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New Draft of the Applicant Guidebook for New gTLDs is Available for Public Comment

Guidebook and Public Comment Forum

ICANN has posted for public comment today the April 2011 Discussion Draft of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook.

In keeping with the draft timeline [PDF, 117 KB] approved by the ICANN Board at its meeting in San Francisco, this draft of the Applicant Guidebook will be open for comment for 30 days, through 15 May 2011.

This posting includes a "track changes" version of the six modules of the Applicant Guidebook, along with a series of new Explanatory Memos related to changes made as a result of the recent consultations between ICANN's Board and Governmental Advisory Committee:

  1. Trademark Protections (Trademark Claims & Sunrise Services; and The Requirement for Demonstrating Use) [PDF, 284 KB]
  2. GAC and Government Objections; Handling of Sensitive Strings; Early Warning [PDF, 91 KB]
  3. Exemptions to Objection Fees for Governments [PDF, 331 KB]
  4. Root Zone Scaling [PDF, 286 KB]
  5. Market and Economic Impacts [PDF, 480 KB]
  6. Registry-Registrar Separation [PDF, 400 KB]

These memos were developed to document the latest position on these topics by taking into account the current thinking, discussions and public comments received. Each memo not only reflects GAC advice but also contains the reasoning and rationale on each of the relevant issues regarding the launch of the New gTLD Program and Applicant Guidebook.

Also being posted today is the ICANN Reply [PDF, 275 KB] to the GAC Comments (on the ICANN Board's Notes on the GAC Scorecard).

Keeping with the draft timeline, ICANN plans post a final version of the guidebook by 30 May 2011, in time for consideration of the New gTLD implementation program at an extraordinary meeting of the ICANN Board to be held on Monday, 20 June 2011, at the ICANN meetings in Singapore.

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Domain Name System
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."