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GNSO Initial Report on Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy: Clarification of Reasons for Denial

The GNSO Initial Report on Inter/Registrar Transfer Policy: Clarification of Reasons for Denial [PDF, 229K] has been posted for comment.

In September 2007, a report into the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (the rules for transfer of domain names between registrars) asked ICANN to draw up an Issues Report to review possible changes. Four clauses in the policy were identified as being unclear when it came to denying a transfer, something that had led to a variation in practices between registrars.

The Issues Report [pdf] went into greater overall detail and was then put out for comment to the GNSO's constituences. That process is captured in an Initial Report [pdf] which is now being put out for public comment as the first step in a Policy Development Process (PDP) per ICANN's bylaws. The report concludes that there is general support for more work being done on clarifying the language in the policy. Some suggested wording for those changes is contained in the constituency comments in an appendix at the end of the Initial Report.

Comments are sought specifically on the interpretation and phrasing of the four reasons for transfer denials, as further elaborated in the report.

A summary/analysis of comments to this public comment period will form part of a final report to the GNSO Council chair near the end of April. The Issues Report and this Final Report will then form the basis of discussion by the GNSO Council toward possible changes.

The comment period will be from 18 March 2008 to 7 April 2008. Comments may be submitted by email to transfer-policy-2008@icann.org and may be viewed at http://forum.icann.org/lists/transfer-policy-2008/.


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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."