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Domain Name Supporting Organization Formation Concepts

March 4, 1999

The following document was adopted by the ICANN Board:

Domain Name Supporting Organization Formation Concepts

To be used by the ICANN staff in preparation of draft Bylaw provisions detailing the structure and mechanisms of the Domain Name Supporting Organization.

The Role of the DNSO

  • The Domain Name Supporting Organization ("DNSO") should be a consensus-based policy advisory body within ICANN.

General Participation in the DNSO

  • The DNSO structure should include a General Assembly open to any individual or entity willing to contribute effort to the work of the DNSO.

Constituency Groups Within the DNSO

  • The DNSO structure should include self-organized constituency groups of organizations and/or individuals with interest and expertise in DNSO matters. The initial DNSO constituency groups should be (in alphabetical order):
    • ccTLD registries
    • Commercial and business entities
    • gTLD registries
    • ISPs and connectivity providers
    • Non-commercial domain name holders
    • Registrars
    • Trademark, intellectual property, anti-counterfeiting interests
  • Individual domain name holders should be able to participate in constituencies for which they qualify.
  • There should be no limitation on the number of constituency groups in which an entity may participate, as participants may have interests that align with multiple constituency groups. However, given the consensus that the DNSO should represent a broad and diverse range of interests, no more than one employee of any one organization should be permitted to serve on the Names Council at one time.
  • Self-organized groups other than the initial groups set forth above may be recognized by the ICANN Board as DNSO constituency groups upon a proper showing pursuant to criteria to be determined. The ICANN Board should periodically review the status of the constituency groups to determine whether all DNSO interests are adequately represented.

The Names Council

  • The Names Council should act as a steering committee for the DNSO and should be responsible for managing consensus and making recommendations to the ICANN Board regarding TLDs, including operation, assignment and management of the domain name system and other related subjects.
  • The Names Council should be elected by the DNSO constituency groups, each of which will elect three Names Council members.

Development of Substantive Recommendations

  • The Names Council recommendations should be developed through a bottom-up process in which participants in the General Assembly take part. Recommendations approved by a majority of the Names Council shall be forwarded to the ICANN Board, accompanied by expressions of minority views (including explanations of the potential impact of a recommendation on a specific constituency or constituencies).

Selection of ICANN Directors

  • The DNSO Names Council should seek nominations from the General Assembly for individuals to serve on the ICANN Board. The Names Council shall vote from among those nominees to select directors to be submitted to the ICANN Board of Directors for election under Article IV, Section 9(b) of the ICANN Bylaws.

Open Processes

  • The DNSO should be governed by provisions for open and transparent non-discriminatory processes that are at least comparable with those that apply to the ICANN Board. Further provisions may be established to ensure that the full record of the formation of each recommendation is available.


  • Administrative and operational costs of the DNSO should be funded by DNSO participants in a manner to be determined.

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