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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 New gTLD Program Committee's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the New gTLD Program Committee meeting.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held telephonically on 11 December 2014 at 22:00 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: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO, ICANN), Steve Crocker (Board Chairman), Chris Disspain, Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, and Kuo-Wei Wu. 

Bruno Lanvin, Ray Plzak, and Thomas Schneider (GAC Liaison) sent apologies.

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); Samantha Eisner (Associate General Counsel); Allen Grogan (Chief Contract Compliance Officer); Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel); Jamie Hedlund (Vice President, Strategic Programs – Global Domains Division); Cyrus Namazi (Vice President, DNS Industry Engagement); Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel); and Christine Willett (Vice President, Vice President, Operations – Global Domains Division).

This is a Preliminary Report of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 11 December 2014.

  1. Consent Agenda:
    1. Approval of Minutes
  2. Main Agenda:
    1. ALAC Statement on Public Interest Commitments

 

  1. Consent Agenda:

    1. Approval of Minutes

      The Chair introduced for approval the Minutes of the 12-14 October 2014 and 7 November 2014 meetings. The Committee took the following action:

      Resolved (2014.12.11.NG01), the Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) approves the minutes of its 12-14 October 2014 and 7 November 2014 meetings.

      All members of the Committee present voted in favor of Resolution 2014.12.11.NG01. Two members of the Committee were unavailable to vote on the Resolution. The Resolution carried.

  2. Main Agenda:

    1. ALAC Statement on Public Interest Commitments

      The Committee continued its previous discussion of the ALAC Statement on Public Interest Commitments issued on 16 October 2014 (the "ALAC Statement"). The Chair provided an overview of the ALAC Statement, and noted that it advised the Board to immediately cease contracting or delegating strings identified by the GAC as requiring enhanced safeguards pending further community review and changes to the Registry Agreement. The Chair also reported that the ALAC issued a follow-up to the ALAC Statement on 19 November 2014. The follow-up statement raised some concerns about public oversight of the Public Interest Commitments (PICs) included in the New gTLD Registry Agreement, and enforcement of those PICs. The Chair reported that the Committee received correspondence related to the ALAC Statement from various constituencies and stakeholder groups.

      Staff provided the history and background on how the PICs were created, and the multiple public comment forums initiated to develop the Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP).

      Committee members shared a variety of views on the ALAC Statement, and the Committee considered whether it would be appropriate to temporarily halt contracting or delegating the gTLD strings identified in the ALAC Statement in order to address the concerns underlying the ALAC Statement.

      As part of its discussion about how to respond to the ALAC Statement, the Committee engaged in a dialogue about the options available to amend the Registry Agreement, which included a discussion of negotiating individual amendments to the Registry Agreement of each registry operator and the development of consensus policy. The Committee also considered the provisions in the Registry Agreement for amendments. Committee members commented on the relative merits and disadvantages of potential options on a path forward to respond to the ALAC.

      The Committee acknowledged the serious concerns about the PICs raised in the ALAC Statement and by other members of the community, and expressed its desire to be responsive to the concerns. After discussion, the sense of the Committee was that it was not supportive of halting the contracting and delegating process for the strings identified in the ALAC Statement, but the Committee decided to engage as soon as possible with the ALAC to better understand their concerns about the PICs, and to discuss a path forward. The Committee decided to prepare a response to the ALAC to provide the rationale for its decision, and to take steps to begin a dialogue with the ALAC. Also, the Committee agreed to take steps to initiate a dialogue with the GAC to discuss its concerns with the PICs.

      The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 22 December 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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."