Background on establishment of the committee
October 2002, the ICANN CEO’s action plan on gTLDs made the recommendation below.
Part III Recommendation: As ICANN proceeds with its new TLD evaluation process – and, if the Board concurs, with an additional round of new sponsored TLDs – this basic question of taxonomic rationalization should be addressed within the ICANN process. Accordingly, it is my recommendation to the ICANN Board that the DNSO and its Names Council be requested to develop and submit its advice and guidance on the issue.
December 2002, the Board agreed with the recommendation and made the three resolutions below.
Whereas, the Board accepted the report of the ICANN New TLD Evaluation Process Planning Task Force (NTEPPTF) at its meeting on 23 August 2002;
Whereas, at that meeting the Board instructed the President to develop a plan for action for approval by the Board;
Whereas, the President presented An Action Plan Regarding New TLDs for discussion at the Public Forum in Shanghai on 30 October 2002, and posted that Action Plan for public comment on 8 November 2002;
Whereas, comments have been received, posted, and evaluated regarding that Action Plan;
Whereas, the Action Plan was again discussed at the Public Forum in Amsterdam on 14 December 2002; and
Whereas, the Action Plan recommends that key recommendations of the NTEPPTF report be implemented; that certain questions regarding the future evolution of the generic top-level namespace be referred for advice to the GNSO described in Article X of the New Bylaws approved in Shanghai on 31 October 2002 and as further refined at this meeting; and that steps be taken towards approval of a limited number of new sponsored gTLDs;
§ Resolved [02.150] that the Board authorizes the President to take all steps necessary to implement those aspects of the NTEPPTF recommendations as specified in the Action Plan;
§ Resolved [02.151] that the Board requests the GNSO to provide a recommendation by such time as shall be mutually agreed by the President and the Chair of the GNSO Names Council on whether to structure the evolution of the generic top level namespace and, if so, how to do so;
§ Resolved [02.152] that the Board directs the President to develop a draft Request for Proposals for the Board's consideration in as timely a manner as is consistent with ICANN staffing and workload for the purpose of soliciting proposals for a limited number of new sponsored gTLDs.
February 2003, ICANN’s general counsel has clarified that the Board asked for the GNSO Council to formulate and communicate its views on two separate questions. The questions are:
a. whether to structure the evolution of the generic top level namespace and,
b. if there should be structuring, how to do so.
Meeting of 6 February
Philip Sheppard (chair); Marilyn Cade, Grant Forsyth (BC); Laurence Djolakian, Ellen Shankman (IPC); Ken Stubbs (registrars); Tony Harris (ISP); Cary Karp, Jordyn Buchanan (gTLDs); Glen de St Gery (secretariat).
Status of constituency statements
The constituencies present believed that would be able to circulate a position or have a general constituency perspective within the 1 March deadline.
The following points evolved during discussion:
Scope of the task had to be clarified (see above).
Proposals based on discussion
On the question a). whether to structure the evolution of the generic top level namespace, the committee endorsed the preference of the Lynn action plan, that there should be some form of structure.
On the question b). if there should be structuring, how to do so, the following points were raised:
§ Structure implied future names would be in some way sponsored.
§ Predetermining a list of names was problematic: an alternative means for structure was needed.
§ There should be a semantic connection between the name and the sponsor.
§ A new gTLD should be akin to a franchise, and therefore not owned by the sponsor/registry; so as to permit transfer away from a failed sponsor/registry to an alternative.
§ The bid price of future applications for names should discourage spurious applicants, but should also not penalize losers beyond the actual administrative costs.