Inside ICANNWatch  
Submit Story
Lost Password
Site Messages
Top 10 Lists
Latest Comments
Search by topic

Our Mission
ICANN for Beginners
About Us
How To Use This Site
Slash Tech Info
Link to Us
Write to Us

  Useful ICANN sites  
  • ICANN itself
  • Bret Fausett's ICANN Blog
  • Internet Governance Project
  • UN Working Group on Internet Governance
  • Karl Auerbach web site
  • Müller-Maguhn home
  • UDRPinfo.com;
  • UDRPlaw.net;
  • CircleID;
  • LatinoamerICANN Project
  • ICB Tollfree News

  •   At Large Membership and Civil Society Participation in ICANN  
  • icannatlarge.com;
  • Noncommercial Users Constituency of ICANN
  • NAIS Project
  • ICANN At Large Study Committee Final Report
  • ICANN (non)Members page
  • ICANN Membership Election site

  • ICANN-Related Reading
    Browse ICANNWatch by Subject

    Ted Byfied
    - ICANN: Defending Our Precious Bodily Fluids
    - Ushering in Banality
    - ICANN! No U CANN't!
    - roving_reporter
    - DNS: A Short History and a Short Future

    David Farber
    - Overcoming ICANN (PFIR statement)

    A. Michael Froomkin
    - When We Say US™, We Mean It!
    - ICANN 2.0: Meet The New Boss
    - Habermas@ discourse.net: Toward a Critical Theory of Cyberspace
    - ICANN and Anti-Trust (with Mark Lemley)
    - Wrong Turn in Cyberspace: Using ICANN to Route Around the APA & the Constitution (html)
    - Form and Substance in Cyberspace
    - ICANN's "Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy"-- Causes and (Partial) Cures

    Milton Mueller
    - Ruling the Root
    - Success by Default: A New Profile of Domain Name Trademark Disputes under ICANN's UDRP
    - Dancing the Quango: ICANN as International Regulatory Regime
    - Goverments and Country Names: ICANN's Transformation into an Intergovernmental Regime
    - Competing DNS Roots: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?
    - Rough Justice: A Statistical Assessment of the UDRP
    - ICANN and Internet Governance

    David Post
    - Governing Cyberspace, or Where is James Madison When We Need Him?
    - The 'Unsettled Paradox': The Internet, the State, and the Consent of the Governed

    Jonathan Weinberg
    - Sitefinder and Internet Governance
    - ICANN, Internet Stability, and New Top Level Domains
    - Geeks and Greeks
    - ICANN and the Problem of Legitimacy

    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    ICANN Staff and Structure The magic in the new BC charter
    posted by tbyfield on Wednesday January 16 2002, @07:19AM

    andyd writes "For the last few months, ICANN's Business Constituency has been engaged in the process of revising its Charter document. If you want to know why the Constituency leadership felt it necessary to revise the Charter, a quick scan of some of the "disappeared" clauses (as well as the appearance of a few new ones) makes it quite clear that this is the latest in a sorry series of corrupt developments that have become all too common within the broken ICANN process. We haven't gone into them all, but the ones below should confirm for the reader once and for all that the current leadership of the Business Constituency no longer care about calling themselves a part of an open and transparent consensus-building process. If this kind of redraft is allowed to happen, it is no wonder that ICANN's legitimacy is no longer taken for granted."

    The general tone of the revised Charter concentrates far more power with the officers of the Constituency, conveniently erases all reference to the clauses that raised questions over the legitimacy of the current elected Officers, removes a clause requiring the BC to outreach to small businesses, and includes an astonishing new clause allowing the termination of a member who "is or threatens to be a vexatious litigant". The last of these is bizarre, and not a little Orwellian.

    We would welcome a response from a Business Constituency representative on the specific matters below.


    "...Associations or organizations whose specific goals are to represent of the interests of registries, registrars or ISPs or those whose specific interests are to defend the Intellectual Property rights of their associates cannot have full member status but may become observers."

