IMPORTANT NOTICE - The statement below is provided by individuals and organizations working to self-organize a DNSO Constituency Group.  It is posted here to assist the self-organization process.  It has not been approved byICANN and its posting here does not indicate that the group under formation will necessarily be officially recognized by the ICANN Board of Directors.  See for information about the constituency formation process and instructions for submitting comments regarding this statement.  

Submitted to ICANN by Michael Sondow,, May 2, 1999.
Posted May 3, 1999

NCDNHC Update: Proposed Guidelines for the Non-Commercial Domain Name Holders Constituency

ICIIU Position On The Definition Of The NCDNHC

The position of the ICIIU on the question of a membership definition of the NCDNHC is colored by the fact that there are various constituencies available to most entites involved in this process, but that the ICIIU and like organizations have only one: the NCDNHC. Thus we insist that no persons, organizations, corporations, or associations of these, may be members of the Non-Commercial Domain Name Holders Constituency if a significant percentage of their funding comes from commercial sources, since such entites and their funding sources are more than adequately provided with other constituencies in which to influence the DNSO.

This means, for example, that no non-profit corporation, not even one that is incorporated as a charity, may join the NCDNHC if its funding comes from private companies organized for profit; for if such a non-profit corporation were permitted membership in the NCDNHC it could easily become a shield behind which its commercial funding sources manipulated the NCDNHC and used its three seats on the Names Council for votes favoring the commercial sector, rather than the non-commercial one that was intended by this constituency's creation.

Under this definition ISOC, although incorporated as a non-profit  corporation, may not join the NCDNHC if a significant percentage of  its funding comes from private business and commercial enterprises,  and the same would apply to its constituent organizations and supporters. It remains to be seen what are the funding sources of ISOC, or for that matter the other entities adhering to the NCDNHC. It may be necessary to require all associations that apply for membership in the NCDNHC, the ICIIU included, to demonstrate that they are indeed non-commercial, that their own constituents are either themselves non-commercial or do not use monies gained in commerce to finance the association, that the applicant association does not use the Internet for profit, that no commerce is done by it through its domain name, and that, as an association, its constituent members are not engaging in commercial or profit-making activities through their domain name and usage of the World Wide Web and the Internet. For indeed ICANN itself could not join the NCDNHC so long as its funding came from commercial corporations using the Internet for profit.

Such a strict exclusionary definition of the NCDNHC is the necessary consequence of naming and thus defining a constituency by economic criteria, as has been done for not only the NCDNHC but the Business Constituency as well. And while the ICIIU may not agree with this method of construing the DNSO membership we intend to adhere to it and apply it strictly so that the commercial interests may not dominate and control the DNSO totally. We believe that this was the intention of the board when they provided this constituency for the non-commercial Internet interests, and we intend to preserve it for this purpose, even if this means taking a very firm stand on admission to it for associations whose funding is unknown. And were an association whose funding sources are commercial, or unknown and in doubt, to apply for membership in the NCDNHC, the ICIIU would refuse to allow it; and if that organization insisted, we would take the matter to the highest instances of justice within the legal jurisdiction of ICANN, ask the court to force the association applying for membership in the NCDNHC to reveal the sources of its funding, and, if its funding were found to be commercially derived, to refuse it entry in the NCDNHC.

Such is the position of the ICIIU as regards the NCDNHC. Let anyone who expects that the NCDNHC can be easily infiltrated by disguised commercial interests be forewarned that it is defended against them. The ICIIU has legal assistance, and it will not permit commercial interests to consume the NCDNHC, as they are consuming the other constituencies, the DNSO, and ICANN.

Furthermore, the bylaws of ICANN and the U.S. Government's White Paper  require that this constituency as well as all others be open to individuals as well as organizations. The ICIIU guidelines accept individuals as members of the NCDNHC on an equal footing with organizations, as is right and lawful. However, other organizers of this constituency as well as organizers of other constituencies are attempting to exclude individuals from membership. They will not succeed, because the ICIIU will not permit it. The Internet has empowered the individual, the independent human beings who inhabit this planet and can now, thanks to the Internet, communicate freely with each other. We do not intend to allow corporations, regardless of how they may be disguised, to take this freedom away from us. 



