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Special Meeting of the Board Preliminary Report 23 August 2002

Posted 23 August 2002

The ICANN Board of Directors held a meeting by teleconference on 23 August 2002. Directors Vint Cerf (chairman), Amadeu Abril i Abril, Karl Auerbach, Robert Blokzijl, Ivan Moura Campos, Lyman Chapin (joined meeting while in progress and departed before end), Jonathan Cohen (joined meeting while in progress), Masanobu Katoh, Hans Kraaijenbrink, Sang-Hyon Kyong, Stuart Lynn, Andy Mueller-Maguhn, Jun Murai (joined meeting while in progress), Alejandro Pisanty (joined meeting while in progress), Nii Quaynor, and Linda S. Wilson participated. The Board adopted the following resolutions:

Approval of Minutes

Resolved [02.96] that the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 13 June 2002 are hereby approved and adopted by the Board as presented.

(The Board approved the above resolution by a 11-0-1 vote, with Mr. Abril i Abril abstaining.)

New TLD Evaluation Process Planning Task Force

Whereas, the Board at its Stockholm meeting in June 2001 adopted the following resolution:

Resolved [01.74], the Board directs the President to form and chair a New TLD Evaluation Process Planning Task Force, for the purpose of recommending to the Board and the broader Internet community, by means of a report to be discussed at ICANN's Montevideo meeting in September 2001:

(a) a plan for monitoring the introduction of new TLDs and for evaluating their performance and their impact on the performance of the DNS. This assessment should focus in technical, business, and legal perspectives and rely on data gathered as part of the contractual arrangements with the new TLDs as well as other data inputs that can be readily secured; and

(b) a schedule on which a plan should be executed;

Whereas, the President formed the New TLD Evaluation Process Planning Task Force (NTEPPTF);

Whereas, NTEPPTF duly produced and presented to the Board such a plan and schedule, following a 30-day public comment period;

Whereas, NTEPPTF has appropriately factored such comments into its report;

Whereas, the Board recognizes that current workload, staffing, and priorities make it advisable to defer acting on the NTEPPTF recommendations until the ICANN Board meeting in Shanghai, China, in October 2002;

Resolved [02.97] that the Board accepts with gratitude the NTEPPTF report and thanks the members of the Task Force for their hard work and dedication in producing the report; and

Further resolved [02.97A] that the President is directed to produce a plan for action for approval by the Board at its meeting in Shanghai, China, in October 2002.

(The Board approved the above resolutions by a 13-1-1 vote, with Mr. Auerbach opposed and Dr. Lynn abstaining.)

Reconsideration Requests

Resolved [02.98] that the Reconsideration Committee's Recommendation RC 02-1 is adopted for the reasons stated in that recommendation. The domain name pops.int should be registered to the Interim Secretariat for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, subject to re-evaluation in the event that the Stockholm Convention does not enter into force within four years after the registration is made.

(The Board approved the above resolution by a 15-0-0 vote.)

Resolved [02.99] that the Reconsideration Committee's Recommendation RC 02-4 is adopted for the reasons stated in that recommendation.

(The Board approved the above resolution by a 13-1-1 vote, with Mr. Auerbach opposed and Mr. Mueller-Maguhn abstaining.)

VeriSign WLS Proposal

Whereas, on 21 March 2002 VeriSign, Inc., the operator of the .com and .net registries, requested amendments to the registry agreements for those top-level domains to allow it to conduct a twelve-month trial of a proposed wait-listing service (WLS) to be offered through accredited registrars for an annual fee;

Whereas, at its 22 April 2002 meeting the Board, after noting that a report of the DNSO will be of assistance in evaluating the VeriSign WLS proposal, requested the Names Council to coordinate within the DNSO a comprehensive review of issues concerning the deletion of domain names and possible solutions for those issues and to submit to the Board a status report on that review, with the status report to include any recommendations concerning VeriSign's request to modify the .com and .net agreements to allow it to provide the WLS;

Whereas, as contemplated by resolution 02.55 ICANN also received various public comments on the WLS on a web-based public comment forum;

