The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) announced today that it passed a resolution (Here is the full Resolution) which changes its membership structure, adds a new Board Positions & changes the voting procedures for members of its Board.
Under the resolution the new levels of membership are as follows:
Platinum members are for those individuals and/or corporations that contribute $25K or more per year
Gold Members are those that contribute between $10,000-$24,999 per year
Silver members are for those who contribute between $5,000 and $9,999 per year.
Bronze members are for those who contribute $1,000 to $4,999 per year.
The resolution also changes how Board member will be elected.
Platinum members automatically get a Board seat.
For every $25,000 in contributions collectively from all other class there is another Board seat added to represent the members of all the other classes.
The nomination period for the new board seat is open now and closes on October 31st.
Any member can place a name in nomination.
The nominee does not have to be a member of the ICA.
Each additional Board member representing those contributing less than $25,000 will be elected as follows:
Gold members receive 5 votes each
Silver members receive 3 votes each and
Bronze members 1 vote each.
In a email sent out by the current Board of Directors of the ICA; Jeremiah Johnston, Daniel Law and Nat Cohen explained the changes:
“This resolution continues the evolution of the ICA to a more open and more inclusive association.
When the ICA started only Platinum Members ($25,000 contributors) had any board representation and the minimum contribution for membership was $5,000.
Now full membership comes with a contribution of $1,000.
A few years ago, a board seat was created to represent the “domainer” members of the ICA, which is the board seat that Nat Cohen currently occupies.
Now that more members have joined the ICA in the non-Platinum membership classes, the time is right to add a new board seat.
The underlying idea is that there is a board seat for every $25k in contributions.
Since Platinum members make a full $25k contribution, they are entitled to appoint a board member.
The contributions of other classes are aggregated and a new board seat is created for each multiple of $25k in contributions.
As more members join, the expectation is that the board will continue to grow.
Some on the forums have decried as undemocratic that those who contribute more money have a greater say in the running of the ICA.
Our view is that the ICA would not exist without the contributions of those funding it, and that it is fair that those who make the greater contribution have a greater say in the organization. Contributions of time and effort are equally as valuable as financial contributions. Andee Hill is a Silver level member due to her stepping forward to take on the important role of membership coordinator.
The voting system to elect the new board member is a compromise.
Some may think that every member should have one vote, regardless of the level of contribution. Others may think that the number of votes should be directly proportional to the size of the contribution.”
By granting Gold members 5 votes each, Silver members 3 votes each and Bronze members 1 vote each, we are recognizing the greater contribution that the Gold and Silver members make, while most Bronze and Silver members receive a disproportionately large say in the voting compared to the size of their contribution.
We believe this system strikes the right balance.”
For the record, through Worldwide Media, Inc, we have been a $10,000 contributor to the ICA for many years which used to be at the Silver membership level but is now at the Gold membership level.
With UDRP reform on the horizon, domain names being stolen left and right, domain names being seized without notice and a ton of other legal, regulatory and real life issues including the US Commence Department trying to give up its oversight over ICANN away there is no better time to become a member of the ICA, which you can do here
If you would like to contribute something to the ICA but don’t want to become a member or you want to contribute less than the $1,ooo minimum to become a member, you can do so through paypal, by sending you contribution to: firstname.lastname@example.org