Ador Charter

Charter

Table of Contents

  1. Official Name
  2. Purpose and Mission
  3. Constituency Principles
  4. Eligibility and Membership
  5. Elections
  6. Elected Representatives
  7. Snap Elections
  8. On-Line Discussion and Decision-Making
  9. Freedom of Speech and Civil Discourse Rules
  10. Funding
  11. Change

1.0. Official Name.

1.1. Association for Domain Owner’s Rights (ADOR) is be the operational name of Association for Domain Owner’s Rights. Inc. Domain Owner’s Constituency (DOC) is the operational name of the wholly owned subsidiary organization organized to seek constituency status in ICANN for individual and small business domain name owners.

1.2. The official Internet home for ADOR is http://www.ador-doc.org.

2.0. Purpose and mission.

2.1. Purpose: to provide representation in the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) for all Individual Domain Name Owners. We represent the concerns of individuals who own domain names, rather than organizations. These concerns include the wish to remain free from being classified as commercial or non-commercial and the wish to maintain free speech’s rightful place on the Internet as superior to commercial speech.

2.2. Mission: to ensure that Individual Domain Name Owners, as stakeholders in the Domain Name System (DNS) will have a say in all new rulemaking, ICANN or otherwise, that will affect their financial interest, on-line freedom or security of existence.

2.3. The ADOR, through its subsidiary organization, Domain Owner’s Constituency (DOC) is requesting the ICANN board to approve its membership in the DNSO in accordance with the provisions of the ICANN Bylaws and with the US Government’s White Paper and allow it to contribute 3 elected representatives from among its members to the Names Council of the DNSO.

3.0. Constituency principles

3.1. Democracy, integrity, and accountability in all activities and representations.

3.2. Freedom of speech and enterprise in the TLD and SLD space. (top level and lower levels of the Domain space)

4.0 Eligibility and membership.

4.1. ADOR membership is open to any individual who has their own internet address and is dedicated to the advocacy and protection of the rights of the individual domain owner while membership in the subsidiary Domain Owner’s Constituency (DOC) will require proof of “color of title” to a registered domain name by the individual applying for membership.

4.2. There is no corporate or organizational membership and no individual may hold more than one membership in the ADOR or the DOC.

4.3. Disputes about entitlement to membership or entitlement to candidacy for any ADOR or DOC position or responsibility shall be resolved by an elected membership committee of the ADOR. Such committee shall examine the totality of the facts and make such decisions as appropriate. The decisions of the Membership Committee may be appealed with clear supporting evidence to any member of the Steering Committee who may then ask for contrary evidence from the Membership Committee and submit both sides to the full Steering Committee for a vote. The decisions of the Steering Committee will be final.

4.4. All membership data (i.e. mailing lists, company affiliation and e-mail addresses) will be considered the exclusive property of the ADOR and may not be sold, rented, loaned or released in any form without the express permission of the individual member except to a mutually approved third party for verification of our number in the event of a serious and significant challenge to the integrity of our membership claims.

4.5. Non-Duplication – Members are subject to the following voting restrictions:

a.) Any member who is or has been either a voting member, representative of a voting member, or who effectively controls a voting member in one or more other constituencies of the DNSO may not vote in or stand for election in the DOC until the member, for a period of not less six months, has relinquished such voting rights in those other constituencies.

b.) Any member who has been elected to the Names Council by another DNSO constituency may not vote in or stand for any election in the DOC until the member, for a period of not less six months, has relinquished such position in those other constituencies.

c.) This does not apply to members who might wish to hold more than one office in the ADOR or DOC, especially when membership does not afford the luxury of many qualified and interested people in the early days.

4.6. Loss of membership.

4.6.1 Membership in the ADOR may be terminated upon notice by message to the membership record’s e-mail address of that individual if evidence is found to negate the eligibility for membership consistent with sections 4.1 through 4.5 of the ADOR charter. Such decisions will be made by the Membership Committee according to their official and publicly available rules.

4.6.2 The decisions leading to loss of membership may be appealed with clear supporting evidence to any member of the Steering Committee who may then ask for contrary evidence from the appropriate committee and submit both sides to the full Steering Committee for a vote. The decisions of the Steering Committee will be final.

  1. Elections

5.0. Scheduled Election of Officers: Regularly scheduled elections for offices of the ADOR will be held via the internet for 72 hours commencing at 12:00 noon GMT of the third Monday of the months of February, June and October.

5.1. Nominations

5.1.1. Any member can nominate any other member as a candidate for a seat on the Steering Committee or any other elective or appointive office of the ADOR, except for the Names Council Representatives of the DOC. Names Council Representatives, during such times that the ADOR / DOC is a constituency of ICANN or subsequent ruling bodies, will be nominated and elected by DOC members only.

