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[atlarge-discuss] Why do users need a place at the table?

>From Ross Rader's blog at byte.org:  "Why do users need a place at the table?"

"I was just reading through Esther's interview at OpenDemocracy and it 
occurred to me that over the last four years I've not heard (or perhaps more 
precisely, I don't remember hearing) any arguments concerning why user 
participation in ICANN is appropriate. I mean, it seems perfectly logical and 
healthy for providers, producers, customers and caretakers of the DNS and 
domain names to be involved - but actually users? If "user" means "those that 
use the resources of the Internet and in doing so take advantage of the 
resolution services of the DNS" then I need some significant education as to 
what the fuss is about. I'm not saying that user participation on some level 
is or isn't desirable, I'm just saying I don't think that I "get it" enough 
to actually buy either side of the argument. If on the other hand "user" 
means "an individual who has registered a domain name", then the picture is 
quite clear to me - they need representation and they need it now. I think I 
have some reading to do this weekend" ;)

Any thoughts on this commentary?

I have a related question for the group:  If "users" are to be represented in 
ICANN, should all users (and not just domain name registrants) be expected to 
fund ICANN's activities?  Does this imply establishing contracts with the one 
"provider" group that is not yet under contract, the ISPs, so as to have a 
vehicle for the receipt of such funds?  

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