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Minutes GNSO Council Emergency Meeting

Last Updated:
12 April 2012

Agenda and Documents

The meeting started at 16:02 UTC.

List of attendees:

NCA – Non Voting - Carlos Dionisio Aguirre
Contracted Parties House
Registrar Stakeholder Group: Stéphane van Gelder, Yoav Keren,  Mason Cole
gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group: Jeff Neuman,  Jonathan Robinson,  Ching Chiao – absent, apologies, proxy to Jeff Neuman
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Thomas Rickert

Non-Contracted Parties House
Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG): Wolf-Ulrich Knoben, John Berard, Osvaldo Novoa, David Taylor,  Zahid Jamil, Brian Winterfeldt – absent, temporary alternate Stacy King

Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG): Rafik Dammak,  Wolfgang Kleinwächter,  Mary Wong,  Wendy Seltzer - absent, temporary alternate Robin Gross, Bill Drake – absent, temporary alternate Avri Doria,  Joy Liddicoat – absent, temporary alternate Konstantinos Komaitis
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Lanre Ajayi

GNSO Council Liaisons/Observers
Alan Greenberg – ALAC Liaison
Han Chuan Lee – ccNSO Observer – absent, apologies

David Olive - VP Policy Development
Kurt Pritz - Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Relations
Jamie Hedlund - Vice President of Government Affairs - Americas
Rob Hoggarth - Senior Policy Director
Liz Gasster - Senior Policy Counselor
Julie Hedlund - Policy Director
Margie Milam - Senior Policy Counselor
Marika Konings - Senior Policy Director

Brian Peck - Policy Director
Berry Cobb – Policy consultant
Glen de Saint Géry - GNSO Secretariat
Reed Quinn -  System Administrator

MP3 Recording

Item 1: Administrative matters

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Statement of interest updates
No updates recorded

Councillors and temporary alternates were invited to declare whether they would be impacted by possible applications or names that were similar or related to the names under discussion in item two on the agenda.

 A separate roll call indicated that no one had such interests or involvements.

1.3 Review/amend agenda

No changes noted

Two points of order were clarified:

  • The term 'emergency meeting' could mean 'special' or 'exceptional' thus it was not a specific term. At the Costa Rica Public Council meeting there was a request to have a Council meeting sooner than the next scheduled meeting which the Council agreed upon and decided as a group to go ahead and schedule and in drafting the agenda for the meeting, the term 'emergency was used.
  • Staff confirmed that absentee voting was not called for under these circumstances.

Item 2: Red Cross and Olympic Committee names

Jeff Neuman who proposed the motion stated that the Drafting Team met on 21 March 2012 to discuss the public comments received to date and based on the comments revised the motion. The drafting team was tasked with going back to their constituencies and stakeholder groups for approval and no feedback was received.

Jeff Neuman, seconded by Zahid Jamil and as amended, proposed a motion to recommend to the Board a solution to protect certain RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT (RCRC) and  INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) names at the Top level in New gTLDS

Whereas, the Board Resolution 2011.06.20.01, authorized “the President and CEO to implement the new gTLD program which includes . . . incorporation of text concerning protection for specific requested Red Cross and IOC names for the top level only during the initial application round, until the GNSO and GAC develop policy advice based on the global public interest, . . ." (

Whereas, the IOC/RC Drafting Team established by the GNSO Council has considered a number of different options with respect to protections of both the IOC and the RCRC terms at the top level and has proposed a solution to modify the ICANN staff’s implementation of the Board Resolution as reflected in the Applicant Guidebook dated January 12, 2012 (;

Whereas, the IOC/RC Drafting Team has collaborated with the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) during its deliberations in an attempt to identify a solution that addresses GAC concerns;

Whereas, this proposed solution was posted for public comment on 2 March 2012 on an expedited basis as a matter of urgency in order to enable the Board to consider its adoption for the first round of new gTLD applications, which is scheduled to close on 12 April 2012;

Whereas, the GNSO is mindful that implementation of the Board’s resolution is needed to be available before the end of the Application Window;

Whereas, the GNSO intends that these recommendations be solely limited to the IOC and RCRC;

Whereas, the GNSO recognizes that there might be a policy impact of the protection for the IOC/RCRC for future rounds and at the second level; and

Whereas, therefore, the IOC/RC Drafting Team recommends that the GNSO Council adopt this proposed solution as a recommendation for Board consideration and adoption at its meeting in Costa Rica for the application period for the first round of new gTLD applications’.


