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Minutes - Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors

A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held via teleconference on 25 April 2007 and was called to order at 8:04 P.M. U.S. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

The following Directors participated in the meeting: Chairman Vinton G. Cerf, Susan Crawford, Peter Dengate Thrush, Roberto Gaetano, Demi Getschko, Steven Goldstein, Rajasekhar Ramaraj, Rita Rodin, Vanda Scartezini, Paul Twomey, Njeri Rionge. Alejandro Pisanty joined the meeting after the first agenda item. The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Vittorio Bertola, ALAC Liaison; Steve Crocker, SSAC Liaison; Janis Karklins, GAC Liaison; Thomas Narten, IETF Liaison; Francisco da Silva, Technical Liaison Group Liaison; and Suzanne Woolf RSSAC Liaison.

The following staff participated in part or all of the meeting: John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary; Paul Levins, Executive Officer and Vice President, Corporate Affairs; Doug Brent, Chief Operating Officer; Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President, Business Operations; David Conrad, IANA General Manager; Kim Davies, IANA Technical Liaison; Barbara Roseman, IANA Operations Manager; Theresa Swinehart, Vice President of Global and Strategic Partnerships; Mandy Carver, Deputy General Manager, Global and Strategic Partnerships, Jacob Malthouse, Regional Liaison Canada and the Caribbean, and Dan Halloran, Deputy General Counsel.

.GW ( Guinea-Bissau) ccTLD Discussion and Redelegation

Kim Davies advised that this matter was discussed by the Board at its meeting of January 16, 2007. At that meeting the Board requested clarification on some points of detail from the applicant for redelegation.

According to RFC 1591 and ICP-1, IANA needs to respect the views of a local Internet community as well as local law and local government in order to make decisions about delegating the operation of a ccTLD.

In its research staff working on the IANA function have reached the conclusion that the Guinea Bissau government is in support, the current operator no longer wishes to operate the domain and the proposed operator meet the basic criteria for redelegation.. IANA therefore recommended to the Board that the .GW should be redelegated to the Fundacao IT & MEDIA Univerisidade de Bissau as per their request.

Steve Goldstein moved and Vanda Scartezini seconded the following motion:

Resolved (07.34) that the .GW ccTLD be redelegated in accordance with the recommendation from staff, to the Fundacao IT & MEDIA Univerisidade de Bissau.

The Chairman asked for a roll call vote to be taken and Board members voted in favor, 11-0 accordingly:

For: Vinton G. Cerf, Susan Crawford, Peter Dengate Thrush, Roberto Gaetano, Demi Getschko, Steve Goldstein, Rajasekhar Ramaraj, Njeri Rionge, Rita Rodin, Vanda Scartezini, Paul Twomey.

.EH ccTLD Discussion of issues

Kim Davies gave an update on the status of this delegation request.

ICANN Fellowship Proposal

Theresa Swinehart spoke to this proposal to implement the ICANN Fellowships program. She noted that it had been under development for some time and that it derived from the ICANN Operational Plan project 4F to create a program to encourage and find participation by interested parties in developing countries.

Theresa explained that there had been extensive analysis of who might qualify for a fellowship and that subject to Board approval staff would invite applications for fellowships for the next ICANN meeting at San Juan, Puerto Rico. She said that the program was intended to improve participation in ICANN meetings and processes for resident citizens from countries /territories with low, lower-middle and upper middle income as classified by the World Bank.

Peter Dengate Thrush offered congratulations on the development of the program but asked why the fellowships appeared limited only to ICANN supporting organizations or committees. Theresa explained that while any resident citizen of a qualifying country could apply, the target audience for the program will be government representatives that wish to participate in the Governmental Advisory Committee, the ccTLD community and the non-profit sector not associated with the At-Large Advisory Committee. The At-Large Advisory Committee already administers its own funding for these purposes.

Steve Goldstein asked whether the money for the program had been budgeted. Paul Twomey advised that it had.

Rita Rodin supported the program and asked whether there was evidence that the program would get the desired results. Vint Cerf noted that the International Telecommunications Union had success with a program that offered subsidization for lower income countries.

Vanda Scartezini also expressed support for this proposal and welcomed the precautions to avoid fraud. Her experience led her to believe that there needed to be rigorous measures in place. Paul Twomey noted that the program would be funded annually and that Puerto Rico would be the first occasion the program would be run. It would serve as a useful opportunity for a close examination of the program’s implementation prior to the commencement of the new financial year and re-committal of any funds

Janis Karklins believed this was a very good initiative. He noted that the list of countries included big and prosperous countries like the Russian Federation, or Poland, Latvia and Hungary – members of the European Union, amongst others. He thought that priority should be given to smaller and less developed economies.

Alejandro Pisanty moved and Vanda Scartezini seconded the following motion:

Resolved (07.35) that the ICANN Fellowships Program be approved for implementation.

The Chairman asked for a roll call vote to be taken and Board members voted 10-0 with two abstentions accordingly:

For: Vinton G. Cerf, Peter Dengate Thrush, Roberto Gaetano, Alejandro Pisanty, Demi Getschko, Rajasekhar Ramaraj, Njeri Rionge, Rita Rodin, Vanda Scartezini, Paul Twomey.

