Return to .org Reassignment Forum - Message Thread - FAQ

Username: DotOrg Foundation
Date/Time: Sat, July 27, 2002 at 8:14 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows NT 5.1
Score: 5
Subject: Open Letter from DotOrg Foundation to ICANN


                        Dear Mr. Lynn:

I regret that I was unable to attend ICANN's recent meeting in Bucharest, but I am confident that my colleague Mikhail Kazachkov was able to outline to the ICANN board our proposal to operate the .org TLD.  I write now to answer questions about our proposal which, due to time constraints, Mikhail was not able to fully address at that time.

First, if I may, I want to provide brief background on the DotOrg Foundation.  DOF, as we sometimes call ourselves, was established this spring with the specific purpose of operating the .org TLD.  Those who have agreed to serve on our board of directors bring an unusual range of experience and expertise - in both the operations of the Internet and the wider needs of civil society.  The latter, of course, is essential as we attempt to strengthen the .org space, the part of the Internet most closely associated with non-commercial organizations.   

Board members hail from both developed and developing societies.  Mikhail Kazachkov, for example, holds both Russian and U.S. citizenship.  Trained as a physicist, a survivor of the Gulag, Mikhail today is deeply involved in a number of U.S - Russian ventures in the fields of technology and communications.  A second director, Charles Musisi, is a leader in the development of the Internet in Africa.  A third director, LaDonna Harris, has spent more than 40 years pioneering new programs and organizations to serve the native community, in the U.S. and elsewhere.  I will not review all the members of the board, but I am delighted to be able to call them colleagues.  I know we all look forward to the election of other directors from around the world.  Indeed, we expect to expand our Board later this summer.

While quite young, DotOrg Foundation is fully operational.  Our bylaws are in place, there for all to see.  We are particularly committed to governance procedures that are transparent:

* The Foundation will provide 60 days notice of any proposed policy that would substantially affect the .org community, posting the proposed resolution on our web site.
* We will allow a minimum of 30 days for public comment on any such proposed policy.
* Not later than five days after a meeting of the board, decisions of the board will be posted.
* The Foundation has even incorporated into its bylaws a right of appeal so that .org registrants can bring to our attention policies that might unintentionally harm the TLD.  

We also seek to be inclusive in our governance.  Not only do board members already reflect different perspectives and different parts of the world, the Foundation will be assembling a council of advisors. One seat on the council is reserved for an individual selected by ICANN accredited registrars.  Up to five more seats are reserved for individuals selected by .org registrants themselves.  Finally, the immediate past chair, the current chair and the chair-elect of the council will automatically have seats on the board of directors itself.

I spend much time discussing who we are and how we shall govern ourselves, but I do so to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that the .org space reflects the needs and concerns of those who operate in the non-commercial world.

As Mikhail explained in Bucharest, DOF recognizes that our paramount responsibility is to ensure the smooth operation of the .org TLD.  This includes managing the transition from the current registry as well as strengthening the TLD in the years ahead.  We are pleased at the expertise and resources that both Registry Advantage and Kintera offer and are confident that they will help us deliver the highest possible service to registrars and registrants alike.  With this letter, I provide a brief paper that Registry Advantage has prepared, answering what we believe to be key questions concerning the reliability of the proposed DOF registry services.

Beyond responsible stewardship of the registry, we believe the future of the .org TLD rests on the ability to attract new registrants and new web site users.  As we discuss in the attached White Paper on Validation, we confront a quandary:  the decline of .org registrations even as the not-for-profit community expands year after year.  Clearly, not all those who could register sites are doing so. Clearly, the value of a .org address is not evident to everyone.  That said, we believe the potential for .org TLD growth is substantial - in both developed and developing societies.

In simple terms, we seek to offer not for profit organizations new ways to reassure those who may wish to support or become involved in their valuable work.  We propose to address head-on the lack of trust that many have when visiting the web sites of not for profit groups. We propose as well to use the special leverage available to the registry operator to assist those in developing societies to more fully adopt the Internet.  The non-commercial space is vast, and DOF proposes to develop services that reflect that world's rich variety.

In shaping these new services, DOF will work closely with interested parties throughout the ICANN system - from ICANN itself, to registrars, to registrants.  The services described in our White Paper on Validation will be completely optional:  Registrars may elect to offer them or not; organizations can elect to use them or not.

We seek to build the .org TLD by differentiating it from other TLDs.  There is a need for  the .org space, and it is up to the new registry to work with registrars and the wider non-commercial community to demonstrate that need.

Again, on behalf of the board of directors of the DotOrg Foundation, I wish to express our thanks for this important opportunity to contribute to the growth and impact of the .org TLD.  We stand ready to answer whatever questions you and your colleagues may have and look forward to your ultimate decision.

Marshall Strauss


Message Thread:

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy