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Background Papers | Special Meeting of the Board

Staff Briefing Regarding Proposed Revisions to .org Registry Agreement to Implement Redemption Grace Period

To the Board:

On the agenda for the 19 August 2003 Board meeting is approval of revisions to the .org registry agreement to implement the Redemption Grace Period in that top-level domain.

Background of the Redemption Grace Period

The Redemption Grace Period is an ICANN-proposed initiative to respond to the increasing number of complaints made by customers with domain names that were unintentionally deleted and then registered by someone else, sometimes using the domain name to display content repugnant to the former registrant. Frequently the registrant experienced significant delays and costs (many thousands of dollars paid to the new registrant) in recovering the name and having the former services (web service, e-mail, etc.) restored.

To address these very unfortunate situations, the ICANN staff proposed providing a 30-day period after deletion of every name, in which the domain name would no longer resolve but the former registrant (and only the former registrant) could have the name restored for a fee. After favorable public discussion, the Board concluded that the idea should be further explored. [See also this supplemental paper.] At its Accra meeting held 14 March 2002, the Board adopted the following resolution:

Redemption Grace Period

Whereas, on 14 February 2002 the ICANN staff posted a proposal to establish a Redemption Grace Period for unsponsored TLDs under which names deleted by registrars would be deactivated for thirty days, during which the registrant could redeem the name through a registrar before its being subject to re-registration;

Whereas, the proposal was the topic of discussion by registrars, registry operators, and users, including at numerous meetings, through e-mail, and at the ICANN Public Forum held 13 March 2002 in Accra, Ghana;

Whereas, the commentary received has shown that some domain names are being deleted without the intention of the domain-name holder;

Whereas, the community discussions have demonstrated broad support for the general points of the Redemption Grace Period Proposal, with the recognition that several technical details must be worked out before the proposal can be implemented;

Resolved [02.45] that the President is authorized to convene a technical steering group (including knowledgeable registry and registrar personnel and in consultation with the Domain Name Supporting Organization) to develop a concrete proposal implementing the Redemption Grace Period Proposal, to be considered by the Board at a later meeting after posting on the ICANN web site and an opportunity for public comment.

A technical steering group (consisting of three gTLD registrar representatives and three gTLD registry representatives) was convened and issued a report recommending adoption of the period and providing proposals for implementation details.

The technical steering group's proposal was posted on the ICANN website on 7 June 2002 and received broad community support at the ICANN Public Forum held 27 June 2002 in Bucharest, Romania. In response to this, the Board adopted the following resolution in Bucharest:

Redemption Grace Period

Whereas, ICANN resolution 02.45 authorized the convening of a technical steering group to develop a concrete proposal for implementation of a Redemption Grace Period for deleted domain names;

Whereas, the Technical Steering Group's Implementation Proposal was posted on the ICANN website on 7 June 2002;

Whereas, the proposal called for implementing a Redemption Grace Period by instituting an extended Delete Pending Period and a new Restore capability, which will be a new Registry Service for which registry operators will be able to charge a cost-based service fee;

Whereas, the Redemption Grace Period proposal was discussed and received broad community support at the ICANN Public Forum held 27 June 2002 in Bucharest, Romania;

Resolved [02.83] that the President and General Counsel are authorized to conduct negotiations on behalf of ICANN toward appropriate revisions to agreements between ICANN and the unsponsored TLD registry operators to implement the Redemption Grace Period in a manner consistent with the Technical Steering Group's Implementation Proposal.

Contractual Implementation

The contractual implementation of the Redemption Grace Period is being accomplished by revisions to ICANN's registry agreements with each unsponsored1 TLD operator to accommodate the provision of the restoration capability as an additional service.

On 15 January 2003, ICANN provisionally authorized VeriSign to introduce a Redemption Grace Period in the .com and .net top-level domains. VeriSign introduced the service on 25 January 2003. On 25 February 2003, the Board adopted resolution 03.17 confirming the authorization for amendment of the .com and .net registry agreements with VeriSign to implement the Redemption Grace Period Service.

On 2 June 2003, the Board adopted resolution 03.82 confirming the authorization for amendment to the .biz registry Agreement with NeuLevel to implement the Redemption Grace Period Service.

On 6 June 2003, ICANN provisionally authorized PIR to introduce a Redemption Grace Period in the .org top-level domain. PIR introduced the service on 7 June 2003.

ICANN and Public Interest Registry have now completed negotiations of revisions to the .org registry agreement for implementation of the Redemption Grace Period Service. The proposed .org Redemption Grace Period Service substantially meets the specifications established by the Technical Steering Group's Implementation Proposal and, from a customer perspective, will be equivalent to the Redemption Grace Period Service offered by VeriSign in .com and .net, and by NeuLevel in .biz. PIR has proposed a maximum restoration fee of US$40. Accommodation of the Redemption Grace Period Service entails revisions to four of the agreement's appendices, as shown in the following redlined documents:

Conforming changes to the Registry/Registrar Agreement (Appendix F) will also be involved.

Respectfully submitted,

Tina Dam

Chief gTLD Registry Liaison

Note:

The decision of whether and how to implement a Redemption Grace Period in sponsored top-level domains has been left to the sponsors of those domains.

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."