08 November, 2010

The Constituency Wars

Milton Mueller has penned an article in the IGP Blog entitled "A Non-profit Constituency? Or Trademark lawyers engaged in deceptive and confusing labeling?"  A few excerpts:

"How is any nonprofit organization that wanders into ICANN supposed to make sense of the difference between a “Not for profit organization constituency” and a “Noncommercial Users Constituency” - especially when their eligibility descriptions sound exactly the same? What’s going on here?

We will tell you what’s going on: The NPOC is part of a “divide and conquer” strategy pursued by business interests and ICANN’s legal and policy staff.   Its purpose is to undo the GNSO reforms and give those who want to subordinate domain name policy to trademark interests greater representation within the GNSO.   If they succeed in getting recognition as a new constituency, they might – let us emphasize the word might – get guaranteed voting seats on the GNSO Council, and become eligible for funding support from ICANN for such things as travel to meetings, rooms and so on.   Most importantly, they would be able to promote their own policies without having to convince or persuade any other nonprofit organizations in the NCSG."

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