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[nc-org] Draft for Names Council - v 5.3

This draft reflects a few detail changes
requested mostly by the registrar constituency.
   * References to "accredited registrars" in Sec. 5
   * Put in more specific statements about protocols
and performance specs in Sec 4
   * Minor language modification in Section 1c

There is one other possible change that is
"more than a detail" I will send out in the
next message. If it proves to be uncontroversial
we can add it, if not, it will have to be confined
to the supplemental reports of constituencies. 

Once that is dealt with, we should be able to 
send this report to the full NC by Thursday Jan 10.

v 5.3 (January 8, 2002)

The .org registry should be operated for the benefit 
of the worldwide community of organizations, groups, 
and individuals engaged in noncommercial communication 
via the Internet. Responsibility for .org 
administration should be delegated to a non-profit 
organization that has widespread support from and acts 
on behalf of that community.

The notions of sponsorship and restriction, as applied 
elsewhere in the gTLD process, do not provide an 
adequate framework for the .org divestiture. Some 
clear statement of administrative and marketing 
practices will be necessary but this must not result 
in an exclusive boundary being set around the 
community of eligible registrants. The manner in which 
the normative guidelines are labeled is not a primary 
consideration, but the framework should include all 
the points below.

1. Characteristics of the Organization to 
Administer .org

1a. The initial delegation of the .org TLD should be 
to a non-profit organization that is controlled by 
noncommercial .org registrants. We recognize that 
noncommercial registrants do not have uniform views 
about polic and management, and that no single 
organization can fully encompass the diversity of 
global civil society. Nevertheless, applicant 
organizations should be able to demonstrate support 
and participation from a significant number of 
international noncommercial .org registrants. The 
organization's policies and practices should strive to 
be responsive to and supportive of the noncommercial 
Internet user community, and reflect as much of its 
diversity as possible.

1b. Applicants for operation of the .org registry 
should be recognized non-profit entities (understood 
to include corporations, associations, partnerships or 
cooperatives as those terms are defined in the legal 
jurisdiction in which the organization is 
established). Subcontracting of operational functions 
to for-profit providers is permitted.

1c. Applicants should propose governance structures 
for the .org TLD that provide all .org registrants 
with the opportunity to either directly participate in 
the selection of officers, or the election of policy-
making council members, or both. The bylaws should 
provide explicitly for an open, transparent and 
participatory process by which .org operating policies 
are initiated, reviewed and revised in a manner which 
reflects the interests of .org domain name holders and 
is consistent with the terms of its registry agreement 
with ICANN.

1d. In order to permit the largest number of qualified 
non-profit organizations to compete for award of 
the .org TLD contract, the Board should require no 
more than the equivalent of USD$200,000 in 
demonstrated financial resources from applicants.

2. Policy Guidelines for Applicants to Administer .org

2a. Definition of the .org community
Each applicant organization should include in its 
application a definition of the relevant community for 
which names in the .org TLD are intended, detailing 
the types of registrants who constitute the target 
market for .org, and proposing marketing and branding 
practice oriented toward that community. 

The definition of the relevant community should be 
much broader than simply formal non-profit 
organizations. It must also include individuals and 
groups seeking an outlet for noncommercial expression 
and information exchange, unincorporated cultural, 
educational and political organizations, and business 
partnerships with non-profits and community groups for 
social initiatives.

2b. No eligibility requirements
Dot org will continue to be operated without 
eligibility requirements. With a definition of the 
served community and appropriate marketing practices 
in place, the organization and the registrars should 
rely entirely on end-user choice to determine who 
registers in .org.

Specifically, applicants:
* Must not propose to evict existing registrants who 
do not conform to its target community. Current 
registrants must not have their registrations 
cancelled nor should they be denied the opportunity to 
renew their names or transfer them to others.

* Must not attempt to impose any new prior 
restrictions on people or organizations attempting to 
register names, or propose any new dispute initiation 
procedures that could result in the cancellation of 
domain delegations. The UDRP would apply as per 
section 5 below, however.

2c. Surplus funds
Applicants should specify how they plan to disburse 
any surplus funds. Use of surplus funds for purposes 
not directly related to dot org registry operation is 
permitted, provided that the registry operation itself 
is adequately sustained and that the additional 
purposes bear some relationship to Internet use, 
administration and policy. For example, applicants are 
encouraged to propose methods of supporting and 
assisting non-commercial participants in the ICANN 
process. Uses intended only to subsidize other 
activities of the organization or its subsidiaries, 
activities that are not subject to oversight and 
management by the .org governance arrangements, should 
not e considered.

2d. Registrars
All ICANN-accredited registrars should be eligible to 
register names in .org. However, applicants are 
encouraged to propose methods of managing the 
relationship between the registry and registrars that 
encourage differentiation of the domain.

2e. Definition of marketing practices
Differentiation of the domain is a key policy 
objective in the transition, and new marketing 
practices are the primary tool for achieving that 
objective. Applicants should propose specific 
marketing policies and practices designed to 
differentiate the domain, promote and attract 
registrations from the defined community, and minimize 
defensive and duplicative registrations. 

3. The Verisign endowment

Applicants should meet all requirements needed to 
qualify for the $5 million endowment from Verisign. 
Applications should describe how they propose to 
utilize the endowment and the timing of its use.

4. The Registry Operator

Any entity chosen by the TLD delegee to operate 
the .org registry must function efficiently and 
reliably and show its commitment to a high quality of 
service for all .org users worldwide, including a 
commitment to making registration, assistance and 
other services available to ICANN-accredited 
registrars in different time zones and different 
languages. The ".org" registry should match or improve 
on the performance specifications of the 
current ".org" registry. The registry fee charged to 
accredited registrars should be as low as feasible 
consistent with the maintenance of good quality 
service. The registry-registrar protocol should either 
remain the same as the current ".org" registry, or it 
should match the new international standard for 
registry-registrar protocols being developed in the 
Internet Engineering Task Force.

5. ICANN Policies

The .org administration must adhere to policies 
defined through ICANN processes, such as policies 
regarding registrar accreditation, shared registry 
access,the uniform dispute resolution policy, and 
access to registration contact data via WHOIS. 

6. Follow up

ICANN should invite applications from qualifying non-
profit organizations to assume responsibility for 
operation of the .org registry with a deadline no 
later than 30 June 2002, so that an evaluation, 
selection and agreement process may be completed well 
in advance of the 31 December expiration of the 
current agreement with Verisign.

ICANN will provide an opportunity for the Names 
Council to review the request for proposals (RFP) 
prepared by the ICANN staff prior to its public 
dissemination, and will adjust the RFP as needed in 
consultation with the Task Force to ensure compliance 
with the policy. Application fees should be as low as 
possible consistent with the objective of discouraging 
frivolous applications.

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