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Proposed ICANN Process for Handling Requests for Removal of Cross-Ownership Restrictions for Existing gTLDs

Open: 2 May 2011
Closed: 1 June 2011

Explanation/Background: On 21 April 2011, the ICANN Board resolved (see that ICANN develop a process for existing gTLD registry operators to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement or to request an amendment to their Registry Agreement to remove the cross-ownership restrictions. This follows the 5 November 2010 resolution (see that ICANN will not restrict cross-ownership between registries and registrars for new gTLDs, and that "ICANN will permit existing registry operators to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement, except that additional conditions may be necessary and appropriate to address particular circumstances of established registries." Included in the Board's rationale for their 5 November 2010 decision on cross-ownership (see [PDF, 172 KB]) is, "So long as certain restrictions were put into place on the conduct of registries and registrars, specifically as they relate to data, and so long as competition review remained available in the event of concerns regarding market power – there was no economic support to restrict, on an across-the-board basis, the ability of registries to hold ownership interests in registrars, and vice versa."

Staff member responsible: Craig Schwartz

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments

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."