     The Non-Commercial Domain Name Holders Constituency (NCDNHC) is a constituency within the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), as defined in the ICANN Bylaws, Art. VI-B Sec.3.


     The purpose of the NCDNHC is to provide a forum for discussion of all matters concerning the internet domain name system that relate to non-commercial domain name holders, to formulate policy recommendations on these matters, and to communicate such policy recommendations to the Names Council of the DNSO through the three seats on the Names Council pertaining to the NCDNHC.


     All activities of the NCDNHC, including its deliberative and policy recommendation activities, the selection of its officers, committees, and chairman if such are created, and the nomination and election of its seats on the Names Council of the DNSO, will be conducted in an open and transparent manner in accordance with democratic principles, due process, the rules of order, and the bylaws of the DNSO and ICANN.


     A. Individuals: All persons having administrative control of a domain name that is used for non-commercial purposes may be members of the NCDNHC.
     B. First-Level Organizations: All corporations of individuals, duly registered as not-for-profit corporations, a majority of whose members do not use the Internet for commercial purposes, and whose principal source of funding is not from commercial enterprises, may be members of the NCDNHC. Likewise, all associations of such individuals, whether incorporated or not, may be members of the NCDNHC.

     C. Second-Level Organizations: All corporations or associations of organizations, a majority of whose constituent member organizations satisfy the criteria of "B" above, may be members of the NCDNHC.

     D. Members of other DNSO constituencies may be members of the NCDNHC if they meet the above criteria.


     A. General rules for nomination and voting.

       (a) The nomination of candidates and the election of NC seats will be conducted by an election officer, who may be the chairman of the NCDNHC. For the initial nominations and elections, an interim election officer will be chosen by the members gathered. This initial election officer may be a person who is not a member of the constituency.
       (b) There is no limit to the number of candidates who may run for NC seats, but no more than one member of any first-level organization may be a candidate.
       (b) No more than one member, supporter, or representative of a coalition formed as an organizing group of the NCDNHC may be elected to the Names Council in any election, nor may more than one such person occupy a Names Council seat concurrently as an elected representative of the NCDNHC.

     B. Selection of candidates.

       (a) Candidates for NC seats must be nominated by members other than themselves, and their candidacy must be seconded by at least one member other than the member making the nomination.
       (b) Members of the NCDNHC who are unable to be present at a meeting to nominate candidates for NC seats may propose candidates by email before the date of that meeting. A candidate thus nominated will be considered seconded by the chair, or in the case of the initial election by the election officer, pro forma.
       (c) Neither presence at a meeting at which candidates are to be nominated, nor at a meeting at which the NCDNHC's NC seats are to be elected if that is done subsequent to the nomination of candidates, is a requirement for either candidacy or election to those seats.

     C. Election of NC seats.

       (a) Voting for the NCDNHC's three NC seats will be by direct vote, each NCDNHC member having three votes that must be cast for three separate candidates.
       (b) Voting will be done by secret written ballot of those present at the election meeting and by proxy.
       (c) Designated proxies are required to present to the election officer an email requesting such from the absent member and sent from that member's email address.
       (d) If more than 25% of the constituency are not present at an election meeting and desire to vote yet express their unwillingness to do so by proxy, voting will be done at least one day subsequent to the day candidates are nominated. In this case the election officer will communicate information about the candidates by email to the absent members, and will request from them an email ballot which will be presented by the election officer at the election.
       (e) Nomination and election meetings for NC seats, as well as other meetings of the NCDNHC in which a vote needs to be taken, may be done by electronic communications if a majority of the members of the NCDNHC wish it, so long as the above rules of order and process are adhered to. If such electronic meetings are held, adequate notification of members must be made by the chairman or the officers of the NCDNHC, or by the person(s) planning to call a vote.


All other matters concerning the organization of the NCDNHC and its activities will be decided by vote of its membership once formed.