Against: none.

Abstentions: Susan Crawford, Steve Goldstein.

Registry Services Proposal – Update

Kurt Pritz gave an update on the status of the registry services approval process. Kurt explained that this policy was now nine months old and that it was making the process of approving new registry services more predictable and transparent. Complete details about submitted applications for new registry services are provided on the ICANN website at <http://www.icann.org/registries/rsep/submitted_app.html>.:

Steve Crocker noted that at some stage it would be useful to document the points at which the SSAC is approached for clarification and advice.

Kurt agreed and said that the process will be reviewed after a year to see if it should be further revised.

Steve Goldstein asked for explanation of the purpose of one of the new services being implemented by VeriSign called rapid zone updates.

Steve Crocker said that if a name is registered with .com, for example, it can be in service within minutes of registration. The change that VeriSign is instituting allows people to see conflicts immediately (such as a domain name registration that was simply a misspelling of an otherwise known and registered domain name), thereby avoiding previous situations where a conflict could be allowed to exist for many hours.

March Legal Bills – Authorization for Payment

John Jeffrey requested authorization to pay Jones Day for legal work invoiced for the month of March 2007 in the amount of US$147,342.37.

He said that the work included general legal advice, various employment and labor matters, new registry agreements for sTLDs, corporate governance/committee matters and various litigation matters in which ICANN is involved including litigation surrounding RegisterFly.

Rita Rodin moved and Steve Goldstein seconded the following motion:

Resolved (07.36) that the President and CEO be authorized to pay obligations in the amount of US$147,342.37 to Jones Day for the provision of legal services.

Vint Cerf asked whether a reduction in expenditure on legal advice might be seen as the RegisterFly matter reaches a conclusion. John Jeffrey advised that additional RegisterFly related expenses are anticipated for some number of months and into the next fiscal year.

The Chairman asked for a roll call vote to be taken and Board members voted in favor 12-0 accordingly:

For: Vinton G. Cerf, Susan Crawford, Peter Dengate Thrush, Roberto Gaetano, Demi Getschko, Steve Goldstein, Alejandro Pisanty, Rajasekhar Ramaraj, Njeri Rionge, Rita Rodin, Vanda Scartezini, Paul Twomey.

UDRP Provider Application from Czech Arbitration Court

John Jeffrey spoke to this item advising that the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) had requested ICANN to consider the CAC’s proposal to become recognized as one of the official dispute resolution service providers under the UDRP. He said that the Staff was intending to post the application for a public comment period of no less than 30-days. John noted this application was unsolicited, but had positive features relating to online filing and possible class action type complaints. John also noted that the publishing of the proposal was likely to prompt other applications. Rita Rodin noted that the proposal had innovative features that she felt could be beneficial to registrants.

Susan Crawford moved and Rita Rodin seconded the following motion:

Resolved (07.37) that staff publish the proposal by the Czech Arbitration Court for public comment for a period of not less than 30 days.

The Board approved the resolution 12-0 with a unanimous voice vote of all Board Members present.

Board Finance Committee Update

Doug Brent spoke to a recommendation from the Board Finance Committee to authorize staff to negotiate a new lease for ICANN in the Los Angeles area. The lease on the Marina del Rey premises expires at the end of 2007.

Doug said that the Finance Committee had discussed whether signing a further lease in Los Angeles was appropriate and whether alternatives had been examined. He stated that ICANN was a multi-hub organization. The current lease on the Los Angeles premises expires at the end of 2007, and with the short time frame that presented, a leased facility in Los Angeles was necessary.

Following discussion, Peter Dengate Thrush moved and Steve Goldstein seconded a resolution authorizing the CEO and COO to negotiate and execute a new facility lease for ICANN in the Los Angeles area.

The Board unanimously approved the resolution, and agreed pursuant to Bylaws Article III, Section 5.3 not to disclose the details of the authorization constraints in these minutes in order to preserve ICANN's ability to negotiate a favorable lease.

Designation of Annual General Meeting

Paul Levins explained that negotiations were still taking place with possible hosts for the October 2007 meeting but that the Meetings Committee had not yet been provided with a formal recommendation from staff.

Paul said he was hopeful that a recommendation would be able to be made within days. Vint Cerf recognized that a decision needed to be made as soon as possible so that members of the community could make travel arrangements. He suggested that an in principle decision be made that the October meeting be designated the 2007 ICANN Annual General Meeting and that approval of location be sought by email from Board members after the Meetings Committee had an opportunity to consider staff advice and to make its final recommendation.

Discussion of Agenda Topics for May Board Workshop

The Chairman advised that he would distribute by email to all Board members a suggested list of topics for the Workshop. He said he would attempt to do so within 24 hours of this meeting.

Steve Goldstein asked whether it had been resolved whether the second Board workshop for this year would take place adjacent to the Annual General Meeting or separately. Vint Cerf advised that after a straw poll of Board members via email that the consensus was to hold the second workshop in August or September, ahead of the AGM.

Conclusion of Meeting

The Chair moved for an adjournment of the Meeting at 9.15 PM PDT and Board members seconded that motion.
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."