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[council] Follow-up Note on DNSO Funding for L.A. meeting expenses
To the Names Council:
Ben's note earlier today provides a helpful and thorough elaboration of the
costs entailed by the DNSO's webcasting requirements. Lest anyone get the
wrong idea, however, let me squarely address one of Ben's hypotheticals:
>But webcast costs might conceivably be split
>in some other way. ICANN might simply subsidize the DNSO -- not passing on
>to the DNSO all costs relating to the DNSO, as I understand (but Andrew
>should confirm) was done in Berlin.
I confirm that ICANN has subsidized the costs of webcasting and translation
services for the DNSO both at Berlin and at Santiago. I can also confirm
that that arrangement is no longer an option for Los Angeles.
As I understand it, the Names Council today pledged that it would eventually
figure out a way to pay for webcasting and related meeting expenses, but
that it would take no steps to generate funds in advance of Los Angeles. As
you may recall, this was the same pledge that the Names Council expressed to
me prior to Santiago; however, there has been no sign of progress on that
front in the intervening months. While I appreciate the difficult demands
and pressures that have been brought to bear on the Names Council, I simply
cannot offer the DNSO yet another blank check for its meeting expenses,
particularly when the DNSO's existing obligations to ICANN and the Berkman
Center remain unpaid.
I see two relatively straightforward and painless ways to address the DNSO's
funding needs in the short term:
 Collect a per-person meeting fee from attendees at the Tuesday
DNSO GA and NC meetings. This was the solution imposed by ICANN for the
Berlin meeting, and worked fairly smoothly. For example: $60/head x 160
heads = $9,600.
 Find one or more sponsors for the DNSO meetings. For example: 2
sponsors x $5,000/each = $10,000.
Let me be uncharacteristically blunt: It's simply not an option for the
Names Council to once again defer the question of funding to some day in the
future, while leaving ICANN to pay its bills in the meantime.
The Names Council has been making tremendous progress in recent weeks,
working together to solve complex organizational and procedural issues in a
cooperative way. I hope that the NC will bring its considerable talents to
bear on the issue of how the DNSO will fund its ongoing operational costs.