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Next Steps on Proposed .com Settlement

On 24 October 2005, ICANN announced proposed settlement terms between ICANN and VeriSign, including a proposed new .COM agreement. Since then, ICANN has been conducting extensive public consultations on the proposed settlement. At its 24th International Public Meeting in Vancouver this week, the ICANN Board has been engaged in consultations with the ICANN community on this topic, among others.

Today at its Board meeting, ICANN Chairman, Vint Cerf, announced:

"The Board has listened long and hard this week to all constituencies and internet users who participated with regard to the .COM agreements and the settlement proposals."

"We are deeply grateful to the efforts made by all of those who contributed positively to respond to the Board's invitation to organize comments on the proposals and to provide, where possible, concrete suggestions for improving them.

"We are also very grateful for the time each constituency spent going over with the Board their ideas and reactions.

"We ask the staff to accept any further written comments until December 7 and to produce for the community a public report summarizing, analyzing and organizing the feedback provided on the .com and settlement agreements by December 11.

"We recommend that staff approach VeriSign with the results of the report on the proposed contract and settlement. We remind all parties that the Board has not yet agreed to the terms of the contract and settlement.

"We also note the existence of a policy development process on new gTLDs and strongly believe that this policy development process should be informed by the results of the comments received on the proposed contract for .com and settlement with VeriSign."


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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."