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Administration Committee teleconference minutes

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15 January 2001

Time: 9:00 AM Eastern Time.

Chair of AdCom: Peter de Blanc
Written by: Abhisak Chulya

AdCom members:
Peter de Blanc (PDB)
Peter Dengate Thrush (PDT)
Patricio Poblete (PP)
Antony Van Couvering (AVC)
Fay Howard (FH)

NC members:
Elisabeth Porteneuve
Oscar Alejandro Robles Garay

ccTLD Secretariat:
Kanchana Kanchanasut
Abhisak Chulya

Discuss on the following items:

1. ccTLD-ICANN Relation Issue

PDT said that it's kind of confusing on this WG. We should collect view regionally. PDB said the meetings with ICANN are exploratory just like information meetings or diplomatic meetings. PDB intends to go to both meeting. His concern is how to pay for extra day in Melbourne. We should have position before Melbourne. PDT is thinking of going to both meeting and presenting the position to ICANN. So far we have not developed anything with ICANN yet in term of relation structure. Elisabeth will go to both meetings as well. PDB mentioned that some AdCom and NC members will go to both to ensure the full communication between both meetings. FH mentioned about consensus from CENTR meeting in Madrid that there was a consensus to have ccTLD Constituency separate from DNSO but no decision on whether ccTLD would be supporting organization or completely independent peer group. PDB suggested to form this WG by getting one from each region plus secretariat and PDT also added to conduct this WG on AdCom discuss list which all agreed. Fay volunteered to be in this WG as well as Elisabeth. Patricio and/or Oscar will be in Geneva for this meeting but not in Hawaii. PDB mentioned a possibility of getting ccTLD a charter as NGO. Elisabeth asked how anyone can be a NGO. PDB said we could either apply or have some one sponsor.

2. IANA Database

Elisabeth briefly explained about the work being done on IANA database within ccTLD Secretariat. From her work for AFNIC (ccTLD study), she has taken six snapshots on IANA database over time and they are now posted on wwtld web site in CCwhois section. An engineer has been contracted on AFNIC resources (no budget in ccTLD Secretariat) to set up a RIPE whois software based database, called ccwhois, with that six snapshots. His first task is to report on evolution over time (due end of January). The subsequent tasks may be to incorporate any additional items, which are necessary to WWTLD organization, such as a voting roll. The next task will be to prepare for formalized updates to the IANA database, as collected by ccTLD Secretariat during last October votes, ensuring that any former information is kept as well. But Elisabeth is not sure how to tackle this problem with IANA. FH suggested to put this issue on agenda for Hawaii. Kanchana mentioned that Mike Roberts did not want to put it on the agenda in Hawaii because he said he had already discussed this in LA meeting. Mike also said ICANN was in the process of setting up separate ICANN-ccTLD database to handle the business side including invoices and so on. This database can be changed or updated any time. Kanchana said she insisted to have it on the agenda in Hawaii and Mike finally agreed.

3. Funding of ccTLD Secretariat and DNSO

ccTLD Sec. Funding: PDB mentioned that we need more money to pay lawyer to help us finalize any contracts with ICANN. So we need to be more aggressive about collecting money. We should go back to each region and reach out to the developing countries. Elisabeth informed the meeting that she just received the contribution from Nominet of .uk for $3,000 and a VeriSign (.US) commitment for $4,000 for year 2001.. FH said she preferred a light weight secretariat but Elisabeth pointed out that this secretariat was already very lean with budget of $70,000 for half year compared to CENTR budget of 400,000 Euro (approx. 360 - 370,000 USD) for one year. As for APTLD, the budget was even lower with $45,000 per year. PDB preferred a strong organization than thin organization. If we have to keep borrowing CENTR documents, there will not be a world wide balance. As far as the important documents, PDT suggested that we establish what are the basic principal and leave the rest as guideline and adjust to local requirements. FH agreed and mentioned that CENTR was doing it. PDB emphasized that we need to outreach to the ones that have not been involved and draw them in. The answer to this is still going back to regional address. Right now only Europe and Asia Pacific have budget but LACTLD still doesn't have any budget. AFTLD is even worst. Elisabeth concerned about how to do with Africa. PDB suggested to put more black African on the cctld discuss list so that they understand more of our services.

