Re: Registration details for IETF 108

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Mon, 01 June 2020 18:47 UTC

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Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2020 14:47:34 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Joseph Touch <touch@strayalpha.com>, Vittorio Bertola <vittorio.bertola@open-xchange.com>
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Subject: Re: Registration details for IETF 108
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Joe,

--On Monday, June 1, 2020 10:43 -0700 Joseph Touch
<touch@strayalpha.com> wrote:

> I don't like registration fees - that's "pay per vote"
> or at least devolves to that.

I don't like registration fees.  I also don't like paying for
airfares, hotels, and Internet connections good enough to
support remote participation in meetings.  I would also like
free cookies and perhaps free lunches.  If I didn't know, and
dislike, the costs of keeping ponies, I'd like a pony too. 

The reality is that operating the IETF has costs, those costs
are significant, and _any_ way to cover them has consequences.
To take your earlier suggestion as an example, not only would a
$1/yr fee on every TLD not cover the estimated costs of a single
online meeting (as estimated/reported at
https://www.ietf.org/blog/ietf108-registration-fees/ ), there
are well under 2000 of the puppies so it would provide an order
of magnitude less income than that estimate proposes to recover
from registration fees, much less the costs of more than one
meeting a year, some possibly in person. 

Now, if you were talking about registrations at the second level
and below, that would be a different matter financially, more or
less taxing ICANN from the tax it collects on TLD registries.

More important, at least from my point of view, is the old adage
about paying the pipe.  The domain name sales interests already
have far more influence over the Internet than makes me happy,
partially because they and others and done a good (if sometimes
self-interested) job of convincing much of the population that
domain names, especially TLDs, are far more important than they
probably actually are. 

> I prefer a "tax" on the Internet itself - and it
> shouldn't be just .org - to pay for these things.
> 
> I.e., "if you make money from it, you pay for it". Not "if
> you want to speak on the standards", you pay.

First, much as I have issues with the domain name sales
business, the real "making money from the Internet" business
seem to be those who sell advertising, user data, content, and
more tangible products.   Why pick on name sales or TLDs. 

How would you prevent "if I pay for the standards (because you
make money on the Internet), I expect to have input into, and
oversight of, what the IETF does?

> Other orgs get some of this by licensing the standards; we
> understandably don't want to do that.

Most of them, fwiw, charge annual membership fees and insist on
organizational membership rather than individual participation
(even those that allow for some of the latter as, e.g., "invited
experts").  You probably don't want to go there or do that
either but it turns into another version of "pay to Play" or at
least "pay to vote".

   john