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Minutes | Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee

Note: On 10 April 2012, the Board established the New gTLD Program Committee, comprised of all voting members of the Board that are not conflicted with respect to the New gTLD Program. The Committee was granted all of the powers of the Board (subject to the limitations set forth by law, the Articles of incorporation, Bylaws or ICANN's Conflicts of Interest Policy) to exercise Board-level authority for any and all issues that may arise relating to the New gTLD Program. The full scope of the Committee's authority is set forth in its charter at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/new-gTLD.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Durban, South Africa on 17 July 2013 at 13:30 local time.

Committee Chairman Cherine Chalaby promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to the Chair the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO, ICANN), Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Judith Vazquez and Kuo-Wei Wu.

Thomas Narten (IETF Liaison) and Francisco da Silva (TLG Liaison) were in attendance as non-voting liaisons to the Committee.

Jonne Soininen was in attendance as an observer to the Committee.

ICANN Staff in attendance for all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah, President, Generic Domains Division; John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary; Megan Bishop; Michelle Bright; Dan Halloran; Jamie Hedlund; David Olive; Brian Peck; Erika Randall; Amy Stathos; and Christine Willett.

These are the Minutes of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 17 July 2013.

  1. Extension of Initial Protections of IGO Names and Acronyms
  2. AOB

 

  1. Extension of Initial Protections of IGO Names and Acronyms

    The Chair introduced the item to the Committee, and the Committee considered extending the initial protections for IGO names and acronyms while the Committee continues to work through implementation issues with the GAC.

    Chris Disspain updated the Committee on a meeting he had with Bill Graham and representatives from the OECD and WIPO, where they discussed the possibility of a clearinghouse model to protect IGO acronyms. Chris noted that the IGO representatives were concerned about gaming and are interested in mechanisms, such as rapid take-down, to address those concerns. Chris explained that more time is needed to work on a solution, and he recommended that the Committee consider extending the initial protections for IGOs until the Buenos Aires meeting. Mike Silber asked whether that was a sufficient amount of time. Gonzalo Navarro noted that the temporary protections in the resolution need to have a clear end date, whether the date of the Buenos Aires meeting or another specific date.

    The members of the Committee discussed proposed clarifications to the resolution.

    Ray Plzak moved, and Bill Graham seconded the resolution. The Committee then took the following action:

    Whereas, the GAC met during the ICANN 46 meeting in Beijing and issued a Communiqué on 11 April 2013 ("Beijing Communiqué").

    Whereas, the Beijing Communiqué reiterated the GAC's previous advice to the Board that "appropriate preventative initial protection for the IGO names and acronyms on the provided list be in place before any new gTLDs would launch" (the "IGO GAC Advice"). The IGO GAC Advice is identified in the GAC Register of Advice as 2013-04-11-IGO.

    Whereas, the New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) is responsible for considering the IGO GAC Advice pursuant to the authority granted to it by the Board on 10 April 2012, to exercise the ICANN Board's authority for any and all issues that may arise relating to the New gTLD Program.

    Whereas, the NGPC has spent significant time considering the IGO GAC Advice and has had initiated dialogue with the GAC on this advice.

    Whereas, on 2 July 2013, the NGPC approved Resolutions 2013.07.02.NGPC03 – 2013.07.02.NGPC06, and the NGPC confirmed that appropriate initial protection for the IGO identifiers will continue to be provided as presented in the "IGO List dated 22/03/2013" through the first meeting following the ICANN 47 meeting in Durban while the GAC, NGPC, ICANN staff and community continue to actively work through outstanding implementation issues concerning protections for IGO names and acronyms through.

    Whereas, the GAC, NGPC, ICANN staff and community continue to actively work through outstanding implementation issues, the NGPC thinks it is prudent to further extend the initial protections for the IGO identifiers.

    Resolved (2013.07.17.NG01), the NGPC confirms that appropriate preventative initial protection for the IGO identifiers will continue to be provided as presented in the New gTLD Registry Agreement adopted on 2 July 2013 while the GAC, NGPC, ICANN staff and community continue to actively work through outstanding implementation issues.

