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RE: [Membership] The People's Republic of ICANN?

Michael, your thoughts on this one make a lot of sense to me. Geo.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Sondow [mailto:msondow@iciiu.org]
Sent: Saturday, February 06, 1999 11:12 AM
To: Daniel Kaplan
Cc: membership@icann.org
Subject: Re: [Membership] The People's Republic of ICANN?

Daniel Kaplan a écrit:
> So I still believe:
> 1/ That ICANN should be very proactive in getting domain names and IP
> address holders to be members. This could take several forms, for
> free (although voluntary) membership registration, the fees being included
> in the DN/IPA registration fees.

I've given some thought to this, which has been a bone of contention, and I
still think it's a good idea. If people registering domain names were
automatically made members, by having a small membership fee deducted from
their registration fees, it would help them to get involved in ICANN, which
is to the good, IMHO. I'm one of those who thinks that it won't be easy to
get people involved, especially the average domain name holders. It's the
same problem with getting people to vote in public elections. So, if they
were automatically members by registering a domain name, they would identify
with ICANN and at least find out what it is.

For example, besides deducting the membership fee, a sheet of information
about ICANN and the SOs could be sent along with the DN registration
documents. A membership card could even be sent, and an invitation to look
at the ICANN website and to join a mailing list (hopefully there will be
numerous mailing lists by then, both of ICANN and the SOs). Most won't do
anything about it, but some will, and ICANN will get people involved this

> 2/ That there should be some fee for anyone to join, so as to > discourage
excessive fraud as well as people whose interest is 
> not high enough.

I like the idea of a contribution instead of a fee, for non-domain name
holders who want to join, with a minimum of, say, one dollar. I've suggested
this before, and there was some positive response to it. It's worth giving
more thought to. For a fee to be high enough to discourage fraud, it would
also be too high for many serious participants from underdeveloped
countries. But an energetic contribution policy, in which companies and
others who can afford to make a contribution are pressed to do so, is
perfectly usual for non-profit organizations. 

I've been a member of many of these, and this was how we got much of tour
operating funds. The membership committee actively solicits contributions,
and the suggested amounts can even be put onto the membership information.
You know, like: "A contribution of $500 is suggested for corporations; $100
for smaller companies; $50 for associations; and $20 for individuals who can
afford it." Something like that. This way, poorer people and groups can
honorably join without expense, and those who can afford to pay more are
expected to do so. Many organizations that depend on this sort of funding,
like cultural support organizations, even publish each year a list of the
members who have made contributions, with the amounts given. And there could
be a yearly event for them, and other incentives. This is all perfectly in
keeping with the nature of ICANN as a contributory, non-profit organization,
and might provide a significant portion of the ICANN operating budget.