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 On May 6, 1999, the following statement was posted on the ICANN web site at
The ICANN Board of Directors will consider the WIPO Final Report, including its annexes, at its May 27 meeting and will take appropriate action, which may include from [sic] seeking further comments on the recommendations, referring of some or all of them to other ICANN entities, and/or adopting certain of the recommendations.

The undersigned strongly object to the last phrase in this sentence, referring to "adopting certain of the recommendations." We wish to see any reference to "adoption" removed from the Berlin meeting agenda.

Under the "bottom up" philosophy articulated in the White Paper and in ICANN's own by-laws, important decisions regarding domain name policy were supposed to be passed up to ICANN's board by the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO). The DNSO does not exist yet. ICANN has encouraged numerous individuals and organizations to make substantial investments in the creation of the DNSO and its constituencies, with the promise that good-faith participation in the process would give them a voice in policy making. Those expectations would be unjustly frustrated if ICANN adopted any recommendations of the WIPO proposals in Berlin.

ICANN's current board was appointed on a temporary basis and was not elected by a membership. Its sole mandate is to get the organization started and to fill the gaps in its membership, board and by-laws. It is not appropriate for a board with interim status to make lasting policy on such a sensitive and complex matter. It is, in fact, a cause for great concern for ICANN even to publicly propose adopting such proposals at this juncture.

The WIPO recommendations comprise over 120 pages of dense legal prose. The final report will have been out for public consideration only three weeks when the Berlin meeting is convened. Whether one supports or opposes the proposals, it is undeniable that they will have a profound and permanent impact on domain name registrations and on international intellectual property rights. No legitimate purpose can be served by hasty adoption or by short-circuiting the deliberative process that ICANN was created to foster. Furthermore, we question the ability of the current Board to properly assess the WIPO recommendations and comments about them amidst the flood of comments and documents pertaining to other important matters, such as the DNSO, ASO, and PSO formation, the definition of the constituencies, and the Membership Advisory Committee recommendations.

We feel that the whole idea of ICANN would be undermined if the interim board were to make fundamental and permanent changes in domain name policy with inadequate information, without even the possibility of consultation with a DNSO and the other supporting organizations, and without members. The overall effect would be highly destructive of the trust and cooperation that is required to run the Internet properly.

We urge the Board to wait until the DNSO is formed and then send the WIPO report to the DNSO for the DNSO's consideration.


Laina Raveendran Greene, GetIT Pte Ltd., WIPO Panel of Experts, SINGAPORE
Roger Hicks, WIPO Panel of Experts, NEW ZEALAND
Philip L. Sbarbaro, Esq., WIPO Panel of Experts, USA
A. Michael Froomkin, WIPO Panel of Experts, USA
Ellen Rony and Peter Rony, Authors, Domain Name Handbook, USA
Milton Mueller, Syracuse University School of Information Studies, USA
Tamar Frankel, Boston University School of Law, USA
Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University, USA
Donald N. Telage, Senior Vice President, Network Solutions, Inc. USA
David J. Farber, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Kathy Kleiman, Esq., Counsel, Domain Name Rights Coalition, USA
Scott Bradner, Harvard University USA
Anthony M. Rutkowski, USA
James V. DeLong, USA
Dan Steinberg SYNTHESIS Law & Technology, CANADA
Harold Feld, USA
Tressa Kirby, VRx, CANADA
Richard Sexton, VRx, CANADA
Gene Marsh, AnyCAST, USA
David J. Steele, USA
Gordon Cook, The Cook Report on the Internet, USA
Karl Auerbach, Former Co-chair, IETF Poised Working Group, USA
Image Online Design, Inc. USA
Jay Fenello, Iperdome, Inc. USA
Patrick Greenwell, Telocity, USA
Mikki Barry, Esq. USA
Diane Cabell, ICANN Membership Advisory Committee
Eric Weisberg, Internet Texoma, USA
David Schutt, Speco Inc., USA
James Love, Consumer Project on Technology, USA
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, USA
Peter Veeck, Regional Web, USA
Eva Jettmar, SRCT Lab Group, Stanford University, USA
Paul Garrin, Name.Space International, USA
Babeth Mondini, School of the Arts, Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
Craig A. Johnson, Transnational Data Reporting Service, Inc. USA
Marcy J. Gordon, Esq., Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, USA
Shumpei Kumon, Center for Global Communications, International University of Japan, JAPAN
Adam Peake, Center for Global Communications, International University of Japan, JAPAN
Alex Adriaansens, V2 Organisation, NETHERLANDS
Melvin Khoo, GetIT Pte Ltd., SINGAPORE
Charles Mok, HKNet, HONG KONG
Sebastian Luetgert,, GERMANY
InterWorking Labs, Inc. USA
Mohamed B. Awang-Lah, Mimos Berhad, MALAYSIA
Oscar A. Robles Garay, NIC-Mexico, MEXICO
Coralee Whitcomb, Virtually Wired Educational Foundation, USA
Kevin M. Kelly, USA
Bill Gerrard, DNS Central, USA
Ray Hallman, UniWebs Corporation, USA
David R. Johnson, USA
Craig McTaggart, CANADA
Mark Henderson-Thynne, UNITED KINGDOM
Robert Raisch, USA
Jean Armour Polly, Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages, USA
Ronald J. Fitzherbert,, USA
Wendy Seltzer, Harvard Law School, USA
Steinar Haug, Nethelp Consulting, NORWAY
Karl E. Peters, Bridge International Holdings, Inc. USA
Jim Williams, USA
William X. Walsh, DSO Internet, USA
Joe Barry, VB Dragon Imporex Traders, AUSTRALIA
Tripp Lilley, USA
Lee W. McKnight, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA
Arthur W. Coleman, USA
Richard Thomas, Winterfold Datacomm Ltd. UNITED KINGDOM
Thomas Lowenhaupt, The Communisphere(R) Project, USA
E. Lyn Young, USA
Thomas Inskip, Ascend Communications, USA
Alex Latzko, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, USA
James R. Martin II, ZD Events, InteropNet, USA
Srikanth Narra, Atlanta, USA
Lee Wheat, USA
Charles A F Senescall, Australian Public Access Network Association, AUSTRALIA
Bharathan Kangatheran, AccessOz, AUSTRALIA,
Mark Newton, Internode Systems, AUSTRALIA
John B. Reynolds, USA
Richard Bullington, Chief Technology Officer, The Microstate Corporation, USA
Mark Perry, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Ricardo Dominguez, Senior Editor, The Thing, USA
Jason Vogel, Cardozo Law Review, USA
Norbert Klein, Coordinator, Open Forum Information Exchange, CAMBODIA
Michael M. Krieger, USA
Einar Stefferud, Network Management Associates, USA
Please send your name and affiliation if you wish to join this petition.

Maintained by Ellen Rony, Alexander Works - Tiburon, CA
The Domain Name Handbook: High Stakes and Strategies in Cyberspace