Minutes | Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee 20 November 2013

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.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 20 November 2013 at 16:45 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), Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, and Kuo-Wei Wu.

Jonne Soininen (IETF Liaison) and was in attendance as a non-voting liaison to the Committee. Francisco da Silva (TLG Liaison) and Heather Dryden 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, GDD); Michelle Bright (Board Support Manager); Allen Grogan (Chief Contracting Counsel); Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel); Jamie Hedlund (Advisor to the President/CEO); Kevin Kreuser (Senior Counsel); Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel); Cyrus Namazi (Vice President, DNS Industry Engagement); Karine Perset (Senior Director of Board Support); Erika Randall (Counsel); 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 20 November 2013.

  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Main Agenda
    1. Report on String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations
    2. GAC Advice regarding .WINE and .VIN
    3. Reconsideration Request 13-12, Tencent Holdings Limited
    4. AOB


  1. Consent Agenda

  2. The Chair introduced the items on the consent agenda and called for a vote. Chris Disspain moved and George Sadowsky seconded the resolution.

    The Committee then took the following action:

    Resolved (2013.11.20.NG01), the NGPC approves the minutes of the 7 October and 5 November 2013 meetings of New gTLD Program Committee.

    All members of the Committee present voted in favor of Resolution 2013.11.20.NG01. The Resolution carried.

  3. Main Agenda

    1. Report on String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations

      The Committee postponed consideration of this agenda item for further discussion at a subsequent meeting.

    2. GAC Advice regarding .WINE and .VIN

      The President and CEO provided the Committee with an update on ICANN's efforts to facilitate a dialogue between non-government parties and the .VIN applicant concerning potential safeguards for the .VIN string. He clarified ICANN's limited role in the dialogue, noting that ICANN would provide meeting space and an opportunity for the parties to engage in a discussion.

      Chris Disspain commented that the discussion should include wine growers from non-European countries, while Erika Mann suggested that the issue is whether the solution reached could work for wine producers in other parts of the world.

      Chris reiterated that it would be inappropriate for governments to be involved in these discussions, and recommended that the Committee's role be limited and carefully considered.

      Gonzalo Navarro stated that ICANN should continue to facilitate the dialogue if the parties are willing, and Erika agreed that the Committee should wait to see what kind of proposed resolution the parties produce. Olga Madruga-Forti commented that ICANN should not participate in the dialogue or insist that such a dialogue occur.

      Gonzalo noted that in some parts of the community, a commercial solution to the issue may be acceptable, but such a solution may not solve the complicated political issue that is beyond commercial agreements.

      Bill Graham, Erika and Gonzalo made note of the delicate nature of the matter given the competing interests involved, and highlighted some of the potential risks involved in not having governments as part of the dialogue. Bill commented that the Committee will eventually need to make a decision on the GAC advice.

      Olga Madruga-Forti asked whether facilitating a dialogue was inconsistent with the processes established by the Applicant Guidebook, and the General Counsel and Secretary provided an overview of what was contemplated in the Applicant Guidebook.

      Mike Silber noted that future consideration should be given to looking at the impact on the public benefit or the Internet ecosystem of allowing consensual agreements between private parties to resolve the types of issues at hand.

      The Committee considered possible next steps for addressing the GAC's advice regarding .WINE and .VIN, and the Chair committed the Committee to continuing to monitor the issues and considering the matter further in light of any additional advice that the GAC may issue in its Buenos Aires Communiqué.

    3. Reconsideration Request 13-12, Tencent Holdings Limited

      The Chair presented the Committee with an overview of background information concerning Reconsideration Request 13-12, nothing that the Board Governance Committee recommended that the Reconsideration Request be denied.

      Chris Disspain moved and George Sadowsky seconded the resolution to accept the BGC's recommendation.

      The Committee discussed the complexity of the background information giving rise to this specific Reconsideration Request, and the Reconsiderations Requests in general. Kuo-Wei Wu provided some additional background information on the parties in the Reconsideration Request to assist the Committee in its deliberations.

      George Sadowsky commented that the Committee's briefing materials on Reconsideration Requests need to be re-drafted to better aid in the Committee's deliberation of the issues. Olga Madruga-Forti agreed, and made suggestions about how to structure the briefing materials to address the concerns.

      Ray Plzak asked whether the Committee had a deadline to take action on the BGC's recommendation.

      The Chair directed staff to re-draft the briefing materials to aid in the Committee's deliberation of the issues. The Committee agreed to consider Reconsideration Request 13-12 at a subsequent meeting.

    4. AOB

      Ray Plzak addressed the need for the Committee to establish a long-term meeting schedule to provide predictability for meetings dates as the Committee works through its list of open items. Ray also suggested that the Committee consider establishing a work plan, to the extent possible, to resolve open items. The Chair agreed to work with the Committee members on establishing a regular meeting schedule.

      The Chair then called the meeting to a close.

Published on 10 January 2014