Re: [Ietf108planning] Registration open for IETF 108

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Thu, 11 June 2020 17:36 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2020 13:36:45 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: [Ietf108planning] Registration open for IETF 108
To: John Levine <>
Cc: IETF Discussion Mailing List <>, Colin Perkins <>
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Or maybe the answer is that the IETF has to recognize its members as

If we are going to make sarcastic dismissive retorts about money trees,
maybe its time we started talking about the Trotskyite constitution of the
organization in the same terms. Meaning no disrespect to the current office
holders, the IETF has essentially the same structure as a Politburo. Cerf
and co designed the organization to keep power in their own hands. That was
arguably OK in the days when the ADs were effectively the DARPA program
managers or their proxies. Not so OK for an international organization.

Lets put all the funding options on the table including the option we would
start with if we were setting up the IETF from scratch: An
annual membership fee.

I am not at all sure I am going to participate in IETF 108. I will probably
register as my company has no other expenses at this point. But it doesn't
look very likely there will be any sessions I am going to participate in.

A $500 annual membership fee to cover all the office/secretariat costs
would cut the Gordian knot and decouple funding from the meetings. Members
would get a reduction in the meeting fees to account for the fact they have
already 'paid'. Once meetings and revenues are decoupled, interim meetings
no longer represent a concern.

Of course, a membership fee would also have consequences for NOMCON, it
would become pretty difficult to avoid voting for ADs and other officers.
But accountability is important and useful. And it would force people to
recognize that the ultimate guarantor of the independence of the Internet
is not control of the IETF, it is the threat of a fork.

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 9:18 PM John Levine <> wrote:

> In article <> you write:
> >> One datapoint: The RIPE meeting which went "virtual"
> >in May had *record* attendance (and no fee).
> >
> >I'd be interested to see how the RIPE funding model compares to =
> >that of IETF.=20
> RIPE's budget is on its web site:
> Most of their revenue is membership fees, €35M of a €37M budget.
> Meeting revenue was only budgeted at 235K so it wouldn't have been
> much of a stretch to forego it.
> This is totally different from the IETF which has no members, no
> membership fees, and gets a substantial fraction of its income from
> meeting fees.
> I would be as happy as anyone else to have all of our meetings be free
> to everyone but since the Money Faeries don't seem to be showering us
> with free cash, if someone proposes we do that, they need to explain
> how the budget will work.
> --
> Regards,
> John Levine,, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for
> Dummies",
> Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail.