The Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) is a member of the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) of ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) constituted by Article XX, Section of ICANN's Bylaws. Its main objective is to represent the interests and positions of individuals and the civil society involved in non-commercial Internet activities such as education, promotion of arts, religion, children's welfare, scientific research and others using internet as a global communication method. The NCUC was the original voice of non-commercial interests within ICANN; however, a major restructuring of the GNSO took place in 2008. The new structure allows for the number of constituencies to constantly be in flux, while providing a constant voice through the Stakeholder Groups. Thus, the NCUC was the predecessor of the NCSG, and is now a part of it.
The Non-Commercial Users Constituency is composed of:
- Members which consist of entities primarily engaged in non-profit/non-commercial activities; they must be exclusive owners of at least one domain name verifiable in the Whois database.
- Executive Committee is responsible for administering the different activities of the Constituency, it is headed by a chairman who is elected yearly. It also consist of a Secretary-Treasurer and one representative from every geographical region.
- Policy Committee is tasked to determine and represent the positions of the Constituency on issues related to domain names, ICANN policy and procedures of the GNSO, ICANN policy committees, working groups, advisory committees including policy forums. The Policy Committee is co-chaired by Constituency Representatives to the GNSO Council who are elected for two-year terms. The term of each co-chair will be terminated on an odd number and even number year to maintain the continuity of the Council.
The Non Commercial Users Constituency is composed of different groups such as the GNSO Operations Team, Interest-Group-Formation: Librarians,Scientific, Technical and Academic Experts,Post-Expiration Domain Name Drafting Team, Fund Raising Committee,Operations Steering Committee, Consumer Rights and many other groups.
The officers of the Non Commercial Users Constituency (Term: 30 October 2010 - 30 October 2011):
- NCUC Chair: William Drake
- Executive Committee Africa: Wilson Abigaba
- Executive Committee Asia: Norbert Klein
- Executive Committee Europe: Tapani Tarvainen
- Executive Committee North America: Edward Morris
- Executive Committee South America: Carlos Alberto Afonso
Comments on ICANN Policy Issues
The NCUC, like any other Constituency, is active in sharing its comments and recommendations to different ICANN Policy Issues. On June 12th, 2007, NCUC submitted its statement regarding the GNSO New TLD Committee’s Draft Final Report On The Introduction of New Generic Top Level Domains and opined that the draft report consists of flaws and it is a "recipe for irregularity, discretion and uncertainty in the new domain name space". The Constituency argued that the introduction of morally acceptable and not contrary to public order as a string criteria is troubling and expressed its strong opposition to this proposal and pointed that it is beyond ICANN's technical mandate. NCUC also rejects the expansion of the role of ICANN Staff and outside expert panels in evaluating the criteria that are non technical, financial or operational. The Constituency recommended that the role of ICANN Staff should be limited only to identifying if a domain name applicant met the operational, technical, and financial requirements objectively and should not evaluate on the basis of morality or other public policy objectives. Furthermore, NCUC also opposed the "substantial opposition" criteria for rejecting a domain name because it is a bad policy for the public and for ICANN. The Constituency argued that the substantial opposition criteria is incompatible with the internationally recognized Freedom of Expression guarantees.
On April 1, 2010, NCUC also commented regarding the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) System and the Trademark Clearing House Proposals that were revised by ICANN Staff. The Constituency cited that both documents represent the main deliberations and conclusions of GNSO's Special Trademark Issues Team, however, the Constituency found that some specific issues doesn't substantially coincide with the GNSO-STI recommendations. It also noticed that although ICANN Staff tried to consolidate the opinions of the Internet community regarding the issues but they believed that staff comments were added to the policy and pointed that it is arbitrary, unjustifiable and illegal.
There was a general disapproval of closed door meetings convened in November, 2012, by new ICANN CEO, Fadi Chehadé, at the bequest of ICANN's Intellectual Property Constituency and Business Constituency, and Ms. Maria Farrell of the NCUC was the first to submit an official complaint to the ICANN Ombudsman. In a public post she went on the explain, "The complaint is not simply about lack of consultation of constituencies, but about secrecy of the process re. notice, transcripts and documentation, and how it undermines the existing processes whilst privileging a particular interest group." The complaint was brought up by the Ombudsman who asked for further input. However, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé admitted some 2 months later that convening the meetings and producing the Strawman Solution to the Trademark Clearinghouse was the biggest mistake of his first months as CEO.
- ↑ ICANN Bylaws
- ↑ NCSG Approved Charter
- ↑ GNSO Improvements
- ↑ Charter
- ↑ Groups
- ↑ Comments from ICANN Noncommercial Users Constituency
- ↑ NCUC Comments on Uniform Rapid Suspension System and Trademark Clearing House Proposals
- ↑ Ombudsman Probing Secretive Trademark Clearinghouse Meetings, DomainIncitePublished December 12 2012, Retrieved 25 Jan 2013
- ↑ Industry Man Chehade Admits Strawman Mistake, DomainIncite.comPublished and Retrieved 25 Jan 2013