GNSO Council Teleconference Minutes

Last Updated: 31 August 2009
19 October 2006

19 October 2006

Proposed agenda and related documents

List of attendees:
Philip Sheppard - Commercial & Business Users C. - absent - apologies
Marilyn Cade - Commercial & Business Users C.
Alistair Dixon - Commercial & Business Users C - absent - apologies
Greg Ruth - ISCPC
Antonio Harris - ISCPC
Tony Holmes - ISCPC - absent - apologies
Thomas Keller- Registrars
Ross Rader - Registrars
Bruce Tonkin - Registrars
Ken Stubbs - gTLD registries
June Seo - gTLD registries
Cary Karp - gTLD registries
Lucy Nichols - Intellectual Property Interests C - absent - apologies
Ute Decker - Intellectual Property Interests C
Kiyoshi Tsuru - Intellectual Property Interests C - absent
Robin Gross - NCUC.
Norbert Klein - NCUC.
Mawaki Chango - NCUC - absent
Sophia Bekele - Nominating Committee appointee
Maureen Cubberley - Nominating Committee appointee - absent - apologies
Avri Doria - Nominating Committee appointee

14 Council Members
(20 Votes quorum)

Dan Halloran - Deputy General Counsel
Denise Michel - Vice President, Policy Development
Olof Nordling - Manager, Policy Development Coordination
Liz Williams - Senior Policy Counselor
Maria Farrell - GNSO Policy Officer
Glen de Saint G�ry - GNSO Secretariat

GNSO Council Liaisons
Suzanne Sene - GAC Liaison
Bret Fausett - ALAC Liaison - absent

Jonathan Nevett Registar Constituency chair - invited guest

Rita Rodin - ICANN Board member - absent - apologies

Quorum present at 12:12 UTC.

MP3 Recording

Bruce Tonkin chaired this meeting

Approval of the agenda

Item 1: Update any statements of interest
Ross Rader updated his statement of Interest

Item 2: Approval of the GNSO Council minutes of 28 September 2006.

Ken Stubbs moved the adoption of the minutes.

Motion approved.

Decision 1: The GNSO Council minutes of 28 September 2006 were adopted.

.Item 3: Correspondence
- Letter sent to the Board regarding biz, info, org agreements

Bruce Tonkin has not received a response, but the ICANN Board minutes note that
the ICANN Board has requested the staff to engage an outside agency to deliver findings on economic questions relating to the domain registration market.

- Letter sent to the chair of the GAC regarding advice on new gTLDs

Suzanne Sene, on behalf of the GAC thanked the GNSO Chair for the letter and commented that a proposed response was being drafted which would be sent shortly.

Item 4: Proposed bylaws amendment to improve transparency with respect to contract approvals

- Jon Nevett and Alistair Dixon to provide proposed changes to the wording supplied by the General Counsel
- Jon Nevett to be invited to attend

Jon Nevett, the Registrar Constituency chair, invited to attend the GNSO Council meeting commented that Alistair Dixon proposed alternate language under the new section 7 under the transparency article:

Notice and comment on gTLD agreement approvals:
"With respect to any proposed GTLD registry or registrar agreement that includes contractual provisions that would have an effect materially different from other past or current ICANN agreements, ICANN will notify the GNSO Council and post the proposed agreement for public comment on the ICANN website at least twenty-one days (and if practical, longer) prior to any final approval of the agreement."

Jon Nevett further noted that the General Counsel's language related only to gTLD Registrar and Registry agreements but the question arose whether the scope should include the broader definition of gTLD contracts that, in a transparent organisation should be published for public comment.

Discussion indicated that tenders should be published and pragmatic transparency was favoured on procurement issues. The GNSO, in making a recommendation on transparency should focus on anything that concerned the business of the GNSO. 'Materiality' was a broad term that could be defined in several ways. It could refer to financially material, as well as material within ICANN's mission with respect to security and stability of the Internet. There was also discussion as to whether the bylaw amendment should also cover agreements such as the ccTLD managers agreements, root server operators agreements and the Regional Internet Registries agreements. It was considered overstepping the GNSO mandate to require ICANN to post all agreements or moving into material areas outside of the GNSO scope.

