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Advisory: Availability of Bulk Transfers in Individual gTLDs

ICANN-accredited registrars are advised that Part B of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy ("Transfer Policy") permits ICANN to approve a bulk transfer of all of a registrar's names in a particular gTLD without requiring simultaneous transfer of its names in other gTLDs.

The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy Part A Policy Development Process Working Group noted in its Final Report to the Generic Names Supporting Organization that some confusion may exist about the availability of "partial bulk transfers," where a registrar might wish to transfer all of its domain names in only one particular gTLD to another ICANN-accredited registrar. This advisory is intended to clarify that Part B of the Transfer Policy does permit ICANN to approve a bulk transfer of all of a registrar's names in a particular gTLD without requiring simultaneous transfer of its names in other gTLDs.

Part B of the Transfer Policy (ICANN-Approved Transfers) makes available a bulk transfer of gTLD names between registrars "as the result of (i) acquisition of that Registrar or its assets by another Registrar, or (ii) lack of accreditation of that Registrar or lack of its authorization with the Registry Operator" where (a) the gaining registrar to the transfer is accredited by ICANN and has in effect a registry-registrar agreement with the registry operator for the affected TLD(s) and (b) ICANN certifies to registry operator that the transfer would promote the community interest, "such as the interest in stability that may be threatened by the actual or imminent business failure of a Registrar." Part B of the Transfer Policy additionally establishes a one-time registry fee of $50,000 charged to the gaining registrar for such transfers, where more than 50,000 names are transferred.

The bulk transfer provision (Part B) of the Transfer Policy is most often invoked in instances where a registrar's Registrar Accreditation Agreement ("RAA") is terminated or expires without renewal. Part B of the Transfer Policy also allows for bulk transfers in cases where a registrar lacks authorization to continue management of domains within a registry, such as where its Registry-Registrar Agreement ("RRA") is terminated. In both cases, ICANN follows the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure to identify an ICANN-accredited registrar to take over management of the names and notifies affected registries that it has approved the bulk transfer. No distinction is made in either the Transfer Policy or the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure between voluntary terminations (those initiated by the registrar) and involuntary terminations (those initiated by ICANN in the case of an RAA or the registry, in the case of an RRA). Furthermore, where a bulk transfer is approved by ICANN due to lack of a registrar's authorization within a registry, there is no requirement that domains in other TLDs be transferred as a result.

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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"""" is not an IDN."