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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 telephonically on 4 June 2013 at 13:00 UTC.

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: Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Olga Madruga-Forti, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Judith Vazquez, and Gonzalo Navarro.

Fadi Chehadé, Erika Mann, Francisco da Silva (TLG Liaison), and Kuo-Wei Wu sent apologies.

Thomas Narten, IETF Liaison was in attendance as a non-voting liaison 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: Akram Atallah, Chief Operating Officer; John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Allen Grogan, Dan Halloran, Jamie Hedlund, Karen Lentz, Cyrus Namazi, Erika Randall, Amy Stathos, and Christine Willett.

This is a preliminary report the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 04 June 2013.

  1. GAC Advice Items
    1. Consideration of Non-Safeguard Advice in the GAC's Beijing Communiqué
      1. Rationale for Resolution 2013.06.04.NG01

 

  1. GAC Advice Items

    The Chair introduced the item on the main agenda regarding responding the GAC advice issued in the Beijing Communiqué. The meeting shepherd, Chris Disspain, and staff walked the Committee through each of the items on the proposed "NGPC Scorecard of 1As Regarding Non-Safeguard Advice in the GAC Beijing Communiqué," which is Annex 1 of the proposed resolution.

    The Committee discussed the implications for accepting the GAC advice regarding application number 1-1165-42560 for .AFRICA and application number 1-1936-2101 for .GCC, and discussed whether applicants could withdraw their applications if the Committee accepted the GAC advice.

    The Committee discussed its proposed response on the GAC advice regarding the .HALAL and .ISLAM strings, and whether the Committee must begin discussions with the GAC to understand the scope of the GAC's concerns if the Committee accepts the advice.

    The Committee also considered additional elements of the non-safeguard GAC advice where its proposed position is classified as 1A, including accepting the GAC's advice on the list of strings that it advised should not proceed beyond initial evaluation, and considering the issue of singular and plural strings.

    The Committee agreed to respond to the GAC's advice regarding protections for IGO names and acronyms in a separate letter, rather than including it in the scorecard. The Committee also agreed that it would send separate letters to the GAC to transmit the Committee's response to the Annex II questions in the Beijing Communiqué and the written briefing on the ability to change strings.

    The Committee then took the following action:

    1. Consideration of Non-Safeguard Advice in the GAC's Beijing Communiqué

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

      Whereas, on 18 April 2013, ICANN posted the Beijing Communiqué and officially notified applicants of the advice, http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/announcements-and-media/announcement-18apr13-en triggering the 21-day applicant response period pursuant to the Applicant Guidebook Module 3.1;

      Whereas, the NGPC met on 8 May 2013 to consider a plan for responding to the GAC's advice on the New gTLD Program, transmitted to the Board through its Beijing Communiqué;

      Whereas, the NGPC met on 18 May 2013 to further discuss and consider its plan for responding the GAC's advice in the Beijing Communiqué on the New gTLD Program;

      Whereas, the NGPC has considered the applicant responses submitted during the 21- day applicant response period, and the NGPC has identified nine (9) items of advice in the attached scorecard where its position is consistent with the GAC's advice in the Beijing Communiqué.

      Whereas, the NGPC developed a scorecard to respond to the GAC's advice in the Beijing Communiqué similar to the one used during the GAC and Board meetings in Brussels on 28 February and 1 March 2011, and has identified where the NGPC's position is consistent with GAC advice, noting those as "1A" items.

      Whereas, the NGPC is undertaking this action 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.

      Resolved (2013.06.04.NG01), the NGPC adopts the "NGPC Scorecard of 1As Regarding Non-Safeguard Advice in the GAC Beijing Communiqué" (4 June 2013), attached as Annex 1 to this Resolution, in response to the items of GAC advice in the Beijing Communiqué as presented in the scorecard.

      Rationale for Resolution 2013.06.04.NG01

      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 permit 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?

      The NGPC is being asked to consider accepting a discrete grouping of the GAC advice as described in the attached NGPC Scorecard of 1As Regarding Non-Safeguard Advice in the GAC Beijing Communiqué (4 June 2013), which includes nine (9) items of non- safeguard advice from the Beijing Communiqué as listed in the GAC Register of Advice. These items are those for which the NGPC has a position that is consistent with the GAC's advice.

      Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

      On 18 April 2013, ICANN posted the GAC advice and officially notified applicants of the advice, http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/announcements-and-media/announcement-18apr13-en triggering the 21-day applicant response period pursuant to the Applicant Guidebook Module 3.1 http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/gac-advice-responses. The NGPC has considered the applicant responses in formulating its response to the GAC advice as applicable.

      To note, on 23 April 2013, ICANN initiated a public comment forum to solicit input on how the NGPC should address GAC advice regarding safeguards applicable to broad categories of new gTLD strings http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/gac-safeguard-advice-23apr13-en.htm. The public comment forum on how the NGPC should address GAC advice regarding safeguards is open through 4 June 2013. These comments will serve as important inputs to the NGPC's future consideration of the other elements of GAC advice not being considered at this time in the attached scorecard.

      What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

      As part of the 21-day applicant response period, ICANN received 383 applicant response documents representing 745 unique applications. Twenty-three responses were withdrawn and eleven were submitted after the deadline. Applicants appear to generally support the spirit of the GAC advice. The responses expressed concerns that the advice was too broad in its reach and did not take into account individual applications. Some applicant responses expressed concern that some elements of the advice seem to circumvent the bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model, while others proposed that the NGPC reject specific elements of the advice. A review of the comments has been provided to the NGPC under separate cover. The complete set of applicant responses can be reviewed at: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/gac-advice-responses.

      What significant materials did the Board review?

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

      What factors did the Board find to be significant?

      The Beijing Communiqué generated significant interest from applicants and resulted in many comments. The NGPC considered the applicant comments, the GAC's advice transmitted in the Beijing Communiqué, and the procedures established in the AGB.

      Are there positive or negative community impacts?

      The adoption of the GAC advice as provided in the attached scorecard 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.

      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?

      ICANN posted the GAC advice and officially notified applicants of the advice on 18 April 2013 http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/announcements-and-media/announcement-18apr13-en. This triggered the 21-day applicant response period pursuant to the Applicant Guidebook Module 3.1.

    The Chair took a roll call vote. All members of the Committee voted in favor of Resolution 2013.06.04.NG01. The Resolution carried.

    The Committee agreed that communications to the community and the GAC regarding this action should be clear that the action taken is not the sum total of the 1As and that there could be additional iterations of the scorecard to address the other advice.

    The Chair then called the meeting to a close.

Published on 13 June 2013

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