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3.6 ICANN Berlin Meetings Report

(JPNIC secretariat)

Since the inauguration of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in September 1998 as an organization to replace IANA in the management of global Internet resources, steps have continued with a view to developing ICANN's organizational structure.

Recent months have seen related meetings in Berlin in late May and in San Jose in June, with a number of resolutions being passed at these meetings. Below is an overview of the meetings in which JPNIC International Liaison Working Group participated, and of the resolutions which were passed there.

ICANN Berlin Meeting

ICANN conducted meetings of its various constituent groups in Berlin from May 25 to May 27. At least 13 meetings were conducted, with a number of these running concurrently. As a result, a number of participants moved from meeting to meeting.

Most ICANN meetings do not yet have restrictions regarding participation, and in Berlin, there was a large number of participants from Europe and particularly the US, while there appeared to be fewer participants from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This may be due to the fact that Berlin is relatively far away from these regions, as well as the fact that awareness of ICANN is relatively low in these areas. We felt a strong need for JPNIC to continue to provide information regarding ICANN activities in Japan.

Through the Berlin meetings, ICANN Initial Board passed a number of resolutions , including the ones relating to establishment of Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO), handling of intellectual property right problems related to Internet Domain Name System, acceptance of the application form on the establishment of Protocol Supporting Organization (PSO), and reconfirmation of the policy to encourage prompt development of a framework whereby At-Large Directors are elected by individuals.

One of the important resolutions passed by the lnitial Board is provisional recognition of 6 Constituencies of DNSO. Constituencies are meant to represent various interests related to the Domain Name System. Constituencies are the core of DNSO, and are to select members of Names Council, the organization that is to manage the DNSO.

DNSO is one of the three supporting organizations (DNSO, PSO, ASO: Address Supporting Organization) stipulated in ICANN Articles of Incorporation, and, as with the other supporting organizations, is to elect 3 of 19 directors of the Board. DNSO's role lies in recommending policies related to the Domain Name System to the ICANN Board.

The 6 Constituencies recognized at the Berlin meetings are as follows.

  • Country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries such as JPNIC
  • Commercial and business entities
  • gTLD (e.g. .com,.org,.net registries)
  • Intellectual property
  • ISPs and connectivity providers
  • Registrars

Through the various Constituency meetings, a number of Constituency organizations also designated and elected representatives to participate on the Names Council.JPNIC staff and working group members attended the ccTLD Constituency meeting held in San Jose. There Provisional Names Council members from the Constituency were selected. Details of the San Jose meetings are described later.

In addition, the initial Board of ICANN discussed WIPO's final report regarding domain name policy (see Note 1). This is the result of the review commissioned by the US government as part of the 'White Paper' proposing the ICANN establishment process. WIPO has analyzed the trademark and intellectual property rights problems associated with the method of registering domain names on a first come, first served basis. The initial Board announced a number of points relating to this final report, and in particular, requested a review by DNSO of the following points.

  • A uniform dispute resolution mechanism (to be reviewed by July 31)
  • The handling of 'famous names'
  • When and how new gTLDs should be commenced.

Based on this request, DNSO's Provisional Names Council later established a number of working groups (mentioned later).

The initial Board also accepted an application for the establishment of the PSO as a supporting organization. This paved the way for the likely members of the PSO (IETF, WWW Consortium (W3C), ETSI, and ITU) to prepare a Memorandum of understanding regarding the official establishment of the PSO. Approval of the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) was put back to the August ICANN meetings.

One of the most complicated tasks confronting ICANN is the creation of a mechanism whereby individuals may participate in an election to select 9 of the 19 ICANN directors. ICANN's Membership Advisory Committee (MAC), which had been considering this issue, explained the difficulty of reaching a resolution due to the magnitude of problems relating to the organization of At-Large members, membership management, and funding. The first meeting of the ICANN general assembly requested staff and counsels to report on these problems by the next meeting.

A number of other resolutions were also passed by the initial Board in Berlin. Please see the following link for details of these resolutions.
http://www.icann.org/berlin/berlin-resolutions.html

Names Council Teleconference and San Jose Meeting

Several ICANN-related meetings have been held since the Berlin meetings. On June 11, a teleconference was held by the 20 provisional members of the Names Council, which is responsible for managing the DNSO. The official notes of proceedings of this teleconference are available at:
http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/19990617.NCtelecon.html
The main resolution involved the creation of WG-A (Working Group A) to examine a mechanism for resolving disputes relating to domain names and trademarks, and report back to the initial Board. Creation of WGs to examine other areas was also discussed.

In late June, some related meetings were held in San Jose. In a meeting held on June 25, the Names Council decided to create the following WGs in addition to WG-A. and designated area of discussion to each of them.

  • WG-B Famous marks
  • WG-C New gTLDs
  • WG-D DNSO's business plan
  • WG-E Outreach and global awareness

Participation to these WGs is basically open. JPNIC's Domain Name Registration Working Group (DOM-WG) has commenced reviews relating to WG-A and WG-B in collaboration with trademark-related parties.

The following resolutions relating to Constituency groups were also passed. The ccTLD Constituency group designated Fay Howard (RIPE CENTR, Europe), Nii Quaynor (Ghana), and Bill Semich (Niue) as its representatives to the Provisional Names Council. The Registrar Constituency organization also selected 3 representatives. They are to act on behalf of the Provisional Names Council in seeking to achieve consensus within the DNSO.

A list of the members of the Provisional Names Council is available at:
http://www.dnso.org/constituency/ncmembers.html

ICANN: Future Schedule

As mentioned above, in recent months various ICANN-related meetings have been held each month in various cities around the world. PSO meeting is scheduled for mid-July, in conjunction with the IETF meeting in Oslo. Also, various meetings following the schedule similar to that of the Berlin meetings, including the Board meeting, are scheduled for Santiago, Chile, in late August. Themes of particular importance include discussions by the various DNSO WGs, the official Names Council election, and the organization of ASO.

ICANN discussions and resolutions relating to domain name, IP address, and protocol management, etc. will have a major impact on the Internet in Japan. Constant attention must be paid to ICANN-related affairs, as ICANN holds meetings frequently and is prompt in passing resolutions relating to important issues. JPNIC will continue to monitor ICANN and provide information to the Japanese Internet community, while continuing to present Japan's opinions to ICANN.

Note 1: WIPO Domain Name Process Final Report
http://wipo2.wipo.int/process/eng/processhome.html
Note 2: 'Management of Internet Names and Addresses' 'White Paper'
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/6_5_98dns.htm

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