DNSO Names Council Teleconference on 19 October 2000 - minutes

19 October 2000.

Proposed agenda and related documents:



List of attendees:

Philip Sheppard
Masanobu Katoh
Theresa Swinehart
left 14:39 (CET), with proxy to Masanobu Katoh
Dennis Jennings
Patricio Poblete
Nii Quaynor
proxy to Patricio Poblete
Roger Cochetti
Caroline Chicoine
Axel Aus der Muhlen
Guillermo Carey
Hirofumi Hotta
Tony Harris
Michael Schneider
Youn Jung Park
absent (apology)
Dany Vandromme
Zakaria Amar
Erica Roberts
Ken Stubbs
Paul Kane
Elisabeth Porteneuve
DNSO Secretariat
Rebecca Nesson
Louis Touton
ICANN staff

Chair: Ken Stubbs (Registrars) until the end of item 11 below; then Caroline Chicoine (IP)

Quorum present at 14:15 CET (all times reported are CET, which is UTC +2:00)

Note: Michael Schneider attended the call from the beginning, but was initially assigned a listen-only telephone port, so that other participants on the call were unable to hear him and unaware of his presence. During the discussion of item 4 below he was reassigned to a talk-and-listen port.

Minutes of the meeting held by teleconference.

Ken Stubbs expressed wish that those giving proxies post their intentions to give proxy to the NC.

1. Approval of Agenda

Decision D1: The agenda for the meeting was unanimously approved by all present. (Michael Schneider's vote is unknown.)

2. Summary of Minutes

Decision D2: The minutes of the 21 September 2000 NC meeting were unanimously approved by all present. (Michael Schneider's vote is unknown.)

3. Matters Arising Not Forming Part of the Agenda

Philip Sheppard expressed concern about use of a note-taker and felt the NC should address the issue directly. Ken Stubbs explained that the use of the note-taker for this meeting was because of the difficulty with the minutes from the previous meeting. He suggested adding the issue to item 15 of the agenda (taping of NC meetings). Elisabeth Porteneuve explained that because of the previous meeting's overloaded agenda (and the meeting's late hour), the taking of minutes had been very difficult and led to some confusion. The note-taker for the present meeting had been donated pro-bono by ICANN upon her request.

4. NC Proxy Proposal

    Paul Kane referred everyone to the revised draft of proposed proxy voting arrangements and requested comments. Erica Roberts proposed an amendment to include a rule that when an NC member was to be out of contact for a period of three weeks or greater, he/she must send an email notification. Her amendment was added.

    Paul Kane described the two options given in the draft. Currently the system requires 10 votes to form a quorum. Option A: there must be 10 people physically present to form a quorum. Option B: there must be 10 votes, but only 7 of those votes need to come from physically present members, and three votes may come from proxy votes.

    Dany Vandromme suggested that no member should be able to carry more than one proxy. Paul Kane indicated that this is currently the case under the rules and under both options.

    Ken Stubbs restated the question on which the NC had asked the ICANN staff for advice: Are any of the proposed procedures or decisions on the table in conflict with any ICANN bylaws or procedures? Louis Touton responded that there were no conflicts, but that on principle the ICANN staff strongly recommends against the 7 member voting because it would undermine the legitimacy of the decisions made.

    Roger Cochetti supported Option B because it is more business-like and permits business to be conducted under more conditions.

    Philip Sheppard inquired about the ICANN Board practice on proxies. Louis Touton responded that proxies had only been given in the situation in which a director had to leave a meeting early and indicated a vote on a specific issues to be voted by proxy.

    Ken Stubbs supported Option A for legitimacy reasons and indicated that he would oppose making any important decisions in an instance when only 7 members were physically present.

    Dany Vandromme supported Option B, indicating that NC members voting by proxy would be responsible for their votes. Ken Stubbs responded that proxies are sometimes given in an automatic, rather than deliberated, manner.