DNSO funding: Elisabeth reported that ccTLD paid $2,500 to DNSO in December to clear debt for 1999. We still owe DNSO $12,000 for the year 2000 with calendar year started from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 (cf. Status of Constituencies Contributions to the DNSO for 1999 and 2000). PDT suggested to collect $250 and paid at the front desk during the face-to-face meeting. Secretariat may also issue invoices with choices to pay or not to pay and send them back. Elisabeth said sending out invoices would incur some cost and labor work and from past experience when we sent out invoices, we only got back 3 or 4 of them. FH suggested to contact people in advance and tell them why we collect them. Also regional organizations can help inform through their regional lists. PDB suggested to collect $200.

4. Legal Service

Elisabeth recapitulated that in Marina del Rey meetings, ccTLD endorsed CENTR-based text for the contract for service with ICANN 20001114.ccTLD-ICANN.service.html . The main pending issue in this text is the choice of jurisdiction and applicable law. Within CENTR, Nominet commissioned a study from Hogan and Hartson, an US law firm, about possible jurisdiction and applicable law. The oversimplified HH advice is somewhat Solomon's judgment: it is not acceptable for Europeans to have contract under Californian law, it is not acceptable for ICANN to have contract under one European' country law, therefore an advice to consider New York or Delaware courts, where educated judges used to deal with Internet matters. Such conclusion is still unacceptable to many Europeans, and probably many other ccTLDs, willing to have a contract reflecting peer-to-peer partnership.

It was noted during several meetings (ccTLD or CENTR) that many ccTLD Managers are interested to investigate International Arbitrations, such as provided by International Chamber of Commerce ( as a basis for ccTLD-ICANN contract. Several informal discussions with some US lawyers as well as ICANN lawyers indicate that International Arbitration are well considered on US side. Therefore Elisabeth was looking for a lawyer, with Internet experience, with International Arbitration experience, equally competent in common law and in civil law (to be sure to consider the wide needs of ccTLD and be fair with everybody). She contacted Fabien Gelinas from Canada, who fulfills all the above, and requested for a proposal for legal advise concerning ccTLD-ICANN contract, as she felt it was appropriate to have some legal documents prior to Hawaii and Geneva meetings. She got a proposal for $USD 7,000 which has been circulated to the cctld-adcom as well as cctld-lex lists. Elisabeth asked all present to the meeting if some of them are willing to share with AFNIC a cost for legal advise, and if a request for this advise was well formulated.

AVC mentioned that it took a year for NSI-ICANN to finalize the contract between them. NSI hired lawyer, David Johnson, to work with ICANN and he had saved a lot of money for NSI. He suggested that David Johnson could be engaged by ccTLDs. FH pointed out that given that NSI had written into their agreement a clause which enables them to negate their contract if other TLDs are not signed up to similar terms as NSI, David could have a conflict of interest. The issue is if we ask a lawyer advise now, are we going for a long term and costly legal work, or is it one time charge. It was felt that it was too soon for a long term legal contract. PDT is favored of getting lawyer but cost is the key. PDB asked what the options are. Should we seek advice or piggy back? FH said CENTR preferred International Arbitration Law. PDT is favored to do it by the group and suggested to have someone doing PR. PDB asked all present to be members of this group and they all accepted. This group will look into International type of legal research firms, maybe 2 or 3 firms. PDT said we need to seek as a group to ultimately find out what the options are and people to work on this critical issue. PDT will provide terms of reference for a request on legal advice very soon.

Meeting adjourned at 10:45 AM Eastern US Standard Time

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