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Minutes | Regular 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

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Pasadena, California on 29 April 2014 at 14:15 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), Steve Crocker (Board Chairman), Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Bruno Lanvin, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, and Kuo-Wei Wu. 

Jonne Soininen (IETF Liaison) was in attendance as a non-voting liaison to the Committee. Heather Dryden was in attendance as an observer to the Committee.

Board Member Elect:  Rinalia Abdul Rahim (observing).

Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).

ICANN Executives and Staff in attendance for all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division); Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator); Michelle Bright (Board Support Manager); Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer); Samantha Eisner (Senior Counsel); Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel); Jamie Hedlund (Advisor to the President/CEO); Marika Konings (Senior Director, Policy Development Support); Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel); Olof Nordling (Senior Director, GAC Relations); Erika Randall (Counsel); Ashwin Rangan (Chief Innovation & Information Officer); Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel); and Christine Willett (Vice President, gTLD Operations).

These are the Minutes of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 29 April 2014.

  1. Main Agenda
    1. GAC Advice Update
    2. Perceived Inconsistent String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations – Review Mechanism
    3. New gTLD Auction Rules
    4. New gTLD Program Financial Update


  1. Main Agenda:

    1. GAC Advice Update

      The Committee continued its discussions of remaining open items of advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), focusing on the advice issued in the Durban Communiqué concerning the applications for .AMAZON and related IDNs in Japanese and Chinese. In the Durban Communiqué, the GAC advised that it had reached consensus on "GAC Objection Advice according to Module 3.1 part I of the Applicant Guidebook" on the applications for .AMAZON and related IDNs in Japanese and Chinese.

      Chris Disspain outlined potential alternatives for the Committee to discuss to address the GAC's advice, and the next steps that would be required depending upon the course of action taken. The Committee explored potential consequences associated with taking each action.

      Members of the Committee weighed in on the relative merits and disadvantages of various options to address the GAC advice, and also suggested alternative options. Olga Madruga-Forti commented that the Committee also should consider the GAC advice in the context of the multistakholder model.

      The Committee discussed whether there were opportunities for the relevant impacted parties to engage in additional discussion. The President and CEO made note of the steps previously taken by the impacted parties to engage in discussions to address the concerns noted in the GAC Early Warning. George Sadowsky asked the Committee to consider how the potential options being contemplated to address the GAC advice would impact the possibility of the impacted parties engaging in further discussions.

      The Committee considered correspondence and comments submitted by the impacted parties throughout the process. Bill Graham commented on the responses provided by certain governments to the analysis prepared by Jerome Passa that was transmitted to the GAC on 7 April 2014, and asked whether the concerned governments submitted any additional comments. Chris asked whether any additional information would be helpful to the Committee as it continued its deliberations on the matter, and the Committee considered whether additional information was needed.

      The Committee reviewed the applicable Applicant Guidebook sections regarding consensus advice from the GAC about a particular application, and considered the implications of the GAC issuing such consensus advice. Heather Dryden distinguished the GAC's consensus advice on .AMAZON given pursuant to the Applicant Guidebook from other non-consensus advice from the GAC.

      Gonzalo Navarro suggested that the Committee consider whether there were relevant precedents from previous Committee decisions that should be considered as part of the Committee's deliberation on the .AMAZON GAC advice. The Committee discussed whether the potential options being discussed were consistent with its previous treatment of similarly situated GAC advice and corresponding Committee actions.

      The Committee analyzed whether the impacted parties would benefit from having additional time to continue to address the noted concerns. Some members noted that a considerable amount of time had elapsed from when the advice was offered by the GAC, and queried whether additional time would be helpful.

      The Chair directed staff to schedule a meeting in May so that the Committee could continue its discussion on .AMAZON (and related IDNs), in addition to other open items of GAC advice.

      Akram Atallah provided the Committee with an update on the efforts of some of the relevant impacted parties to continue negotiations on potential safeguards for the .WINE and .VIN gTLDs in light of the Committee's action on 4 April 2014 addressing the GAC advice concerning .WINE and .VIN. The Committee engaged in a discussion about the appropriate level of involvement of ICANN for participating in any discussions between the relevant impacted parties, if any.

    2. Perceived Inconsistent String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations – Review Mechanism

      The Committee did not consider this agenda item and decided that it should be considered at a subsequent meeting.

    3. New gTLD Auction Rules

      The Committee did not consider this agenda item and decided that it should be considered at a subsequent meeting.

    4. New gTLD Program Financial Update

      The Committee did not consider this agenda item and decided that it should be considered at a subsequent meeting.

    The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 23 June 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"""" is not an IDN."