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ICANN Melbourne Meeting Topic: New TLD Agreements

Posted: 26 February 2001

One of the topics to be discussed at the ICANN public forum on 12 March 2001 in Melbourne is agreements between ICANN and the selected sponsors or operators of the new, proof-of-concept TLDs. The following provides a report on the status of the negotiation of those agreements and provides links to parts of the agreement for which negotiations have been completed. Public comment may be made at the 12 March Public Forum or on the web-based forum that may be entered by clicking below.

Click here to enter the Public Comment Forum on new TLD agreements

A. Background

At its 16 November 2000 Annual Meeting in Marina del Rey, the ICANN Board selected seven new TLD proposals for negotiations toward appropriate agreements between ICANN and the proposing registry operators and sponsoring organizations. The Board also authorized the ICANN President and ICANN General Counsel (with retained legal assistance as appropriate) to conduct those negotiations on behalf of ICANN and, subject to further Board approval or ratification, to enter into appropriate agreements.

The selected TLD proposals are of two types. Four proposals (.biz, .info, .name, and .pro) are for relatively large, unsponsored TLDs. The other three proposals (.aero, .coop, and .museum) are for smaller "sponsored" TLDs. (Generally speaking, an "unsponsored" TLD operates under policies established by the global Internet community directly through the ICANN process, while a "sponsored" TLD is a specialized TLD that has a sponsoring organization representing the narrower community that is most affected by the TLD. The sponsoring organization thus carries out delegated policy-formulation responsibilities over many matters concerning the TLD.)

The original goal was to complete the negotiations by the end of 2000. The task of agreeing upon agreements under which these TLDs will be operated for several years, however, turned out to be more complex, and thus more time-consuming, than originally anticipated. Accordingly, the negotiations are still underway. This document describes the status of the negotiations and presents the agreements that have been negotiated so far.

The goals and legal considerations for unsponsored TLD agreements are considerably different than those for sponsored TLDs. Because of the larger size of the unsponsored TLDs, the initial negotiation focus was placed on them. Negotiations are nearing completion for the four unsponsored TLDs; negotiations for the sponsored TLDs are still in a formative stage.

B. Unsponsored TLD Agreements

The unsponsored TLD agreements are entitled "Registry Agreements" and have been designed to employ a single form of agreement that covers the common aspects that we believe will likely relate to all unsponsored TLDs. If this form of agreement is approved, it is hoped that it will serve, perhaps with some minor modifications based on experience, as the agreement for unsponsored TLDs that may be introduced in the future. The single form of agreement refers to twenty-four appendices, many of which are customized to reflect special features of the four TLD proposals. The appendices are:

Appendix

Description

Appendix

Description

A
Format and Technical Requirements for Requests to Change TLD Nameservers

M
Enforcement of Registration Restrictions

B
Format and Technical Requirements for Requests to Change TLD Contact Information

N
TLD Zone-File Access Agreement

C
Functional Specifications

O
Whois Specification—Public Whois

D
Performance Specifications

P
Whois Data Specification—Independent Whois Provider

E
Service-Level Agreement

Q
Whois Data Specification—ICANN

F
Registry-Registrar Agreement

R
Data Escrow Specification

G
Fees for Registry Services

S
Data Escrow Agreement

H
Equivalent Access Certification

T
Monthly Registry Reports

I
Registry Code of Conduct

U
Proof-of-Concept Reports

J
Start-Up Plan

V
Initial Consensus Policies

K
Names Reserved from Registration

W
Additional Covenants

L
Registration Restrictions

X
Registry Operator's Domain Names

The basic agreement itself has been negotiated to the satisfaction of each of the four selected unsponsored TLD Registry Operators. The state of negotiations as to the various appendices varies for the different operators. The table below provides links to those documents for which negotiations have been completed. (A single cell across the entire table indicates that the document is the same for all four TLDs.) The unlinked entries are not yet completed. It is anticipated that additional documents will be completed by the time of the Melbourne Public Forum (indeed, several should be completed in the next few days). As they are completed, they will be posted and linked from the table below.

.biz

.info

.name

.pro

Unsponsored TLD Agreement

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix C

Appendix C

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix D

Appendix D

Appendix D

Appendix E

Appendix E

Appendix E

Appendix E

Appendix F

Appendix F

Appendix F

Appendix F

Appendix G

Appendix G

Appendix G

Appendix G

Appendix H

Appendix H

Appendix H

Appendix H

Appendix I

Appendix I

Appendix I

Appendix I

Appendix J

Appendix J

Appendix J

Appendix J

Appendix K

Appendix L

(n/a—unrestricted TLD)

Appendix L

Appendix L

Appendix M

(n/a—unrestricted TLD)

Appendix M

Appendix M

Appendix N

Appendix O

Appendix O

Appendix O

Appendix O

Appendix P

Appendix Q

Appendix R

Appendix R

Appendix R

Appendix R

Appendix S

Appendix T

Appendix U

Appendix U

Appendix U

Appendix U

Appendix V

Appendix W

Appendix W

Appendix W

Appendix W

Appendix X

Appendix X

Appendix X

Appendix X

ICANN staff intends to prepare commentary to the ICANN community on key features of these documents. Once complete, that commentary will be posted and linked from this page.

C. Sponsored TLD Agreements

As mentioned above, negotiations for agreements with sponsoring organizations for the three sponsored TLDs are in a formative stage. To the extent these agreements are completed before the Melbourne meeting, they will be posted.

Click here to enter the Public Comment Forum on new TLD agreements

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