This public comment proceeding seeks to obtain community input on the seven recommendations of the Generic Names Supporting Organization's Policy Development Process on Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information.
Section I: Description and Explanation
At its meeting on 24 June 2015, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council unanimously adopted the following recommendations, which will be submitted to the Board for adoption after the conclusion of this public comment period:
Recommendation #1 The Working Group recommends that it is not desirable to make transformation of contact information mandatory. Any parties requiring transformation are free to do so on an ad hoc basis outside Whois or any replacement system, such as the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP). If not undertaken voluntarily by registrar/registry (see Recommendation #5), the burden of transformation lies with the requesting party.
Recommendation #2 Whilst noting that a Whois replacement system should be capable of receiving input in the form of non-ASCII script contact information, the Working Group recommends its data fields be stored and displayed in a way that allows for easy identification of what the different data entries represent and what language(s)/script(s) have been used by the registered name holder.
Recommendation #3 The Working Group recommends that the language(s) and script(s) supported for registrants to submit their contact information data may be chosen in accordance with gTLD-provider business models.
Recommendation #4 The Working Group recommends that, regardless of the language(s)/script(s) used, it is assured that the data fields are consistent to standards in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), relevant L Policy, Additional Whois Information Policy (AWIP) and any other applicable polices. Entered contact information data are validated, in accordance with the aforementioned Policies and Agreements and the language/script used must be easily identifiable.
Recommendation #5 The Working Group recommends that if the transformation of contact information is performed, and if the Whois replacement system is capable of displaying more than one data set per registered name holder entry, these data should be presented as additional fields (in addition to the authoritative local script fields provided by the registrant) and that these fields be marked as transformed and their source(s) indicated.
Recommendation #6 The Working Group recommends that any Whois replacement system, for example RDAP, remains flexible so that contact information in new scripts/languages can be added and expand its linguistic/script capacity for receiving, storing and displaying contact information data.
Recommendation #7 The Working Group recommends that these recommendations are coordinated with other Whois modifications where necessary and are implemented and/or applied as soon as a Whois replacement system that can receive, store and display non-ASCII characters, becomes operational.
Recommendation 1 received consensus and a minority view with regard to Recommendation #1 was included in the Final Report:
Working Group member Petter Rindforth, in line with the position taken by his Constituency, the Intellectual Property Constituency (ICP),1 recommends mandatory translation and/or transliteration (transformation) of contact information in all generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
Although he agrees that there are situations where the contact information in the local language of the registrant is the primary version, such as to identify the registrant in preparation for a local legal action, there are a number of situations where a global WHOIS search, providing access to data in as uniform a fashion as possible, is necessary for the data registration service to achieve its goals of providing transparency and accountability in the DNS. See also 5.1.1 explaining the Working Group's arguments supporting mandatory transformation of contact information in all generic top-level domains.
Recommendations 2-7 received full consensus.
1 see also 5.1.1 and the Public Comment Review Tool (Annex B).
Section II: Background
The Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group (the "Working Group") is concerned with the way that contact information data – commonly referred to as 'Whois' – are collected and displayed within generic top-level domains (gTLDs). According to the Charter [PDF, 185 KB] (see also Annex A), the Working Group 'is tasked to provide the GNSO Council with a policy recommendation regarding the translation and transliteration of contact information. As part of its deliberations on this issue, the Working Group should, at a minimum, consider the following issues:
- Whether it is desirable to translate contact information to a single common language or transliterate contact information to a single common script?
- Who should decide who should bear the burden [of] translating contact information to a single common language or transliterating contact information to a single common script?'
Section III: Relevant Resources
Final Report [PDF, 984 KB]