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Services for Registry Operators

Please note that the English language version of all translated content and documents are the official versions and that translations in other languages are for informational purposes only.

The Registry Agreement defines the rights, obligations, and provisions for registry operators to operate their top-level domains (TLDs). In circumstances where the registry operator must inform or request consent or approval from the ICANN organization, services have been developed to facilitate these processes.

Below are links to commonly requested services for registry operators:

  • Assignment of Registry Agreement or Registry Operator Change of Control - For registry operators subject to the base new gTLD Registry Agreement, any proposed assignment of the Registry Agreement or direct or indirect change of control of the registry operator must follow the process set forth in Section 7.5 of the Registry Agreement.
  • Community gTLD Change Requests - The Community gTLD Change Request procedure permits a Community gTLD registry operator to seek modifications to Specification 12 without removing the Community Registration Policies, excessively broadening or narrowing registrant eligibility and/or name selection requirements, or resulting in significant negative impact to the TLD Community.
  • Continued Operations Instrument (COI) Services - The COI ensures sufficient financial resources are in place to support the continued operation of the critical registry functions related to the TLD. Per Specification 8 of the base Registry Agreement, registry operators shall have a COI that provides for sufficient financial resources to cover the five critical registry functions in Section 6 of Specification 10, for a determined time period as defined in Section 1 of Specification 8.
  • IDN Tables: Update and Publish - Provides a mechanism to update previously approved IDN tables and reflect those tables within the IANA Repository as required in Registry Agreement Specification 6, Section 1.4.
  • Material Subcontracting Arrangement (MSA) Change - A change to an MSA refers to a change to any Back-End registry operator (also known as a back-end service provider or a Registry Service Provider), which is defined by the Registry Transition Process as an organization contracted by a registry operator to run one or more of the Critical Functions of a gTLD registry and includes service providers such as domain name system (DNS) providers.
  • New gTLD RA Renewals - New gTLDs from the 2012 New gTLD Program are governed by the Base Registry Agreement (RA) with initial 10-year terms. The agreements are expected to renew for successive 10-year terms unless any of the exceptions set forth in Section 4.2 of the Base RA apply.
  • Registry Agreement Termination Service - Under the New gTLD Registry Agreement, either party may terminate pursuant to certain requirements in the Registry Agreement, including but not limited to the following:
    • Section 4.3 and its subsections – Termination by the ICANN organization
    • Section 4.4 and its subsections – Termination by registry operator
  • Registry Operator Name Change - If a registry operator changes the name of their organization, and it is not the result of a change of control, the registry operator will need to notify the ICANN organization of the change using the Registry Operator Name Change service.
  • Registry Service Evaluation Process (RSEP) - The RSEP is the ICANN organization’s process for evaluating proposed gTLD registry services or contractual modifications for security, stability or competition issues.
  • Registry Transition Process (RTP) - A change in the contracting party of a gTLD Registry Agreement with the ICANN organization. Examples of circumstances leading to a Registry Transition are: name change of the organization running the gTLD, a sale or transfer of the registry, current registry is in breach of Registry Agreement, etc.
  • Removal of Cross-Ownership Restrictions - In order to lift cross-ownership restrictions, existing gTLD registry operators could either request an amendment to their existing Registry Agreement to remove the cross-ownership restrictions or request to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement for new gTLDs.
  • Reserved Names Landing Page
    • Reserved Names: Two-character ASCII Labels - Specification 5, Section 2 of the base New gTLD Registry Agreement requires two-character ASCII labels be reserved at the second level. Over a two-year period, members of the Internet community, the ICANN organization, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and governments, gTLD registries and others, worked together to establish a framework permitting the release of these labels. The two-year effort ultimately resulted in multiple authorizations, to release from reservation, the two-character labels.
    • Reserved Names: Country & Territory Names - Specification 5, Section 4 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement requires registry operators to reserve certain second-level country and territory names. The Registry Agreement also provides two methods by which registry operators may release of second-level country and territory names, which are described in detail in the ICANN organization’s Guidelines on Releasing Country and Territory Names.
  • Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) & Dispute Resolutions Procedures (DRPs) - RPMs are safeguards that help protect trademark owner intellectual property rights. RPMs includes Trademark Clearinghouse, Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), Uniform Rapid Suspension System and Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures. DRP is the process by which domain related disputes are settled [without litigation] through ICANN community developed dispute resolution procedures.
  • Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA) Amendment Procedure - RRA Amendment Procedure is a process for consideration of proposed amendments to gTLD RRAs whereby the registry is required to obtain the ICANN organization’s approval of such amendments. This process is designed to ensure registrar input (and public input where appropriate) before the ICANN organization approves changes to an RRA.
  • Security Response Waiver (SRW) Requests for Registry Operators - The SRW has been developed to provide a process for gTLD registries who inform the ICANN organization of a present or imminent security incident (hereinafter referred to as "incident") to their TLD and/or the DNS to request a contractual waiver for actions it might take or has taken to mitigate or eliminate an incident.
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."