Domain Name Supporting Organization of ICANN
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers http://www.icann.org

The DNSO is a Supporting Organisation of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). It advises the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the Domain Name System.

The DNSO consists of:

(i) a Names Council ("NC"), consisting of representatives of constituencies elected by those Constituencies

[A provisional Names Council is now in place. It  includes representatives of constituencies 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 (see "CONSTITUENCIES" below). The provisional Names Council has all the powers described below, except the power to elect ICANN Board Directors (see "RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS"). A definitive Names Council will be elected after the ICANN Board meeting in November 1999]

(ii) a General Assembly ("GA"), consisting of all interested individuals and entities.


(a) The NC  consists of three representatives from each Constituency recognized by the ICANN Board, with the temporary exception of the gTLD constituency, with only one representative.

(b) The NC is responsible for the management of the consensus building process of the DNSO. It shall adopt such procedures and policies as it sees fit to carry out that responsibility, including the designation of such research or drafting committees, working groups and other bodies of the GA as it determines are appropriate to carry out the substantive work of the DNSO. Such bodies shall include at least one representative nominated by each recognized Constituency, and shall provide appropriate means, as determined by the NC, for input and such participation as is practicable under the circumstances by other interested parties. Any reports or recommendations presented to the NC by such bodies shall be posted on a web site accessible by the public for public review and comment; absent clear justification, which shall be publicly stated at the time of any action, the NC shall not act on any report or recommendation until a reasonable time for public comment has passed and the NC has reviewed and evaluated all public comments received. The NC is responsible for ensuring that all responsible views have been heard and considered prior to a decision by the NC.

(c) Constituencies or GA participants may propose that the NC consider domain name policies or recommendations. If the NC undertakes consideration of a domain name topic, or if a Constituency so requests, the NC shall designate one or more research or drafting committees, or working groups of the GA, as appropriate to evaluate the topic, and shall set a time frame for the report of such committee or working group. Following the receipt of a report or recommendation from such a body, the NC may accept the report or recommendation for submission to the Constituencies for comment and consultation, or return the report or recommendation to the body from which it originated for further work. After the report or recommendation is submitted to the Constituencies and the comment period for the Constituencies has expired, the NC shall evaluate the comments to determine whether there is a basis for a consensus recommendation to the Board.

(d) If two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the NC determine that the DNSO process has produced a community consensus, that consensus position shall be forwarded to the Board as a consensus recommendation, along with all materials or other information that could reasonably be relevant to the Board's review of that determination, including (but not limited to) the dissenting statement(s) of any member(s) of the NC. If more than one-half (1/2) but less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the NC determine that the DNSO process has produced a community consensus, that position may be forwarded to the Board as a NC recommendation, along with statements of majority and minority views, and any separate or dissenting statement(s) of any member(s) of the NC. Any proposed recommendation that is not supported by an affirmative vote of one-half (1/2) of the members of the NC may be returned to the body from which it originated, or may be assigned to a new body, for further work. In such a case, the NC may report to the board the lack of a consensus and the steps, if any, it plans to take from this point forward with respect to this particular recommendation. The NC is responsible for ensuring that the Board is informed of any significant implementation or operational concerns expressed by any responsible party.

(e) The NC shall forward to the Board, from among those persons nominated by the GA, its selection(s) for the Director(s) to fill any open Board position(s) reserved for the DNSO. Any such selection(s) must have the affirmative votes of at least one-half (1/2) of all the members of the NC.

(f) The term of office for each member of the NC shall be two years.

(g) No more than one officer, director or employee of a corporation or other organization (including its subsidiaries and affiliates) shall serve on the NC at any given time. Service as a member of the NC shall not disqualify a person from being selected by the DNSO as one of the Directors of the Corporation it is entitled to select.

(h) Meetings of the NC may be held in person, via videoconference or teleconference, at the discretion of the NC, so long as all members of the NC participating can speak to and hear one another. A majority of the total number of NC members then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the act of a majority of the NC members present at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be the act of the NC, unless otherwise provided herein. Advance notice of such meetings shall be posted on a web site that is available for public access and, if reasonably practicable, at least 14 days in advance of the meeting. Except where determined by a majority vote of members of the NC present that a closed session is appropriate, meetings shall be open to physical or electronic attendance by all interested persons. The NC shall post minutes of its meetings to a web site that is available for public access as soon as practicable following the meeting, and no later than 21 days following the meeting.

(i) The NC shall elect the Chairman of the GA annually.

(j) The NC shall establish, subject to review and approval by the Board, an appropriate mechanism for review of grievances and/or reconsideration.

(k) [Reserved for conflicts of interest policy, if necessary.]]