Resolved, that the GNSO Council adopts the following three recommendations of the IOC/RC Drafting Team:

Recommendation 1:    Treat the terms set forth in Section as “Modified Reserved Names,” meaning:

  1. The Modified Reserved Names are available as gTLD strings to the International Olympic Committee (hereafter the “IOC”), International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (hereafter “RCRC") and their respective components, as applicable.

  2. Applied-for gTLD strings, other than those applied for by the IOC or RCRC, are reviewed during the String Similarity review to determine whether they are similar to these Modified Reserved Names. An application for a gTLD string that is identified as confusingly similar to a Modified Reserved Name will not pass this initial review.

  3. If an application fails to pass initial string similarity review:

    1. And the applied-for TLD identically matches any of the Modified Reserved Names (e.g., ".Olympic" or ".RedCross"), it cannot be registered by anyone  other than the IOC or the RCRC, as applicable.

    2. If the applied-for TLD is not identical to any of the Modified Reserved Names, but fails initial string similarity review with one of Modified Reserved Names, the applicant may attempt to override the string similarity failure by:

  1. Seeking a letter of non-objection from the IOC or the RCRC, as applicable; or

  2. If it cannot obtain a letter of non-objection, the applicant must:

    1. claim to have a legitimate interest in the string, and demonstrate the basis for this claim; and

    2. explain why it believes that the new TLD is not confusingly similar to one of the protected strings and makes evident that it does not refer to the IOC, RCRC or any Olympic or Red Cross Red Crescent activity.

  3. A determination in favor of the applicant under the above provision (ii)(2) above would not preclude the IOC, RCRC or other interested parties from bringing a legal rights objection or otherwise contesting the determination.

  4. The existence of a TLD that has received a letter of non-objection by the IOC or RCRC pursuant to (ii)(1), or has been approved pursuant to (ii)(2) shall not preclude the IOC or RCRC from obtaining one of the applicable Modified Reserved Names in any round of new gTLD applications.

Recommendation 2:    Protect the IOC/RCRC Terms in as many Languages as Feasible

The GAC has proposed that the IOC and RCRC “names should be protected in multiple languages---all translations of the listed names in languages used on the Internet…The lists of protected names that the IOC and RC/RC have provided are illustrative and representative, not exhaustive.”  The Drafting Team recommends that at the top level for this initial round, the list of languages currently provided in Section of the Applicant Guidebook are sufficient.

In addition, the Drafting Team also notes that even in the unlikely event that a third party applies for an IOC or RCRC term in a language that was not contained on the list, the IOC or RCRC, as applicable, may still file an applicable objection as set forth in the Applicant Guidebook.

Recommendation 3:    Protections must be reviewed after the first round and that review should include consideration of changing the language to general requirements rather than naming specific organizations. 

In its proposal, the GAC has recommended that the protections for the IOC and RCRC should not just apply during the first round of new gTLDs, but should be a permanent protection afforded for all subsequent rounds. The Drafting Team recognizes that permanently granting protection to the IOC and RCRC may have policy implications that require more work and consultation so that protections may be reviewed.

Resolved, that the GNSO submits this proposed solution for Board consideration and adoption at its next meeting as a recommended solution to implement Board Resolution 2011.06.20.01 for implementation in the first round of new gTLD applications.

The motion carried.

Voting results:

Contracted Parties House: 7 votes in favour

Non Contracted Parties House:
7 votes in favour
6 Abstentions

Reasons for abstention:

Avri Doria, temporary alternate for Bill Drake,

After consultation with William Drake, the council member for whom I am a temporary alternate, I make the following Abstention Statement.

