Preliminary Report | 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

Formal Minutes are still to be approved by the New gTLD Program Committee. This has not been approved by the New gTLD Program Committee and does not constitute minutes but does provide a preliminary attempt setting forth the unapproved reporting of the resolutions from that meeting. Details on voting and abstentions will be provided in the Minutes, when approved at a future meeting.

NOTE ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN PRELIMINARY REPORT – ON RATIONALES -- Where available, a draft Rationale for each of the New gTLD Program Committee's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the New gTLD Program Committee meeting.

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).

This is a Preliminary Report 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, noting that there were some concerns from a New gTLD applicant about staff's proposed implementation the Committee's action from a year ago about the Category 1 Safeguards for highly-regulated TLDs. In particular, the concerns relate to implementation of an additional safeguard for the .DOCTOR TLD in response to advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

      Staff provided an overview of the advice from the GAC in the Buenos Aires Communiqué (20 November 2013) 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. The GAC noted 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.

      Staff also summarized Committee's resolution adopted on 5 February 2014 to implement the GAC's advice, and the Committee's rationale for taking such action. Staff also provided an overview of the application status of the .DOCTOR TLD, noting that the TLD is in a contention set with three competing applicants.

      The Committee engaged in a discussion about the views expressed by one of the applicants for the .DOCTOR TLD. 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. The Committee also considered competing positions expressed by the GAC, the ALAC, and other members of the community about safeguards for these Category 1 strings. After discussion, the sense of the Committee was for staff to continue to move forward with implementation of its 5 February 2014 resolution on the matter.

      The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 23 February 2015