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[nc-idn] RE: Scheduling a telecon call for IDN item on the NC agenda


I am sorry for time it took -- I do hope all of you had
an excellent Thanksgiving and a long weekend, and we are 
ready to move forward.

For your consideration, comments or corrections are two
 (1) the DRAFT update to the Terms of Reference for the 
     IDN Task Force with the timeline
 (2) background information and last URLs 

Do you think it would be appropriate to add all the
NC members to the NC IDN list, similar to the NC transfer ?

Chuck, would you mind, please, help in organizing the call ?
I noted that some persons are not available on 27 or 28.

Best regards,

FOR COMMENT BY THE NC TASK FORCE ON International Domain Names

DRAFT Update to the Terms of Reference for the IDN Task Force

The first terms of Reference of the IDN TF date from March 2001, 
and has been provided by YJP in 

It requests to be adjusted after six months, and many works 
done in the IDN area, see attached "Background and URLs to 
most recent documents".

This is a proposed draft for an update to the ToR.

The purpose of the Task Force on International Domain Names 
is to:

  1. develop broad understanding across the NC of the issues 
     concerning the International Domain Names from technical, 
     cultural, financial, user, provider and intellectual 
     property perspective; shall the IDN registration service
     be accompagned with human service to customers speaking 
     their languages and open during their local time zone
     business hours ?

  2. identify possible consequences of the IDN deployment, 
     from the Internet users and providers perspective, and 
     what will happen if not all application can be operational 

  3. determine whether and under which circumstances the ccTLD 
     managers could and would accept the naming policy 
     restrictions on their national naming tree scheme to 
     allow for IDNs to be deployed within their cc space

  4. determine the possible recommendations to any identified 
     problems arising from the language of the existing gTLD 
     agreements where policy needs to guide contractual changes 
     and make any appropriate recommendations to the ICANN Board 
     IDN Committee


  1. convene a teleconference between 26 November and 4 December 
     for briefings from VeriSign (TBD), MINC (TBD) and 
     IETF (Patrick Falstrom) 
     (Chuck kindly offered to organize that call)

  2. collect pertinent information from joint WIPO-ITU meeting 
     in Geneva on 6-7 December 2001

  3. collect pertinent information from IETF 52 in Salt Like 
     City 9-14 December 2001

  4. communicate with ccTLD managers with regard to IDN deployment 
     (several dates to be considered: CENTR meetings on 17-18 
     December 2001 in Luxembourg, and 21-22 February 2002 in Paris; 
     APTLD meeting in Bangkok on 7 March 2002); 
     focus on .CN, .JP and .KR perspective

  5. convene a teleconference in January, with a goal of 
     publishing an interim report prior to Ghana

The listserv for the Task Force is at nc-idn@dnso.org 
The archives are at http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/nc-idn/Arc00/


Background and URLs to most recent documents.

Character set:

  1. The domain names in LDH subset of ASCII table ("LDH" is 
     an abbreviation for "letters, digits, hyphen-minus") 
     has been in introduced in 1983 by P. Mockapetris, RFC882. 
     It became an IETF standard since 1987, RFC1035. The design 
     of LDH characters (fonts) has no meaning in the domain 
     names, i.e. there is no difference when the shape is 
     Helvetica or Time or Gothic or similar. The upper or lower 
     cases has no meaning in domain names.

  2. Besides native English speaking countries, it seems that 
     a very large part of humans can easily accommodate 
     themselves to the LDH subset of ASCII table - it includes, 
     but is not limited to, all languages using Latin or Cyrillic 
     characters, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic. All of these 
     languages are described in ISO 8859 twelve tables based 
     on 8 bits characters. To oversimplify - those language have 
     a common characteristic: they built up words with a set 
     of twenty to forty characters, some with diacritical sign.

  3. The CJK countries  ("CJK" is an abbreviation for Chinese, 
     Japanese, Korean) use languages which are based on a very 
     large amount of letters. These countries are the most 
     concerned by the possibility to use their national characters 
     in International Domain Names. The complexity and cultural 
     aspects of languages in CJK countries makes crucial their 
     contribution to the definition of IETF standards and 
     deployments to the multilingual domain names. 
     The CJK countries work together within MINC organization, 
     and at the same time participate to the IETF.

