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Minutes | Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain – Chair, Mike Silber, Suzanne Woolf, and Bruce Tonkin

BGC Member Apologies: Erika Mann and Gonzalo Navarro

Other Board Member Attendees: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Steve Crocker, Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer, and George Sadowsky

Executive and Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator), Samantha Eisner (Associate General Counsel), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager), Liz Le (Senior Counsel), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)


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

  1. Review of Summary of Statements of Interest from Board Members – The BGC evaluated the summary of statements of interest of Board members.

  2. Reconsideration Request 15-1 – Staff briefed the BGC regarding the request submitted by Atgron, Inc. ("Requester") seeking reconsideration of ICANN staff's actions undertaken in accordance with the Registry Services Evaluation Policy (the "RSEP") in processing the Requester's request to modify the registry services that the Requester provides pursuant to its Registry Agreement to offer third-level domain name registrations in .WED. As part of its RSEP Request, the Requester submitted a list of approximately11,000 second-level domain names for which it would offer third-level domain registrations. Under the RSEP process, ICANN did not identify any significant competition or security and stability issues. However ICANN did identify that the proposal had the potential to substantially affect third parties and would require an amendment to the .Wed registry agreement. ICANN and the Requester agreed a proposed Registry Agreement amendment, which was posted for public comment. The comments received identified concerns regarding, among other things, intellectual property protections (such as sunrise, trademark claims, UDRP and URS) with respect to the 11,000 second level domains, and with respect to the registration of third level domains. Consequently, ICANN staff concluded that material revisions to the proposed amendment were necessary to address the intellectual property concerns raised during the public comment period. ICANN drafted a revised proposed amendment to the Registry Agreement and informed the Requester that another public comment period would be required for the revised amendment. The Requester objected to a public comment period for the revised amendment. ICANN informed the Requester that a public comment period for the revised amendment would be required if the Requester wished to proceed with the new registry services. Thereafter, the Requester filed this Reconsideration Request, challenging ICANN staff's decision to require a public comment period for the revised amendment, and more generally expressing disagreement with the manner in which ICANN staff responded to its RSEP Request. After discussion, the BGC requested further details and clarification regarding the Registry Agreement change review process addressed in Request 15-1, and continued its discussion regarding Request 15-1 to the next BGC meeting.

    • Action: Staff to facilitate revisions to the BGC's Determination in light of the discussion, and present to the BGC for consideration at next BGC meeting.

  3. IRP Standing Panel Update – Staff provided an update on the status of the implementation work on the IRP standing panel, including the implementation challenges faced in trying to convene a panel that satisfies the specifications set forth in Article IV, Section 3 of the Bylaws, particularly in light of the issues raised by the community regarding the standing panel. The BGC agreed to seek input from the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN's Accountability (CCWG) on potential implementation options.

    • Action: Staff to prepare a short report setting forth the status of implementation and potential options for moving forward that will inform a discussion with the CCWG.

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."