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Minutes | Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting

Published on 01 February 2016

BGC Attendees:  Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain – Chair, Erika Mann Mike Silber, Bruce Tonkin, and Suzanne Woolf

Executive and Staff Attendees:  Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), Megan Bishop (Board Operations Coordinator), Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Allen Grogan (Chief Contract Compliance Officer), Melissa King (Vice President of Board Operations), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Operations Content Manager), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Christine Willett (VP of gTLD Operations)


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

  1. Minutes – The BGC approved the minutes from the meeting on 18 October 2015.
  2. Reconsideration Requests 15-19 and 15-20 – Staff briefed the BGC regarding the request submitted by the Business Constituency and the Noncommercial Stakeholders Group (Request 15-19) and the Internet Commerce Association (Request 15-20) seeking reconsideration of the Board's approval of the renewal of the registry agreements for .CAT, .TRAVEL, and .PRO.  The Requesters contend that the Board's approval of the .CAT, .TRAVEL, and .PRO registry agreements failed to take into consideration:  (1) certain materials relevant to the contract negotiations; and (2) a later-published preliminary issues report regarding gTLD Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs), which recommends, among other things, that a Generic Names Supporting Organization policy development process be undertaken to address the application of RPMs to legacy TLDs generally.  After discussion, the BGC found that the Requesters' claims do not support reconsideration.  In approving the renewed .CAT, .TRAVEL, and .PRO registry agreements, staff provided the Board with all material information to consider, which included all comments from the public comment forum on these agreements.  The BGC noted that the Requesters do not identify any particular piece of material information that the Board failed to consider.  The inclusion of the new gTLD RPMs in these renewed registry agreements is part of the package of agreed-upon terms resulting from the bilateral negotiations between ICANN and each registry operator.  The BGC further noted that each of the registry agreements at issue called for presumptive renewal of the agreements at their expiration so long as certain requirements were met – meaning that, if the parties took no action, the registry agreements would have renewed automatically under the same terms as the original registry agreements.  The BGC therefore recommends that Requests 15-19 and 15-20 be denied.
    • Action:
      • Staff to prepare materials for Board consideration on the BGC's Recommendation on Requests 15-19 and 15-20.
  3. Reconsideration Request 15-21 – Staff briefed the BGC regarding the request submitted by dotgay LLC seeking reconsideration of:  (1) the second Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) panel's report finding that the Requester did not prevail in CPE for the .GAY string (Second CPE Report) and ICANN's acceptance of that report; and (2) ICANN staff's response to the Requester's request pursuant to ICANN's Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP) for documents relating to the Second CPE Report.  After discussion, the BGC determined that Request 15-21 requires further discussion and continued its consideration of the Request to its next meeting.
  4. Reconsideration Request 15-22 – Staff briefed the BGC regarding the request submitted by the Centre for Internet & Society seeking reconsideration of ICANN staff's response to two requests submitted by the Requester pursuant to ICANN's DIDP, which sought documents relating to ICANN's Contractual Compliance Audit Program.  After discussion, the BGC determined that the Requester's claims do not support reconsideration.  The Requester does not identify any misapplication of policy or procedure by ICANN staff.  Rather, the Requester simply disagrees with the substance of the DIDP Response.  Substantive disagreements with a DIDP response, however, are not proper bases for reconsideration.  Because the Requester has not shown that ICANN staff acted in contravention of established policy or procedure, the BGC determined that Reconsideration Request 15-22 must be denied.  The Bylaws authorize the BGC to make a final determination on Reconsideration Requests brought regarding staff action or inaction and the BGC concluded that its determination on Request 15-22 is final; no consideration by the Board is warranted.
  5. Establishing Key Performance Indicators for Board Performance and Improvement Efforts – The BGC discussed a proposed set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure Board performance and improvement efforts in response to the ATRT2 Recommendations related to the Board's performance and improvement efforts.  The BGC approved a motion recommending that the Board adopt the proposed set of KPIs.
    • Action:
      • Staff to prepare materials for Board consideration of the BGC's recommendation.
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."