APPLICATION TO BECOME THE DOMAIN NAME SUPPORT ORGANIZATION, pursuant to Art. I, Section 3(b) of the Bylaws of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (the "Corporation")

INTRODUCTION

This application is made by the undersigned to become the Domain Name Support Organization ("DNSO"), pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 (b) of the Bylaws of the Corporation. The undersigned hereby commit to fulfill the undertakings and policies set forth in this application.

This application is organized under the headings set forth in Article VI, Section 3 (b) as follows:

I. Membership criteria for the DNSO, and for the Names Council to be created pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 (a) (ii) of the Bylaws of the Corporation.

II. Methods for developing substantive Internet policies and selecting Board Nominees.

III. Open and transparent non-discriminatory processes.

IV. Policies to ensure international and diverse participation.

V. Policies for disclosure to the Corporation by members of or participants in the DNSO of conflicts of interest or other financial interests in matters within the scope of the DNSO.

VI. Methods for funding the DNSO and providing funding for the Corporation.

DISCUSSION

I. MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA

A. MEMBERSHIP IN THE DNSO:

The DNSO membership shall consist of constituencies, as described below. Each constituency shall self-organize and determine its own criteria for membership. Such criteria shall be publicly available. Each constituency shall meet at least once a year, and all the constituencies combined shall meet as a general assembly at least once a year.

B. MEMBERSHIP IN THE CONSTITUENCIES:

The constituencies described herein are an initial set of constituencies. The DNSO and the Names Council will develop fair and open procedures for the creation, deletion, and merger of constituencies; and adjustment of the representation of constituencies on the Names Council. In terms of creating new constituencies, there has been some interest expressed that a category be created for additional Internet technology and content providers, such as the Internet access software and portal segments of industry.

The constituencies (listed alphabetically) are:

  1. Commercial and business: entities with Internet interests engaged in commerce or business, including, but not limited to, organizations of commercial and business entities.

  2. ISP and connectivity providers: IP network operators and service providers, i.e., entities operating name servers for clients and offering Internet connectivity to third parties.

  3. Non-commercial registrants : Non-commercial groups, bodies and associations, including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Associations and groups of users of the Internet;
    • Governmental (central, regional and local) users;
    • Hospitals, clinics and other health facilities;
    • Museums, Libraries and other custodians of the cultural heritage;
    • Non-Governmental public sector and public services;
    • Universities, Research Institutes and Schools.

  4. Registrars: entities that provide a service to Internet users of registering second level domain names in top level domains (TLDs) (or registering third level domain names in the case of TLDs that have established categories of second level domains).

  5. Registries: entities authorized by the Corporation to publish authoritative TLD zones in one or more generic or country-code TLD zones.

  6. Trademark and anti-counterfeiting interests: entities including, but not limited to trademark owners and groups of owners, who are interested is the protection of trademarks or the effort to stop trademark counterfeiting and infringement.

An entity may be a member in more than one constituency if it meets the criteria for each constituency for which it applies and pays the applicable dues or membership fees for each constituency.

C. THE NAMES COUNCIL

There shall be a Names Council initially consisting of 18 members, elected from time to time by the members of the DNSO, following the procedures set forth below. Each constituency shall each have the right to elect the same number of members of the Names Council. If at some later date another constituency or constituencies are added, the number of members of the Names Council shall be adjusted so that each constituency shall continue to have the right to elect the same number of members.

Within four weeks after acceptance by the Corporation of this application, the Names Council shall form itself initially by means of a meeting of representatives of all entities that have subscribed to the application in the form in which it is accepted by the Corporation. The meeting shall select an Initial Names Council that shall have only the power to establish procedures for the formation of the constituencies, the assessment of fees for the start-up process and such further administrative steps as are necessary to form the DNSO. The Initial Names Council shall not have any power to make recommendations to the Corporation or to nominate directors of the Corporation.

The initial list of constituencies and number of members of the Names Council is set forth below:

  1. Commercial and business - 3
  2. ISP and connectivity providers 3
  3. Non-commercial - 3
  4. Registrars - 3
  5. Registries - 3
  6. Trademark and anti-counterfeiting interests - 3

In order to ensure broad international representation on the Names Council, at least one citizen of a country located in each of the geographic regions listed below shall serve on the Names Council at all times. As used herein, each of the following shall be a "Geographic Region": Europe; Asia/Australia/Pacific; Latin America/Caribbean Islands; Africa; North America. The specific countries included in each Geographic Region shall be determined by the Names Council, and this Section shall be reviewed by the Names Council from time to time (but at least every three years) to determine whether any change is appropriate, taking account of the evolution of the Internet. The Names Council shall meet regularly on a schedule determined by its members, but not less than 4 times per year. Unless otherwise provided (see Section II), a majority vote of the members attending a Names Council meeting at which a quorum is present shall be sufficient for the conduct of its business.

