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Proposed Final 2013 RAA

Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 22 April 2013
Categories/Tags: Contracted Party Agreements
Purpose (Brief):

After an extended period of negotiations, ICANN is posting a Proposed Final 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) for public comment.

On 7 March 2013, ICANN posted its version of the 2013 RAA for public comment, noting some areas of disagreement between ICANN and the Registrar Negotiating Team (NT). In addition, some of the specifications posted for comment were ICANN versions only. Since the March 7th posting, the Registrar NT has engaged in frequent negotiation sessions with ICANN in order to bring to closure to all of the open negotiation topics and to consider the community comments received from the 7 March posting. As a result, at ICANN's public meeting in Beijing, China, ICANN and the Registrar NT announced that they had reached agreement in principle on each of the outstanding items highlighted in the March posting version. The documents posted today reflect ICANN and the Registrar NT's agreements and are the Proposed Final 2013 RAA.

To allow for transparency into the proposed final version of the 2013 RAA, and to allow community input on the revisions to the RAA since the March 7th posting, ICANN is opening a full comment forum.

ICANN thanks the Registrar Negotiating Team (NT) for its continued engagement in good faith negotiations on the RAA. The RAA posted today reflects hard-fought concessions on many of key issues raised throughout the negotiations.

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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."