Mike Rodenbaugh Statement of Interest

Last Updated: 28 August 2009
Date: 
8 July 2009

Statement of Interest

Mike Rodenbaugh - Commercial and Business Users Constituency
updated 9 July 2008

I am owner of Rodenbaugh Law, a member of the Business and Commercial Users Constituency. I am an attorney licensed in California. I conduct much of my business via the internet. I advise and represent entities and individuals with various commercial interests in domain names and other forms of intellectual property, and with varying interests in internet commerce.

I am personally concerned about the security and stability of the Internet, as it is increasingly the backbone of our society, critical to global commerce, communications and safety. So I am interested in ICANN's role in managing and coordinating the technical and policy aspects of the Internet. I am mindful of the many enormous benefits of the internet that are fostered by ICANN policy, and seek for ICANN policy to develop in ways that will enhance the growth of internet commerce and communications. I am also concerned about various, serious harms enabled by policies of ICANN and its contracting registries and accredited registrars, or by lack of effective policy.

Businesses and their customers are experiencing increasingly severe harm from phishing, malware distribution, hacking and other forms of online crime and intellectual property infringement. For many years I served as in-house counsel at Yahoo! Inc., working increasingly to protect Yahoo! users and their commercial and personal interests, as well as Yahoo!'s commercial interests, against these increasing worldwide threats. I believe that these harms will continue to rapidly grow, unless DNS policies are adapted to help fight them. So I strive for DNS policy that helps to mitigate those threats as much as reasonably possible.

On occasion, I may have clients with similar concerns, or who have other policy interests at ICANN. As a representative elected to the GNSO Council by the collective members of the Business Constituency, I am required by the Constituency's Charter to support and otherwise remain faithful to approved positions of the Constituency as applicable, rather than my own views or those of any client I may have at any given time. Generally my clients are online businesses that do not have a contract with ICANN, though I may represent contracting parties from time to time in matters unrelated to ICANN policy, for example in a commercial transaction or dispute resolution. To the extent that any client seeks my representation or advocacy in any ICANN forum, I would further disclose the existence of such client and their interest in the matter at the time of that representation.

I currently advise a for-profit entity in a business venture that will apply for a new gTLD when ICANN opens the domain space in 2009, and I am personally engaged in a second for-profit business venture that intends to apply for another new gTLD through that ICANN process. I may consult on other, similar projects in the future. In addition, I advise Yahoo! and several other clients with respect to cybersquatting and cybersecurity problems that they suffer, which problems are enabled (often unknowingly) by ICANN contracting parties and by ICANN policies or lack thereof. Therefore I also advise those clients about ICANN, and advocate at ICANN some of their views that ICANN policies should change and/or be adopted to mitigate these problems.