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RAA Negotiations - Update

In advance of the Prague Meeting, ICANN is posting a group of documents on the status of negotiation of amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). While ICANN and the Registrars have made progress in the negotiations, the negotiations are not complete and there remain key areas of difference. Of highest priority for ICANN are the areas of Whois verification and data retention requirements, where ICANN and Registrars are not able to agree on certain aspects of the law enforcement recommendations. Because these two areas are so important, ICANN and the registrars are not able to post consolidated, negotiated amendments in advance of the Prague meeting. The memorandum described below explains this more fully; the draft RAA posted reflects ICANN's most recent proposal.

  • In the RAA Negotiations Summary Memo [PDF, 100 KB], we provide detail on the status of the negotiations and provide some discussion on topics that we propose for discussion at the 25 June 2012 public session in Prague on the negotiations. The companion Summary Chart [PDF, 68 KB] provides a short description of the status of negotiations on each of the 12 law enforcement recommendations as well as other negotiation topics. These documents each reflect ICANN's understanding of the status of negotiations.

  • The Draft 2012 RAA [PDF, 244 KB] is ICANN's most recent proposal for a new RAA, and is not a negotiated document. While the draft incorporates many terms that have been the subject of negotiations between the ICANN and Registrar Negotiation Teams, the draft also sets forth ICANN's current negotiating position on issues such as data retention, Whois verification, reseller relationships, and others. The Draft 2012 RAA is for discussion only, and does not reflect or incorporate finalized or approved language. ICANN is not posting a redline comparison of this Draft 2012 RAA to the 2009 RAA, as major portions of the document have been re-structured or re-organized, making a redline difficult to read. Instead, to help identify the changes proposed in the Draft 2012 RAA, we are providing a Summary of Changes [PDF, 343 KB] document that discusses the changes from the 2009 RAA.

    The Draft 2012 RAA is comprised ICANN's proposed language for many separate specifications that will be attached to the RAA, each attached here in ICANN's proposed draft form:

Because the language is not finalized within the draft, ICANN is not at this stage seeking comment on the specific terms and provisions within the Draft 2012 RAA. We do, however, welcome feedback on the discussion topics identified in the RAA Summary Negotiations Memo to help inform the community discussion in Prague. If you have general feedback you'd like to provide, please leave a comment on the RAA Negotiations Status WIKI.

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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."