Meetings may be held in person, via videoconference or teleconference, at the discretion of the Names Council. The Names Council shall post minutes of its meeting to the DNSO web site as soon a practicable, after the meeting has concluded.

Robert's Rules of Order (Revised), or whatever other rules shall be agreed to by the Names Council, shall govern the conduct of Names Council meetings on all matters not otherwise specified by the Bylaws or the Constitution, if any, that may be adopted by the Names Council.

The Names Council may from time to time appoint research or drafting committees to review matters, draft proposals and provide expert recommendations to the Names Council. Such committees shall be composed of at least one representative from each constituency.

D. APPLICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP IN CONSTITUENCIES 1-6

Applications for membership in the constituencies 1-6 shall be submitted to the relevant constituency which shall accept or reject the application according to its own criteria.

E. ELECTION OF THE NAMES COUNCIL

Upon completion of the work of the Initial Names Council, but not less than six weeks after acceptance by the Corporation of this application, the membership will form itself according to the structure established by this application and elect members of the Names Council in accordance with the procedures set forth below.

Members of each constituency shall nominate individuals to represent that constituency on the Names Council. Nominations within each constituency may be made by any member of the constituency, provided, however, that each member of a constituency may make no more than one nomination for a Names Council member representing that constituency. An entity that is a member of more than one constituency may make one nomination for each constituency of which it is a member. However, no individual or entity may hold more than one Names Council "seat." Every nominee shall be identified as representing a particular geographical region.

Elections for Names Council members shall be held once each year for vacant seats. The term of office for each member of the Names Council is two years, staggered so that each year one half of the Names Council members shall be elected.

The Names Council shall determine appropriate procedures (i) to ensure the international representation prescribed for its membership, (ii) to select the terms of the initial members so as to ensure staggered terms and (iii) to select a Chairman and appropriate staffing.

II. METHODS FOR DEVELOPING SUBSTANTIVE INTERNET POLICIES AND SELECTING BOARD NOMINEES

A. Substantive Internet Policies

The Names Council is delegated the task of managing the development of policy recommendations regarding TLDs, including the operation, assignment and management of the domain name system and other related subjects, and, in accordance with Article VI, Section 3(a)(ii) of the Corporation's Bylaws, the Names Council shall make recommendations on such subjects to the Corporation's Board.

The Names Council is intended to act primarily as an administrative and management body. It will only undertake greater authority or issue final policy recommendations when needed due to urgent questions of Internet stability, time deadlines for recommendations established by the Corporation (and then with as much consultation as time permits) or after proper consultation and comment/redrafting with the constituencies.

The Names Council shall seek input and review of its recommendations from each of the constituencies.

Constituencies may provide initial input to the Names Council on a given topic. If the Names Council undertakes consideration of a topic, or if a constituency requests consideration of a topic, the Names Council shall designate one or more research or drafting committees, as appropriate, and shall set a time frame for the draft. The draft shall then be returned from the committee for review by Names Council. The Names Council may either accept the draft for submission back to constituencies for comment and consultation or return the draft to the committee for further work. After the draft is submitted to the constituencies and the comment period for the constituencies is over, the Names Council shall evaluate the comments to determine whether there is the basis for a consensus recommendation.

A consensus recommendation is one that is supported by the affirmative vote of two thirds of the members of the Names Council and is not opposed by the votes of all of the representatives of any two constituencies. If a consensus recommendation is developed, any constituency may file a statement of its dissenting view to accompany the recommendation to the Board of the Corporation. If a recommendation is supported by an affirmative vote of more than one half but less than two-thirds of the members of the Names Council, the Council shall submit the recommendation to the Board of the Corporation with statements of majority and minority views. If a recommendation is not supported by affirmative vote of at least one half of the members of the Names Council, the Names Council will submit the proposed recommendation back to the drafting committee for re-drafting consistent with constituency comments.