(l) Administrative and operational costs of the DNSO shall be funded by DNSO participants in a manner to be determined by the NC.


(a) Each Constituency shall self-organize, and shall determine its own criteria for participation, except that no individual or entity shall be excluded from participation in a Constituency merely because of participation in another Constituency, and constituencies shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness. The Board shall recognize a Constituency (including the initial Constituencies described in (b) below) by a majority vote, whereby the Constituency shall be deemed to exist for purposes of these Bylaws.

(b) The initial Consituencies shall consist of (in alphabetical order):

1. ccTLD registries;

2. commercial and business entities;

3. gTLD registries;

4. ISP and connectivity providers;

5. non-commercial domain name holders;

6. registrars; and

7. trademark, other intellectual property and anti-counterfeiting interests.

(c) Members of each Constituency shall select three individuals to represent that Constituency on the NC, no two of which may be citizens of countries in the same Geographic Region, as defined in Article V, Section 6 of the ICANN Bylaws. Nominations within each Constituency may be made by any member of the Constituency, but no such member may make more than one nomination in any single Constituency; provided that this limitation shall not apply to any Constituency with less than three members.

(d) Any group of individuals or entities may petition the Board for recognition as a new or separate Constituency. Any such petition will be posted for public comment pursuant to Article III, Section 3 of the ICANN Bylaws. The Board may create new Constituencies in response to such a petition, or on its own motion, if it determines that such action would serve the purposes of the Corporation. In the event the Board is considering acting on its own motion it shall post a detailed explanation of why such action is necessary or desirable, set a reasonable time for public comment, and not make a final decision on whether to create such new Constituency until after reviewing all comments received. Whenever the Board posts a petition or recommendation for a new Constituency for public comment, it will notify the names council and will consider any response to that notification prior to taking action.


(a) The GA shall be an open forum for participation in the work of the DNSO, and open to all who are willing to contribute effort to the work of the DNSO. The participants in the GA should be individuals who have a knowledge of and an interest in issues pertaining to the areas for which the DNSO has primary responsibility, and who are willing to contribute time, effort and expertise to the work of the DNSO, including work item proposal and development, discussion of work items, draft document preparation, and participation in research and drafting committees and working groups.

(b) The GA shall meet at least once a year, if possible in conjunction with regularly scheduled meetings of the Board. To the maximum extent practicable, all meetings should be available for online attendance as well as physical attendance.

(c) The costs of GA meetings shall be the responsibility of the DNSO, which may levy an equitable, cost-based fee on GA attendees to recoup those costs. There shall be no other fees required to participate in the GA.

(d) The GA shall nominate, pursuant to procedures adopted by the NC and approved by the Board, persons to serve on the Board in those seats reserved for the DNSO.


The DNSO shall select Directors to those seats on the ICANN Board designated, to be filled by the DNSO. The selection of Directors by the DNSO shall comply with all applicable geographic diversity provisions of these Bylaws.

The DNSO shall serve as advisory body to the Board, with the primary responsibility for developing and recommending substantive policies regarding to the Domain Name System.

The Board shall refer proposals for substantive policies regarding to the Domain Name System (not received from the DNSO) to the DNSO for initial consideration and recommendation to the Board.

Any recommendation forwarded to the Board by a Supporting Organization shall be transmitted to all other Supporting Organizations so that each Supporting Organization may comment to the Board regarding the implications of such a recommendation on activities within their individual scope of primary responsibility.

Subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 3 of the ICANN Bylaws, the ICANN Board shall accept the recommendations of the DNSO if the Board finds that the recommended policy (1) furthers the purposes of, and is in the best interest of, the Corporation; (2) is consistent with the Articles and Bylaws; (3) was arrived at through fair and open processes (including participation by representatives of other Supporting Organizations if requested); and (4) is not reasonably opposed by any other Supporting Organization. No recommendation of the DNSO shall be adopted unless the votes in favor of adoption would be sufficient for adoption by the Board without taking account of either the Directors selected by the DNSO or their votes.

If the Board declines to accept any recommendation of the DNSO, it shall return the recommendation to the DNSO for further consideration, along with a statement of the reasons it declines to accept the recommendation. If, after reasonable efforts, the Board does not receive a recommendation from the DNSO that it finds meets the standards of Section 2(e) of Article VI of the ICANN Bylaws or, after attempting to mediate any disputes or disagreements between Supporting Organizations, receives conflicting recommendations from Supporting Organizations, and the Board finds there is a justification for prompt action, the Board may initiate, amend or modify and then approve a specific policy recommendation.

Information from:
DNSO Names Council