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GNSO Invites Comments On Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy - Denial of Transfers (Reasons #8 and #9)

At its 25 June 2008 meeting in Paris, France the GNSO Council decided to post for public review and comment proposed new language that seeks to clarify two portions of the existing Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP). The two portions of the policy (identified in the proceeding as Reason # 8 and Reason # 9) apply to parts of the IRTP that govern the denial of transfer requests submitted to the original registrar of record. A drafting group formed by the Council created the language and has asked the GNSO Council to approve its conclusions.


Consistent with ICANN’s obligation to promote and encourage robust competition in the domain name space, the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another should they wish to do so. The policy also provides standardized requirements for registrar processing of such transfer requests from domain name holders. The policy is an existing community consensus that was implemented in late 2004 that is now being reviewed by the GNSO. As part of that effort, the Council formed a Transfers Working Group (TWG) to examine and recommend possible areas for improvements in the existing transfer policy. The TWG identified a broad list of over 20 potential areas for clarification and improvement [PDF, 132K].

In an effort to get improvements on-line as soon as possible, the GNSO Council initiated a policy development process (Transfer PDP 1) to clarify four specific issues regarding reasons for which a registrar of record may deny a request to transfer a domain name to a new registrar.

The IRTP identifies nine reasons for which a registrar of record may deny a request to transfer a domain name to a new registrar. The TWG noted that the language is unclear on a subset of four of these reasons, which has resulted in varying interpretations and practices among registrars. The four clauses in that subset are:

1. (Reason # 5 in the policy). No payment for previous registration period (including credit card charge-backs) if the domain name is past its expiration date or for previous or current registration periods if the domain name has not yet expired. In all such cases, however, the domain name must be put into "Registrar Hold" status by the Registrar of Record prior to the denial of transfer

2. (Reason # 7 in the policy). A domain name was already in “lock status” provided that the Registrar provides a readily accessible and reasonable means for the Registered Name Holder to remove the lock status.

3. (Reason # 8 in the policy). A domain name is in the first 60 days of an initial registration period

4. (Reason # 9 in the policy). A domain name is within 60 days (or a lesser period to be determined) after being transferred (apart from being transferred back to the original Registrar in cases where both Registrars so agree and/or where a decision in the dispute resolution process so directs).

ICANN Staff posted an Initial Report for public comment as part of Transfer PDP 1. The public comments received were used by ICANN Staff to compile a Final Report [PDF, 256K] in early April 2008 for the GNSO Council’s consideration of further steps to take in this PDP. On 17 April 2008, the GNSO Council launched a drafting group to develop suggested text modifications for Reasons 5, 7, 8 and 9.

This Document:

The drafting group delivered a Final Draft Report [PDF, 48K] dated 4 June 2008, proposing new textual language for reasons # 8 and # 9, while suggesting that denial reasons # 5 and # 7 be considered within a separate proposed PDP or a future PDP that offers a stronger linkage with those issues.

The Council agreed with the recommendations of the drafting group. It decided to withdraw Reasons # 5 and # 7 from the current PDP. It also directed staff to post the proposed new text for Reasons # 8 and # 9 for constituency and public comments and report back to the Council with a summary of the comments received.

Deadline and How To Submit Comments:

You can read the recommendations regarding Reasons # 8 and # 9 with the proposed new language here: [PDF, 32K]

Comments on the document are welcome via email to through 18 July 2008.

Access to the public comment forum from which comments can be posted can be found here:

An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at

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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."