Getting Graphic

Josh Bourne ⬥ 17 April

From conversations that I’ve had, the following description of the ICANN supply chain tends to set off some light bulbs and pique interest:


If you look at this chain and then remember that the GNSO (a major policy development entity in ICANN) was recently restructured to favor the wholesalers and retailers, the conflict of interest within ICANN becomes clear.

It may seem counterintuitive to think of brand owners being taken advantage of; after all, it’s not often that the brand owner is the little guy. But the reality is that brand owners (and all end users that register domain names) are consumers in a system where the wholesalers and retailers control the governing body that regulates the merchandise.

It always strikes me as strange that ICANN tries to position itself as representing the global community—it doesn’t. ICANN started as an experiment for a governing body that turned into a business. Now it’s a business that consistently pursues policies to promote its own interests. I think that members of the Internet community need to view themselves as stewards and be more active in taking back the reigns to make the Internet a more broadly inclusive global organization that fairly balances the needs of every Internet user group without financial bias. 

Tags: brand owners, global community, GNSO, ICANN, internet community, Internet governance, policy development, supply chain

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