    Masanobu Katoh said that generally NC members vote a constituency-consensus position. However, viewed from the outside, having a vote pass with only 7 members might jeopardize legitimacy. Thus, he changed his mind and supported Option A. After his comment, Theresa Swinehart left the call.

    Philip Sheppard noted that the proposal of the Intake Committee for publication of agendas in advance of the meetings would allow for constituencies to make decisions ahead of time and then be able to give proxies responsibly.

    Dany Vandromme suggested addition of a rule that no council member could give a proxy for two meetings in a row. Caroline Chicoine noted that non-participation by NC members seemed to the be the main concern and that that should be dealt with as a separate issue.

    Guillermo Carey noted his preference for Option B, but also acknowledged the force of Louis' legitimacy point. He suggested that no decisions be taken under Option B conditions unless one member of each constituency was present. Caroline Chicoine pointed out that even under option A there is no guarantee that one member from each constituency must be present.

    Paul Kane moved for a vote on Option B, subject to the decision being reviewed in February.

      Decision D3: The motion received 7 votes in favor (Aus der Muhlen, Carey, Chicoine, Cochetti, Kane, Sheppard, and Vandromme), 4 votes against (Katoh, Poblette, Quaynor (by proxy), and Stubbs), and 3 abstentions (Harris, Roberts, and Swinehart (by proxy)). Because the motion failed to attain a majority of votes in favor, it was considered not to have passed.

    Philip Sheppard noted that because of the nature of the issues, it would not be good to let it pass with such slim support.

    Abstainers were given the chance to change their votes. Masanobu Katoh as proxy for Theresa Swinehart maintained abstention and Antonio Harris maintained abstention. Erica Roberts noted discomfort with her position and indicated inclination to vote in favor because of a general sense of the group being in favor.

    Paul Kane proposed a new option: Option A until February and then reevaluation and change to Option B if it is too difficult to conduct business under Option A.

    At this point in the discussion, Michael Schneider spoke for the first time. He noted that he had been on the call all the time, but had been designated as listen only and thus had not been able to make himself heard. He indicated that he had been in favor of the motion (Decision D3 above), so it should have passed.

    Roger Cochetti noted that he was now in favor of the second proposal and thought that the NC could reconsider the vote.

    Erica Roberts added her support to the motion (Decision D3) with the comment that she did not feel strongly either way. She then indicated that she was happy to reconsider the motion.

      Decision D3a: With the counting of Michael Schneider's vote and Erica Robert's revision of her abstention to a vote in favor, the motion (the same one as considered in Decision D3) passed with 9 votes for, 4 votes against and 2 abstentions.

    Ken Stubbs seconded Paul Kane's motion for a new vote and called for the new vote. Paul Kane called for a vote on the proposal to have Option A until the February NC meeting and then have a re-evaluation at that point to determine whether Option A hinders progress on NC business.

      Decision D3b: The motion passed with 10 votes in favor (Carey, Chicoine, Cochetti, Harris, Katoh, Poblette, Quaynor (by proxy), Sheppard, Stubbs, and Swinehart (by proxy)), 1 vote against (Aus der Muhlen), and 4 abstentions(Kane, Roberts, Schneider, and Vandromme).

5. Preparation for 14 November Physical Meeting in Marina del Rey

    Paul Kane thanked all NC members for support and help. Noted that all rooms had been allocated and that ICANN had been helpful. Constituencies were instructed to talk directly to John Crain of the ICANN staff to organize for equipment for constituency meetings. Caroline Chicoine raised the question of bearing expense for equipment. Louis Touton indicated that extraordinary costs would be borne by the constituencies themselves. Paul Kane noted that he would find out additional detail about what would be provided for the constituencies.

    Roger Cochetti indicated that VeriSign corporate would cover the cost of the webcast of the meeting but that they preferred to share the cost with other donors and hoped that others would step forward. Paul Kane indicated that the cost was $10,000 and that he had asked Roberto Gaetano if the GA would be interested in sharing the cost. Ken Stubbs indicated that Peter de Blanc had inquired and that he would tell him that subscriptions of up to $500 would be welcome. He also noted that he has sent a note to the CORE Secretariat.

