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Proposed .BIZ, .INFO AND .ORG gTLD Registry Agreements

On 27 June 2006, ICANN posted for public information proposed new registry agreements for the operation of each of the .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registries. ICANN staff continued to work with each of the current operators of these registries to finalize these proposed agreements and appendices. On 18 July 2006, the ICANN Board of Directors approved the posting of each of these proposed agreements for public comment. A public comment period will remain open until 5:00 PM PDT/California, 28 August 2006. At that time the comments will be submitted to the Board of Directors for the Board to consider at its meeting on 13 September 2006.

Key terms for the proposed agreements, and differences from the 2001 .BIZ and .INFO registry agreements and 2003 .ORG registry agreement, include the following:

Term of New Agreements. The proposed .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements provide for an initial six year term. Each of the proposed .BIZ and .INFO agreements would expire, absent renewal, at the end of December 2012, and the proposed .ORG agreement would expire at the end of June 2013, absent renewal.

Presumptive Renewal. The proposed new .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements each provide for presumptive renewal, absent material and repeated breach of the agreement by the registry operator. This is consistent with each of the 2005 .NET registry agreement, and the proposed new .COM registry agreement. With respect to the terms of any subsequent agreement negotiated with the registry operators for the continued operation of the .BIZ. .INFO and .ORG registries, the proposed agreements provide that adaption of renewal terms will be via comparison to the five "most reasonably comparable" gTLDs, as compared to the "five largest gTLDs" language of the 2005 .NET agreement and the proposed new .COM agreement.

Lifting of Price Controls on Registry Services. Following extensive consideration and discussion, each of the proposed new .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements provide for the lifting of price controls formerly imposed on the pricing of registry services. However, in order to protect incumbent domain name registrants and allow time for planning by those in the registry and registrar communities, the form of registry-registrar agreement proposed with each of the new registry agreements requires six months advance notice by the registry operator of any price increase in registry services. This is consistent with the notice period required under the registry-registrar agreement implemented with the 2005 .NET registry agreement, and the registry-registrar agreement included with the proposed new .COM registry agreement.

Fees Payable to ICANN. The proposed new .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements provide for a sliding scale of transactional fees payable to ICANN per annual increment of a domain name, starting with $0.15 in 2007 and 2008, $0.20 in 2009 and 2010, and increasing to $0.25 in 2011 and 2012* (*the proposed new .ORG registry agreement has a fee schedule implementation date of July 2007, and will continue through June 2013). The per name transaction fees, however, are subject to adjustment depending on the average price of domain name registrations during each calendar quarter throughout the term of the agreement. Each of the proposed new agreements provide only for a transactional fee component payable to ICANN, with no fixed fee. This is a markedly different approach from the fixed fee established in the 2001 .BIZ and .INFO registry agreements, and 2003 .ORG registry agreement, and is intended to appropriately scale the fees payable by each registry to ICANN to the success or decline of the registry business.

Consensus Policy Implementation and Limitations. Each of the 2001 .BIZ and .INFO registry agreements, and the 2003 .ORG registry agreement, required each of the registry operators to comply with and implement established consensus and temporary policies, including as pertained to a list of enumerated topics. This list was updated for the 2005 .NET registry agreement, and the identical list has been incorporated into each of the proposed .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements. In addition, each of the proposed new .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements contains the same set of limitations on the adoption of consensus policies as the proposed new .COM registry agreement. This list of limitations is also identical to those limitations provided for in the 2005 .NET registry agreement, with the exception of the limitation on modification to the procedure for consideration of new registry services being limited to two years after the established effective date of the proposed .BIZ, .COM, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements, which is three years following the effective date of the 2005 .NET registry agreement.

Process for Approval of New Registry Services. The same set of procedures, steps, and requirements for the approval of proposed new registry services has been included in the proposed .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements as previously seen in the 2005 .NET registry agreement, and the proposed .COM registry agreement.

Data Escrow Provisions. The security and functionality of the registry data escrow has been a significant focus in the new forms of registry agreements negotiated by ICANN since 2005. Accordingly, the requirements for data escrow by each of the registries, as well as the requirements for the relationship between registry operator and data escrow agent, have been expanded and clarified in the proposed new registry agreements.

Other Standardized Terms. Consistent with the proposed new .COM registry agreement, each of the proposed .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements contains a Section 3.1(f) on the use for statistical purposes only of "traffic data." The 2005 .NET registry agreement did not contain this provision, however the inclusion of this provision was negotiated by each of the .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry operators to provide for consistency with the proposed new .COM registry agreement, although this does not imply that these registries will implement said provision.


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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."