Title: 1 1. Full name: Amadeu Abril i Abril
2. E-mail address: Amadeu@nominalia.com
3. Organization you work for (if apply): Nominalia Internet S.L. & ESADE Law School, Ramon Llull University
4. Snail-mail address (street, city, country):
Passeig Lluís Companys 23
E-08015 Barcelona (Catalonia; EU)
5. The region that includes the country of which you are a citizen: Europe
6. The region that includes the country in which you reside: Europe
7. A clear statement of acceptance of the nomination:
I am accepting the nomnination for the ICANN Board on behalf of the DBSO.
8. If you are a Member of the Names Council, state your intention to resign from the Names Council if you are elected to the ICANN Board:
I am currently a provisional member of the NC on behalf of the Registrars Constituency. Should I be elected as a permanent member of the NC (the elections will still last for some hours) I would immediately resign in case of being appointed to the ICANN Board.
9. A Curriculum Vitae (no more than 500 words long):
Is There Life Outside DNSland?
I was born in Barcelona (Catalonia; EU) in 1961 (hmmm, you thought I was older, right?). I am married, without children. After spending seven years in four different European countries I came back to Barcelona with the firm conviction that it is very unlikely that I ever move again too far from the Mediterranean Sea.
After obtaining my law degree from the University of Barcelona in 1985, I continued my legal education in different post-graduate and research programs at the Centre Européen Universtaire of the Univerity of Nancy II (France), the Institut díÉtudes Européenes of the Free University Brussels (Belgium) and the European University Institute at Florence (Italy).
I also spent a year and a half at the European Commissionís DGIV, the Directorate General in charge of Competition Policy (antitrust, if you prefer).
I currently teach European Union Law. Competition Law and Internet Law at ESADE Law School, Ramon Llull University (http://www.esade.es). This course I will also serve as Director of both the European Documentation Center and a soon-to-be-launched center for law & IT.
I am a member of the Barcelona Bar, acting as Secretary to its Competition Law & Policy Section.
Since the summer of 1997, where I started acting as Legal & Policy Advisor to the Catalan Research Foundation and its domain-name registration department, Nominalia. I have spent all my time between the University and DNS-related efforts, thereby nearly closing my private attorney practice.
My first involvement with the Internet Community (besides being a user) was the launching of a pioneering electronic democracy project within BCNet, a local communtiy network.The original project has now evolved into an independent initiative.
I have also been among the promoters of the domini .ct campaign, a 700 adhereents strong campaign asking the recognition of a TLD aimed for the Catalan-speaking cultural community
Besides my mother tongue, Catalan, I speak Spanish, French and Italian, and something thatís getting close to English over time. Some basic, but fairly rotten German, average Portuguese.
And thatís all. Well, perhaps I should add that as many of you know I barely see beyond the tip of my nose. But I have been advised to refrain from saying that I am "short-sighted". At least in whatís supposed to be a sort of electoral statement.
I*CANN Tell You That...
I was lurking during the old "newdom lists" days where all the movement of DNS reform was somehow started )I believe that most of the right questions were made at that time, even if the right answers needed more time to surface). I participated in the IAHC process and brought the FCR (Catalan Research Foundation) as one of the initial signatories of the gTLD-MoU. I was elected by PAB (the body grouping the 200+ signatories of the MoU, a sort of General Assembly and at-large membership all in one) as Observer within the Policy Oversight Committee (the body intended to set the policy within the framework of the gTLD-MoU). When CORE (the Internet Council of Registrars, from whgich Nominaia is a gounding member) was formed, I was elected as one of their representatives within the same POC.
When the Green Paper came about, I actively participated in the campaign against that unacceptable proposal, especially in Europe. In that sense I have been active in the so-called European Commission Panel of Participants (EC-PoP) and I have participated in all its meetings and teleconferences to date.
Once the more acceptable (but still largely unsatisfactory) White Paper was released I participated in the Geneva, Singapore and Buenos Aires meetings of the IFWP (International Forum on the White Paper) and served as a volunteer member in its Steering Committee.
I also organized in Barcelona the first meeting of the DNSO formation process, and have attended the other three formation meetings at Monterrey, Washington and Singapore, also serving in their organising committees. I also was among the promoters of the so-called BMW DNSO application,
I have attended all the ICANN meetings so far, and I also drafted and submitted the Registrar Constituency charter for recognition during the Berlin meeting.
I was elected as provisional Names Council representative by this constituency last June.
Besides my work within the NC I have also co-chaired Working Group A on the uniform dispute resolution policy (and took active part in all previous WIPO efforts on this issue).
In one sentence: I have been very present during all this process for the last three years. Perhaps "too" present? In any case, it seems that I am never more than two meters far from the mike during public meetings, much to Estherís desperation. Some of my colleagues within the NC have supported my nomination hoping that if I am elected to the Board, NC teleconferences will be shorter (as a born optimist, I still hope they will find other arguments to support my nomination).
10. A statement indicating your ideas, intentions and/or the reason why you consider you should be elected to serve in the ICANN Board (no more than 500 words):
I wonít promise that I will represent all the constituencies, GA and other incarnations of the delicate equilibrium we have achieved (we try to achieve) within the DNSO. Simply because the ICANN Bylaws clearly state that all Directors, including those elected by SOs have the duty to represent what they reasonably believe are the best interests of ICANN as a whole. Bit I would certainly make sure that DNSO voice(s) is heard, understood and taken care of within the Board.
