Purpose: Third version of the Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR-3) was released for public comment on 25 April 2019, integrating 16 script proposals out of the 28 scripts identified. As the RZ-LGR is being incrementally developed by the community, the RZ-LGR Study Group (SG) was constituted on the request of the ICANN Board to study technical considerations for utilizing the RZ-LGR to determine valid top-level domains (TLDs) and their variant labels in a harmonized manner.
Current Status: The Root Zone Label Generation Rules Study Group (RZ-LGR-SG) has completed its work and is releasing the Recommendations for the Technical Utilization of the Root Zone Label Generation Rules to seek feedback from the community.
Next Steps: RZ-LGR-SG will take into account the community input to finalize the recommendations. The final recommendations will be presented to the ICANN Board for further consideration.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The community has completed Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR) for 18 scripts. The third version, RZ-LGR-3, has been recently released for public comment, which integrates rules for 16 scripts, including Arabic, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Georgian, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Hebrew, Kannada, Khmer, Lao, Malayalam, Oriya, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu and Thai, based on the proposals submitted by the respective GPs. The Armenian and Cyrillic script proposals, which have also been completed, will be considered for integration when LGRs of related scripts, including Greek and Latin, are also finalized.
With the incremental development of the RZ-LGR, the ICANN Board has asked ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees and Internet Architecture Board to study and provide recommendations on the technical use of the RZ-LGR in a harmonized way for IDN TLDs, as a prerequisite to determine possible IDN variant TLD management mechanisms.
Section II: Background
IDN TLDs have been a priority for the ICANN Board for several years, based on the input from the community. The variant labels for IDN TLDs have been an important component for some script communities. Therefore, in September 2010, the ICANN Board asked the ICANN organization and the community to investigate feasible approaches for variant labels of IDN TLDs, while putting the variant TLDs on hold until the work was completed.
In February 2012, the community examined the case studies done for six scripts and noted in the Integrated Issues Report that there were two issues to be addressed: (1) there was no universally acceptable definition of what may constitute a variant relationship between IDN TLD labels at the time; and (2) there was no variant management mechanism defined. Following this report, the ICANN organization and the community developed the RZ-LGR Procedure. This procedure instructed how to build RZ-LGR to define what constitutes a variant relationship between IDN TLD labels. In April 2013, the ICANN Board endorsed this procedure and asked the ICANN organization and community to undertake it, based on which the RZ-LGR is currently being developed.
In addition, in March 2019 ICANN Board also approved the Recommendations for Managing the IDN variant TLDs, finalized by ICANN org after public consultation, and asked the GNSO and ccNSO to take these into account in their policy development process. These recommend using RZ-LGR for determining valid TLDs and their variant labels.