Reconsideration Request 99-3
Recommendation of the Committee
Date: 27 January 2000

To: bruceperelman
Cc: Hans Kraaijenbrink; Amadeu Abril i Abril; Ken Fockler
Subject: Reconsideration Request 99-3

Dear Bruce:

In response to your reconsideration request [99-3] (posted at <http://www.icann.org/committees/reconsideration/recon-committee.htm>), the Reconsideration Committee of the ICANN Board has made the following recommendation:

[RC 99-3] The Reconsideration Committee recommends that the Board deny Reconsideration Request 99-3. The request asks the Board to reconsider its decision to block registration of ?.com and ~.com. Because the ICANN Board has made no decisions relating to whether or not those domain names can be registered, there is no decision that can be reconsidered.

Since the implementation of the Internet domain-name system in the 1980s, the specifications published and implemented by the Internet community have not permitted labels making up domain names to have characters other than letters, numbers, and internal hyphens. Througout this period, the specifications for the format of domain names have been well-known throughout the Internet technical community. They have been set forth in several RFCs, including RFC 1035 (published in 1987) <ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1035.txt> and RFC 1123 (published in 1989) <ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1123.txt>. The commonly accepted specifications are reflected in the functional specification for the Shared Registry System, through which competitive registrar services were introduced in the .com/.net/.org top-level domains last year, which requires that labels contain letters, digits, or internal hyphens. The use of domain names in a noncompliant format presents interoperability problems. Among other things, domain names that violate this format have the potential of causing software written in reliance on these formats to malfunction, and several instances of actual malfunctions have been identified.

The Reconsideration Committee finds the domain names identified in Reconsideration Request 99-3 to be incompatible with the functional specifications contained in the Shared Registry System. Any proposed change in those specifications should be advanced through the appropriate Internet standards-development organization, in this case the IETF.

This recommendation will be forwarded to the ICANN Board and will be considered at the next ICANN Board meeting.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Andrew McLaughlin

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