ICANN Announcements

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ICANN and IETF Publish Guidance on How to Use IANA Protocol Parameter Data

10 November 2021

Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announces that it has issued a joint statement with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Trust confirming that the data in the Protocol Registries are intended to be used freely by any party for any purpose. This includes hundreds of thousands of technical data points, all of which have a common purpose of supporting the interoperability of the Internet.

Most of this registry data is expressly intended to be embedded into software implementations of various protocols that make the Internet function. However, a lack of an explicit copyright statement or other licensing terms around this data has resulted in enduring questions about how it may be used.

By providing clarity on these matters, the IANA team believes it will help in some small measure to promote usage of the data by removing potential roadblocks to adopting these key Internet technologies.

IANA Fundamentals

The IANA team is responsible for the operational aspects of coordinating the Internet's unique identifiers and maintaining the trust of the community to provide these services in an unbiased, responsible, and effective manner. Many of these identifiers are defined in Internet protocols that have been developed within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). ICANN provides the IANA functions that pertain to protocol parameters in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding between ICANN and the IETF.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.