The process by which these special protections for the IFRC/IOC have been established have been irregular from the start.

Representatives of the American RC, a component of  the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), both of which are  members of the NCSG,  did not propose these protections through GNSO processes, even though they held a seat on the GNSO Council for 2 years.  The special protections were also never proposed in any of the NCSG discussion forums or committees.

While proposed by the RC in comment statements on the DAG, the proposed changes were never proposed as GNSO policy issues while there was still time for a proper PDP, and changes to the policy were not recommended by the GNSO before the release of the AGB.

And finally, once the Board, in response to GAC advice, made a decision on the creation of new policy concerning a new form of reserved names, the GNSO did not undertake a proper, albeit accelerated development process on the questions that the Board forwarded to the GNSO Council. 

The GNSO Council is now faced with a vote on a motion created by a drafting team but which has never been through a PDP. 

Drafting Teams do not have by-laws or GNSO procedural authority to propose policy changes, only a policy development process can result in such recommendations.

Not only that, but the chair of this Drafting Team chose to disregard the disagreement of 1/4 of the Drafting Team's individual members when he indicated that the group had reached consensus.  The Drafting Team did not reach consensus, but rather majority support.

Additionally, there is very little evidence that the members of the Drafting Team considered the comments other than to ask each other whether anything they had read had changed their minds.

In the Words of Bill Drake: "this process has been end to end irregularity."

This motion is illegitimate and thus should not have been brought to a vote.  In such a circumstance I have no alternative but to abstain.

Mary Wong

(1) I concur with Bill Drake's abstention statement as regards the bypassing of GNSO processes by one of its constituent groups, which never brought the issue before the GNSO either directly or via its Stakeholder Group. Instead, these two groups went directly to the Board and the GAC, such that the GNSO was placed in a tremendously difficult situation and resulted in a last minute change to the Applicant Guidebook after the launch of the application period and less than two weeks before the TLD Application System closes.

(2) My substantive reasons for abstaining today are largely reflected in the public comment filed by the NCSG Policy Committee in response to the Drafting Team's proposal.

(3) Finally, my abstention reflects my role as an elected representative for the NCSG. This issue engendered a long and rigorous debate within the NCSG, and an overwhelming majority of members who spoke up on this issue opposed any changes to the Applicant Guidebook at this stage and to this extent.

Robin Gross – temporary alternate for Wendy Seltzer

I’m abstaining from this because this entire process has been a complete circumvention of the multi-stakeholder bottom up policy development process. It's just been a sham of a proposal cooked up by a couple of lobbyists and shoved down the GNSO's throat, so that's why I'm abstaining.

Wolfgang Kleinwächter

I abstain because I think the first problem is it's not in my eyes in line with the bottom up transparent policy development process. The second reason is that it does not think through the invisible consequences such a decision has for other cases.

Konstantinos Komaitis, temporary alternate for Joy Liddicoat

 First of all, I am against the substantial advice to these recommendations and haven't participated in the drafting team. One question that hasn't been answered, which I find pretty remarkably, is why the RPM's are not efficient and they're asking for more protection. Despite these issues, the substantial issues, these procedural flaws can also be identified in the process.

            The idea that we need to push these recommendations and vote on them before the April 12th deadline - the drafting team was willing at least to bypass many procedural issues that constitute the court of eye institutional framework, so I am concerned that the drafting team did not even consider in detail the comments, did not even give consideration on them, so because I feel that this procedure will set a precedent and set a precedent within the processes, I will abstain from voting, thanks.

Rafik Dammak: I am abstaining to avoid the downfall of the GNSO Council

As there was no other business, Stéphane van Gelder adjourned the GNSO Council meeting and thanked everyone for their participation.

The meeting was adjourned at 16:47 UTC.

The next GNSO Council meeting will be on Thursday, 12 April 2012 at 11:00 UTC.
See: Calendar