5.1.2. Nominations are to be made by posting to the open discussion list. Nominations may be made at any time after the Polling Committee announces those seats to be filled in the following election and will be closed at 12:00 noon GMT of the first Monday of the months of February, June, and October, unless this period is extended by the Steering Committee for any individual election. Self-nomination is prohibited.

5.1.3. In order to be placed on the ballot, all nominations must also secure a second from any other member in good standing, which must be posted on the open discussion list.

5.1.4. The candidate must accept the seconded nomination not later than 12:00 noon GMT of the second Monday of the months of February, June, and October by posting acceptance to the open discussion list to be an official candidate for the nominated office.

5.1.5. All candidates for elective office must provide a brief personal biography and statement of position. The biography / statement should address motivation to run for this office and why they believe they would conduct the office to the betterment of the ADOR. Such people receiving and accepting nomination for more than one seat are asked to prepare separate copy for each position with ideas specific to the position in question so as to better enable the electorate to make an educated vote. This information will be displayed on the website prior to the election.

5.1.6. Upon completion of the poll, non-elected candidates may have this information removed from public access. The information may be updated from time to time by the individual, but the information presented will remain the property of the ADOR and will not be sold, rented, loaned or otherwise released without the express permission of the individual other than to a mutually approved third party for verification of our election process and results in the event of a serious and significant challenge to the integrity of our organization.

5.2. Election Procedures and Voting Rights

5.2.1. Responsibility for posting of offices to be filled, calls for nominations, referendums, and polling facility administration will rest with the elected Polling Committee when and as directed by the Steering Committee and ADOR/DOC Charter.

5.2.2. Voting will take place on-line. A person will be elected by gaining the greatest number of votes from the general membership.

– In the event of a tie between 2 or more candidates for the same seat, the membership will re-vote to express their preference among the candidates with the highest two number of votes received or the top two candidates, whichever is the least number of candidates.

– A member can sit a maximum of three consecutive terms in any given office, after which there is a mandatory stand down of at least 1 year before eligibility for re-election to that same office.

5.2.3. Members may opt to send “absentee” ballots as early as 12:00 noon GMT of the first Monday of the months of February, June, and October, upon completion of nominations if they anticipate being unable to vote electronically at the time of the formal election. Votes will be sent by e-mail to the Polling Committee under the title, “Absentee Ballot” to be held and counted at the time of the formal election. Absentee ballots may not be replaced, amended or in any way changed after submission for any individual election. The later one can send such a ballot, the better the chance the field will not have changed and all votes will count as hoped for each seat or position.

5.2.4. The Polling Committee will have full and unfettered access to all logs and records generated by the on-line voting system and to emailed ballots, both “absentee” and standard, to validate, collate, and publish the results of the election on the open discussion list and on the web site and to appropriate media.

5.2.5. In case of disputed results, logs, records and all e-mailed ballots will be distributed among all members of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee may then appoint an Arbiter to settle the dispute.

5.3. In all voting procedures, all members will vote as individuals with one vote each. In no case will there be multiple votes per individual member.

5.4. In the event that no qualified candidate is available for a seat or if someone must step down before the end of their term, the Steering Committee will appoint an interim replacement. At the time of the next scheduled election, the interim replacement must then relinquish the seat or stand for election to hold that seat for the remainder of the term.

  1. Elected Representatives.

6.1. Steering Committee

6.1.1. A Steering Committee will be elected with 15 members.

6.1.2. The term of office for the Steering Committee is 12 months. Five members will be elected three times a year to effect staggered terms of office.

6.1.3. Steering Committee Responsibilities

– The Steering Committee is the principle directing body for the ADOR / DOC and is responsible to execute those tasks and commitments that the general membership shall decide upon and to act as representative of the ADOR / DOC in times of great urgency or in matters that the membership has designated to be sensitive issues of organizational strategy and best handled more discreetly by a representative body than by a general membership public vote.

– The Steering Committee will appoint people to fill seats where no candidate was available in a timely fashion for the election and to complete abandoned seats in the ADOR / DOC as per Article 5.4. of this Charter.

– The Steering Committee will act as final authority in matters concerning membership eligibility.

– The Steering Committee will be responsible for initiating special spokesperson positions and appointing individuals to those positions while determining the length of service and the responsibilities they will hold under the charter.

– The Steering Committee will be responsible for creation of and maintenance for the required number of discussion lists required for the smooth operation of the organization and for choosing who will provide these and other internet related services for the ADOR / DOC such a web-site hosting, list management and polling facility.

– The Steering Committee will elect a three member sub-committee for the oversight of the Legal Defense Fund that will make determination of which cases will be accepted for ADOR participation and the level of that participation. All decisions will be passed through the Steering Committee for action by the Finance Committee.

