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Preliminary Report | 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.

Formal Minutes are still to be approved by the New gTLD Program Committee. This has not been approved by the New gTLD Program Committee and does not constitute minutes but does provide a preliminary attempt setting forth the unapproved reporting of the resolutions from that meeting. Details on voting and abstentions will be provided in the Minutes, when approved at a future meeting.

NOTE ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN PRELIMINARY REPORT – ON RATIONALES -- Where available, a draft Rationale for each of the Board's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the Board meeting.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 18 May 2013 at 17:00 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), 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.

Heather Dryden, GAC Liaison, was in attendance as an invited observer.

ICANN Staff in attendance for all or part of the meeting: John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary; Akram Atallah, Chief Operating Officer; Tarek Kamel; David Olive; Megan Bishop; Michelle Bright; Samantha Eisner; Dan Halloran; Jamie Hedlund; Karen Lentz; Cyrus Namazi; Amy Stathos; and Christine Willett.

This is a preliminary report the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 18 May 2013.

  1. Consent Agenda
    1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes
    2. BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-1
      1. Rationale for Resolutions 2013.05.18.NG02 – 2013.05.18.NG03
    3. BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-2
      1. Rationale for Resolution 2013.05.18.NG04
  2. Main Agenda
    1. Addressing GAC Advice from Beijing Communiqué

 

  1. Consent Agenda

    The Chair introduced the items on the consent agenda and called for a vote. The Committee then took the following action:

    Resolved, the following resolutions in this Consent Agenda are approved:

    1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes

      Resolved (2013.05.18.NG01), the New gTLD Program Committee approves the minutes of the 26 March 2013, 5 April 2013 and 11 April 2013 Meetings of the New gTLD Program Committee.

    2. BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-1

      Whereas, Ummah's Digital, Ltd.'s ("Ummah") Reconsideration Request, Request 13-1, sought reconsideration of the staff conclusion that the Ummah gTLD application "is ineligible for further review under the New gTLD Program," which was based on the Support Applicant Review Panel (SARP) determination that Ummah's application did not meet the criteria for financial assistance.

      Whereas, the BGC recommended that Reconsideration Request 13-1 be denied because Ummah has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration, and Ummah's stay request fails to satisfy the Bylaws' requirements for a stay.

      Whereas, the BGC noted that "Ummah raises some interesting issues in its Request and suggests that the Board direct that the concerns raised in Ummah's Request be included in a review of the Applicant Support Program so that the design of future mechanisms to provide financial assistance and support in the New gTLD Program can benefit from the experiences within this first round."

      Resolved (2013.05.18.NG02), the New gTLD Program Committee adopts the recommendation of the BGC that Reconsideration Request 13-1 be denied on the basis that Ummah has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration and that Ummah's stay request fails to satisfy the Bylaws' requirements for a stay.

      Resolved (2013.05.18.NG03), the Board directs the President and CEO to include the concerns raised in Ummah's Reconsideration Request in the review of the Applicant Support Program so that the design of future mechanisms to provide financial assistance and support in the New gTLD Program can benefit from the experiences within this first round.

      Rationale for Resolutions 2013.05.18.NG02 – 2013.05.18.NG03

      In July 2009, as part of the comprehensive GNSO Improvements program, the ICANN Board approved the formal Charters of four new GNSO Stakeholder Groups (see ICANN Board Resolution 2009.30.07.09).

      ICANN's Bylaws at the time Reconsideration Request 13-1 was filed, called for the Board Governance Committee to evaluate and make recommendations to the Board with respect to Reconsideration Requests. See Article IV, section 3 of the Bylaws. The New gTLD Program Committee, bestowed with the powers of the Board in this instance, has reviewed and thoroughly considered the BGC's recommendation with respect to Reconsideration Request 13-1 and finds the analysis sound. The full BGC Recommendation, which includes the reasons for recommending that the Reconsideration Request be denied can be found at: http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/governance/reconsideration

      Having a Reconsideration process set out in ICANN's Bylaws positively affects ICANN's transparency and accountability. It provides an avenue for the community to ensure that staff and the Board are acting in accordance with ICANN's policies, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.