There was general agreement that Jon Nevett would provide revised language to the GNSO Council framed around:
'any contracts with a material impact on the jurisdiction of the GNSO, including but not limited to Registrars and Registries.

Bruce Tonkin referred to the decision taken at the GNSO Council meeting on 28 September 2006:
in relation to the PDPFeb06 Policies for Contractual Conditions: Existing Top Level Domains
c) To ask the General Counsel within 14 days to list all ICANN agreements sections on consensus policy
d) To ask the General Counsel within 14 days to compare and contrast the PDP06 Terms of Reference with the so –called “picket fence” consensus policy areas and provide a without prejudice assessment of likelihood of in or out of scope indicating uncertainty as necessary.

Dan Halloran, Deputy General Counsel, reported that for (c) a draft comparison table for registry agreements was posted
while the response for (d) will be forthcoming during the week.

Item 5: Next steps with respect to IDNs
- Olof Nordling to identify issues that require resolution prior to
issuing a call for new gTLDs that use IDN domains, and propose a
possible new terms of reference

- Consider whether to address terms of reference via a separate PDP, or
initially use a working group approach

Note the GNSO Council did form a working group to review the issues
report in May 2006, see: and this
working group could be re-formed to focus on a few issues in collaboration with the ccNSO.

Olof Nordling referred to the Revised Terms of Reference,
Registering IDN gTLDs labels would require examining a number of issues and determining whether they would be policy or technical. For example, the minimum length of the label in the source script, not to be confused with the coded script, would be at the policy and possibly the implementation level. What rules should govern permissible script/language in an IDN-gTLD label? Should the script/language used for an IDN-gTLD label be exclusively propagated on all lower levels in the sub-domain tree, noting that there is no such restriction in place for current gTLDs? The proposal is to examine the essential elements for launching the first round and then consider whether there are other issues that should be addressed in a more detailed manner from the policy side, such as modifications to the UDRP or WHOIS rules.
The issue could be progressed by either:
- a policy development process,
- a working group approach coordinated with the ccNSO with advice from the technical group to develop guidelines.

Discussion indicated that the document did not reflect the distinction between similarities between strings in the root zone file ( e.g. starting with "xn-") and strings that look similar once rendered onto a users display as a result of an application located on the user's computer. It has not yet been determined how to describe the actual policy concern.

Bruce Tonkin commented that IDNs conceptually were no different from the general topic of reserved words or the constraints on the strings for new gTLDs.
The Amsterdam discussion indicated that strings should be permitted that could be translated on the client side into something that looked like a different script or different set of unicode characters thus the issue would be what technical constraints could be put on the strings.
The Business constituency noted that if consensus policy were developed and adopted any launched IDNs should comply with that consensus policy.

In moving forward, there was general support for a working group model that would monitor developments in the IETF, receive regular briefing from the other relevant groups working on IDNs, and could advise the Council on next steps.

Bruce Tonkin proposed that:
1. The existing IDN working group with its mailing list should be reinstated.
2. Interested constituency members could join.
3. Cary Karp and Olof Nordling would work together to define some of the issues and revise the language.
4. Cary Karp would compile an update of the different documents.

Item 6: Next steps for improving the GNSO structure and processes

The GNSO Review was built into the ICANN bylaws
- Possible approaches for working on PDP process, versus GNSO structure

One of the suggestions that arose from the discussion was that the GNSO have its own dialogue about its evolution and support a cross Supporting Organisation dialogue and at the same time have interaction with the Board and a group of individuals from the GNSO.
There was general agreement that there should be individual participation in an independent group to examine the LSE proposals.
Commonalities in the LSE Review and the Patrick Sharry report should be sought.

Further, it was suggested that the recommendations could be divided into 3 categories:

1. Internal processes, such as the Policy Development Process following up on recommendations from the previous review by Patrick Sharry where a small working group could examine such issues as improving the timelines in the PDP .

