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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.

As Diane already wrote, if ICANN really wants to be 'global' body fairly
from not only 'advanced' nations, but developing countries as well, then we
need to have pragmatic mecahnisms to ensure that.

In some countries, the income for professional people, say in university or
government ornganizations, are making as much as, sometime US$ 200 or
$300. That is the fact. And often these people run the Internet, in
country NICs or other administrative/operational activities. As now I live
in Asia and occasionally visit/meet these people, it has some reality.

(most local living costs are very inexpensive in these countries, so do not
take this that they have very bad living standard. most foods are cheaper
and better, life is fine, but 'imported' stuff, or US$s are, especially after
Asian currency crisis and davaulation, are now quite expensive.)

So even $20 or $50 fee seems very reasonable to most of 'us', for these
people it is not. Of course, if it is really needed and worth charing, we
make so. But is it really? I doubt. Here's why:

I guestimated  there will be about 1000 people on ICANN at-large members,
and we charge $50 per year, total amount will be $50,000, right? 

Then I asked how much should ICANN earn to operate - as annual budget/income.
The CEO may make at least $50,000 or 100,000, right? And staffs and office
rental and all that - that will result what - 1 or 2 million a year, at least,

So considering the overall size of the operating budget, the estimated amount
from the at-large membership fee is very small, and most of which will be
spent as adirect cost of maintaining these membership anyway.

As you point out, Michael, there are certain items we should be careful to
implement - to prevent abuse or fraud. I agree with you and that is why
I/we tried to come up with some reasonbale ways to make authentication/
validation process via 'land' or physical measures. Some suggested to send
a copy of photo ID, but in some African countries, as Nii said, I guess, it
is not easy at all. So we dropped that.

But it is still in early stage of ICANN. What I hope to see is, rather than
spending too much time discussing based on different assumptions, make
one decision, try it out, and then change it if it goes not too well. I think
it's almost time to move on. Otherwise, nothing will come out.

We are also discussing how to 'reach out' to recruit as many members for
at large. Zero cost is only 'negative' way to open the entrance. We need
more positive attractions, I think, as the value of being the member of ICANN.
That we need to put more energy - otherwise it will be anyway captured by
the same people...we all know.

I don't think we took things shallowly. I spent more than reasonable time I
would say
in my individual capacity for these discussions. Including costly trips and
calls. I hope people will have more wider torelance and try to listen and
between the lines in addition to making their opinons and claims.

Thank you for you patience to read this note.

izumi from Kuala Lumpur today

At 09:54 1999/04/10 -0400, Michael Sondow wrote:
> Comments on the ICANN Membership Advisory Committeee Recommendations
> of March 18th, 1999, Pertaining to The Formation and Function of the
> ICANN At-large Membership

> 4.  There will be no membership fee. (We consider this to be too
> difficult to set equitably, and costly to collect.
> This is preposterous on the face of it. No membership fee to belong
> to, and vote for the directors of, the international organization
> controlling the technological and sociological development of the
> Internet, the most economically and socially potent tool for
> communication yet invented by man? Why? So that the present Board
> need not go to the trouble of thinking of a way of collecting dues,
> something that is accomplished by every other organization without
> great difficulty? And with what consequences? That persons may join
> and vote, not only without having to substantiate their identity but
> without being asked to make any a priori personal contribution
> whatsoever? And how is ICANN to support itself? Through the funding
> of special-interest groups, invariably those with the biggest
> purses, and who will manipulate and control ICANN in proportion to
> the amount of financial responsibility they provide for its
> functioning? Is this what is meant by responsibility and
> responsiveness to the community, as expressed in the White Paper and
> ICANN's own bylaws?

> 9. There is no limit to the number of candidates at any election.
> Shall all members be candidates, then? And voters as well? Every
> person in the world, regardless of their character, relation to the
> Internet, or willingness and ability to participate conscientiously
> in its functioning, may be both a member of ICANN and a candidate to
> its board of directors? This is to turn democracy on its head. As
> always in such undefined situations, those who wish to control and
> manipulate will find it easy to do so, since there will be no
> structure impeding them from imposing their own. He who organizes
> controls, as is well known.
> 10. We see no need for a nomination committee, or for an electoral
> committee. These are tasks for the ICANN executive. 
> And who is this executive? Is it not persons who must be empowered
> by the membership, which at first is not yet formed? In the chaotic
> and anarchic membership situation created by the foregoing
> principles, any two or more persons masquerading as the interim
> executive will have no trouble at all in manipulating the
> candidature and election of the At-large directors. There must be
> committees; as many as there are tasks to be performed; in order
> that the power to control events be distributed and therefore
> limited. The constant pretence that organization can be avoided will
> per force result in an undesirable organization. Just as nature
> abhors a vacuum, so human organizations abhor undefined
> responsibilities, which are invariably assumed by those interested
> in using the power that comes with them for their own ends.
> Our comments end here at the last recommendation. As stated earlier,
> the comments given here are poor because their subject is poor. We
> remain amazed that such poverty of thought could result from such
> richness of initiative on the part of so many. And again, we say
> that those who have reduced the rich suggestions offered in good
> faith by the potential members of ICANN to such poor recommendations
> stand aside to let those willing and able to provide ICANN with a
> better foundation for its future take their place.
> Michael Sondow
> ============================================================
> International Congress of Independent Internet Users (ICIIU) 
>         http://www.iciiu.org       iciiu@iciiu.org 
> ============================================================
          Izumi Aizu   <izumi@anr.org> 

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