      To assure that ICANN continues to serve the global public interest by ensuring worldwide accessibility to the Internet and opportunities for operating a registry, ICANN will include the issues raised in Ummah's Request in its review of the Program so that the design of future mechanisms to provide financial assistance and support in the New gTLD Program can benefit from the experiences within this first round.

      Adopting the BGC's recommendation has no financial impact on ICANN and will not negatively impact the systemic security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function not requiring public comment.

    3. BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-2

      Whereas, Reconsideration Request 13-2, sought reconsideration of: (1) Staff and Board inaction on the consideration of Nameshop's letter of "appeal" sent after denial of Nameshop's change request to change its applied-for string in the New gTLD Program from .IDN to .INTERNET (the "Change Request"); and (ii) the decision of the Support Applicant Review Panel ("SARP") that Nameshop did not meet the criteria to be eligible for financial assistance under ICANN's Applicant Support Program.

      Whereas, the BGC recommended that Reconsideration Request 13-2 be denied because Nameshop has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration.

      Whereas, the BGC concluded that the Reconsideration Request 13-2 challenges: (i) an "appeal" process that does not exist; and (i) the substantive decisions taken within the New gTLD Program on a specific application, not the processes by which those decisions were taken and that the reconsideration process is not, and has never been, a tool for requestors to seek the reevaluation of decisions.

      Resolved (2013.05.18.NG04), the New gTLD Program Committee adopts the BGC's recommendation that Reconsideration Request 13-2 be denied on the basis that Nameshop has not stated proper ground for reconsideration.

      Rationale for Resolution 2013.05.18.NG04

      ICANN's Bylaws at the time Reconsideration Request 13-2 was filed, called for the Board Governance Committee to evaluate and make recommendations to the Board with respect to Reconsideration Requests. See Article IV, section 3 of the Bylaws. The New gTLD Program Committee, bestowed with the powers of the Board in this instance, has reviewed and thoroughly considered the BGC's recommendation with respect to Reconsideration Request 13-2 and finds the analysis sound. The full BGC Recommendation, which includes the reasons for recommending that the Reconsideration Request be denied can be found at: http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/governance/reconsideration.

      Having a Reconsideration process set out in ICANN's Bylaws positively affects ICANN's transparency and accountability. It provides an avenue for the community to ensure that staff and the Board are acting in accordance with ICANN's policies, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.

      Request 13-2 challenges an "appeal" process that does not exist, and challenges the substantive decisions taken in implementation of the New gTLD Program on a specific application and not the processes by which those decisions were taken. Reconsideration is not, and has never been, a tool for requestors to seek the reevaluation of substantive decisions. This is an essential time to recognize and advise the ICANN community that the Board is not a mechanism for direct, de novo appeal of staff (or evaluation panel) decisions with which the requester disagrees. Seeking such relief from the Board is, in itself, in contravention of established processes and policies within ICANN.

      Adopting the BGC's recommendation has no financial impact on ICANN and will not negatively impact the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function not requiring public comment.

    All members of the Committee voted in favor of Resolutions 2013.05.18.NG01, 2013.05.18.NG02, 2013.05.18.NG03, and 2013.05.18.NG04. The Resolutions carried.

  2. Main Agenda

    1. Addressing GAC Advice from Beijing Communiqué

      The Committee engaged with staff in a discussion regarding the timing and framework for responding to the GAC's advice in the Beijing Communiqué in order to prioritize its work. The Committee agreed that it would adopt a strategy that permits full consideration of the ongoing community comment forum while resolving GAC advice in a manner that permits as many applications as possible to keep making forward progress. In an effort to prioritize its work and decision-making process, the Committee started a categorization exercise, including the development of a "scorecard" document to assist in the resolution of the GAC's advice. The Committee also heard some potential suggestions regarding the modes of implementing various pieces of the GAC advice.

      The Committee engaged in preliminary dialogue on the safeguard advice, but agreed that it would cover these topics in more depth in the next Committee meeting in two weeks.

      The Committee noted the importance of continuing to communicate with the community on how it is addressing the GAC advice, and agreed to provide an update to the community on the progress made during this meeting.

      The Committee did not take formal action on this agenda item at the meeting.

      The Chair then called the meeting to a close.

Published on 29 May 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."