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Public Comment: Proposal for Renewal of the .NET Registry Agreement

ICANN is today posting a proposed draft renewal agreement for the operation of the .NET registry. The current .NET Registry Agreement is due to expire on 30 June 2011.

ICANN's gTLD registry agreements provide for presumptive renewal so long as certain requirements are met. The agreements also provide that upon renewal, changes may be made in the agreement to render the terms similar to other comparable agreements. The proposed renewal agreement from Verisign includes modified provisions to bring the .NET agreement into line with other comparable agreements (e.g. BIZ, COM, INFO, ORG), including terms such as traffic data, limitation of liability, indemnification, assignment, and notice provisions.

In addition to the changes to bring .NET into conformance with other agreements, Verisign has requested a change to give more flexibility for the registry to take action to prevent the registration of particular domain names when necessary in order to protect the security and stability of the DNS and the Internet – such as the actions that were taken by Verisign and other registries in coordination with ICANN in order to mitigate the threat from the Conficker virus.

One other significant change to the agreement would give the registry operator more flexibility to offer training, technical support, marketing or incentive programs for the purpose of supporting the development of the Internet in underserved markets.

The appendices to the agreement are also generally consistent with the current agreement. There are limited updates and deletion of obsolete provisions to Appendices 4, 7 and 10 – readily apparent in the redline document. These updates reflect changes to technical protocols and refinement of reporting requirements.

The following documents are provided for public comment:

Public comment may be submitted to net-agreement-renewal@icann.org through 10 May 2011 and viewed at http://forum.icann.org/lists/net-agreement-renewal/


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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."