    Resolved (2013.07.17.NG02), the NGPC determines that pursuant to Specification 5 in the New gTLD Registry Agreement adopted on 2 July 2013, registry operators will continue to implement temporary protections for the precise IGO names and acronyms on the "IGO List" posted as Annex 1 [PDF, 541 KB] to Resolution 2013.07.02NG03 – 2013.07.02.NG06 until the first meeting of the NGPC following the ICANN 48 Meeting in Buenos Aires or until the NGPC makes a further determination on the IGO GAC Advice, whichever is earlier.

    Resolved (2013.07.17.NG03), if the NGPC and GAC do not reach an agreement on outstanding implementation issues for protecting IGO names and acronyms by the first meeting of the NGPC following the ICANN 48 meeting in Buenos Aires, and subject to any matters that arise during the discussions, the NGPC determines that registry operators will be required to protect only the IGO names identified on the GAC's "IGO List" posted as Annex 1 [PDF, 541 KB] to Resolution 2013.07.02NG03–2013.07.02.NG06.

    Rationale for Resolution 2013.07.17.NG01 – 2013.07.17.NG03

    Why the NGPC is addressing the issue?

    Article XI, Section 2.1 of the ICANN Bylaws <http://www.icann.org/en/about/governance/bylaws#XI> permits the GAC to "put issues to the Board directly, either by way of comment or prior advice, or by way of specifically recommending action or new policy development or revision to existing policies." The GAC issued advice to the Board on the New gTLD Program through its Beijing Communiqué dated 11 April 2013. The ICANN Bylaws require the Board to take into account the GAC's advice on public policy matters in the formulation and adoption of the polices. If the Board decides to take an action that is not consistent with the GAC advice, it must inform the GAC and state the reasons why it decided not to follow the advice. The Board and the GAC will then try in good faith to find a mutually acceptable solution. If no solution can be found, the Board will state in its final decision why the GAC advice was not followed.

    What is the proposal being considered?

    In the Beijing Communiqué, the GAC reiterated previous advice that "appropriate preventative initial protection for the IGO names and acronyms on the provided list be in place before any new gTLDs would launch ("IGO GAC Advice")." The NGPC is being asked to consider accepting this advice, while being mindful of the outstanding implementation issues. This IGO GAC Advice is identified in the GAC Register of Advice as 2013-04-11-IGO.

    The New gTLD Registry Agreement includes protections for IGOs but does not yet specify the names and acronyms to be protected.

    To address the GAC advice regarding IGO names and acronyms, on 2 July 2013, the NGPC directed that temporary protections for the IGO names and acronyms previously identified by the GAC on its "IGO List dated 22/03/2013," which was attached as Annex 1 [PDF, 541 KB] the 2 July 2013 resolutions, so that the GAC and the NGPC would have time to work out outstanding implementation issues, as noted in the Beijing Communiqué. We think it is important that those temporary protections remain in place until the first meeting of the NGPC following the ICANN Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, unless the NGPC and the GAC are able to resolve the issues and the NGPC passes a resolution on the IGO GAC Advice earlier than the ICANN Meeting in Buenos Aires. If the NGPC and the GAC do not reach agreement on the issues, and subject to any matters that arise during the discussions, the NGPC would require registry operators only to protect the names, but not the acronyms, identified on the GAC's IGO List posted as Annex 1 [PDF, 541 KB] to Resolutions 2013.07.02NG03-2013.07.02.NG06. This Resolution provides temporary protections for IGOs while respecting the ongoing implementation work.

    Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

    On 29 April 2013, ICANN initiated a public comment forum to solicit input on the proposed final draft of the New gTLD Registry Agreement <http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/base-agreement-29apr13-en.htm>. The public comment forum closed on 11 June 2013. The NGPC has considered the community comments on the New gTLD Registry Agreement in formulating its response to the IGO GAC Advice as it relates to the New gTLD Registry Agreement <http://forum.icann.org/lists/comments-base-agreement-29apr13/>.

