Minutes | Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee 12 February 2015

Note: On 10 April 2012, the Board established the New gTLD Program Committee, comprised of all voting members of the Board that are not conflicted with respect to the New gTLD Program. The Committee was granted all of the powers of the Board (subject to the limitations set forth by law, the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or ICANN's Conflicts of Interest Policy) to exercise Board-level authority for any and all issues that may arise relating to the New gTLD Program. The full scope of the Committee's authority is set forth in its charter at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/new-gTLD.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Singapore on 12 February 2015 at 08:30 local time.

Committee Chairman Cherine Chalaby promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to the Chair the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Steve Crocker (Board Chairman), Chris Disspain, Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer, Bruno Lanvin, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, and Kuo-Wei Wu.

Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO, ICANN), Thomas Schneider (GAC Liaison), and Mike Silber sent apologies.

Acting Secretary: Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel).

ICANN Executives and Staff in attendance for all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division); Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator); Allen Grogan (Chief Contract Compliance Officer); Jamie Hedlund (Vice President, Strategic Programs – Global Domains Division); Kevin Kreuser (Senior Counsel); Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager); Cyrus Namazi (Vice President, DNS Industry Engagement); Erika Randall (Senior Counsel); Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel); and Christine Willett (Vice President, Operations – Global Domains Division).

These are the Minutes of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 12 February 2015.

  1. Main Agenda:
    1. Category 1 Safeguards for Highly-Regulated TLDs


  1. Main Agenda:

    1. Category 1 Safeguards for Highly-Regulated TLDs

      The Chair provided an overview of the agenda. He noted that a New gTLD applicant raised concerns about the proposed implementation of the Committee's February 2014 action adopting the framework for the GAC's Category 1 Safeguard advice. In particular, the concerns relate to implementation of an additional safeguard for the .DOCTOR TLD in response to advice in the Buenos Aires Communiqué (20 November 2013) from the GAC.

      Akram Atallah provided an overview of the advice from the GAC in the Buenos Aires Communiqué concerning .DOCTOR. At that time, the GAC advised the Board to re-categorize the string .DOCTOR as falling within Category 1 safeguard advice addressing highly regulated sectors, therefore ascribing these domains exclusively to legitimate medical practitioners. Akram also summarized the Committee's resolution adopted on 5 February 2014 to implement the GAC's advice, and reported that there were three contending applications for the .DOCTOR string.

      Chris Disspain summarized the Committee's rationale for taking such action, and noted that the Board received specific advice from the GAC regarding .DOCTOR. Chris also explained that the three applicants for .DOCTOR proposed various business models for operating the TLD.

      Gonzalo Navarro and Bruno Lanvin inquired about the GAC's reasoning for providing the advice, and the Committee took note of the GAC's statement in the advice regarding the strong implications for consumer protection and consumer trust, and the need for proper medical ethical standards, demanded by the medical field online to be fully respected. George Sadowsky commented that this issue is related to the Committee's previous discussions about whether ICANN has any responsibility for the semantic implications of new gTLD strings.

      The Committee considered all of the information submitted by the applicant raising concerns about the additional safeguard for .DOCTOR, including a 21 January 2015 email to the Chair and other information discussed with staff on the matter. The Committee considered the applicant's points in light of the Committee's February 2014 action and ongoing discussions during the Singapore meeting regarding safeguards for Category 1 strings associated with highly-regulated sectors. Rinalia Abdul Rahim reminded the Committee that the ALAC and other community members, in addition to the GAC, expressed concerns about safeguards for the Category 1 strings. After discussion, the sense of the Committee was for staff to continue to move forward with implementation of the Committee's 5 February 2014 resolution on the matter.

      The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 27 April 2015