February 5, 1999

Mr. Mike Roberts
Interim President and CEO
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
339 La Cuesta Drive
Portola Valley, CA 94028
USA

Dear Mike,

On behalf of the organizations listed below, please find enclosed an application to the Board of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to be recognized as the Domain Names Supporting Organization (DNSO). The application lays out an organizational structure for ICANN's Domain Names Supporting Organization, pursuant to Article 1, Section 3 (b) of ICANN's Bylaws.

The organizations endorsing this application include a group of registrars, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), international businesses, trademark interests, organizations representing individuals involved in the Internet, and high-technology organizations from around the world. It also incorporates the broad consensus and procedures initiated in the Barcelona and Monterrey meetings, held on October 16-18, 1998 and November 15-17, 1998. Our application is also consistent with the findings of the international meeting on domain names held in Washington, D.C. on January 22, 1999. These findings can be found at http://www.witsa.org.

We believe that our application should form the basis of how to create a viable, open, and transparent DNSO that will supply the ICANN Board with well-developed, timely and well-reasoned policy recommendations reflecting the consensus and interests of all of the various stakeholders from around the world.

Our approach in structuring the DNSO is consistent with the requirements as set out in Article VI of the ICANN bylaws and the views expressed by ICANN in its press release of December 21, 1998, entitled "Information Concerning the Formation of ICANN supporting organizations."

We view this application as an effort that will probably incorporate some refinements and modifications going forward. We also want to express our desire and willingness to continue our discussions with other groups who are submitting DNSO applications by your deadline. Our goal is to continue the effort to find even more common ground among these applications and narrow our differences further. In short, we expect that there will be further discussions to merge our proposal with any other applications received by the ICANN Board by your deadline of February 5, 1999.

Background on each of the organizations endorsing this application can be found attached. We expect that additional companies, organizations and individuals will be endorsing our application in the coming weeks.

We look forward to working with you and other members of the ICANN Board in moving forward with our application.

Sincerely,
Electronic Commerce Europe (ECE)
European ISP Association (EuroISPA)
Information Technology Association of America (ITAA)
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
International Council of Registrars (CORE)
International Trademark Association (INTA)
Internet Society (ISOC)
Policy Oversight Committee (POC)
World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)

Background on Signing Organizations

International Council of Registrars (CORE)

CORE is a non-profit organization founded as result of a plan initiated by the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) in Fall 1996 to add new structure, free enterprise and competition to the Internet Domain Name System (DNS).

Funded by its registrars and pursuing an aggressive development program, CORE is the world leader in developing the protocols, procedures, systems and software to administer competitive domain name registration. Its Shared Registry System (SRS) and Domain Name Service are deployed on computer systems around the world. The organization operates according to well-defined standards, global constitution and ethics documented in the generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) Memo of Understanding (MoU), which has been signed by more than 200 major companies throughout the world.

CORE currently lists 85 registrars in 23 countries, including 24 U.S. registrars with a presence in more than 100 American cities. Membership is open to any individual or entity that can meet the financial and technical criteria outlined in the CORE Memo of Understanding. To better serve a global constituency and the future growth of the Internet, the CORE Secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland, near the birthplace of the World Wide Web, at CERN, the European Laboratory of Particle Physics (www.cern.ch).

Electronic Commerce Europe (ECE)

The ECE is a European platform founded in 1997 with the support of the EU Commission that represents the interests of, but not only, E-Commerce users (it also has been founded by several associations of providers). It is a federative body, aiming at avoiding replication or duplication of initiatives inside and outside Europe.

Its mission is to:

  • Raise awareness on all segments of e-Commerce issues
  • Address the EU Institutions, on behalf of its members, on critical e-Commerce topics help the institutional bodies in acting as a resounding box of the marketplace
  • Organize and facilitate coordination at the European level of projects, test-beds and pilots initiated by the members at national, local and/or sector levels,
  • Represent the interests of European bodies in and outside Europe as well as defining with similar non-European organizations common positions on the said critical issues.

ECE works on the content from the end-users' perspective. It currently is 30 members strong, representing major European companies, national and local organizations.

European ISP Association (EuroISPA)

EuroISPA is the pan-European association of the Internet services providers associations of the countries of the European Union. The association was established when a number of such ISP associations signed the EuroISPA Memorandum of Understanding on 6 August 1997 in Brussels. On 10 September 1997 the signatories to the MOU met again and signed the agreement that formed EuroISPA EEIG, thereby creating the largest association of ISPs in the world.

EuroISPA is being established to achieve several important purposes: First, to protect and promote the interests of Europe as a whole within the global Internet, securing for Europe a premier position in the key industry of the new Millenium. Secondly, to help deliver the benefits of this new technology of liberation and empowerment to individuals, while at the same time meeting the legitimate concerns of parents and others responsible for the weaker members of society. Thirdly, to encourage the development of a free and open telecommunications market, something of great benefit to society as a whole but essential to the healthy development of the Internet. And finally, to promote the interests of our members and provide common services to them where these cannot be had elsewhere.