– The Steering Committee may also form sub-committees to manage or oversee ADOR/DOC non-cash resources, a Legal Committee, to serve at the pleasure of the Steering Committee, to advise the Steering Committee, Names Council Representatives, and spokespeople on issues of legality, or others as needs arise. The Steering Committee may also disband or re-organize these committees at its pleasure if it is agreed it is for the best interest of the ADOR/DOC.

– The Steering Committee will always be ultimately responsible to the general membership, both by design and by use, or threat of use, of the provisions for “snap elections” but will ideally function honorably within the spirit of the charter and general membership preferences without incident.

6.2. Polling Committee

6.2.1 A Polling Committee will be elected with 3 members.

6.2.2. The term of office for the Polling Committee is 12 months. One member will be elected at each regularly scheduled election three times a year to effect staggered terms of office.

6.2.3. Responsibilities of the Polling Committee.

– To publish, on the open discussion list, the list of positions or motions open for election, and date and duration of the election.

– To collate, validate, and publish on the open discussion list and on the web site, the list of candidates with their respective biographical information / position statements, in alphabetical order by surnames not less than 4 days prior to the opening of voting.

– To monitor and verify the accuracy and integrity of the election and to tabulate the results and publish them to the open list, the web site and to appropriate media immediately upon close of the polling period.

– The Polling Committee shall hold elections and polls (both opinion and referendums), as well as present final results of elections at the direction, as well as under the complete scrutiny of both the Steering Committee and the ADOR Charter and as specifically directed with regard to the wording and verbiage to be contained in such elections and polls/results.

6.3. Membership Committee

6.3.1. A Membership Committee will be elected with 3 members.

6.3.2. The term of office for the Membership Committee is 12 months. One member will be elected at each regularly scheduled election three times a year to effect staggered terms of office.

6.3.3. Responsibilities of the Membership Committee

– The Membership Committee is responsible for maintaining an accurate list of members and observers of the ADOR and its subsidiary DOC.

– The Membership Committee is responsible for due diligence regarding membership eligibility as relates to the Charter and enacting any suspensions or removals from membership that may be handed from the general List Moderation Committee.

– In the event of challenge to any membership eligibility ruling, the Membership Committee shall present its evidence to the Steering Committee who will appoint an arbitrator to hear all evidence from both sides and render final opinion.

6.4. Finance Committee

6.4.1. A Finance Committee will be elected with 3 members.

6.4.2. The term of office for the Membership Committee is 12 months. One member will be elected at each regularly scheduled election three times a year to effect staggered terms of office.

6.4.3. Responsibilities of the Finance Committee

– The Finance Committee will be responsible to the Steering Committee for everyday functions and for direct authorization.

– The finance Committee will be responsible for proper handling of any salary(s), travel allowances, lobbying expenses, legal fees, receipt of donations and any other need for transfer of funds under the Charter and at the direction of the Steering Committee.

6.4. List Moderation Committee(s)

6.4.1. A List Moderation Committee will be elected with 3 members for each ADOR list by its respective list membership. All list moderation Committees will operate by the same rules.

6.4.2. The term of office for the Moderation Committee is 12 months. One member will be elected for each respective list at each regularly scheduled election three times a year to effect staggered terms of office.

6.4.3. Responsibilities of the List Moderation Committee will be to keep the respective lists in keeping with the spirit of Article 9.X.X. of this Charter so as to ensure the most effective attention to the primary directive of protecting the rights of Individual Domain Name Owners.

6.5. Drafting Committee

6.5.1. A Drafting Committee will be elected with 3 members.

6.5.2. The term of office for the Drafting Committee is 12 months. One member will be elected for each respective list at each regularly scheduled election three times a year to effect staggered terms of office.

6.5.3.The responsibilities of the Drafting Committee will include the drafting, or commissioning thereof, any public statement, petition or official document of the ADOR and the refining of text from passed resolutions of the ADOR that are to be made part of any official ADOR document, including, but not limited to the Charter.

6.6. Names Council Representatives

6.6.1. Three Names Council Representatives will be elected to represent the DOC to ICANN beginning with one election with one seat of each four, eight and twelve months to immediately fill our representation to the Names Council in the event we are accepted as a constituency. From that election forward these seats will be filled as noted in article 5.X.X.

6.6.2. Names Council representatives will be elected for terms of 12 months. One member will be elected at each regularly scheduled election three times a year to effect staggered terms of office.

6.6.3. Responsibilities of Names Council Representatives

– Responsibilities of Names Council Representatives are summed up in representing the majority opinion of the ADOR / DOC on all issues possible, and to use their best judgment on issues where no membership consensus exists.

– To report regularly back to the Steering Committee and the general membership on events and positions taken in the Names Council and what the ADOR / DOC might do to most effective ways of achieving the goals.

