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Contractual Compliance Monthly Update | August 2012

Table of Contents 1

Contractual Compliance Adds Three Staff Members

ICANN continued to strengthen the Contractual Compliance team by increasing staff in numbers as well as in expertise. The Contractual Compliance team is now 15 members strong and multi-lingual with staff fluent in Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Urdu. Staff biographies can be found at

Audit Program Is Coming Soon

As previously communicated at ICANN 44 in Prague, ICANN’s three-year plan includes developing an audit strategy, approach and methodology, and the roll out of the first round of registrar and registry contractual compliance audits in 2013.

Our goal with the audit program is to first identify and inform, and then properly manage and help remediate any contract deficiencies found. This process will ensure alignment and compliance by all contracted parties with their contractual obligations.

The audit program will run on a three-year cycle. Each registry and registrar agreement will be selected in random order for audit during a three-year period:

  • Year one - one third (1/3) of the registry and registrar agreements from a complete list will be randomly selected and audited.
  • Year two - another one third (1/3) from the remaining list will be randomly selected and audited.
  • Year three - the remaining one third of all agreements (1/3) will be audited. 

Note: Registrars or registries may be subject to more than one audit in a three-year cycle based on special circumstances or considerations. Those special circumstances or considerations may include excessive issues identified during the audit, excessive complaints, or other unforeseen rcircumstances requiring additional investigation.

The audit scope is the following:

  • Registrar and Registry Agreements, including the incorporated ICANN consensus policies
  • All ICANN-accredited Registrars (2001 and 2009 RAAs)
  • Existing TLD Registries
  • New agreements entered into with a contracted party may be included
  • New gTLD Registries (when available)

Registrar Update

Registrar RAA self-assessment audit questionnaire pilot and the Registry self-assessment questionnaire pilot on hold

ICANN would like to thank the registrars and registries that participated in the questionnaire pilots. The Contractual Compliance team evaluated the results, the feedback, the tools and ease of data collection, time required for compliance assessment and reporting of results and overall approach. At this time, this effort will be put on hold to allow a more effective and clear launch of the Compliance Audit Strategy early 2013.

Improving Whois Inaccuracy complaints Handling

Efforts are underway to complete the application enhancements to the Whois Data Problem Reporting System to:

  1. Align with current Contractual Compliance process; and
  2. Improve processing quality and effort
Single Submission WDPRS Process

Above reflects the process and validation steps for Whois Inaccuracy complaints.

General Update on Complaints Handling and Enforcement Summary

Whois inaccuracy and Transfer issues continued to dominate the number of complaints received. Efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness in complaints handling continued, including increased resources, recent enhancements to the C-Ticketing system and the soon to be completed enhancements to the Whois Data Problem Reporting System as stated above.

The number of complaints concerning non-implementation of panel decisions ordering transfer of domain names to the prevailing complainants pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) remained relatively low.  However, we have seen a number of cases where the parties involved were unclear about the interpretation of “Mutual Jurisdiction” under the UDRP and UDRP Rules, which in turn caused lengthy delays in the implementation of those decisions.

The chart below shows the volume of complaints from receipt through 3rd notice, based on the 123-notification process. Please note, the chart does not include Whois Inaccuracy complaints.

Complaint Volume by Notification Process - August 2012

Enforcement Activity for August 2012

Please refer to Contractual Compliance Notices for up-to-date information.

Registry Update

As part of the registry agreement renewal process, ICANN conducted contractual compliance reviews for .COM and .NAME. The reviews included an assessment of each registry operator’s compliance with its registry agreement regarding performance provisions (i.e., Shared Registration System (SRS) Outage Restrictions and DNS Availability) and other provisions.  For details, see reports at: Compliance Review - .com Registry Agreement - Renewal [PDF, 239 KB], and Compliance Review Registry Agreement - Renewal [PDF, 104 KB].

1 This update is provided for information purposes only. Please exercise judgment in using the information contained within this update to make conclusions or business decisions based upon this update.

newsletter-aug12-en.pdf  [689 KB]

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"""" is not an IDN."