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dotgay and the public interest

One of the important facts about the dotgay LLC community application for the .gay domain name is the guarantee to give 67% of profits from the sale of domain names back to the community in the public interest. Another important fact is that they have not waited for the domain name to be allocated to give to the public interest. They have been giving to the Internet public Interest since day 1.

For the past years, dotgay LLC has been one of those helping to support efforts in Internet governance oriented around human rights and empowerment of users on the Internet.  One component of their generosity involves my work. Together with several NGOs, they have contributed toward my independent work on human rights, Internet rights and technology to support human rights concerns.

Among the activities which they helped to fund:

  • Extensive participation in ICANN activities, including work on human rights impact, and accountability.
  • Participation in World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) activities that involve Freedom of Expression and ICT for Development.
  • Participation in US delegation to World Summits on ICT issues advising the US delegation on non commercial issues including those of LGBTQIA community users.
  • Support of early work on research to discover protocol considerations that affect the use of the Internet for freedom of expression and of assembly.  This work has led to the creation of HRPC  a candidate research group in the Internet Research Task Force.

Beyond this, dotgay LLC supported grants for LGBTQI individuals from countries where the gay community is endangered, to attend international fora.

dotgay LLC is one of the funders that enabled me to do the work that brought me the first annual ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos award in 2014 while still being able pay my mortgage and put food on the table.  Without their support, I would have been hard pressed to continue at times.

All of this was done without any quid pro quo;  done without any sort of policy ‘guidance’ or special requests.  This is a rare form of generosity and commitment to the cause of the public interest.   It is time that I recognize this and thank Scott Seitz, the leader of dotgay LLC, for his approach to the public interest.

Thanks!

Philanthropy, the Gay Community and .gay

Since the Gay Community began its coming out and formed human rights (Gay Rights are Human Rights) organizations in the 19th century, the community has known that we were responsible for our own survival.  This means that for over a century the gay community has required funding from the gay community in order to meet social service functions and human rights needs. In most of the world, for most of the global gay community, this remains the case today.

In the same way that the Gay Community needs to provide its own support in physical world, so too on the Internet. The digital freedom and safety of the gay community depends on the support, financial and otherwise, of the Gay Community.  No one is going to fund that for us.  The digital opportunities for the Gay Community are also dependent on the support of the Gay Community.  No one is going to fund that for us!

dotgay LLC has 3 standard application competitors for the .gay top level domain name.  These competitors have little or no relationship with the Gay Community. As investor based organizations, they have ho clear plans to support the gay community as part of their public interest obligations.  Nor can they be expected to serve the Gay Community as they have financial investors they must keep richly fed.

As a community registry applicant, dotgay LLC has put its guarantee in its binding application with ICANN.

Giving Back

The Gay Community is intimately familiar with struggles around funding, often excluded or delayed in accessing resources because of discrimination, non-inclusive policy or lack of statistics. The struggles are widespread in the community and the challenges vary country by country based on governmental and cultural influences. In response, the Gay Community has looked to its own community members to financially support programs and services that emerge as priorities. An example of this is the immediate response of the community to the HIV⁄AIDS crisis in the 1980’s, funding programs and services well before any external support was provided.
dotgay LLC will channel funds back into the Gay Community using two methods. The first is to compensate all Authentication Partners in the community for each confirmed name registration or renewal. Secondly, dotgay LLC has also committed to giving a minimum of 67% of the profits from domain name registrations to the dotgay Foundation for redistribution back into the Gay Community.

When compared, it is obvious that the gay community loses a lot if dotgay LLC does not get a chance to fulfill it promises to the gay community.  The other applicants want  .gay because they plan to acquire a bundle of profits from the indiscriminate sale of .gay second level names. Profits that will not fund the Gay Community. dotgay LLC will use 2/3 of its profits to fund projects in the Gay Community.

#yes2dotgay for funding of Gay Community projects.