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Preliminary Report | Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee 16 November 2013

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 NGPC's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the Board meeting.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 16 November 2013 at 08:00 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: Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO, ICANN), Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, and Kuo-Wei Wu.

Jonne Soininen (IETF Liaison) and was in attendance as a non-voting liaison to the Committee. Heather Dryden was in attendance as an observer to the Committee. Francisco da Silva (TLG Liaison) sent apologies.

ICANN Staff in attendance for all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah (President, GDD); John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary); Michelle Bright; Allen Grogan; Dan Halloran; Jamie Hedlund; Elizabeth Le; Cyrus Namazi; David Olive; Cassia Oliveira; Karine Perset; Erika Randall; Amy Stathos; and Christine Willett.

This is a Preliminary Report of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 16 November 2013.

  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Main Agenda
    1. Open items from the GAC Beijing and Durban Communiqués, including Category 1 & 2 Safeguard Advice
    2. Report on String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations


  1. Consent Agenda:

    The Chair introduced the items on the consent agenda and called for a vote. The Committee then took the following action:

    Resolved (2013.11.16.NG01), the NGPC approves the minutes of the 28 September 2013 New gTLD Program Committee Meeting.

    All members of the Committee present voted in favor of Resolution 2013.11.16.NG01. Two members of the Committee were unavailable to vote on the Resolution. The Resolution carried.

  2. Main Agenda:

    1. Open items from the GAC Beijing and Durban Communiqués, including Category 1 & 2 Safeguard Advice

      The Committee was provided with a status update on its efforts to address the Category 1 Safeguard Advice in the GAC's Beijing Communiqué. The Committee walked through the proposal it sent to the GAC to address the advice, and discussed the initial reactions of some GAC members to the proposals. The Committee also considered the merits of an alternative proposal submitted by a community member on how to implement the Category 1 Safeguards, and the implications for implementing the Category 1 Safeguards through the Policy Advisory Board alternative model proposed.

      The Committee also received an update on the progress to date to address the Category 2 Safeguard Advice in the GAC's Beijing Communiqué. Staff noted that it would contact the applicants who confirmed their intent to operate as an exclusive access registry. Staff will ask those applicants to provide an explanation for how their exclusive access registry serves a public interest goal. The Committee recommended imposing a deadline for receiving responses from the applicants so that the Committee could provide the responses to the GAC for possible consideration before the Singapore meeting.

      The Committee received an update on additional letters received regarding applications for .HALAL and .ISLAM, and noted that before it takes action on the GAC's advice on the strings, it will wait for any additional GAC input during the Buenos Aires meeting.

      The Committee also reviewed recent correspondence from the European Commission on applications for .VIN and .WINE requesting that the Committee not take further action until agreement is reached between applicants and rights-holders. The Committee considered whether ICANN should act to facilitate a dialogue between the non-government parties and the applicants. The Committee also discussed the importance of respecting the GAC's process and the advice it issued to the Board on the .VIN and .WINE. The Committee agreed to continue to discuss the matter further at its next meeting and a proposed response to the correspondence from the European Commission.

    2. Report on String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations

      The Committee engaged in a discussion regarding concerns highlighted by the community with some seemingly inconsistent Expert Determinations from the string confusion objection process.

      The Committee considered a potential approach to address the seemingly inconsistent Expert Determinations in the current round, and discussed potential standards of review for such a process. Several members of the Committee noted the importance of understanding and balancing the competing interests. Members of the Committee noted that if implemented, any review mechanism must be sufficiently limited and narrow. Some members noted the importance of bringing consistency across the results, while others asserted that in the interest of fairness, it was important not to change the rules in the middle of this round of the New gTLD Program. The Committee also discussed the need to more broadly address the matter of review mechanisms in future rounds.

      The Committee made note of the limitations of the Reconsideration Request process to serve as a review process to address the merits of the Expert Determinations, but agreed that the Reconsideration Request process established by the Bylaws should be reviewed separately at a later time. The Committee agreed that it needed to move forward to address the remaining recommendations from the Board Governance Committee on the pending Reconsideration Requests.

      The Committee discussed its next steps, and agreed to consider the matters further at its next meeting.

    The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 26 November 2013