We all understood that the evolving Internet needed structures that could bring the transition form a well-functioning, loosely organized, socially homogeneous Net to an equally well-functioning, but more composite and structured Net. ICANN is the better answer we have been able to provide to take up this challenge and, while largely perfectible and probably exceedingly complex, we have n other choice than making it succeed, and evolve. It is the best available tool, if not the only one, to make sure the Net advances in self-organizing itself within international structures that co-ordinates the basic functions while introduces and reinforces competition wherever possible, preserving a balance between the different interests at stake.
My priorities regarding ICANN include:
Funding. ICANN will not be able to achieve any of its goals without a stable and solid financial structure. A funding structure must be put in place shortly to guarantee that the needs expressed in the budget are covered (even if I find the current proposed budget too high). While I was not a convinced supporter of the per-domain fee in the long run, I still suspect that it was the best solution in the short run. In any case,we need to find a funding structure where all stakeholders and groups represented share an equitable part (which is not necessarily equal). Spreading budget charges means spreading responsibilities . And power. The reverse being even more true, and therefore undesirable
Relation with ccTLDs. ICANN and ccTLDs have to better define their relationship as soon as possible, even if many issues might remain unresolved for a long while. I believe that ccTLDs should immediately engage in negotiations to sign a contract with ICANN where functions, services, contributions and responsibilities are somehow specified. IMHO, ICANN has not to get involved in ccTLD policies, at least for the foreseeable future. As for the relationship to be established, RFC 1591 is a good basis, but it is clear that cannot be only that.
ICANN structure and procedures. I am afraid that the Membership issue is not yet solved to general satisfaction., and it should be revisited. As for procedures we should all be aware that the complex and diverse interests have also complex and diverse ways of expressing themselves, and that "community consensus" cannot be simply based on "hands counting". Nor should preferential treatment be granted to those who choose to express their views out and loud with regard to those who take a different, more structured and probably less visible but equally credible way. Arguments and opinions have to be evaluated on their merits and supporters, not only on the decibels used to shout them.
Internationalisation: Despite all practical difficulties that could be found here and there, we should all commit to maintain our GD rules. We need to strengthen the multicultural environment in which we want to work and proceed (I have felt rather unconvertible myself being the "non English speaker quota" in many teleconferences and meetings related to this effort). One possible, and necessary way, to help moving into that direction is making sure that ICANN staff and services are not all concentrated around one place or one citizenship.
Sell-governance. ICANN is a private-sector driven experiment in Internet self-governance. I am specially worried about the clear and distinct feeling that despite all declarations about their commitment to deregulation and self-governance many Governments tend to act in the contrary direction. It is perhaps an unwarranted impression, but there it is nevertheless. The recent agreement between NSI, DoC and ICANN provide an example: it can be read as extending and increasing the oversight function of the DoC well beyond all the timeframes and issues that have been repeatedly explained to the Internet community. We first need to prove that we are up to the challenge, act resposniblyand make ICANN work efficiently (which has not been the rule so far). But then we need to keep an eye and a half on individual bevernmentsí intervention.
New gTLDs. As stated above, all this process started with the discussion of how to expand the geld space, and ICANN still has this task to deal with. Always bearing n mind that DNS is a resource that has to be managed in the public interest. ICANN itslf answrs the "who" and "how" questions, but not yet the "what".
Stability and scalability of the Net require an addition of gTLDs to cope with its current growth rate. But it is not about just adding TLDs. As a precondition, we need to provide a workable, flexible, fast and affordable mechanism to help easing and solving the conflicts that this addition could create with regard to IP rights holders, in the large sense. And this mechanism has to be blanched and equitable to all parties. In this regard I believe we are close to a good solution, which, while not perfect in all senses, deserves a real-world test to allow refinements and reforms, if needed. We also need a mechanism to allow some proactive protection of famous TMs.
And the addition has to be made in an orderly fashion. No matter what the technical or commercial or social arguments could demand, it is obvious that reality imposes a limited start, in order to better test and adapt the mechanism devised for this expansion.
Competition: While the basic registry function, management of the TLD database is a natural monopoly, we should make sure that it is as benevolent a monopoly as we could afford. It is clear that at least for the new gTLDs the registry should not cumulate the policymaking function (this is why we have ICANN and DNSO) nor the registrar function (which by its nature can be easily performed by an unlimited number of competing entities of all sorts and natures). Being by origin a competition policy specialist, I know quite well that perfect competitive models not exist, and that some level of oversight will always be required. And, on the other end of the sliding scale, that all monopolies can be somehow controlled. But an entity like ICANN will always have much weaker oversight mechanism than Governments. This is why it is needed to lend towards the most self-healing, oversight-reducing mechanism we could design. In that sense gTLD registries, at least new gTLD registries, should be non-for-profit, open membership associations under ICANN oversight (NSI being a historical exception, it is being dealt with in an exceptional basis, which is logical in principle and sometimes worrying tin the actual details).
I am afraid that I have exceeded the 500 words the Secretariat asked for. But then nobody really expected that I stick to that. I cannot afford o defeat expectations this crucial moment
Amadeu Abril i Abril