[ cf. Berkman Center, http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/icann/la2000/archive/scribe-icann-111400.html ]

Scribe's Notes
DNSO General Assembly - November 14, 2000 - Los Angeles, California

DNSO General Assembly November 14, 2000 Marina del Rey, California
I.   Roberto Gaetano and Harald Alvestrand, Co-Chairs, Elisabeth Porteneuve, Secretariat
   A.   Announcements
       1.   To ask a question: Speak slowly and clearly. Before asking your question, please you’re your name and organizational affiliation into the terminal to the left of the microphone. Please also introduce yourself before speaking.
       2.   Today’s meeting is being webcast. Thanks to NSI for sponsorship.
       3.   Thanks for funding for travel.
   B.   Agenda. More detailed version has been posted.
       1.   Reports from secretariat, chair. Discussion.
       2.   Reports from constituencies. Questions.
       3.   Debate on issues – GA Chair elections, Board nominations, relationship with At Large, multilingual testbed, individuals constituency, new TLDs, composition of ICANN Board, DNSO review.
       4.   Additions to the agenda:
           • Barant (Affinity): Want presentations from TLD applicants?
           • Gaetano: Debated on list. I think not in order. Cannot change the agenda on only 24 hours notice. Must assure that all 44 companies get sufficient notice, and that wouldn’t be the case here. Better to have this discussion tomorrow. Today we should discuss all the applications in general terms.
           • (Edelman: Note that each TLD applicant gets 3 minutes in the Public Forum on Wednesday. [If you intend to give a computer-assisted presentation, please see instructions for transmission on signs posted at the back of this room.)
           • Alvestrand: Discussion of new TLDs is at 11:00 if we stay on schedule.
           • Gaetano: Please turn off your cell-phone ringers.
   C.   Report from secretariat
       1.   Elected one Board Member.
       2.   GA electorate is poorly-defined. Have had vote on mailing list rules. Currently have 850 subscribers to various mailing lists – 517 on announce, 308 on GA, 287 in working groups (some overlap).
       3.   Expenses for secretariat need to be paid by DNSO from expenses collected by the Names Council.
       4.   Gaetano: Need geographic diversity in the offices of ICANN. May make some tasks more difficult, but this is important to the image and effectiveness of ICANN. Difficulty in defining membership of GA, to be discussed later. Open for comments and questions on reports. Next agenda point, reports from the constituencies.
II.   Reports from Constituencies
   A.   Commercial Constituency – Theresa Swinehart: Rep from Commercial constituency. Other reps are Masanobu Katoh and Philip Sheppard. Yesterday’s meeting had introduction to constituency, invited newly elected At Large directors to come, Nii Quaynor, Masanobu Katoh, Andy Mueller-Maughn, and Karl Auerbach. Went over report on new TLDs, discussed multi-lingual domain names. Dialogue on business concerns and next steps. Identified new issues for business constituency: SLDs, personal names, Whois database, UDRP. Discussed DNSO review and business constituency input.
       1.   Weinberg: What is the status of DNSO review process?
       2.   Gaetano: DNSO review will be discussed at 11:30.
   B.   GTLDs – Chuck Gomes: discussed terminology, gTLDs and ccTLDs. Record attendance at gTLD registry constituency, new interest in the constituency. Gomes reported on .com, .net and .org. Report available at gTLDregistries.org website. Discussed moving forward and organizing. Currently Verisign Global Registry services is the only member. Created a list of people who would be interested in organization of the constituency.
       1.   Mueller: How do you plan to establish new membership criteria?
       2.   Gomes: No final decisions were made, but it was discussed.
       3.   ??: What are new terms and conditions?
       4.   Gomes: There are no old terms and conditions. New registries will be added. Personal view is that new ICANN registries will become members of the constituency.
       5.   Rony: Do you anticipate that Verisign will have three positions in the new constituency? One for .com, .net, and .org.
       6.   Gomes: We will have to think about that.
   C.   ccTLD Constituency: Past 2 days with over 40 ccTLDs present, got substantial and sometimes unanimous consensus on 4 items. Materials at http://www.wwtld.org .
       1.   Contract for services between ccTLDs and ICANN.
       2.   Discussed “best practice” document. Further discussion at 10:30.
       3.   Object to regional geographic names for new TLDs (“.africa”).
       4.   Object to letter from Mike Roberts to governments re ccTLDs – re content and short notice.
   D.   ISP Constituency: Tony Harris presenting.
       1.   Budget discussion – tiered annual membership fees.
       2.   Support review of results of At-Large Elections.
       3.   Budget constraints should be resolved.
       4.   New gTLDs: Aware of concerns about .africa. Advise careful and deliberate rollout of new TLDs to cope with land rush problems. Concerned that review may have been biased. Expenses of process should be made public.
