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Please sign and circulate the following

The newly formed, US Government sanctioned corporation,
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
is considering adoption of a plan by WIPO (World Intellectual Property
Organization) that would impose legal restrictions on the
registration of domain names, that strongly favor the
interests of large corporations and trademark holders,
at the expense of individul rights and freedoms.

Will ICANN adopt the WIPO proposals and allow TM holders to
crush domain name holders? Will the formation of the DNSO
(Domain Name Supporting Organization)  be captured b
corporate interests?

ICANN will meet in Berlin on May 27, 1999 to decide this issue
and other policies that will become the foundation for ICANN
becoming the world government over the Internet.  It is imperitive
that individuals speak up now to preserve any level of autonomy
and freedom left on the net, before it becomes the exclusive
domain of large corporate interests, much as the traditional
"big media" companies rule television, radio, and the press.

Please sign and circulate the petition below, and if possible,
attend the event in Berlin on May 27.

Paul Garrin, Name.Space International   http://namespace.org


m i l t o n   m u e l l e r // m u e l l e r @ s y r . e d u
syracuse university          http://istweb.syr.edu/~mueller/



On May 6, 1999, the following statement was posted on the ICANN
web site at http://www.icann.org/wipo/wipo.htm

"The ICANN Board of Directors will consider the WIPO Final
Report, including its annexes, at its May 27 meeting and will
take appropriate action, which may include from [sic] seeking
further comments on the recommendations, referring of some or
all of them to other ICANN entities, and/or adopting certain of
the recommendations."

The undersigned strongly object to the last phrase in this
sentence, referring to "adopting certain of the
recommendations." We wish to see any reference to "adoption"
removed from the Berlin meeting agenda.

Under the "bottom up" philosophy articulated in the White Paper
and in ICANN's own by-laws, important decisions regarding domain
name policy were supposed to be passed up to ICANN's board by
the DNSO. The DNSO does not exist yet. ICANN has encouraged
numerous individuals and organizations to make substantial
investments in the creation of the DNSO and its constituencies,
with the promise that good-faith participation in the process
would give them a voice in policy making. Those expectations
would be unjustly frustrated if ICANN adopted any
recommendations of the WIPO proposals in Berlin.

ICANN's current board was appointed on a temporary basis and was
not elected by a membership. Its sole mandate is to get the
organization started and to fill the gaps in its membership,
board and by-laws. It is not appropriate for a board with
interim status to make lasting policy on such a sensitive and
complex matter. It is, in fact, a cause for great concern for
ICANN even to publicly propose adopting such proposals at this

The WIPO recommendations comprise over 120 pages of dense legal
prose. The final report will have been out for public
consideration only three weeks when the Berlin meeting is
convened. Whether one supports or opposes the proposals, it is
undeniable that they will have a profound and permanent impact
on domain name registrations and on international intellectual
property rights. No legitimate purpose can be served by hasty
adoption or by short-circuiting the deliberative process that
ICANN was created to foster. Furthermore, we question the
ability of the current Board to properly assess the WIPO
recommendations and comments about them amidst the flood of
comments and documents pertaining to other important matters,
such as the DNSO, ASO, and PSO formation, the definition of the
constituencies, and the Membership Advisory Committee

We feel that the whole idea of ICANN would be undermined if the
interim board were to make fundamental and permanent changes in
domain name policy with inadequate information, without even the
possibility of consultation with a DNSO and the other supporting
organizations, and without members. The overall effect would be
highly destructive of the trust and cooperation that is required
to run the Internet properly.

We urge the Board to avoid precipitating yet another legitimacy
crisis. Set aside the WIPO proposals in Berlin and concentrate
on constituting the DNSO and at-large membership.

Laina Raveendran Greene, GetIT Pte Ltd., and Member, WIPO Panel
of Experts, SINGAPORE
Ellen Rony, Author, Domain Name Handbook, USA
Milton Mueller, Syracuse University School of Information
Studies, USA
Kathy Kleiman, Esq., Counsel, Domain Name Rights Coalition, USA
James V. DeLong, USA
Dan Steinberg SYNTHESIS Law & Technology, Canada
Harold Feld, USA
Tressa Kirby, VRx, CANADA
Richard Sexton, VRx, CANADA
Gene Marsh, AnyCAST, USA (?)
David J. Steele, USA
Gordon Cook, The Cook Report on the Internet, USA
Karl Auerbach, USA
Chris Ambler, Image Online Design, Inc. USA
Jay Fenello, Iperdome, Inc. USA
Patrick Greenwell, Telocity, USA
Paul Garrin, Founder, Name.Space International
Marcy J. Gordon, Computer Professionals for Social   Responsibility, USA
Marcy J. Gordon, Esq.         mgordon@pipeline.com
66 Pearl Street #510
New York, NY 10004-2443660

Telephone: (212)514-9514      Fax/Voicemail:(212)208-2540            

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