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[wg-b] ICANN - Working Group B Update

The upcoming ICANN meeting in Cairo will be an important milestone in
connection with the efforts of Working Group B (protecting famous
trademarks) and Working Group C (additional top level domains). The ICANN
Board has expressed an interest in helping to facilitate the consensus
building process. Please review the excerpt from the December 9, 1999 ICANN
Board teleconference listed below:

The status of policy development by the DNSO concerning gTLD expansion and
famous names was discussed. At its May 1999 meeting in Berlin, the Board
referred the recommendations of the World Intellectual Property Organization
concerning gTLD expansion and famous names to the DNSO (Resolution 99.48).
The Names Council established two working groups (WG-C and WG-B) to analyze
and report on these issues. Despite considerable work, both working groups
have had difficulty developing consensus on significant sub-issues. Given
the scheduling requirements of the bylaws, it will be impractical for the
Board to adopt a policy in either of these areas at its March 2000 meeting.
Nonetheless, the Board felt it was appropriate to schedule these issues for
substantive, detailed discussion at the public forum in March, so that the
Board might become more familiar with the various viewpoints and so it might
contribute to progress toward consensus.

I have informed Andrew McLaughlin that Working Group B intends to have an
interim report available for consideration by the Names Counsel and the
Board at the Cairo meeting. Therefore, I believe it is important that we
begin to crystallize the effort of this group to date. I am currently
drafting a ballot based upon the issues discussed in the position papers and
Alvestrand's "points of agreeement."   After voting on these issues, myself
and the two Names Counsel facilitators, Kathy Kleiman from the
Non-Commercial Constituency and Philip Sheppard from the Business
Constituency, will begin drafting an interim report.

It is contemplated that this report will be circulated for public comment
sometime around the beginning of February. Near the end of the 30 day
comment period and prior to the Cairo meeting, I will attempt to coordinate
with Eric Menge from the US Small Business Administration a roundtable
discussion. Eric recently arranged a similar roundtable discussion, with a
telephone bridge, for the Working Group C report.

I believe it is important that this Working Group B focus during this
crucial time period before us. For those of you that may not be familiar
with the history of  Working Group A (Uniform Dispute Policy), after a
contentious meeting in Santiago, Chile the final drafting of the UDP policy
was left to a small drafting committee of five or six people. I would like
for this Working Group to follow the bottoms-up consensus building ideal
that ICANN is based. In order for this to happen there will have to be some
movement on behalf of ALL participants in this Working Group.

In an effort to facilitate this "movement" I call upon Kathy and Philip to
rally their respective constituencies and help find a middle ground in this

I remind everyone to review the position papers submitted to date to
expedite the consensus building process at

If any one has any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact
me via e-mail at (mpalage@infonetworks.com) or phone at +1 (561) 741-7880.

Best regards,

Michael D. Palage