       5.   Questions:
           • Weinberg: Specifics re bias?
           • Would rather see the review process complete before coming to decisions.
           • ?: Present a paper to ICANN?
           • Yes.
   E.   Non-Commercial Constituency: Milton Mueller
       1.   Met for eight hours, 26-30 member organizations present.
       2.   Funding: $2000 shortfall from 1999. Intend to collect that money. Task force on fundraising.
       3.   Urge review of structure and function of DNSO.
       4.   Resolutions: More rounds of TLD applications and additions. In unrestricted TLDs, oppose sunrise arrangements and other rules that privilege owners of IP over others. (Note that sunrise arrangements not a product of WG consensus. UDRP: Party filing a complaint should not have exclusive right to determine the organization hearing the complaint; DNSO should conduct review to make the process work better, and chair should be a rep of Non-Commercial Constituency; should not see applications of UDRP to conclude that rights to a TLD in one domain lead to rights in all other TLDs (some restricted TLDs require special attention). Need competition in registry function for new TLDs (select new registries that don’t already have registries; select new registries that don’t already have significant market share in existing registry/registrar services).
       5.   See www.ncdnhc.org
   F.   Registrars Constituency:
       1.   Five-hour meeting. 169 ICANN-accredited registrars.
       2.   Discussion of multilingual testbed.
       3.   Adoption of position statement on new TLDs.
   G.   Intellectual Property Constituency: Carey
       1.   Presentation delivered by Gurry (WIPO)
   H.   Q&A:
       1.   None.
III.   Working Groups and Committees
IV.   Debate on Issues
   A.   Procedures for GA Chair Election
       1.   Gaetano: Chair of GA elected for 1 year term. Election was mid-December last year. Last year there were no voting procedures and much contention. The ICANN Bylaws called for an election through a nomination process by the GA and election by the Names Council. Believes that might have been appropriate then, but is no longer. GA has voting registry and have behaved well. No reason that GA cannot elect its own chair. Discussion begun on discussion list. Requires a change in the ICANN Bylaws, so discussion must happen in advance. Need opinion of the NC. Discussion here knowing that discussion will continue after on mailing list.
           • Cade: Didn’t the GA prepare a list of names to be presented to NC?
           • Gaetano: Yes. Current procedure is that the GA nominates and list gets passed to NC for election. Is this appropriate, or should GA claim election of GA chairman by people subscribed to GA voting registry.
           • Burton: Is there anyone who thinks the NC should do it or anyone here who thinks that the GA shouldn’t?
           • Sheppard: Concerned by the tone of previous question. Members of the NC are also members of the GA. All NC members are there because of a representative structure. Process currently in place is a democracy. Direct elections may not produce a better result. Concept is for self-determination, should not be a split between GA and NC. GA and NC part of same body.
           • Alvestrand: when things are important enough to vote on, people in the room can propose a resolution, but are not the GA. In room participants can only vote on the opinion of the GA here in the room. For important matters, the text must be forwarded to list and discussed there.
           • Weinberg: GA must move quickly on this because it has to go through the NC. If this is to happen before the end of the year, the NC is going to have to move very quickly. If the NC were a representative institution then the NC choosing would be less problematic. Lack of representation causes the problem.
           • Gaetano: No big split between NC and GA. All participants in the constituencies are automatically in the GA and are welcome to subscribe to the GA voting registry and vote for the Chair of the NC. The 7 Constituencies do not have complete coverage of interested parties. 2 step vote narrows representation. No conflict between GA and NC, just going one step further.
           • Burton: intention was not to claim a split, just preference for direct representation.
           • Crispin: Oversimplification of the case. Everyone is welcome to join voting registry, but everyone has not. The list has 200 members, the total number on email list has about 850. The voting registry is clearly not representative. Some of the constituencies bound by restricted membership and can’t increase the number of voters on the voting roles. The scheme being proposed radically changes the representative structure. Change should not be made lightly.
           • Mueller: GA has no decision-making power over DNSO process, thus concern over chairman should not be a big issue. But it seems reasonable to have chair elected by same members.
           • Alvestrand: The NC doesn’t need to change the bylaws and can simply accept the recommendation of the GA. Propose resolution that the chair should be the person elected by the GA voting registry.
