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Re: Issue 115, exemptions, best practices: Issue 25 and 34

From: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:51:25 +0100
Cc: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>, Lauren Gelman <gelman@blurryedge.com>, Alan Chapell <achapell@chapellassociates.com>, Jeffrey Chester <jeff@democraticmedia.org>, Lee Tien <tien@eff.org>, "Amy Colando (LCA)" <acolando@microsoft.com>, Kathy Joe <K.Joe@esomar.org>, Jules Polonetsky <julespol@futureofprivacy.org>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>, "adam.phillips@realresearch.co.uk" <adam.phillips@realresearch.co.uk>
Message-Id: <642B1915-F645-473C-91FD-8F3752A5DAEA@w3.org>
To: Mike Zaneis <mike@iab.net>
On 2012-02-13, at 23:23 +0100, Mike Zaneis wrote:

> IAB represents hundreds of publishers – large and small – and we have consistently weighed in with their perspective. 

We very much welcome IAB's — and the publishers'  — perspective in this work.

> What constitutes an action or inaction being “irrational” depends entirely upon your point of view.  Are you saying that it’s irrational for a small publisher (like these companies), with just a handful of employees, that has never heard of the W3C, to sift through the thousand+ emails a month and participate in this group?  And I’m not sure if participation is free for small companies, but it surely is not free for large publishers.
> That being said, I would welcome more participation from publishers and welcome and suggestions.  Perhaps a free membership for companies that make less than $2 million/year?  I bet I could get 100 companies to join the working group.  Would they have voting privileges?

A few mostly general points in response.

1. A large majority of W3C's membership consists of small and medium-sized companies: Membership is open to all.  We have recently added a lower start-up fee level, to make it easier for small companies to get involved in the standards work.

In addition, we can use the invited expert process to bring in relevant expertise when needed.  We don't generally extend invited expert status to parties that have a business interest in the outcome of a particular set of technical standards work.

2. Out of conversations with many companies, the main obstacle to participation in standards processes is more often the cost of travel and the time involved, than it is the membership fee.  The Do Not Track Community Group is a very interesting way of structuring broader participation by those who don't have the resources to fully participate in the group.  That route is open for other communities as well.

Note that the possibility of building a similar, dedicated interface for business interests that don't want to invest in direct participation in the WG was part of the original plan for this work, and is actually mentioned explicitly in the charter.  It turned out that most of the companies that we initially approached about this were instead interested in a membership conversation. 

3. To your voting point:  In Brussels, we heard worries (from industry participants!) that some parties might "stack" votes.  That's one reason why the chairs proposed a process to the group that *avoids* votes as a tool to resolve difficult issues, and instead looks at the actual impact of proposed decisions.
Received on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 11:51:45 UTC

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