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New gTLD Program Updates

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A ICANN offers a set of announcements for public discussion as meeting in Sydney nears. The announcements include:

New Explanatory Memo for Pre-delegation Testing for New gTLDs

The module 5 of the Draft Applicant Guidebook version 2 available since early February describes procedures applicable at the concluding stages of the gTLD application process, more specifically, a pre-delegation test addressing technical and other requirements the applicant will be asked to fulfill.

ICANN is posting today the Pre-Delegation Testing explanatory memoranda [PDF, 108K]. This explanatory memo has been incorporated to the following currently open public comment forum http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/comments-e-en.htm. The deadline for comments is 20 July 2009.

The purpose of the pre-delegation technical test is to verify the applicant has met its commitment to establish registry operations in accordance with ICANN’s technical and operational criteria described in the Applicant Guidebook. The checks are also intended to ensure that the applicant can operate the gTLD in a stable and secure manner. There are three sets of tests or verification: DNS infrastructure testing and prerequisites, registry system testing and prerequisites, and an additional requirement to provide for continuity of basic registry operations.

ICANN encourages comments on the interim language provided. The comments received will be considered for version 3 of the draft Applicant Guidebook, scheduled to be published in September 2009.

IRT Report of Trademark Protection in New gTLDs Public Comment Period Extended

The public comments period for the Final Report on Trademark Protection in New gTLDs [PDF, 299K] prepared by the Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) has been extended to July 6th, 2009.

Malicious Behavior Overarching Issue

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) has provided a working draft of their comprehensive ongoing study on the topic of potential malicious abuse of the DNS and new gTLD expansion.  The draft report [PDF, 360K] describes several issues and is available for review on the ICANN New gTLD Overarching Issues Wiki.

Recommended New gTLD Sessions during ICANN Sydney Meeting

The ICANN Meeting in Sydney (June 21 – 26) will have several New gTLD program sessions. The selection below is a recommendation only and we encourage the ICANN community to see the Sydney schedule for additional details.

Monday, 22 June 2009

New gTLD Program Updates

This session will provide an overview on the progress being made on the New gTLD Program. There will be an opportunity for public feedback.

Workshop on Registry-Registrar Cross-Ownership
One of the remaining issues to be resolved with regard to the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook is what restrictions should be imposed on new gTLD operators concerning the ownership or control of registrars. This Workshop will focus on potential harms and benefits associated with vertical integration of gTLD registries and registrars, and tools ICANN and the community could consider to attempt to address the issue. The workshop will include presentations from a panel of economists, plus an opportunity for comments from interested registries and registrars, other industry stakeholders, and the public.

New gTLD Program: Managing a Registry: Best Practices

At this session, few Top-Level Domain (TLD) Registry managers will share their experience discussing the practical aspects of managing a TLD Registry. This session will cover business, operational and technical aspects of day-to-day Registry management. Some of the topics covered will be: buy vs build; security and scalability considerations; channel management; TLD acceptance issues; IDNs management.

June 24 2009

New gTLD Program – Consultation Session on Trademark Protection & Malicious Behavior

This session is designed to discuss with the community two of the four overarching issues identified in the New gTLD Program: (a) trademark protection; (b) and potential for malicious behavior. This session will be divided in two parts: (1) Trademark Protection - a panel of experts will present and discuss with the community several proposed mechanisms for enhancing protection of intellectual property rights in the New gTLD Program; (2) Malicious Behavior – a panel of experts will provide the community with an update of work done to identify and mitigate potential increases in malicious conduct following the introduction of new gTLDs.

Other New gTLD Related Events

Sydney marks the first of a series of overarching issues consultation sessions ICANN staff is planning to conduct in June and July. The four overarching issues that were identified in the first two public comment periods of the Draft Applicant Guidebook (DAG) are: Trademark Protection; Malicious Behavior; Security & Stability; Scale & Demand (the economic impact of the new gTLDs).

Upcoming live consultation sessions will be held in New York (July 13) and London (July 15).

In addition to the overarching issues consultation sessions described above, ICANN will also be hosting live outreach/educational events and webinars to offer an introduction about New gTLDs, give up-to date program developments and make available relevant ICANN staff for face to face discussions. These events are designed in a wide range of formats to address different levels of knowledge.

A pre-registrations page for these events will be made available soon. For updates, please go to the New gTLD Program page.

Resources:

New gTLD Program: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

Overarching Issues Wiki: https://st.icann.org/new-gtld-overarching-issues/index.cgi?new_gtld_overarching_issues

Sydney Meeting: http://syd.icann.org/

Relevant Open Public Comments:

Trademark Protection (IRT Final Report): http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-200906.html#irt-report

Revised Excerpts of New gTLD Applicant Guidebook (DAG): http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/comments-e-en.htm

New GTLDs and the Internet

Openness Change Innovation

After years of discussion and thought, new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are being expanded. They will allow for more innovation, choice and change to a global Internet presently served by only 21 generic top-level domain names. As a not-for profit corporation dedicated to coordinating the Internet's addressing system, ICANN is not doing this to add to its revenue.  An implementation plan is being developed with opportunities for public comment.  There will be processes for objections. There has also been detailed technical scrutiny to ensure the Internet's stability and security. There will be an evaluation fee but it will recover costs only (expenses so far, application processing and anticipated legal costs).

Promoting competition and choice is one of the principles upon which ICANN was founded. In a world with 1.5 billion Internet users (and growing), diversity, choice and innovation are key.  The Internet has supported huge increases in choice, innovation and the competition of ideas, and expanding new gTLDs is an opportunity for more.

Media Contacts:

Brad White
Director of Media Affairs
Corporate Affairs
ICANN
Ph: +1.202.429.2710
E: brad.white@icann.org

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
E: andrew.robertson@edelman.com


More Announcements
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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."