    Additionally, on 14 June 2013, the GNSO Policy Development Process Working Group tasked with addressing the issue of protecting the identifiers of certain IGOs and International Non-Governmental Organizations ("INGOs") in all gTLDs published its Initial Report for public comment. The public comment period is scheduled to close 7 August 2013. <http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/igo-ingo-initial-14jun13-en.htm> The Issue Report was initiated as a result of a recommendation by the GNSO Drafting Team formed to provide a GNSO Council response to the Board and GAC on the protection of IOC and RCRC names in new gTLDs. After community review, the scope of the Final GNSO Issue Report included an evaluation of whether to protect the names of both IGOs and non-government organizations at the top level and second level in all gTLDs.

    What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

    ICANN received several responses from the community during the course of the public comment forum on the proposed final draft of the New gTLD Registry Agreement; however, none of the responses specifically relates to the provisions in the New gTLD Registry Agreement to provide protections for IGO identifiers. <http://forum.icann.org/lists/comments-base-agreement-29apr13/>

    What significant materials did the NGPC review?

    As part of its deliberations, the NGPC reviewed the following significant materials and documents:

    What factors did the Board find to be significant?

    The Beijing Communiqué generated significant interest from the community and stimulated many comments. The NGPC considered the community comments, the GAC's advice transmitted in the Beijing Communiqué, the ongoing work of the GNSO PDP Working Group on the Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in all gTLDs and further discussion with the GAC on this topic.

    Are there positive or negative community impacts?

    The response to the GAC advice as provided in the NGPC's Resolution will assist with resolving the GAC advice in manner that permits the greatest number of new gTLD applications to continue to move forward as soon as possible, while being mindful of the ongoing efforts to work through the outstanding implementation issues.

    Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?

    There are no foreseen fiscal impacts associated with the adoption of this resolution.

    Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

    Approval of the proposed resolution will not impact security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS.

    Is this either a defined policy process within ICANN's Supporting Organizations or ICANN's Organizational Administrative Function decision requiring public comment or not requiring public comment?

    On 29 April 2013, ICANN initiated a public comment forum to solicit input on the proposed final draft of the New gTLD Registry Agreement. The public comment forum closed on 11 June 2013.

    On 14 June 2013, the GNSO Policy Development Process Working Group tasked with addressing the issue of protecting the identifiers of certain IGOs and INGOs in all gTLDs published its Initial Report for public comment. The public comment period is scheduled to close 7 August 2013. <http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/igo-ingo-initial-14jun13-en.htm>

    All members of the Committee in attendance voted in favor of Resolutions 2013.07.17.NG01 – 2013.07.17.NG03. The Resolutions carried.

  2. AOB

    The Committee considered its upcoming discussions with members of the GAC who have concerns about applications for .HALAL and .ISLAM. The Chair inquired about the number of Committee members planning to attend the meeting, and noted that the goal of the meeting was to listen to the concerns of the governments about the applications.

    Thomas Narten noted that the Committee should not be concerned if the number of Committee members attending the meeting would constitute a quorum for purposes of a regular meeting of the Committee. Gonzalo Navarro agreed, and noted that it was important to for as many Committee members as available to hear what the governments had to say.

    Ray Plzak noted that even if not a formal Committee meeting, the number of attendees could give a perception of a formal meeting. Gonzalo agreed with Ray that the Committee should be clear about expectations for the meeting since this is the first of its kind and could be seen as setting a precedent.

    The Chair suggested that there could be a statement at the beginning of the meeting to note that it is not a formal Committee meeting so as to avoid any misconceptions.

    Chris Disspain noted that the meeting, while not a decision-making meeting, formal Committee meeting, is actually intended to be a dialogue pursuant to the Applicant Guidebook which requires the Board to enter into a dialogue to understand the full scope of the concerns raised in the GAC's advice if the if the Board receives advice from the GAC that some governments have concerns about particular strings.

    Erika Mann and Olga Madruga-Forti made suggestions for how the dialogue should be conducted.

    The Committee also engaged in a discussion regarding conflicts of interest and the process for handling them. The Committee reviewed whether there were conflicts of interest present on 4 June 2013 when the Committee passed a resolution accepting the GAC's advice in the Beijing Communiqué regarding its consensus objection for a .AFRICA application. Each member of the Committee confirmed that there were no conflicts present at the time of the vote on the resolution.

    The Chair then called the meeting to a close.

Published on 11 September 2013

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."