           • Gaetano: calls vote. All in favor raise hands. All against raise hands. Strong majority in favor, but not unanimous. No problem with having the GA chair not be an expression of the constituencies.
           • Cade: Deliberation is as important as speed. Need to ensure that there is dialogue. Learned from Crispin’s point. Important not to throw issues out. Important to note the number of abstentions.
           • Gaetano: People in favor raise hands. Roughly 42. Against: 2. Abstentions: 52. We said before that there was a majority and I maintain strong majority. Not a consensus.
           • Burton: Curious as to how many abstentions are not voting members.
           • Gaetano: Let’s not be too formal.
           • Alvestrand: How many people have joined the registry?
   B.   Procedure for the Board nomination
       1.   Gaetano: many difficulties in the election process for the DNSO director in determining who was part of the GA and who was not. Bylaws say that we have to provide the nominees on a list. Who may nominate? All the people on the GA mailing list, the voting registry, the GA mailing list and the constituency members. The DNSO secretariat asked the constituencies for a list of members to determine qualification. Some could not answer. Not a political issue, a practical one. We need a list. This time for each candidate we had at least 10 members that we could certify that were qualified. Constituencies could get lists of accredited participants, another would be to have everyone subscribe to GA voting registry.
       2.   Alvestrand: Conclusion that room has no opinion on the question of who can nominate potential chairs.
           • Johnson: suggest use of GA voting registry to help grow the list.
           • Crispin: Allow anyone to nominate whether they are a member of the GA or not. That was the original design. Anyone could nominate, but then the NC that was verified could actually elect.
           • Peek: Surprised to see NC members nominating people, given that they will be electing people.
           • Porteneuve: Definition of members of the DNSO and the members of the GA are all members of constituency and those subscribing to mailing list. Thus, the NC members are also part of the GA and they may nominate candidates. From recent elections, I observed wave of subscription just before elections. One can wonder whether people wish to participate or whether they only subscribed in order to nominate. It would be better to know the set of people who are the electorate.
           • Crispin: It is o.k. for NC to be members and nominate are because they are elected. If they behave inappropriately they will not be re-elected.
           • Gaetano: the reason for this point is because the secretariat had a real problem. Right now the secretariat is obliged to verify at least 10 members nominating. It could bring a legal issue the next time that we are having an election. I can live with Johnson or Crispin proposal, but both need to go to ICANN for change in bylaws.
           • Alvestrand: 2 proposals: GA voting registry or anyone at all.
   C.   Relationship of GA to At Large
       1.   CSPR meeting where GA met with the newly elected At Large members. Roles were debated. Several thousands willing to participate.
       2.   Need to clarify interaction between GA and At-Large. I suggest GA focus on DNSO issues, At-Large consideration of all issues. But this too is subject to comments.
       3.   Thoughts?
           • None.
   D.   Multilingual Testbed
       1.   Gaetano: What aspects of this should be brought to attention of GA?
           • Lindsay: Want Japanese characters encoded (among others). Registrars discussed review of process from registrar perspective. Should consider this from registrants’ perspective too.
           • Crispin: What about the possible of intellectual property violations using the multilingual testbed encoding strings?
           • Lindsay: Yes, it’s possible, but this is really nothing new. Could register the ASCII string equivalents as usual.
           • Maruyama: Have a proposal for selecting the identifiers. Will shortly be released as an internet-draft.
   E.   Individuals Constituency
       1.   Gaetano: Personally, frustrated that we haven’t been able to move forward. Not sure whether the problem is that individuals aren’t interested in DNSO, or that individuals think this process won’t move forward (so it’s not worth trying).
       2.   Burton: People don’t know about this effort. Some participants won’t work together. Some people believe that there is no room / need for individuals constituency. Suggest that all existing proposals are tainted, so a new proposal is required.
       3.   Weinberg: Coordination. GA has twice stated that it favors work on an individuals constituency. But previously-promised WG never created. Not clear that the NC will create a WG; perhaps GA chair can do so.
       4.   Simons: Could bring this topic to the group thinking about At-Large Membership, but the topics are separate. Should pass a motion with a request for urgency.
       5.   Crispin: Have discussed the possibility of an At-Large Constituency. Otherwise, risk having “leftover” people not in any constituency.
       6.   ?: Concerned that individuals don’t have the resources to attend ICANN meetings worldwide. Some perception that individuals have less merit that companies. Need promotion of the possibilities for participation. Candidates would have liked to be able to reach those who supported them so as to suggest other candidates.
