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[ga] [Fwd: Reconsideration Request 00-1] On Traling "-" Domain Names


  This may be of interest to many on this list as well so I forwarded it
for the Assembly Members consideration.  All of the Assembly members
thoughts on this matter is or should be of great interest to ICANN.  I
Would suggest that everyone view this situation and consider your
opinions possibly voicing them Directly to the ICANN board.  We
here at INEGRoup will be listening and interested in everyone's
ideas and considerations regarding this issue.

  We also wish that any of you that have a position or consideration on
matter forward those thoughts directly to the ICANN Board and the NTIA.

Kindest regards,

Jeffrey A. Williams
Spokesman INEGroup (Over 95k members strong!)
CEO/DIR. Internet Network Eng/SR. Java/CORBA Development Eng.
Information Network Eng. Group. INEG. INC.
E-Mail jwkckid1@ix.netcom.com
Contact Number:  972-447-1894
Address: 5 East Kirkwood Blvd. Grapevine Texas 75208

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew McLaughlin [mailto:mclaughlin@pobox.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 5:07 PM
To: russ@consumer.net
Cc: Hans Kraaijenbrink; Amadeu Abril i Abril; Ken Fockler; Louis L.
Subject: Reconsideration Request 00-1

Dear Mr. Smith:

The Reconsideration Committee of the ICANN Board has made the following
recommendation regarding the request for reconsideration you submitted via
three emails on 6 and 7 January, 2000 (posted at


[RC 00-1]  The Reconsideration Committee recommends that Reconsideration
Request 00-1 (submitted on 6 and 7 January, 2000, by Russ Smith) be denied.
Mr. Smith requests ICANN to reconsider "the revocation of domains ending in
a '-' ..."

Mr. Smith appears to be operating under the mistaken impression that ICANN
made a decision to revoke those names.  ICANN does not have the ability to
cancel or revoke specific domain names;  rather, ICANN has the power to
enforce the terms of its agreements with registries and registrars, which
may require the cancellation of registrations performed by mistake.
Nevertheless, the Committee notes that ICANN staff did indeed advise
NSI-Registry and several ICANN-accredited registrars (1) that the
registration of trailing-hyphen names would violate the specification for
the Shared Registry System and (2) that the various agreements among NSI,
ICANN, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the ICANN-accredited registrars
require that all registered names must comply with the format specified in
the registry's functional specification.  In view of the ICANN staff's
advice, the Reconsideration Committee will treat Mr. Smith's reconsideration
request as a request to reconsider the staff's advice to NSI-Registry and
the affected registrars.

The Committee notes the explanation of the ICANN staff in its Comment
Concerning Trailing-Hyphen Domain Names, posted 7 January 2000

     "'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 trailing
hyphens (e.g., "example-.com"). 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
<http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-hollenbeck-rrp-00.txt>, through
which competitive registrar services were introduced in the .com/.net/.org
top-level domains last year, which requires that labels end with letters or
digits, not hyphens.

     "In the past several weeks, however, over 800 domain names with labels
containing trailing hyphens were registered by mistake in the .com/.net/.org
registry. These names do not conform to the the functional specification
under which the .com/.net/.org registry is operated. The registry software
in use before January 3, 2000, however, permitted registrars to enter these
malformatted names into the registry, and some registrars' software
similarly failed to screen out requests to register these names. Promptly
upon learning that these names had been registered, the registry operator
(NSI-Registry) <http://www.nsiregistry.com/> revised the software to reject
additional requests to register names of this format.

     "ICANN supports these corrections to maintain the stability of the
Internet. At the ICANN annual meeting on November 4, 1999, the ICANN Board
approved a package of agreements among NSI, ICANN, the United States
Department of Commerce, and the ICANN-accredited registrars
<http://www.icann.org/nsi/nsi-agreements.htm>. Those agreements require any
names that are registered to comply with the format specified in the
registry's functional specification. They also provide that those
registering domain names must agree to cancellation of the registration in
the event of a registry or registrar mistake, and in the case of every one
of the trailing-hyphen names the registering party did in fact have such an

     "The use of domain names in this noncompliant format presents
interoperability problems. The documented format is well-known throughout
the Internet technical community. 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 U.S. Government's Statement of Policy on the Management of
Internet Names and Addresses, 63 Fed. Reg. 31741 (June 10, 1998) (commonly
known as the "White Paper")
<http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/6_5_98dns.htm> specifies that
preserving the stability of the Internet should be the first priority of any
DNS management system. A second principle that the White Paper states should
guide DNS-management activities is the promotion of competition in the
provision of registration services.

     "After consultation among ICANN, NSI-Registry, and the registrars
involved, notices have been given to the registering parties that these
names were accepted and registered by mistake and will be cancelled. These
cancellations reflect implementation of longstanding policy, rather than
adoption of any new policy. ICANN commends NSI-Registry and the registrars
involved for working constructively within the competitive framework adopted
at the March and November 1999 ICANN meetings to effectively and promptly
address this challenge to Internet stability. This sort of commitment to
stability and competition will continue and expand the many public benefits
the Internet has brought."

The Committee has reviewed the relevant agreements, RFCs, and functional
specifications and concludes that the ICANN staff was correct in its advice
that the registration of domain names containing trailing hyphens
contravenes the specification for the Shared Registry System, the elements
of which are binding on NSI-Registry and the ICANN-accredited registrars.

The Committee has further examined the various allegations and claims made
by Mr. Smith in his reconsideration request and finds them to be without

Accordingly, the Committee recommends that the Board deny Mr. Smith's
request for reconsideration, as well as his request for a temporary stay.


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


Andrew McLaughlin