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Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting Minutes

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Ray Plzak, Mike Silber, and Bruce Tonkin – Chair

Other Board Member Attendees: Steve Crocker

Staff Attendees: John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Elizabeth Le and Amy Stathos


The following is a summary of discussion, actions taken and actions identified:

  1. Minutes: The BCG approved the minutes of the last meeting.

  2. Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Statement Review: The BGC members reviewed the Statement of Interest and New gTLD Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Statement submitted by the new Liaison to the Board, appointed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) – Jonne Soininen.

  3. New gTLD Program Reconsideration Subcommittee of the BGC: The BGC discussed whether a subcommittee should be created to deal with the New gTLD Program-related reconsideration requests and if so, the process for creating such subcommittee, including a mechanism by which a Board member who is not on the subcommittee may provide expert advice regarding the reconsideration request. With respect to the threshold question of whether a subcommittee should be established, the BGC discussed the existence of actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest in the reconsideration review process. The BGC decided to not form a subcommittee at this point, and to address conflicts with respect to each reconsideration request on a case-by-case basis. Accordingly, the BGC committed to holding regular monthly meetings, as needed, to address pending reconsideration requests, and that the BGC will continue to deal with any declared conflicts issues at the outset of each meeting.

  4. Reconsideration Request 13-3: The Chair noted that he was abstaining from consideration of this matter due to a potential conflict of interest as it relates to the implementation of the Trademark Clearinghouse. The BGC received a status update on issues surrounding the BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-3 ("Request 13-3" or "the Request"). The BGC previously addressed Request 13-3 at the 16 May 2013 meeting and issued a recommendation to the New gTLD Program Committee ("NGPC"). Thereafter, a discussion took place among GNSO Council members regarding some concerns over, not the result, but some of the language used in the BGC's recommendation. The GNSO Council formally submitted a request to the BGC that it review and reconsider the wording of the recommendation. The BGC discussed the concerns raised by some GNSO Council members, and whether it should revise the wording of its recommendation to address said concerns and agreed to consider a revised recommendation. The BGC scheduled a meeting for 25 June 2013. The BGC also discussed whether it needs to look at the reconsideration process and input into various stages of that process.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to circulate clean version of a revised proposed recommendation reflecting the revisions discussed by the BGC.

      • The BGC to discuss reconsideration process at a later date.

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."