    This clause was in the charter for a reason - to avoid the possibility that IP interests could gain undue influence on the Business Constituency. Strangely enough, the Chair of the Business Constituency Philip Shepherd actually works for an organisation called AIM who "promote the interests of the brands industry at European level on issues which affect the ability of its members to design, to market, to distribute and to sell their brands". Sounds suspiciously close to defending the IP rights of your associates.

    Question to the BC officers: What is the rationale behind removing this clause?


    "Names Council representatives of the Business Constituency should, in close co-operation with the Secretariat...lead the consensus-building process in the Business Constituency"

    It seems that the Business Constituency has given up even the pretence that it forms consensus policies. In the place of the above, the following has appeared - the officers’ role is now to "lead policy development in the Business Constituency".

    Question to the BC officers: What is the rationale behind changing this clause?


    "If, at any stage of the election process described above, an individual working for or representing an identifiable business sector is elected, all other representatives or individuals working for or representing that same business sector will be eliminated from the election process."

    This is another convenient "disappearance", since both Marilyn Cade and Grant Forsyth are from the Telecoms sector. This was pointed out in August to the Business Constituency by the chair of the General Assembly Danny Younger in a long and detailed post to the GA mailing list. The Business Constituency response appears to be to make the clause disappear.

    Question to the BC officers: What is the rationale behind removing this clause?


    "The secretariat shall use their best efforts to give small and medium-sized enterprises an adequate voice in all Business Constituency work processes. These efforts may include, but not be limited to, the organization of democratic elections for representatives of organizations of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to sit on an SME Consultative Committee whose advice shall be solicited on substantive policy work items."

    This is the saddest disappearance. With the dropping of this clause, the Business Constituency is making a clear statement that it does not believe that outreach to the small business user is an important part of it's role. Oh dear.

    Question to the BC officers: What is the rationale behind removing this clause?

    5. APPEARED!

    "a member, who over a sustained period of time acts in conflict to this Charter, or who engages in acts which appear to be inappropriate for the stability, functionality or bona fide reputation of the Constituency, or who is or threatens to be a vexatious litigant, may have its membership terminated at the discretion of the Officers and the Credentials Committee."

    Oh Philip. Oh Marilyn. Oh Grant. Please please let us know what might constitute a "vexatious litigant" and why you felt it was more important to include this than to include the clause advocating outreach to small businesses?

    Question to the BC officers: What is the rationale behind including this clause?

    Sadly, it is now getting to the point where people don't care any longer about matters such as these, largely because they know that ICANN is, or at least is becoming, irrelevant. This is the ultimate tragedy of ICANN.

    P.S. As a final note: many of you will know that the Business Constituency rejected an application from New.net for membership a few months ago. One of our investors, idealab!, did however gain membership to the constituency. Two things that seem deliberately aimed at excluding our representation within the process are as follows -

    a. While the charter eliminates the IP interest membership exclusion, the exclusion for "registrars," has been left in which you can be sure will continue to be used to exclude New.net.
    b. A new clause has been added to the new charter specifically stating that the representative of a BC member must not be "an affiliate or connected undertaking". Funnily enough, one of our investors, idealab!, recently became a member of the constituency. Oh well, bang goes that strategy for gaining representation ;)

    Andy Duff

      ICANNWatch Login  


    [ Don't have an account yet? Please create one. It's not required, but as a registered user you can customize the site, post comments with your name, and accumulate reputation points ("karma") that will make your comments more visible. ]

      Related Links  
  • Charter document
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    The magic in the new BC charter | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 4 comments | Search Discussion
    Click this button to post a comment to this story
    The options below will change how the comments display
    Check box to change your default comment view
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • 2 replies beneath your current threshold.

  • Search ICANNWatch.org:

    Privacy Policy: We will not knowingly give out your personal data -- other than identifying your postings in the way you direct by setting your configuration options -- without a court order. All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by ICANNWatch.Org. This web site was made with Slashcode, a web portal system written in perl. Slashcode is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL license.
    You can syndicate our headlines in .rdf, .rss, or .xml. Domain registration services donated by DomainRegistry.com