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Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting Minutes (Revised)

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain, Olga Madruga-Forti, Ram Mohan, Ray Plzak, Mike Silber, and Bruce Tonkin – Chair

Other Board Member Attendees: Steve Crocker and George Sadowsky

Executive and Staff Attendees: Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)

Board Member Elect: Rinalia Abdul Rahim (observing).


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

  1. Minutes – The BGC approved the minutes from the meeting on 22 March 2014.

  2. Reconsideration Request 14-1 – Ram Mohan abstained from participation of this matter noting conflicts. Staff briefed the BGC regarding Medistry LLC's Request seeking reconsideration of the Expert Determination, and ICANN's acceptance of that Determination, upholding the Independent Objector's ("IO") Community Objection to Medistry's application for .MED. The BGC previously accepted Request 14-1 so that further evaluation can be conducted as to whether all of the requirements were satisfied when the IO filed the relevant Community Objection. After discussion, the BGC approved a motion directing staff to confer with the IO in an effort to evaluate and determine the circumstances under which the IO elected to file the community objection and whether the IO considered or was otherwise aware of, in advance of filing the objection, any letters or comments in the public sphere made in opposition to the Requester's application for .MED in addition to the public comments made by National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and American Hospital Association.

    • Action – Staff to confer with the IO regarding the circumstances under which the IO elected to file the community objection and provide report to BGC for consideration.
  3. Reconsideration Request 14-9– Ram Mohan abstained from participation of this matter noting conflicts. Staff briefed the BGC regarding Merck KGaA's Request seeking reconsideration of the Expert Determinations, and ICANN's acceptance of those Determinations, dismissing Merck KGaA's legal rights objections to Merck Registry Holdings, Inc.'s application for .MERCK and MSD Registry Holdings, Inc.'s application for .MERCKMSD. After discussion and consideration of the Request, the BGC concluded that the Requester has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration because the Request failed to demonstrate that the expert panel acted in contravention of established policy or procedure. The Bylaws authorize the BGC to make a final determination on Reconsideration Requests brought regarding staff action or inaction; the BGC still has the discretion, but is not required, to recommend the matter to the Board for consideration. Accordingly, the BGC concluded that its determination on Request 14-9 is final; no consideration by the NGPC is warranted.

  4. Reconsideration Request 14-11 – Ram Mohan abstained from participation of this matter noting conflicts. Staff briefed the BGC regarding Commercial Connect, LLC's Request seeking reconsideration of the decision by ICANN staff to change the application status of the Requester's .SHOP application to "On Hold" to reflect that the application is involved in multiple ICANN Accountability Mechanisms. After discussion and consideration of the Request, the BGC concluded that the Requester has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration. Under the New gTLD Program process, applications that are subject to pending activities that may impact the status of the applications, such as accountability mechanisms, are regularly reviewed and may be placed on hold until the pending activities have been resolved. The BGC noted that the "on hold" designation is considered for and typically assigned to applications for which status may be impacted by a Reconsideration Request or known Ombudsman complaint because neither of these Accountability Mechanisms has a process step that allows a party to seek a stay of activity related to one or more impacted applications. In contrast, the "on hold" designation is not typically assigned to an application whose status may be impacted by an Independent Review Process (IRP) because the IRP has a procedure that allows parties to seek an emergency stay of activity related to impacted applications. The BGC further noted that the email notices advising applicants of the hold status on their applications can be further improved to clarify the reasons for the hold. The Bylaws authorize the BGC to make a final determination on Reconsideration Requests brought regarding staff action or inaction; the BGC still has the discretion, but is not required, to recommend the matter to the Board for consideration. Accordingly, the BGC concluded that its determination on Request 14-11 is final; no consideration by the NGPC is warranted. The BGC also noted that Commercial Connect has filed numerous Reconsideration Requests that could be considered frivolous. The BGC approved a motion cautioning Commercial Connect and all Requesters generally that the BGC has the discretion under Article IV, Section 2.9 of the ICANN Bylaws to summarily dismiss a Reconsideration Request if it is frivolous, querulous or vexatious.

    • Action: Staff to include a bit more detail in emails notifying applicants that applications have been placed "on hold."
  5. Reconsideration Request 14-12 – Chris Disspain abstained from participation of this matter out of an abundance of caution as the application at issue in the Request relates to Australia. Ram Mohan abstained from participation of this matter noting conflicts. Bruce Tonkin abstained from participation of this matter noting that his employer, Melbourne IT, hosts the Requester Tennis Australia's website. Staff briefed the BGC regarding Tennis Australia's Request seeking reconsideration of the Community Priority Panel's Evaluation Report, and ICANN's acceptance of that Report, finding that the Requester did not prevail in the Community Priority Evaluation for .TENNIS. After discussion and consideration of the Request, the BGC concluded that the Requester has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration. The BGC determined that the Requester does not identify any process or policy or standard that the Panel misapplied when evaluating the CPE criteria. The Bylaws authorize the BGC to make a final determination on Reconsideration Requests brought regarding staff action or inaction; the BGC still has the discretion, but is not required, to recommend the matter to the Board for consideration. Accordingly, the BGC concluded that its determination on Request 14-12 is final; no consideration by the NGPC is warranted.

  6. Nominating Committee (NomCom) Leadership Call for Expressions of Interest –The BGC reviewed and discussed the call for expressions of interest for leadership roles in the 2015 NomCom Chair and Chair-Elect. The BGC approved a motion authorizing staff to post the call for expressions of interest.

    • Action – Staff to post the call for expressions of interest.
  7. NomCom Related Action Items – The BGC discussed various BGC action items relating to the NomCom, including the procedures under which the NomCom operates and a Code of Conduct and Ethics for the NomCom. The BGC noted that the NomCom follows a transparent set of procedures, which are evaluated and published by each NomCom, as well as the fact that the NomCom also maintains and publishes a Code of Conduct, which the NomCom members follow every year.

  8. Guidelines Re Attending Social Events and Accepting Gifts – The BGC discussed the revised Guidelines re: Attending Social Events and Accepting Gifts. The BGC approved a motion recommending the Guidelines for Board consideration.

    • Action – Staff to prepare proposed resolution for Board consideration.
  9. 2014 Board Self-Evaluation – The BGC discussed the 2014 Board self-evaluation process. The BGC discussed a three-tiered approach that includes a set of relevant questions, engaging an independent company to facilitate discussion amongst the Board, and potentially feedback from SOs and ACs.

Published on 16 May 2014

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."