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President Appoints Joint Working Group for WIPO-2 Process Issues

Dr. Paul Twomey, ICANN's President, is pleased to announce a Joint Working Group concerning the results of the WIPO Second Internet Domain Name Process (WIPO-2 Process). The President was directed to appoint a Joint Working Group resulting from a Board Resolution of 2 June 2003 (text of resolution provided below) and consultation with the Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO) and its constituencies, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).

Dr. Paul Twomey, ICANN's President, is pleased to announce a Joint Working Group concerning the results of the WIPO Second Internet Domain Name Process (WIPO-2 Process). The President was directed to appoint a Joint Working Group resulting from a Board Resolution of 2 June 2003 (text of resolution provided below) and consultation with the Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO) and its constituencies, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).

The Joint Working Group is tasked with analyzing the practical and technical aspects of implementing WIPO-2 Process recommendations in a manner consistent with ICANN's mission, and the implications for the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

The Joint Working Group shall initially consist of the following individuals:

GNSO Members - Philip Sheppard, Commercial and Business Users Constituency; Michael Froomkin, Non-Commercial Users Constituency; David Maher, gTLD Registries Constituency; Mike Heltzer, Intellectual Property Interests Constituency; Robert F. Connelly, Registrars Constituency; and Maggie Mansourkia, Internet Service and Connectivity Providers Constituency.

GAC Members - Vanda Scartezini (BR), Christian Wichard (WIPO). Lena Carlson (SE). Jean-Christophe Chouvet (FR), Olive Chikankheni (Malawi), Richard Hill (ITU) and Martin Boyle (UK)

ALAC Members - Sebastian Ricciardi (Argentina) and Wendy Seltzer (USA)

The Joint Working Group will be chaired by Jonathan Cohen, a former member of ICANN's Board. ICANN staff support and advice shall be provided by ICANN's General Counsel, John Jeffrey (<jeffrey@icann.org>).

The Joint Working Group will report to the President on a proposed work program by the completion of the ICANN Meeting in Carthage, and will report to the Board at the ICANN Meeting in Rome. The President will consider whether to add members to the Joint Working Group by the close of the ICANN Meeting in Carthage.

The Joint Working Group will report to the President on a proposed work program by the completion of the ICANN Meeting in Carthage, and will report to the Board at the ICANN Meeting in Rome. The President will consider whether to add members to the Joint Working Group by the close of the ICANN Meeting in Carthage.

As background, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) sent ICANN a letter dated 21 February 2003 providing information about two decisions, concerning recommendations about the names and acronyms of International Intergovernmental Organizations and about the names of countries, which WIPO member states requested be transmitted to ICANN. Subsequently, the ICANN Board invited the ICANN supporting organizations and advisory committees to make preliminary comments on the letter.

The Second Internet Domain Name Process evaluated whether procedures should be instituted to address domain-name issues arising in connection with personal names; International Nonproprietary Names for Pharmaceutical Substances; names of international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs); geographical indications; indications of source or geographical terms; and tradenames. After various consultative processes within WIPO, the WIPO member states recommended that two categories of identifiers should be protected against abusive registration as domain names, namely, the names and acronyms of IGOs and country names (being one particular type of geographical identifier). Some member states disassociated themselves from one or both of these recommendations.

In its meeting of 2 June 2003, the Board resolved:

Whereas, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) sent ICANN a letter dated 21 February 2003 providing information about two decisions, concerning recommendations about the names and acronyms of International Intergovernmental Organizations and about the names of countries, which WIPO member states requested be transmitted to ICANN;

Whereas, in resolution 03.22 the Board requested the President to inform the Governmental Advisory Committee, the Supporting Organizations, and the other Advisory Committees of the 21 February 2003 letter from WIPO and to invite their comments;

Whereas, advice and comments were received from the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), the GNSO Council, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), and the Intellectual Property Interests and the Commercial and Business Users Constituencies of the GNSO;

Whereas, the Board has considered the advice and comments received, as well as the discussion and analysis in the 1 June 2003 General Counsel's Briefing Concerning Policy-Development Process on WIPO-2 Recommendations;

Resolved [03.83] that the President is directed to form, in consultation with the chairs of the GNSO Council, the ALAC, and the GAC, a working group including participants in the GNSO, the ALAC, and the GAC as well as Board members, for the purpose of analyzing the practical and technical aspects of implementing the WIPO recommendations, and notably the implications for the UDRP; and

Further resolved [03.84] that the President and General Counsel are directed to investigate and analyze legal aspects of the relationship between ICANN's mission and the recommendations conveyed by the 12 February 2003 letter from WIPO, and to report to the Board and to the working group formed under resolution 03.83 on the result of that investigation and analysis. Among topics to be considered should be whether implementation of the WIPO recommendations would require ICANN to prescribe adherence to normative rules, not based on established laws, for the resolution of competing third-party claims to rights to register names.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."