B. Selecting Nominees to the Board of the Corporation

Each year, the Names Council shall request that each constituency appoint one representative to serve on a nominating committee for the nomination of candidates to serve on the Board of the Corporation. The representatives appointed by the constituencies (or in the event of the failure of a constituency to appoint, a substitute from that constituency selected by the Names Council) shall nominate one candidate from each of the geographical areas specified in Article I.C. above.

The Names Council shall have the power to select three candidates for the first round of nominations to the Board of the Corporation, with terms of one, two and three years respectively, and one candidate for a three year term each year thereafter, from among those nominated by the nominating committee. In order for a candidate to be selected, the candidate must have the affirmative votes of at least one-half the members of the Names Council. The Names Council shall establish procedures for run off voting, if necessary, to ensure that the selected candidates each have the support of the affirmative votes of at least one-half the members of the Names Council.

C. General

The DNSO, the Names Council and each of the constituencies will establish on-line methods of meeting, conducting ballots and developing consensus. Applicable Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) procedures and other relevant models will be examined as a possible model.

III. OPEN AND TRANSPARENT NON-DISCRIMINATORY PROCESSES

A. General

The processes of the Names Council (and the processes of each constituency) shall be governed by the same provisions for open and transparent non-discriminatory processes as those of the Board of the Corporation. A general mechanism for review of conflicts and grievances will be developed. This mechanism shall include the appointment, from time to time, if supported by an affirmative vote of one third of the Names Council, of a Fair Hearing Panel. This panel will have such powers and responsibilities for review of conflicts and grievances as may be delegated to it by the Names Council.

B. Minutes and Reports.

The DNSO shall publish, at least annually, a report describing its activities and including an audited financial statement and describing any payments made by the DNSO to Directors (including reimbursements of expenses). Draft minutes of all DNSO meetings shall be published as soon as practicable. The Names Council at its next regular meeting will formally approve minutes. All minutes, meetings, materials, and communications of the DNSO (and any committees thereof) shall be made publicly available immediately following approval by the Names Council.

C. DNSO Web Site.

The Names Council shall post on a public World Wide Web Site:

  • (a) a calendar of scheduled meetings for the upcoming year; and
  • (b) in advance of each DNSO meeting or policy-recommendation proceeding, a notice of the fact and time that such meeting or proceeding will be held and, to the extent known, an agenda for the meeting. If reasonably practicable, the Names Council shall post notices of special meetings of the DNSO and of the Names Council at least fourteen days prior to the meetings. As appropriate, the Names Council will facilitate the translation of final published documents into various appropriate languages.

D. On-line Participation

To ensure international and diverse participation, the proceedings of the DNSO and the Names Council, as well as all Committees of the DNSO, shall to the fullest extent possible, be available on-line. The Names Council shall consult with the general assembly of the constituencies to develop a process to enable on-line comments on drafts and discussion topics.

IV. POLICIES TO ENSURE INTERNATIONAL AND DIVERSE PARTICIPATION

Because of the composition of the Names Council, there will automatically be international and diverse participation.

V. POLICIES FOR DISCLOSURE TO THE CORPORATION BY MEMBERS OF OR PARTICIPANTS IN THE DNSO OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST OR OTHER FINANCIAL INTERESTS IN MATTERS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE DNSO.

These policies shall be the same as those for the Board of the Corporation.

VI. METHODS FOR FUNDING THE DNSO AND PROVIDING FUNDING FOR THE CORPORATION

The DNSO shall fund its own expenses, including the costs of DNSO and Names Council membership and other meetings and communications. It is presently the understanding of the drafters of this application that the Corporation is not expecting the Supporting Organizations to provide funding for the Corporation.

The Names Council shall draw up a budget for each calendar year, which shall include receipts, and all expenditures for which the DNSO is responsible. These include the administrative costs for DNSO and other expenditures for membership meetings, conferences and hearings. The budget shall include a provision for reasonable reserves, not to exceed a percentage to be determined of the previous year's budget.

Members of the Names Council shall serve without compensation, provided, however, that members of the Names Council may be reimbursed by the DNSO for out of pocket expenses incurred in connection with their function if the expense is objectively necessary, and if the member seeking reimbursement can document the expense and show plausibly that the member could not perform the member's duties as a member of the Names Council without such reimbursement. Such reimbursement may include the cost of travel and reasonable expenses for attending the meetings, where the member indicates that such reimbursement is necessary to ensure their participation.

The general assembly of the constituencies shall determine a fair means of allocating membership dues among its membership.

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