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Proposed Contract Amendments from RegistryPro Posted for Public Comment

ICANN has received a proposal from RegistryPro, operator for the .PRO top-level domain, requesting a set of changes to the .PRO registry agreement. These changes are being posted for public comment prior to consideration by the ICANN Board of Directors. .PRO is a restricted TLD, currently available for registration by credentialed professionals and related entities.

Current Requirements for Registering .PRO Names

In accordance with the current .PRO Registry Agreement between ICANN and RegistryPro, eligible registrants may register .PRO domain names consistent with the following parameters:

  1. Third-level registrations are currently available under profession-specific second-level domains (e.g., med.pro). Currently available profession-specific second-level domains (PS-SLDs) are med.pro, law.pro, cpa.pro, eng.pro, and ing.pro. An authentication and verification process confirms that the registrant meets the eligibility requirements for the specific PS-SLD (for example, verifying that a registrant under med.pro is a licensed medical professional). An example of this type of registration would be <smith.med.pro>.
  2. Second-level registrations with a redirect to a third-level registration are currently available to registrants who meet the eligibility requirements for one of the PS-SLDs above. For example, a registrant might register a the name <smith.pro>, which would redirect to <smith.med.pro>.
  3. Second-level registrations are currently available under .PRO in the case where a registrant provides multiple professional services and meets eligibility requirements for two or more PD-SLDs. An example of this type of registration would be <smithconsulting.pro>, if Smith Consulting employs both lawyers and accountants.

Proposed Requirements for Registering .PRO Names

The contract amendments proposed by RegistryPro would enable the registry to allow registrations in .PRO according to the following parameters:

  1. Third-level registrations under PS-SLDs (e.g., med.pro) would continue to be available. However, the list of PS-SLDs offered would be expanded to include additional professions.
  2. Second-level registrations would be available to professionals who either: a) meet the eligibility requirements for any of the PS-SLDs, or b) are licensed by, and in good standing with, a jurisdictional licensing entity recognized by a governmental body and requiring its members to be continuously licensed or admitted to such body or entity as a prerequisite to providing the relevant professional service. A redirect to a corresponding third-level name would not be required.
  3. Second-level registrations would continue to be available under .PRO in the case where a registrant provides multiple professional services and meets eligibility requirements for two or more profession-specific second-level domains.
  4. When registering a .PRO domain name, all registrants would be required to agree to abide by the specified Terms of Use, and to re-sign the Terms of Use annually. Current .PRO registrants would also be required to agree to the Terms of Use upon renewal.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Registration Requirements

Current:

2nd Level (e.g., smith.pro)

3rd Level (e.g., smith.med.pro)

Entities meeting the eligibility requirements for two or more PS-SLDs

Credentialed professionals in the medical, law, accounting, and engineering professions

Credentialed professionals in the medical, law, accounting, and engineering fields (names must redirect to a third-level name)

Proposed:

2nd Level (e.g., smith.pro)

3rd Level (e.g., smith.pro)

Any credentialed professional who agrees to Terms of Use

Credentialed professionals in any PS-SLD-designated professions

Entities meeting the eligibility requirements for two or more professions

 

Additional Background on RegistryPro Request

After some preliminary discussions with ICANN staff, RegistryPro submitted to ICANN on 12 March 2008 a formal request to amend its Registry Agreement to allow it to offer expanded types of domain registrations.

The request included:

  1. Outreach letter describing the purpose of and proposed changes to registry agreement. [PDF, 17K]
  2. A redlined Appendix L incorporating changes to the naming conventions and registration requirements as summarized above. [PDF, 157K]
  3. A redlined Appendix F (Registry-Registrar Agreement) including the proposed Terms of Use provisions. [PDF, 153K]

Public Comment Requested

Public comment is being solicited on the proposed changes. Comments may be submitted to rproproposal@icann.org by 10 April 2008. Comments may be viewed at http://forum.icann.org/lists/rproproposal.


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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."