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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 5 June 2015 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: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO, ICANN), Steve Crocker (Board Chairman), Chris Disspain, Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer, Gonzalo Navarro, George Sadowsky, and Mike Silber.

Thomas Schneider (GAC Liaison) was in attendance as a non-voting liaison to the Committee.

Bruce Tonkin was in attendance as an invited observer for Item #1 on the Main Agenda.

Bruno Lanvin, Erika Mann, Ray Plzak, and Kuo-Wei Wu and 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); Julia Charvolen (GAC Services Coordinator); Allen Grogan (Chief Contract Compliance Officer); Jamie Hedlund (Vice President, Strategic Programs – Global Domains Division); Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager); Cyrus Namazi (Vice President, DNS Industry Engagement); Olof Nordling (Senior Director, GAC Relations); Erika Randall (Senior Counsel); Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel); and Christine Willett (Vice President, Operations – Global Domains Division).

This is a Preliminary Report of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 5 June 2015.

  1. Main Agenda:
    1. Implementation of GAC Advice Regarding .DOCTOR
    2. GAC Category 2.1 Safeguard Advice – Non-discrimination
    3. GAC Category 2.2 Safeguard Advice – Exclusive Generic TLDs
    4. Any Other Business

 

  1. Main Agenda:

    1. Implementation of GAC Advice Regarding .DOCTOR

      The Committee considered the recommendation of the Board Governance Committee (BGC) that "the NGPC again review the proposed implementation of a public interest commitment for the .DOCTOR TLD, and to re-evaluate the NGPC's 12 February 2015 determination." The BGC's recommendation was in response to Reconsideration Request 15-3 filed by Brice Trail, LLC (an entity related to Donuts Inc.) – one of the contending applicants for the .DOCTOR TLD.

      The Committee was presented with the background history of the GAC's advice in the Buenos Aires Communiqué (November 2013) and how the Committee addressed the advice. At the request of the Committee, Bruce Tonkin provided an overview of GNSO policies and principles related to the matter for the Committee to consider as part of its deliberations.

      The Committee considered potential options to respond to the BGC's recommendation. Some of the options included: requiring that the Registry Agreement for the .DOCTOR TLD exclude the proposed Public Interest Commitment (PIC) drafted to ensure that domains in the TLD are ascribed exclusively to legitimate medical practitioners; and adopting the solution suggested in Brice Trail's Reconsideration Request to require a registrant to demonstrate "legitimate medical practitioner" status only if the registrant holds itself out as a medical practitioner.

      The Committee decided to further discuss this matter at its next meeting.

    2. GAC Category 2.1 Safeguard Advice – Non-discrimination

      Staff provided an overview of a proposed response to address a request from the GAC in the Singapore Communiqué (February 2015) requesting greater clarity as to the mechanisms for redress in the event registrants believe they have been unduly discriminated against. After discussion, the Committee decided to send its response to the GAC.

    3. GAC Category 2.2 Safeguard Advice – Exclusive Generic TLDs

      The Committee continued its discussion of advice issued by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to the Board concerning safeguards for New gTLD applicants who proposed to provide exclusive registry access for generic strings. Based on feedback from its previous meeting, staff presented two options to the Committee as potential paths forward to address the GAC's advice.

      The Committee engaged in a discussion to explore the relative merits and complexities of each option, which included a discussion about whether to prohibit exclusive generic TLDs in this round of the New gTLD Program and consult with the GNSO about developing consensus policy for future rounds; or whether a community process should be initiated to develop criteria to be used to evaluate whether an exclusive generic applicant's proposed exclusive registry access serves a public interest goal. The Committee also explored how auctions, unresolved objection proceedings, and contracting would be impacted if a particular option were selected.

      The Committee decided to further discuss this matter at its next meeting.

    4. Any Other Business

      Staff provided a status update on matters concerning the .SUCKS TLD, including whether responses were received from the United States Federal Trade Commission or Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs.

      Staff also provided the Committee with an update on the DCA Trust v. ICANN Independent Review Proceeding concerning the .AFRICA TLD.

      The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 15 June 2015

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."