       7.   Meyer: Personality conflicts are serious. IDNO is trying to be recognized by ICANN Board of Directors. No desire for any particular individual to have all the power; they don’t care, just want to see representation for individuals. Authority for the GA, via representation on the NC, would solve this problem.
       8.   Johnson: Bylaws say “No individual or entity shall be excluded from a constituency merely because of participation in another constituency.”
       9.   Meyer: Point is clear – the strict definitions of constituencies prevent some people from belonging to any constituencies. This suggests that constituency structure is incomplete. Need another constituency, or need some other way for certain of us to be represented. Wonder how many members of the GA are not in any constituency.
       10.   Crispin: Constituencies are more open than many people assume. Almost everyone could figure out a way to become a member of a constituency. You can be an individual business and join the business constituency. I joined the non-commercial constituency as a representative of my sailing club! This system isn’t as closed as some allege.
       11.   Gaetano: I don’t quality for any constituency, so far as I know.
       12.   Alvestrand: Resolutions
           • 1: An Individual Domain Name Holders Constituency
           • 2: A “none of the above” constituency.
       13.   Weinberg: Favor 1, oppose 2.
       14.   ?: Modify 1 to say “individuals constituency to be developed by a working group.
       15.   Straw poll: Some favor 1, few favor 2. Many abstentions.
   F.   New TLDs
       1.   Froomkin: If “n” applications meet the cut, then to choose among them is to make “social policy choices” which should be avoided. Also, members of applicant community interpreted request for information about their plans for protecting intellectual property to mean “see who can protect IP the most” which was not intended.
       2.   Rony: Need to address the suggestion of “proof of concept” of new TLDs. But ICANN produced the staff report too late for the public to review it. ICANN should make a statement re who will make the actual decision about new TLDs. Ten Directors were appointed, and the five newly-elected Directors will not be able to participate.
       3.   Gaetano: Other aspects of the process are important also. Don’t understand what happens next. Have a process for selecting some TLDs, but then what? Evaluation of the testbed? Repayment of fees for those who applied in this first round but were not successful?
       4.   Crocker: Need to reduce the sense of urgency. This is getting blown out of proportion. ICANN should continue to evaluate the applications not considered in this phase. Need to encourage ICANN to operate like an administrative group, not an Internet governance group.
       5.   Aguilar: Concerned that elected Board members won’t be involved in this decision-making process. Some of the analysis doesn’t ring true; seems arbitrary at times. Not clear how the applicants can respond – three minutes is not enough time.
       6.   Menge (SBA): Sunrise provisions create barriers to entry for small businesses, especially outside the US (where trademarks are less common).
       7.   Henderson (.law applicant): Would like to have more of a dialogue. Some concerns with the staff report. Would like to respond to staff report.
       8.   Gaetano: Don’t see how we can bring this to ICANN. Hopeful that ICANN will do what’s necessary to make a good selection. Specific motion?
       9.   Simon (U Miami): Consensus from IFWP-Reston was “Interim Board should not have the authority to enter new gTLDs into the zone file.” ICANN should wait to add new TLDs until new Board Members are seated.
           • Gaetano: Understand the implications – at the least, a delay in adding new TLDs. Second?
           • Rony: Postpone decision to give the applicants and public an opportunity to respond to Staff Report. Or, approve all operationally and technically correct applications.
           • Cade: Object to this approach. Have been working on this for years. Should focus on what expansion of namespace is logical, not on who in particular is making the decisions.
           • Simons: Process is important. ICANN has not adhered to stated process and procedure. ICANN must estalish clear, public processes and procedures that allow adequate time for public comment on all issues.

           • Ross (.TV): Share concerns about the rush to judgment. Deadlines keep changing. Technical competence is not so black-and-white as we might like to think. ICANN’s interpretation of who is technically competent is subject to question.
           • Alvestrand: Resolutions: “The Board should not decide upon new gTLDs until after the new Board members are seated.” “If the Board adopts any new gTLD, it should also adopt all competent applications (subject to name conflict resolution).”
           • Crocker: Resolutions from this body has an effect. Think hard about what this resolution says, in the context of ICANN’s role. Process has taken place over five years.
           • Aguilar: Want to amend resolution to delay decision until ICANN responds to irregularities in staff report.
           • ? (.TV): Start over with application process. Treatment hasn’t been fair. ICANN’s closed nature puts it at risk of court suits.
           • Forman (Register.com, two bids submitted): We all knew that not every bid would be accepted. 47 applicants were far more than anticipated. There was no expectation of getting money back if application unsuccessful; expected only that ICANN would review the applications, which they have indeed done. Process was not perfect, but ICANN has made substantial strides in facilitating competition. Need to balance progress with process.