    Erica Roberts indicated that this cost should be dealt with in the DNSO budget and that this sort of problem should not continue to be dealt with in this way. She then suggested that it should be made an action item of the budget committee. Philip Sheppard noted that it should be placed on the agenda for the meeting in Marina del Rey and that the items addressed in Marina del Rey should be ones that are interesting to the public and other items should be deferred to the following teleconference. Roger Cochetti and Masanobu Katoh indicated their support for that idea. Ken Stubbs reminded everyone that agenda suggestions should be sent to the Intake Committee.

    Caroline Chicoine inquired about the status of the dinner. Ken Stubbs said that arrangements were being made, significant others were welcome, and that all NC members would receive notification soon.

6. Proposed Dates for the Next Meeting

    Ken Stubbs stated the proposed meeting dates: Thursday, 14 December, and Thursday, 25 January. He noted concern about Christmas season and asked for cultural/religious conflicts with 14 December.

    Dany Vandromme said he would be unable to attend for business reasons. Elisabeth Porteneuve said she had checked and this week appeared to be culturally neutral. Ken Stubbs said that it would take place during that week and that council members should notify Elisabeth about conflicts. Also notify Elisabeth of availability for 25 January. Time of day for meetings is always difficult, but the 14:00 (CET) meeting time seems to be best for the greatest number of people. Michael Schneider noted that NC meeting times should be communicated to other bodies as early as possible in order to avoid scheduling conflicts. Philip Sheppard volunteered to communicate the NC agenda to the European bodies. Ken Stubbs suggested that all schedule conflicts should be in to Elisabeth by 25 October.

    Nota Bene added after the NC meeting:
    the next two NC teleconferences will be held on:

    Tuesday 19 December 2000 and Wednesday 24 January 2001.

7. Submission of Intake Committee Report

    Philip Sheppard explained that this agenda item referred to the second half of the Intake Committee report that was sent to the NC. The first half was the function of the Intake Committee. The second half is about guidelines and rules for the running of NC meetings. He noted that the current procedures, coming out the Berkman Center suggestions at the 1999 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, suggested scheduling of meetings for the entire year, rules for speaking at meetings and other things that had already been implemented. In addition, it addresses the recommendation that the NC Chair be seated for 6 month terms and the seating arrangements for public meetings.

    Ken Stubbs asked for comments. Erica Roberts noted her support of the report, indicating particular support for having rules formalized, short terms for the chair. She expressed interest in having the Intake Committee continue its work in formalizing rules.

    Ken Stubbs asked for clarification from all members about their recollections on the term of the NC chair. Michael Schneider suggested that for simplicity's sake it should be assumed to be 6 months. Erica Roberts agreed. Michael Schneider formally moved that the appointment of Ken Stubbs in Yokohama was 6 months. Erica Roberts seconded the motion.

      Decision D4: Motion passed to make Ken Stubbs' term as chair for 6 months. There was no opposition, with one abstention from Dany Vandromme.

    Ken Stubbs noted that formal decision needs to be taken on the report presented by Philip Sheppard. Philip Sheppard moved to accept the report. Erica Roberts seconded. In response to a request for clarification by Louis Touton, Philip Sheppard stated that the procedures proposed in the report would be adopted for use until changed.

      Decision D5: Motion to adopt the second part of the Intake Committee report passed unanimously.

8. Committee Status Report

    Ken Stubbs noted that Theresa Swinehart had left the call and asked NC members to review the report she was to present, which had been posted. He asked if anyone else wished to go over critical items.

    Louis Touton noted that Theresa Swinehart was scheduled to report to the ICANN Board the day after the NC meeting and that any comments should be given to her before that time if they were to be incorporated. Ken Stubbs recommended that NC members let Theresa Swinehart know if they wished to comment.

