March 27, 2003

Comments on the Joe Sims Resolution at the ICANN meeting in Rio

It is my business judgment that ICANN may have grounds for significant legal claims against Joe Sims.

ICANN's board is poised to have a meaningful change of membership.  That new board may well chose to pursue those claims.

It is in the interest of ICANN that the right of a future board to raise these claims be protected and preserved.  That right should not discarded or weakened through a thoughtless act of the existing board, particularly when several of the members the existing board are rumored to have obtained their seats through a series of back-room choices and deals involving Joe Sims.

The Joe Sims resolution could be construed as nothing more than a kissy-faced and legally empty exercise.

Or the Joe Sims resolution could be considered as something more.  The resolution could be construed as an approval and acceptance by ICANN of what Sims has done, and as a waiver and abandonment of any claims that ICANN might have.

It seems only prudent to ask to clarify whether the resolution was or was not intended to be absolution for any acts of Sims or JDRP, and to confirm that any claims that might exist are neither waived nor prejudiced by the resolution.

Hence my question regarding the intent of the resolution.

I expect that the minutes will not clearly indicate the response, which I interpreted as a confirmation that the resolution was not intended to act as a waiver.

The fact that my request for clarification was construed as some sort of vendetta is reflective of the lack of comprehension by ICANN about proper corporate governance and the role of Directors.

There is no doubt that I do not like Joe Sims.  And there is no doubt that he does not like me.

And there is equally no doubt that I wish him a speedy and total departure from ICANN.

To my mind, the resolution was overstating the degree of Sim's future separation from ICANN.  Even if Sims never shows his face again, I suspect that Sims will be deriving a substantial revenue stream for a long time from ICANN via his share of the fees received from ICANN by Jones Day.

And if the history of ICANN's various advisory committees is any guide - a history in which faces from ICANN's past are resurrected again and again - we ought not to be surprised to see Sims sitting on any number of future ICANN advisory committees.

Separate and distinct from the issue of preserving ICANN's rights, I see no reason to thank Sims.  Thus my "no" vote on the resolution despite attempts to shout me down and to railroad the resolution by acclamation.

Posted by karl at March 27, 2003 2:37 PM