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[Membership] Membership fees

NB. cc list trimmed.

At 12:01 PM 4/11/99 +0800, Izumi AIZU wrote:
>Thank you Michael for your frank comments.
>As a member of MAC, I would like to respond to a single point now, that is why
>we plan to make membership fee 'free' - or 'zero', since I am one of these
>who strongly suggested that - despite some strong counter arguments among
>my colleagues.

I agree with Michael Sondow - a free membership will cause rampant voter
fraud, absent some mechanism to curtail the certain abuse.  Such mechanisms
could be as simple as paper mailing voter materials, however any such
verification mechanism will cost ICANN money. If the membership has no dues,
then the membership becomes a corporate liability, which in turn will create
a parade of horribles (less voting by members, perception that membership
involvement should be limited to curtail costs, etc).

One remedy is to assess a membership fee to cover attendant costs of the
membership body - including voting and prevention of voter fraud.  It is
even likely that some operating revenue could be generated as well without
imposing any real fiscal burden to the membership. In any event, such a fee
can easily and fairly be charged based on such factors as to account for the
disparate financial conditions of each member/country/geographic region, and
the like.

Lastly, and likely the most important comment I have tonight is this: ICANN
needs a viable funding mechanism.  A traditional method of corporate funding
is to generate revenue from the fundamental assets of the corporation - and
this would work here as well. It is unrealistic to expect ICANN to operate
as a stable and independent entity by receiving gifts from those who give.
Such a method creates neither stability nor independence.