9. Proposal for NC Report on TLDs and Intellectual Property

    Roger Cochetti withdrew this item from the agenda for the meeting and suggested it as a good topic for the public meeting in November. He noted that the main subject was that the NC had not finished its work in this area, that important questions remain, that the NC could still make further more detailed contributions in this regard, and that the NC should allocate a substantial amount of time to the topic.

    Ken Stubbs noted that he was on the Whois committee and that he was going to push to have the Whois committee report accelerated so that there would be something substantive to be discussed by the NC in Marina del Rey. Louis Touton explained that the Whois committee is a staff-convened committee asked to get together and develop some ideas and pass them to the NC or to the ICANN staff, depending on whether the ideas involved new policy or implementation of existing policy.

    Paul Kane asked of Louis Touton what was the NC members' liability for suit for reports produced by the NC. Louis Touton responded that Article 9 of the ICANN bylaws provides for indemnification by ICANN and that in addition, ICANN has a general liability policy that covers the officers, directors, and employees and volunteers for ICANN. As is typical of insurance policies, the coverage has various limitations, but subject to those limitations the policy covers litigation costs and damages.

    Paul Kane inquired whether if the NC got involved in intellectual property matters resulting from the introduction of new TLDs could there be a conflict of interest problem that would place the NC members in jeopardy.

    Roger Cochetti left the call at this point.

    Louis Touton explained that the NC only makes recommendations concerning domain-name policy (but does act on some DNSO administrative matters, such as deciding how DNSO funds are spent). Generally speaking, the conflict-of-interest policy with respect to SOs is entirely disclosure-oriented. NC members ought to disclose if there is something before the NC in which they have a material interest. SOs can act to implement the conflict-of-interest policy, but the DNSO has not done that yet.

    Paul Kane asked whether it was intended for the NC to review the Whois committee report. Louis Touton explained that Rebecca Nesson is coordinating the Whois committee, that it was formed to assist the ICANN staff with implementation of the Whois requirements in the current contracts concerning gTLDs. The group includes registrar/registry and intellectual property interests. To the extent that the report raises issues for decision that involve new policy rather than implementation of existing policy, then those portions will be passed on by the ICANN staff to the NC for consideration within the DNSO.

    Paul Kane inquired whether there would be an interim report. Rebecca Nesson indicated hope that there would be a report of some sort available by the November meeting.

10. Independent Review Committee

    Ken Stubbs noted that no recommendations or suggestions has been received for the Independent Review Nominating Committee. Caroline Chicoine noted that she had two names but no confirmations. She then commented it was important to get people selected by the time of the Marina del Rey meeting. Ken Stubbs encouraged other NC members to come up with recommendations, particularly the lawyer members.

11. Update on Current TLD Proposal Process

    Louis Touton explained that the deadline for submission of proposals for TLDs was 2 October. Forty-seven applications had been submitted, three of which were not in active consideration (two because of non-payment and one because the applicant and ICANN were not able to agree on the treatment of confidentiality designations). ICANN staff was in the process of of reviewing the applications, and almost all had been posted on the website. A web-based public comment forum was established. 1461 comments had already been posted to the comment forum.

    Roger Cochetti rejoined the meeting at this point.

    Antonio Harris commented on confusion about the number of TLD labels allowed in one application. Louis Touton explained that applicants could seek alternative or multiple labels but that all parts of the application must relate in the substantially same way to teach of the labels being sought. He noted that the ICANN staff was reviewing some applications where there may have been a violation of that rule. In the case of a violation, the applicant would have to choose between the two names.

    Antonio Harris asked about the situation in which more than one applicant requests a single TLD label. Louis Touton explained that it would be up to the community and the Board to decide to which applicant to delegate the string. The staff will prepare recommendations based on the criteria document for the staff recommendation.

    Michael Schneider asked whether there would be an NC hearing on that. Louis Touton responded that NC members are, as members of the community, able to submit comments but that the NC would not have any institutional role in the actual selection from among the applicants.

    Roger Cochetti requested an example of the kind of names that would be rejected as not appropriately part of the same application. Louis Touton explained that an application for a .museum and a .com equivalent might need to be in two separate applications.

