficient, meritocratic style of
government (and especially, the lack thereof) that the Internet has
been enjoying so far; of which the ICANN remains a key institution. A
world without borders or politics, a plains without fences where every
citizen brings it's own part of the land with herself under the form
of her computing equipment and cheaply available bandwidth. We had a
dream, better yet: you, the ICANN, helped make it come true.

Nowadays it is to fear that the "Internet governance" crown, however
symbolic, has fallen so low as to compromise itself into back-handed
deals with greedy corporations over how many US cents of kickback the
ICANN is going to earn whenever someone registers a domain name. No
wonder, then, that the UN is currently busy bending over to grab that
fallen sovereignity.

Certainly the ICANN commitee can put together a whole list of
practical, pragmatic, self-righteous reasons not to press the pending
lawsuits against abuses of the sort of the infamous *.com wildcard.
There are financial, judicial and political issues, and a consensus is
hard to gain within the ICANN board, whatever. I understand. We
understand that our dream is about to come to an end, as it always has
since the neolithic ages: the childhood of the Internet is over, the
situation has to return to normal. An egregious display of
international cooperation such as the Internet's hop-by-hop funding
structure cannot last forever: there are wars in the making, you know.
Piracy of CDs has to stop: it is theft, it is *evil*, and the
Wikipedia effort couldn't have succeeded anyway. The nerd genius
cannot be set free, it has to remain the slave of the brutal and
stupid powers-that-be like it has been ever since Athenes lost the
battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC.

War is peace, in other words - same old politics, all over again, to
which the ICANN is falling prey. People would only accept new stuff
provided it is the same as the old - especially in politics, and
doubly so in retrospect of the horrors caused by NIH in politics
during the 20th century. The suits have to win the day, because said
people are unable to rule themselves. And this, ladies and gentlemen
of the ICANN Board, is a crying shame.

Unless ? Unless, despite the odds of the contrary, the ICANN manages
to get it's act together and finally declares independence. Suing
VeriSign's pants off for a contract they broke would be an excellent
start. Do *not* settle in the courts of law. We, your constituency,
will never settle with VeriSign in the court of opinion over the right
to monopolize and abuse one of the very few centralized resources that
the Internet uses. Come on guys - you have work to do.

- --
Dominique QUATRAVAUX                           Ingénieur senior
01 44 42 00 08                                 IDEALX

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