Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Thu, 04 June 2020 05:18 UTC

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Date: Thu, 04 Jun 2020 01:18:16 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>
cc: Mary B <mary.h.barnes@gmail.com>, IETF <ietf@ietf.org>
Subject: Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108
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Jay,

--On Thursday, June 4, 2020 15:45 +1200 Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>
wrote:

>...
>> There is another aspect of the charging plan that I'm a little
>> concerned about and it is connected to Mary's comment about
>> latecomers opting for day passes.  Before the recent
>> disruptions, one of the features of coming in remotely has
>> been that someone could opt to just watch and listen in real
>> time (i.e., not wait for the YouTube recordings to show up),
>> giving the option of remaining anonymous, etc.  I don't have
>> any data on how often we managed to turn them into active
>> participants but I know there have been people who were
>> encouraged to use that option to understand better how the
>> IETF worked or what a particular WG was doing.     The other
>> was the participant, option which, in recent years, required
>> registering, virtually signing blue sheet approximations,
>> etc. 
>> 
>> And someone who was watching but decided they were interested
>> enough to want to contribute during that meeting could simply
>> log out, register (at no cost) and come back in.  I, at least,
>> mentioned that "if you are uncomfortable identifying yourself,
>> watch and then register if you feel like you want to speak up"
>> option to several people in recent years.
>> 
>> So...
>> 
>> (1) With the new fee structure, will the watch/observe option
>> -- without any fee or need to identify oneself -- still exist?
> 
> Not contemporaneously.  Recordings will be posted to YouTube
> after each session (timing to be operationally determined).

Noting first that "operationally determined" has, IIR, sometimes
amounted to a week or so and that the machinery is already in
Meetecho to accommodate (and separate) observers and
participants...

It seems to me that, even more than the decision to charge
remote participants at all, this is really a decision in which
community consensus is needed because it affects the standards
process, the general perception of the openness of the IETF,
etc.  Equally important, there have been multiple discussions
over the years about the importance and value of allowing, nay
encouraging, people to participate as observers in real time.
Is that still important?  I don't know -- you'd have to ask the
community (and not just the IESG).  I can imagine that the worst
possible effects could be mitigated by an IESG decision [1] that
no WG was allowed to make any decisions on its mailing list
until some time after the videos were posted, but I don't
believe the IESG has announced such a decision.  Especially
without the ability to observe meeting sessions and then, if
desired, participate fully on the mailing list --and without the
disability of almost everyone on the mailing list having access
to information that one does not-- we move very much closer to
"pay to play".

And, at least as far as I can tell, this changes the standards
process and who can participate in it as surely as a decision to
impose a fee for posting Internet Drafts or receiving mailing
lists would.  That means you (and the LLC) are making changes to
the standards process, something that the community was assured
when the LLC was created would be permanently out of its scope
and authority.

    best,
     john

[1] I believe that determining the timetables under which WGs
can do work is within the IESG's authority without requiring
evidence of community consensus.  I'm not sure everyone else
would agree.