    Paul Kane inquired whether the staff report would recommend a specific set of TLDs or a larger list from among which the Board would choose. Louis Touton explained that the recommendations would be as detailed and specific as possible from a careful analytical review of the applications. It is likely that there would be many degrees of unspecified items that will leave this up to the community and for decision of the Board. For example, there might be three applications that can't be distinguished. The recommendations will be presented as early as possible.

    Erica Roberts inquired about the time frame. Louis Touton explained that some dates such as public comment deadlines might be extended and that deadlines were being reviewed. He noted that the staff was optimistic about meeting the overall schedule.

    Erica Roberts commented that Louis Touton seemed to be saying that the NC had no role, but that the NC could have a role in terms of supporting general principles or selection criteria. Louis commented that the NC could always make recommendations on policy matters but that it was not the role of the NC to make recommendations on selection among the specific applications.

    Paul Kane encouraged Louis Touton to post the things that are not yet published. Louis Touton said that he would take the encouragement under advisement.

    Dany Vandromme commented that the NCDNHC was preparing resolutions on policy but that they needed to wait until the Marina del Rey meeting to get consensus and inquired whether that would be soon enough. Louis Touton commented that resolutions made on Monday could be forwarded to the NC at its meeting on Tuesday and could then be presented at the Public Forum on Wednesday.

    Ken Stubbs clarified that any NC policy statement would have to be prepared in an open and transparent manner.

    Ken Stubbs and Dany Vandromme left the call at this point. Caroline Chicoine took over as Chair for the remainder of the call.

12. Budget

    Roger Cochetti noted that the budget committee had met frequently over the past few months and that it had devised a program of voluntary contribution. It had looked at getting technical support services. He noted that the committee was basically done with its work and that it was going to open a separate bank account for the fund for donations, and is about to begin the sollicitaion process. For the future, the next issue is the disposition of funds that have been collected under the current system. There are quite a lot of potential uses for the funds. The budgetary situation needs to be revisited because not all of the money that was supposed to be collected has been collected, so there is less money to spend.

    Caroline Chicoine asked for questions and reminded everyone that Louis Touton had posted a list of the mandatory contributions.

13. NC Member Election to the ICANN Board

Elisabeth Porteneuve asked the ICANN staff at what point the newly elected directors would take their positions on the Board and resign from the NC. Louis Touton explained that the two members of the NC who have been elected to the Board will take their seats at the conclusion of the regular meeting of the Board on Thursday and that both members would be on the NC for the meeting in Marina del Rey.

14. Openness of Teleconferences

Caroline Chicoine postponed the issue until next meeting.

15. Taping of NC Meetings

Philip Sheppard suggested postponing this item until the Marina del Rey meeting. Erica Roberts inquired as to whether NC was currently paying for the note-taker. Louis Touton explained that both Elisabeth Porteneuve and he believed that the NC needs a structured way to do take notes in the future, but that in the interim Rebecca Nesson was taking noes at no cost to the NC. Roger Cochetti noted that the Budget Committee would take it up and come back to the NC for allocation of funds for the employment of a part-time recording secretary.

16. New Business

Elisabeth Porteneuve requested whether someone from a ccTLD registry was part of the Whois committee. Louis Touton explained that there was not officially any ccTLD registry representative on the committee. The Whois committee was set up by ICANN staff, and its work is coordinated by Rebecca Nesson. Louis Touton additionally explained that the committee's focus was on implementation of the existing gTLD agreements between ICANN and the registrars and the registry, so it currently does not include the ccTLDs.

Caroline Chicoine suggested to publish the list of members of the Whois committee unless there is something confidential.

Caroline Chicoine encouraged NC members to send potential agenda items to the Intake Committee for the Marina del Rey meeting.

End of meeting at 16:19 CET.

Next Names Council Meeting: Wednesday, 14 November 2000, Marina del Rey

Information from: © DNSO Names Council