[A2k] Another on policy and recourse in the international arena

Seth Johnson seth.p.johnson at gmail.com
Tue May 5 10:50:21 PDT 2015

Also see:


Here are a few comments I posted on facebook to someone who said this
article misconstrues the powers at play in the IANA transition:

Seth Johnson: Keep in mind that intergovernmental authority "just
applies" internationally (when your country chooses to "just apply"
it) in a manner that free governments don't enjoy domestically.
There's a reason our government has generally stayed at bay, and folks
aren't sufficiently conscious of that: we have recourse when the
government acts in areas that implicate fundamental rights. Take that
out (in the act of removing the NTIA), and other governments -- and
our own, valuing the opportunity to use the international arena to get
some policies in place -- can start asserting the wherewithal to act
in areas we are not accustomed to seeing them act. Yes, the I* tech
community isn't tracking this, thinking it's just a matter of
adjusting contracts minimally.
Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs · Edited

Seth Johnson: This "just applies" aspect has a little limit via
Congressional recourse related to the treaty-making power -- when
there's no fast track. But that's not the recourse I'm referring to.
And I'm not referring solely to ICANN or solely to the names and
numbers functions. ICANN is not immune, and will be even less so, but
there are other international agencies that will assert policy on an
intergovernmental basis that can impinge on the basic functions of the
Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs · Edited

Seth Johnson: The reason *existing* intergovernmental policies on
copyright have not had more effect on the basic functions of the
Internet is solely because we gave online service providers liability
protection under the DMCA, in our domestic law. This was how "content
policy" and the Internet were separated. There is no analogue to that
internationally, and ICANN and anyone else will be little able to
stand against intergovernmental policy in that area. The content
creation industries are distinguished conceptually, but that does nada
to actually cordon off the Internet from content policy (it actually
*undermines* the dynamics of the Internet, in fact -- which should be
affecting copyright, not the other way around). Plus the DMCA's
protections have been corroded, even in our domestic law, by a few
later developments.

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