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ICANN Consultation on New gTLD Registry Agreement

ICANN invites community participation in an open consultation regarding the proposed registry agreement for new gTLDs. This meeting is being organized in response to a commitment made by ICANN at its meetings in Seoul to continue discussions with the community about open issues in the agreement, including the process for amending the agreement, aspects of registry services reviews, and restrictions on registry operators' ability to distribute names through affiliated registrars (e.g., vertical separation).

The consultation will be held on Thursday, 7 January 2010, from 14:00 to 20:00 UTC ( A conference call bridge and Adobe Connect access will be available for this discussion and all interested parties are encouraged to participate. ICANN will facilitate this discussion from Washington, DC and space will be available to accommodate some in-person participation.

The reference materials for the consultation include the Registry Agreement published in Draft Applicant Guidebook v3 viewable at [PDF, 683K], the redline version of the Draft Applicant Guidebook from v2 to v3 viewable at [PDF, 1,080K].

If you are interested in participating, please confirm at by 28 December 2009. Please indicate whether you will attend in-person or remotely. Additional details regarding remote participation will be provided in advance of the consultation.

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Domain Name System
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."