Whereas, a Public Forum was held on 27 June 2002 at ICANN's meetings in Bucharest, during which VeriSign gave a presentation of the WLS in which it proposed changes to its WLS proposal (including avoidance of preferential treatment of existing SnapBack subscriptions, and reduction of VeriSign's annual fee for WLS subscriptions to US$24.00) to accommodate concerns expressed in community comments; the DNSO Transfers Task Force summarized its preliminary findings and recommendations; and several members of the Internet community gave their views on WLS;

Whereas, the Board concluded at its Bucharest meeting that its consideration of VeriSign's request would be assisted by receiving the final report of the DNSO's bottom-up consensus-development effort, and therefore called on the Names Council to provide, no later than 26 July 2002, final recommendations, with its supporting rationale and any separate positions of DNSO constituencies, on the VeriSign WLS request;

Whereas, the DNSO Transfers Task Force finalized its report in mid-July 2002, recommending (with dissenting views) (a) that VeriSign's request be rejected and (b) that if it is approved various conditions be incorporated;

Whereas, on 24 July 2002 the Names Council, by a 15-3-1 vote, adopted the task force report "as a whole" and transmitted it to the Board;

Whereas, although the range of opinions regarding the WLS in the community has significantly narrowed during the discussions of the issues, there remains a disparity of opinions;

Whereas, the Board is mindful that ICANN should act in a way that promotes consumer choice and innovative services while ensuring that registry operations are conducted in a manner that does not harm the legitimate interests of consumers or others;

Whereas, the Board concludes that, in general, ICANN should avoid depriving consumers of the option of purchasing services they may decide are beneficial, and that the option of subscribing to a guaranteed "wait list" service is one such service;

Whereas, the Board also concludes that various conditions are necessary to ensure that the proposed WLS is implemented in a manner that promotes, rather than harms, the interests of consumers and others with legitimate interests;

Whereas, the Board notes that the Blueprint for Reform adopted and endorsed in resolution 02.75 contemplates that ICANN should have mechanisms to consult with Expert Advisory Panels or existing expert bodies on competition and other issues and that the Evolution and Reform Committee is developing recommendations for implementation of that and other recommendations of the Blueprint;

Whereas, the Board notes that the implementation of mechanisms for ICANN to consult on economic and competition issues should be in place in time to be of assistance in connection with evaluation of any WLS trial;

Resolved [02.100] that the President and General Counsel are authorized to conduct negotiations on behalf of ICANN toward appropriate revisions to the .com and .net registry agreements between ICANN and VeriSign to provide for the offering of a wait-listing service as proposed by VeriSign, with the following additional conditions:

(a) Subscriptions under the WLS in the .com and .net top-level domains shall not be taken by VeriSign Global Registry Services until at least six months have elapsed after implementation of the Redemption Grace Period for all deleted names in those top-level domains;

(b) No preference in connection with, or exclusion from, WLS shall be given because of any registrar-level reservation service;

(c) No registrar sponsoring the registration of a domain name in the .com and .net top-level domains shall be permitted to obtain (in its own name or for another, directly or indirectly) a WLS subscription on that name at any time after a date sixty days before the registration of the name is deleted;

(d) With regard to transparency of information regarding WLS subscriptions, there shall be an effective mechanism for actively notifying the current domain-name holder upon the placing of a WLS subscription on the name, without revealing the identity of the party holding the WLS subscription;

(e) The WLS shall be offered for a trial period of twelve months, with subscriptions offered for a one-year term so that they last no longer than one year past the end of the trial period; and

(f) There shall be a data-gathering and evaluation program, to be specified in the negotiated revisions to the agreements, that includes mechanisms for analyzing whether the WLS harms the legitimate interests of consumers or others.

(The Board approved the above resolution by a 11-2-2 vote, with Mr. Abril i Abril and Mr. Auerbach opposed and Dr. Kyong and Mr. Mueller-Maguhn abstaining.)

Other Matters

A report of the Evolution and Reform Committee was presented. The Board also discussed its e-mail list arrangements.