Membership Advisory Committee Progress Report, January
ICANN MAC PROGRESS REPORT
3 January, 1999
Prepared by Greg Crew, Diane Cabell, and Molly Shaffer Van Houweling
This is a January 3 status report on the work of the Membership Advisory
Committee (MAC). The primary task of the MAC is to provide the ICANN
Board with a number of possible membership structures suitable for the
election of At Large directors in accordance with the ICANN By-laws, which
the Committee hopes to present to the ICANN Board during the ICANN Board
meeting in Singapore the first week of March, 1999.
The committee was appointed on December 16, 1998, and began to discuss
its goals, agenda, and working methods via email and teleconference.
The committee decided that committee members would prepare periodic reports,
such as this one, about the progress of its work.
The committee hopes to engage in a constructive public discussion about
membership issues. To this end, the committee will establish a public
email discussion list, which will be launched during the week of January
4, 1999. The committee is in the process of discussing what guidelines
for list participation should be established. Contributions will
be archived in the MAC section of the ICANN web site (http://www.icann.org/membership-com.html),
and the MAC progress reports will include summaries of the email discussion.
In preparation for its substantive discussion the MAC has started brainstorming
about membership issues that may need to be resolved. To date, this
list includes the following issues:
Why are there at large members?
Are there (if so, why are there) members (of Supporting Organizations)
that are not at-large members? How do rights and obligations of At
Large members and AL directors differ from those of SOs, if at all?
Are AL directors drawn from the pool of all members, and how does that
interact with SO members?
Who are the expected members?
Who can be a member. (Any qualification such as holding a domain name,
having an on-line presence?)
Is membership automatic or voluntary?
If domain names or email addresses are a vehicle, then how do we manage
one individual or entity with a multiplicity of names?
How is geography, population, financial standing and language to be balanced.
How should this change over time as these attributes vary? How does
this tie in to the geographic diversity requirements of the ICANN Bylaws?
One class or different classes of membership? (large corporations, small
corporations, associations, individuals, demographics, TLD)
Rights and obligations of membership - same for all or differentiated (depending
on whether a SO, corporation, association, individual?)
What are the liabilities of a member?
Is there/should there be an off-line constituency? How are people
without domain names or email addresses represented? These
may include universal access users of community centers, telecenters, business
centers etc. How will emerging communities not be excluded including
those from developing countries as well as inner city communities in developed
Is it desirable to put in place structures or mechanisms designed to minimize
the risk that a determined group could capture all or a majority of the
at large ICANN board seats? If so, how can that be done?
What identification will ICANN need to register a member? (none, telephone
number, e-mail address, proof of domain name ownership, sworn affidavit?)
Will the "membership" have any legal status distinct from ICANN?
Will the membership need to elect its own officers to supervise functions
or shall registration, voting, etc., be handled by ICANN?
Are SOs to be "members", although presumably not having rights to vote
for At Large directors (and how would that be controlled?) Should
the SOs be excluded from At Large membership?
Is there a way or a need to prevent duplicate voting by SO members?
In other words, should a member of a SO be prevented from also being a
member of ICANN? Should multiple employees of a business be prevented
from being members? How different should the At Large membership
be from the SOs? Is the At Large membership sufficiently distinct
from the Domain Name Supporting Organization or how do we make it distinct?
Will at large members have a right to petition ICANN, either: for
or against an SO proposal or a Board decision; or in order to ask the Board
or an SO to address some new issue?
Should members pay (annual subscription, buy shares?) Are there securities
laws or other issues that arise as a result of charging fees? If
not, what consideration will create binding obligations?
How will fees be collected?
Should fees be uniform or graduated?
AT LARGE DIRECTORS
How are candidates to be nominated? How are nominees to be placed
on or removed from a ballot? Are write-in candidates to be allowed?
What qualifications if any for candidates?
What proof of identification is required from candidates?
ELECTING AT LARGE DIRECTORS
One vote per member, or different voting rights depending on membership
How to apply regional representation rules when counting votes?
How are voting rules to be policed?
Should some rules be applied to spread directors across different gTLD
constituencies? Across ccTLD constituencies?
Should ICANN provide a forum for candidates to campaign/for referenda to
CHANGES TO ARTICLES
Can AL members propose changes? If so, how and under what constraints?
The committee is looking forward to adding to this list with the input
of interested members of the public, and to starting to develop alternative
ways to resolve these and other issues.
What is the cost to ICANN of the proposed membership and voting structures?
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