Please see the invitation below to a meeting on domain names that will be held on Friday, January 22nd in Washington, D.C.

We hope that many of you will be able to participate.  Feel free to distribute the invitation to others.


Jon Englund

Letter of Invitation to Domain Names Meeting
Friday, January 22, 1999
Washington, D.C.

As you know, the U.S. Government is transferring authority for the Internet's centralized functions - including the allocation of domain names, the addressing and protocol systems - to a new non-profit entity called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN").  The Domain Name Supporting Organization ("DNSO") is one of the three supporting organizations called for by the ICANN by-laws.

We would like to invite you to participate in a meeting on Friday, January 22nd in Washington, D.C. to discuss the formation of the DNSO. The list of coordinating organizations are listed below.

Registration will be available from 8:30 a.m., with the meeting convening at 9:00 a.m. and finishing at 5:00 p.m.  George Washington University (GWU) in downtown Washington, D.C. will be the location. The meeting will be held at GWU's Marvin Center at 800 21st Street, NW.  An agenda will be circulated to those that plan to attend, as well as more specific logistical information related to the venue and hotel possibilities.  The meeting will be self-supporting, so the coordinating organizations have agreed that a $50 registration fee is necessary to cover costs.  Lunch will be provided.  Space is limited, so please let us know soon whether you will be attending by sending an e-mail message to Pete Smith at

The goal is to arrive at a broad-based consensus on the draft bylaws for the DNSO, a process which is already actively underway in various fora, including recent meetings held in Barcelona and Monterrey.  A great deal of work in developing these bylaws has already taken place, and various proposals will be put on the table for discussion at the meeting.  Our goal is to forge a broader consensus on how to organize the DNSO so that a large group of stakeholders can support an application to the ICANN Board to be recognized as the new DNSO.

We need to move expeditiously.  The ICANN Board expects to be evaluating applications for the new DNSO by March.  Our January meeting will build upon proposals already developed, including the proposal developed from the meetings held in Monterrey and Barcelona, a proposal developed by the International Trademark Association ("INTA"), and others.

Although there are a wide range of topics relating to the DNSO, our hope is that we can limit the discussion to those matters which have generated the most controversy in recent months.  The meeting will therefore attempt to answer the following:

What form of membership structure is appropriate?
What should be the composition of the Names Council and how should Names
Council members be elected?
What are the powers of the DNSO?
How should the DNSO and ICANN operations be funded?
How should the DNSO by-laws be joined to the ICANN recognition proposal?

We anticipate that a non-partisan facilitator will be brought in to help the group reach as much consensus as possible.

Following the meeting, draft consensus by-laws will be developed based on input provided at the meeting.  Any dissenting views will also be included.  These draft bylaws will then be circulated extensively to the broad Internet community for review.

We look forward to your participation and involvement in this important and challenging effort.
List of Coordinating Organizations:

Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX)
Council of European National Top level domain Registries (CENTR)
European ISP Association (EUROISPA)
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
International Trademark Association (INTA)
Internet Council of Registrars (CORE)
Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI)
Policy Oversight Committee (POC)
World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)