2. Resource issues, such as a better structure of the GNSO website, and better communication of the outcomes of the GNSO, which could be a staff function.

3. Structural changes, such as changing the number of constituencies, which could be dealt with by individuals not representing a group and members of the Board.

Denise Michel reported that following up from the resolution passed at the GNSO Council meeting on 28 September 2006

Decision 4.
The GNSO Council resolves
to direct staff to begin gathering the information data, conduct the research and pull together all the back ground and historical information that would be needed for the review and then recommend changes to the PDP.

Work had started on gathering the data on the PDP actions and the basic data would be available in the next few weeks to provide a foundation for revising the work of the PDP.

Denise Michel reminded the Council that the ICANN bylaws required:

"The results of such reviews shall be posted on the Website for public review and comment, and shall be considered by the Board no later than the second scheduled meeting of the Board after such results have been posted for 30 days. The consideration by the Board includes the ability to revise the structure or operation of the parts of ICANN being reviewed by a
two-thirds vote of all members of the Board."

The Board Governance committee, a sub-committee of the ICANN Board, was taking the lead on recommending a road forward and was interested in creating a joint Board-GNSO working group to help guide work in interaction with the community to help develop recommendations for consideration by the community, the Council and the Board. Thus the views expressed by the Council could be accommodated by creating a joint Board - GNSO working group with a specific mandate to address the structural issues. Staff could propose a schedule for the implementation of operational issues that did not require new decisions by the community.
The joint working group could also work closely with a Council working group on the Policy Development Process (PDP) on a set of recommendations that could be developed in conjunction with the Council and the community for consideration going forward. The Board needed an agreed upon process and it was foreseen that a joint Board-GNSO working would be responsible for delivering a set of recommendations that the GNSO, the Board and the community could consider.

It was clarified that a joint Board-GNSO working group would not preclude the GNSO from initiating information gathering on the PDP and the suggestion of a small committee of former task force chairs, and people with experience of the PDP bylaws could be fitted into the joint working group.

Next steps:
The formation of a joint ICANN Board - GNSO working group.

Item 7: Update on planning for Sao Paulo

Currently as is posted on:
The GNSO Council will hold meetings for a full day on Sunday 3 December 2006.
Council members should be prepared to arrive in time.

Item 8: Any other business

8.1 Status Update from PDP Feb06 Policies for Contractual Conditions: Existing Top Level Domains
Interim Chair, Avri Doria,
Bruce Tonkin asked what the anticipated task force timing was taking into account the recent Board resolution,
on the economic analysis that was requested by the ICANN Board on economic questions relating to the domain registration market.
The impact on the PDPFeb06 task force timelines could not yet be determined but it was not foreseen that the work of the task force would stop to wait for the report to be issued.
It was suggested that there be interaction between the economist retained by ICANN and the PDPFeb06 task force, particularly as there would be a public comment period in the near future.

Bruce Tonkin proposed that, in the future, task forces and working groups should deliver written status reports 7 days prior to the GNSO Council meeting.

Bruce Tonkin formally closed the meeting and thanked everybody for participating.

The meeting ended: 13:45 UTC

  • Next GNSO Council teleconference 16 November at 19:00 UTC.
    see: Calendar

    Summary of work Items arising from the minutes:

    1. Arising from Item 4: Proposed bylaws amendment to improve transparency with respect
    to contract approvals
    Jon Nevett to provide revised language to the GNSO Council framed around:
    'any contracts with a material impact on the jurisdiction of the GNSO, including but not limited to Registrars and Registries.

    2. a. The existing IDN working group with its mailing list should be reinstated.

    2. b. Interested constituency members please notify the GNSO secretariat to be subscribed to the working group list

    2. c. Cary Karp and Olof Nordling would work together to define some of the issues and revise the language.

    2. d. Cary Karp to compile an update of the different documents relating to IDNs.

    3. Task forces and working groups to deliver written status reports 7 days prior to the GNSO Council meeting.