Information Technology Association of America (ITAA)

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is the leading trade association of the U.S. information technology industry. ITAA's 11,000 direct and affiliated member companies create and market products and information services associated with computers, communications, and data. ITAA sponsors a wide range of services, meetings and activities that enhance an IT firm's ability to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Through its advocacy efforts, ITAA helps to foster an environment which is conducive to the health, prosperity and competitive nature of the information technology industry and to help its members succeed in delivering the benefits of IT to their customers. With the aid of its four divisions, the association represents the IT industry's interests in issues such as the Internet and Electronic Commerce, intellectual property protection, government procurement, telecommunications policy, taxation and privacy. The association's industry development programs include advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues, studies and statistics, domestic and international market development and industry promotion. ITAA also provides extensive opportunities for business development and networking.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
The World Business Organization

The International Chamber of Commerce promotes international trade, investment and the market economy system worldwide. In so doing, the ICC makes rules that govern the conduct of business across borders, provides essential services, foremost among them the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the world's leading institution of its kind.

Members from 63 national committees and over 7000 member companies and associations from over 130 countries throughout the world present ICC views to their governments and coordinate with their membership to address the concerns of the business community.

ICC permanent representatives at the UN in New York and Geneva monitor developments affecting business within the UN and its specialized agencies. The ICC ensures that business concerns are brought to the attention of governments, both through its international secretariat in Paris, and the representations of national committees throughout the world.

The International Trademark Association (INTA)

The International Trademark Association (INTA) was founded in 1878 as The United States Trademark Association. The Association changed its name in May 1993 to International Trademark Association to reflect the scope and interests of its members worldwide. The Association is dedicated to promoting trademarks as essential to world commerce. A not-for-profit organization, INTA takes a leading role not only in serving members, but in actively pursuing public policy matters concerning trademarks. It also educates business, the media and the public on the proper use and importance of trademarks. INTA's membership includes more than 3200 corporations and firms in 117 countries. These include major multinational corporations and smaller companies that recognize the importance of trademarks to their continued marketing success. INTA's members are in every major industry, from aerospace to consumer goods, alcoholic beverages to textiles, electronics to financial services. Also included in INTA's membership are businesses that counsel trademark owners: intellectual property and general practice law firms, advertising agencies, design firms and industry organizations that recognize the importance of INTA to their clients.

Internet Society (ISOC)

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-governmental International organization for global cooperation and coordination for the Internet, its internetworking technologies and applications, and is chartered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in the District of Columbia, USA. The Society's individual and organizational members, from over 150 countries, are bound by a common stake in maintaining the viability and global scaling of the Internet. They represent a veritable "who's who" of the Internet. They comprise the companies, government agencies, universities, and foundations that have created the Internet and its technologies as well as innovative new entrepreneurial organizations contributing to maintain that dynamic. ISOC is governed by a Board of Trustees, which is elected by its worldwide membership.

The mission of the Internet Society is: To assure the beneficial, open evolution of the Internet and its related internetworking technologies through leadership in standards, issues, and education.

The Internet Society took the early lead role in seeking resolution to the issues plaguing of the Internet DNS. This was done not simply to eliminate the monopoly that was established for the registration of domain names but more from its historic position as the oversight body for the Internet standards organization, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

The Policy Oversight Committee (POC)

The Policy Oversight Committee is the successor to the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC), which was created in September, 1996 as the result of proposals originally made by Prof. Jon Postel, of the Univ. of Southern California and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). The IAHC was created by IANA and the Internet Society (ISOC) with members originally appointed by IANA, ISOC, IAB, ITU, WIPO, INTA and NSF. Its charter was to study the domain name system and make recommendations for new generic top level domains (gTLDs) in addition to the .com, .net and .org presently in use. In February, 1997, the IAHC made its report, recommending the addition of seven new gTLDs, and further recommending the creation of new international administrative structures to register second level domains (SLDs) in the new gTLDs and to deal with trademark disputes.

On May 1,1997, this resulted in the signing of a gTLD Memorandum of Understanding (the gTLD-MoU) by IANA and ISOC, as well as over a hundred entities from around the world. Since then, 88 new registrars have qualified to handle SLD registrations, and WIPO has proceeded to institute an administrative procedure for resolving trademark disputes arising from the assignment of SLDs. The 88 new registrars have formed a Council of Registrars (CORE) and have executed the CORE-MoU. CORE is incorporated not-for-profit in Switzerland; POC is incorporated not-for-profit in Delaware.

POC is presently cooperating with other interested parties in the preparation of an application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the successor to IANA, for recognition of a Domain Names Supporting Organization.

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is a consortium of information technology (IT) industry associations from economies around the world. As the global voice of the IT industry, WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance the industry's growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in IT products and services; strengthening WITSA's national industry associations through the sharing of knowledge, experience, and critical information; providing members with a vast network of contacts in nearly every geographic region of the world; and hosting the World Congress on IT, the only industry sponsored global IT event.

Founded in 1978 and originally known as the World Computing Services Industry Association, WITSA has increasingly assumed an active advocacy role in international public policy issues affecting the creation of a robust global information infrastructure, including: increasing competition through open markets and regulatory reform; protecting intellectual property; reducing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to IT goods and services; and safeguarding the viability and continued growth of the Internet and electronic commerce.

In addition to its public policy work, WITSA, through its network of national associations, provides a unique opportunity to establish contacts and channels in the global IT industry. WITSA will continue to provide opportunities to discuss international marketing strategies and business development focused on different regions and countries. The impact of WITSA is perhaps best demonstrated through its World Congress on Information Technology, which every two years brings together over 1500 senior IT executives from around the world.

WITSA serves as the oversight organization for the World Congress on Information Technology, an international meeting of IT executives from around the world. World Congress sites include: Tokyo, Japan in 1994; Bilbao, Spain in 1996; Fairfax, Virginia in 1998; and China, Taipei in 2000.

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