W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > August 2012

Re: IAB US participation as expert

From: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 21:06:05 +0200
Cc: Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>, Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>, Ian Fette <ifette@google.com>, Mike Zaneis <mike@iab.net>, Craig Spiezle <craigs@otalliance.org>, Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net>, Nicholas Nick Doty - W3C <npdoty@w3.org>, "Aleecia M. McDonald - W3C WG Co-Chair" <aleecia@aleecia.com>, Matthias Schunter - WC3 WG Co-Chair <mts-std@schunter.org>, Marc Groman - NAI <mgroman@networkadvertising.org>, Shane Wiley - Yahoo! <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>, Brendan Riordan-Butterworth <Brendan@iab.net>, Kimon Zorbas - IAB Europe <vp@iabeurope.eu>, JC Cannon - MSFT <jccannon@microsoft.com>, W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <FDD48AEF-4202-49CA-9BFB-D2090B9F334D@w3.org>
To: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>
We all agree that wide participation in this work is essential.

For that very reason, we made lots of phone calls last summer as we built up this working group.  We had one of those conversations with IAB.  These conversations don't make anybody an invited expert per se.

As far as IAB's participation in this work is concerned, we've been discussing (not on this public mailing list) ways to involve IAB US in a way that ensures appropriate IPR commitments and complies with W3C policies, and hope to have that resolved soon.
If there are any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us off-list.

Thomas Roessler, W3C  <tlr@w3.org>  (@roessler)

On 2012-08-10, at 20:08 +0200, John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org> wrote:

> Mike,
> I'm puzzled by your response.  I checked the WG's participant's list on the WG's website.  It shows that there are nine "invited experts."  Most come from various NGOs. Three are associated with various regulatory authorities.
> What "Billion dollar companies serving as Invited Experts" are you referring to?
> As ever,
> John
> On Aug 9, 2012, at 6:40 PM, Mike Zaneis wrote:
>> Jonathan, maybe you did not read the original email about how we came to join this group.  At no point did we decide to remain observers, we were invited to join the group because of our expertise - i.e. Invited Experts - and nothing has changed.  As for the income issue, we have Billion dollar companies serving as Invited Experts, so it is not a straightforward process or hard and fast rule. 
>> If there is a likelihood that the W3C will go bankrupt because of this process then I would be perfectly happy to reassess the situation, but I don't believe that is the case.
>> Since you seem to have the time, can you run an analysis to see what the financial records say about all the Invited Experts?  I'm sure IAB is not the largest of this group, especially amongst the academic institutions.  I look forward to your report. 
>> Mike Zaneis
>> SVP & General Counsel, IAB
>> (202) 253-1466
>> On Aug 9, 2012, at 6:53 PM, "Jonathan Mayer" <jmayer@stanford.edu> wrote:
>>> Mike,
>>> I don't follow why you're so frustrated.  The W3C processes for becoming a Member or Invited Expert are very transparent.  See http://www.w3.org/Consortium/join and http://www.w3.org/2004/08/invexp.
>>> The Invited Expert status is primarily a vehicle for waiving the membership fee if it would be unduly burdensome for an organization.  A number of stakeholders have asked to or been invited to attend meetings, and many of them possess relevant expertise.  Some have become Members.  Others have become Invited Experts.  A few, like IAB, have chosen to remain observers.
>>> The common denominator among Invited Experts isn't an ideological position.  It's the ability to pay.  Stanford, for example, is fortunate enough to be doing well.  It's a Member.  TechFreedom, on the other hand, is a young NGO.  It participates via an Invited Expert.
>>> According to IAB's 2011 annual report, the organization has a roughly $15 million budget, including $1 million surplus.  It also maintains a $5 million cash balance.  It would seem quite reasonable to ask IAB for an $8,000  contribution to keep the lights on.
>>> Jonathan
>>> On Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM, Mike Zaneis wrote:
>>>> I have been silent within the group on this topic for 12 months now but I guess I have to respond since a W3C staffer has put it out there in such apparently stark terms.
>>>> Last August I was approached by the W3C staff and INVITED to participate in a working group on this subject. I was asked if IAB would be willing to participate on behalf of the digital advertising industry since they did not have such representation and we were the EXPERTS. In stark terms, I was invited because I was an expert. Call me crazy, but I always thought we were INVITED EXPERTS.
>>>> On a personal note, I was asked to take a leap of faith and to spend significant time and resources to participate in a process that is largely duplicative, if not disruptive, to the industry's self regulatory program, and I agreed, when many other groups declined. Now, I don't expect a medal for such actions, but I also do not expect to be deceived about our role in said process. IAB and IAB Europe were the only two trade associations in Boston last September.
>>>> For Rigo to say that all it takes is a check to fix the issue is completely missing the point. When the W3C needed the IAB we stepped up in partnership, now that the process is 1 year old and we are about to have official votes, they are changing the rules and it sounds like a bait and switch. Furthermore, we have not sought to waste the group's time on this issue as Rigo states, but have instead asked repeatedly behind the scenes for clarification on our status, with no response by Thomas or the Co-Chairs.
>>>> So that's where we are as of right now: awaiting answers.
>>>> Mike Zaneis
>>>> SVP & General Counsel, IAB
>>>> (202) 253-1466
>>>> On Aug 9, 2012, at 3:45 PM, "Rigo Wenning" <rigo@w3.org> wrote:
>>>>> Ian,
>>>>> please take into account that it takes the IAB $7800 to change that
>>>>> and be a full Participant with all the rights and obligations.
>>>>> Slowly, all the wasted time on this topic costs more than the actual
>>>>> membership fee for IAB. W3C has operational costs. We are not-for
>>>>> profit. Those operational costs are covered by membership fees,
>>>>> donations and research grants. I find it legitimate that full
>>>>> participation is conditioned upon contribution to the recovering of
>>>>> operational cost. Especially from those who have a core interest in
>>>>> work we are doing. The IAB is simply not accepting this and thus
>>>>> creates turbulence in the process because we do not strictly apply
>>>>> the usual restrictions for that case (that would lock them out).
>>>>> Note that this is solely my personal opinion and does not represent
>>>>> any official W3C statement, nor a W3C team statement nor does it
>>>>> preclude or preempt any decision-making by W3C, the chairs or both
>>>>> combined on this matter.
>>>>> Rigo
>>>>> On Thursday 09 August 2012 10:36:51 Ian Fette wrote:
>>>>>> Indeed, I find it rather strange that the main target of this
>>>>>> working group is practices for advertisers and yet one of the
>>>>>> main groups representing advertisers doesn't have a vote at the
>>>>>> table... I realize that this is at the discretion of the chairs,
>>>>>> but we're probably all lacking some context here. It seems that
>>>>>> this has been raised multiple times, is it possible for the
>>>>>> chairs to provide more insight into why this hasn't been advanced
>>>>>> to date?
> ----------
> John M. Simpson
> Consumer Advocate
> Consumer Watchdog
> 1750 Ocean Park Blvd. ,Suite 200
> Santa Monica, CA,90405
> Tel: 310-392-7041
> Cell: 310-292-1902
> www.ConsumerWatchdog.org
> john@consumerwatchdog.org

Received on Friday, 10 August 2012 19:06:34 UTC

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