6.7. Spokesperson(s)

6.7.1 Elections will be held for the function of Spokesperson, the number of which will be determined by the Steering Committee, on an ad hoc basis and time-defined.

6.7.2 Responsibilities for Spokespeople will vary with the situations for which they are chosen to represent ADOR/DOC. These specifics will be outlined by the Steering Committee.

6.7.3 Spokespeople are to represent the majority opinion of the ADOR/DOC on all issues possible, and to use their best judgment on issues where no membership consensus exists.

7.0. Snap elections

7.1.1 In the event that sufficient numbers of the membership lose confidence in any of their elected representatives, a minimum of 10% of the ADOR’s General Membership or 500 members (whichever is less), can petition the Steering Committee with a demand which shall require the Steering Committee to direct the Polling Committee to hold a SNAP election by posting the petition on the open discussion list. The petition will request that each individual representative of the ADOR / DOC charged in the petition be subjected to an approval / disapproval vote.

7.1.1 If the Steering Committee determines that, in the interests of the ADOR’s Best interests, safety, and integrity, that some or all of the individual officers charged in the petition are a risk or hazard to the ADOR during the period up to and including the actual approval / disapproval vote; then it will be the responsibility of the Steering Committee to immediately suspend the authority of such officer(s) until such time as the vote removes or exonerates them

7.2 For such a snap election to proceed, the membership must vote its agreement by simple majority on a YES/NO referendum of the entire membership in the Polling Facility.

7.3. This 72 hour vote, announced to the entire membership by the Polling Committee, will commence no sooner than five days and no later than ten days after the validity of the petition has been established on the open discussion list.

8.0. On-line discussion and decision making.

8.1. Due to both the physical distance and time zones that separate our members and the one thing that brings us all together, the ADOR quite logically uses the internet, and mailing lists in particular, for our discussions and decision making processes.

8.2. All ADOR members are encouraged to participate in policy-making discussions via the open discussion list.

8.3. Meeting list(s). For the purpose of holding formal meetings, the potential for other lists is envisaged. Rules for procedures on these lists, archiving and public record will be drafted depending on the nature of the “meeting” and its sensitivity.

To Table of Contents

9.0. Freedom of Speech and Civil Discourse Rules

9.1.1 The principle of free exchange of ideas and opinions will be Paramount, and procedures for Fair Hearings and Due Process will form part of any such rules.

9.2. Frivolous postings will be moderated and postings aimed at disruption of proceedings will be disallowed.

9.3. The will of the majority will find expression in the decisions of the Moderation Committee that will be tasked with implementing fair rules aimed at maintaining civil discourse and discouraging abuses of the freedom of speech.

9.4. Until a formal Moderation Committee is elected for each Forum, the attached RULES will be implemented by the List Administrator to help insure a pleasant and professional environment for discussion and civil discourse toward the stated goals of the ADOR / DOC.

10.0. Funding. Expenses of representation, website and mailing list hosting and other expenses related to the critical functions of the ADOR must be paid responsibly. The ADOR will seek donations from members and other sources to further enable the accomplishment of our goal of protecting the rights of the Individual Domain Name Owner on the internet. To this end, ADOR will attain “Tax Exempt, Charitable Organization” status.

10.1 Detail of the Legal Defense Fund operation.

10.1.1. A Legal Defense Fund will be maintained completely separately from any and all other ADOR accounts exclusively for contribution to the defense of selected domain related challenges. These funds will never be borrowed from or re-allocated to any other purpose. Targeted cases will be selected by the Legal Defense Fund Sub-committee of the Steering Committee of the ADOR. Physical collection and disbursement of the funds will be handled by the Finance Committee under the direction of the Steering Committee.

11.0. Change.

11.1. Change is inevitable in any individual or group of individual and therefore must be addressed in the Charter ultimately for the protection of the Charter, not to endanger it. Therefore, a means has been instituted for the peaceful and orderly amendment of this charter within the rules of the Charter itself. They follow:

11.1.1. To amend the charter of the Association for Domain Owner’s Rights / Domain Owner’s Constituency, a written amendment must be submitted to any member of the Steering Committee with co-signors equaling 5% of that current ADOR membership or 100 people, whichever is less. It will then be posted on the ador-doc.org website for public comment and collecting of co-signors for a period of one month.

11.1.2. If, at any time in that one month, ten percent of the current general membership of the association co-sign this proposed amendment, the Steering Committee will direct the Polling Committee to add the amendment as a referendum to the next regularly scheduled Poll.

11.1.3. A vote of 2/3 or more of the voting membership for that Poll will be considered to have passed the Amendment into the Charter, effective from the release of the Polling results. A positive vote of 1/2 or more, but less than 1/3 may be re-submitted for the next election as an appeal and to provide a chance to negotiate mediating factors for greater acceptability. Less than 1/2 vote will be withdrawn for a period of at least one year.