           • Burton: Second all resolutions and call for a vote on all of them.
           • Matt Hooker (Net-Speed.com): Forced to file suit in US and international courts because ICANN’s actions may cause confusion. The 250 country-code TLDs already exist. We’re constrained by human memories, and adding new TLDs will make confusion much worse.
           • Crispin: The last speaker proved that there’s no avoiding lawsuits. That’s no basis to not proceed.
           • Simons: Process is important. Having these discussions because ICANN isn’t adhering to its stated processes and procedures; inadequate time for public comment. Processes and procedures should be public, and must be adhered to by ICANN.
   G.   Alvestrand: Resolutions: “The Board should not decide upon new gTLDs until after the new Board members are seated.” “… until the applicants have had time to respond to the Staff Report.” “If the Board adopts any new gTLD, it should also adopt all competent applications (subject to name conflict resolution).” “Board should adopt new gTLDs at this meeting.”
       1.   Alvestrand: “Mostly opposed” to the first. Second: More in favor than opposed. Third: “No’s have it.” Fourth: Unclear.
       2.   Gaetano: No clear consensus on any of these. Proceed to a vote.
       3.   Count the votes: 1: 60 to 83, 8 abstentions. 2: 78 to 52, 23 abstentions. “Carried by the room.” 3: 39 to 90, 16 abstentions. 4: 77 to 59, 44 abstentions.
       4.   But note that 2 and 4 both passed, and are inconsistent.
           • Meyer: Another vote?
           • Roberto: Uncomfortable with this situation. Board will not be able to do anything in response to these resolutions. But will do what the Assembly wills.
   H.   Burton: Propose modification “… that none of applications be considered out of the running until review of staff report is complete.”
V.   DNSO Review
   A.   Swinehart: Purpose of process to review DNSO work and discuss the status of the process. Questions for discussion on DNSO website. NC reviewed questionnaire. Sent out for review. Amount of response received reflected how busy all the constituencies were. Only 5 responses, only one from a constituency. Inadequate response for full report to Board at this point. Notify Board of an extension and have the NC put forward a calendar in order to get full input from everyone.
   B.   Gaetano: GA needs to provide comments and input on the subject of DNSO review. End of meeting, but discussion will continue on the mailing list. Final point on agenda is the position of the Board directors with the extended terms. 2 questions asked to GA list.
   C.   Alvestrand: Whether the GA should ask for the elected Board members to be seated at the beginning of this meeting. Should the 4 remaining board members to resign immediately?
       1.   Froomkin: Fundamental trust issue. Assured by Board members that they would not extend their terms. http://www.law.tm. The Board members should resign immediately and be replaced by a slate elected by the current directors.
       2.   Davidson: CDT on the record disagreeing with tone of the debate. Disagrees with personally attacking Board members for complying with decision of the Board and one that was designed to be responsive to the wishes of the community. Anyone asking people to step down must have an alternative more legitimate way to fill the seats. Not clear that a more legitimate way to fill the seats exists. Having the 9 seats filled is essential. Propose a resolution that calls on the Board to fill the spots as quickly as possible.
       3.   Aguilar: CA corporations code does allow boards to replace board members who depart early.
   D.   Alvestrand: Two motions suggested. 4 members should step down and should be replaced with people selected by the elected members. Board should expedite the process of replacing the four remaining members ASAP and at the latest by November 2001.
       1.   Simons: candidate for election in North America. In favor of 1 and against 2. There is no one who is completely qualified, but those with the most qualifications are the 5 elected At Large directors. Inappropriate to have the 4 remaining directors replaced by the whole board.
       2.   Lindsey: A large group of this meeting left the room and may not know that there were resolutions on which to vote still remaining.
   E.   Alvestrand: Vote first on the first resolution. Resolution 1 votes: 25 to 41 to 23. Room does not carry the resolution (w/ many gone for lunch). Resolution 2 votes: 63 to 2 to 13. Motion carried by the room.
   F.   Gaetano: Meeting is closed. I will bring forward the motions. Thanks to all for attending.
   G.   Weinberg: Thanks to the co-chairs for running the meeting. Audience: Be aware that this meeting is on closed-circuit television throughout the hotel – channel 17 in all hotel rooms, the bar, etc. Also, there’s more space in the back corner of the room; please try to step away from the door.


For additional technical information, please contact:  

Ben Edelman and Rebecca Nesson
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School 

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