     Many messages arriving from CJK countries concerning the 
     multilingual domain names, point out that the CJK characters 
     have traditional or simplified forms which may co-exist in 
     the same word, adding combinatory effects to the complex 
     languages, and especially to the intellectual property issues.
     The very rich document published on 16 November 2001
     provides excellent information about renovation of Chinese 
     characters by the Committee of National Language & Chinese 
     Character, and its standard published in 1964 and 1986. 
     At the same time this document proposes a design of a mathematical 
     algorithms for ACM-ACE-Z encoding scheme dealing with 
     combinatory effects of traditional and simplified forms 
     and intellectual property issues.

Technology and standards - some latest documents:

  1. In August 2001 the IETF IDN WG informally agreed on 
     ACM-ACE-Z encoding. This decision was followed be the 
     development of following IETF  drafts:

     AMC-ACE-Z version 0.3.1, 4 Sep 2001, Adam M. Costello

     Internationalizing Host Names in Applications (IDNA), 8 Nov 2001
     Patrick Falstrom, Paul Hoffman, Adam M. Costello

     Traditional and Simplified Chinese Conversion, 16 Nov 2001
     XiaoDong LEE, HSU NAI-WEN, Deng Xiang, Erin Chen, Zhang Hong, Sun Guonian

  2. The ISO10646/Unicode has been chosen as an appropriate 
     character set for IDN. The ACM-ACE-Z transforms the national 
     characters into LDH subset of ASCII. It preserves the 
     compatibility with the currently deployed millions of 
     domain names servers and resolvers. 

  3. MINC and MINC/IETF presentations from Marina del Rey 2001:


  4. The IETF IDN WG:
     James Seng <jseng@pobox.org.sg>
     Marc Blanchet <Marc.Blanchet@viagenie.qc.ca>
     The Internationalized Domain Names IETF idn working group Web site

Financial aspects and recall of some numbers from history:

  1. "In September, 1995, as the demand for Internet registration 
     became largely (97 percent) commercial and grew by orders 
     of magnitude (exceeding NSF's ability to fund the registration), 
     the NSF authorized NSI to begin charging a fee for domain 
     name registration." 
     (cf. http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/media/fsdomnames.htm ) 

  2. In October 1998, the NSF-NSI Cooperative Agreement 
     No. NCR-9218742 for .com/.org/.net has been renegotiated 
     by ICANN and DoC, allowing for competition on Registrars' level. 
     (cf. http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/proposals/docnsi100698.htm ). 
     At that time the number of domain names registered in 
     .com/.org/.net was of 4.5 million.

  3. In September 2000, the ICANN Board acceded to the request 
     from the VeriSign, the company who bought the NSI, to allow 
     for the testbed in registration of International Domain Names. 
     Two important decision took place: (1) the policy for domain 
     names registration under .com/.org/.net (and any new gTLD) 
     forbids the registration of Second Level domain names which 
     name starts with two ACSII letters following by double 
     hyphen-minus to preserve that space for the deployment of 
     International Domain Names; (2) the VeriSign was allowed to 
     register multilingual testbed names on the same economic terms 
     ($6 per year) as any other domain name 
     (cf. http://www.icann.org/minutes/minutes-25sep00.htm#MultilingualDomainNames )

  4. In September 2001 the total number of domain names registered 
     in the VeriSign multilingual testbed under .com/.org/.net was 
     close to 1 million.

ICANN IDN Documents:


          Under the Verisign testbed, multilingual names can be 
          registered with any accredited registrar that enhances 
          its systems to handle the multilingual names and passes 
          technical certification of this capability. As required 
          by the Registry Agreement, multilingual names will be 
          registered on the same economic terms ($6 per year) as 
          anyother domain name. In other words, the ASCII-equivalent 
          domain name is handled contractually just like any other 
          name and Verisign Registry is planning to deploy the 
          conversion resolvers at no additional charge.


     Prior to Montevideo, the ICANN Board IDN Committee, Chaired by 
     Masanobu Katoh, published its final report at:

     Resolutions on IDN are in the ICANN Board minutes from MdR:

     The ICANN Board IDN Committe shall provide its final report
     in June 2002.


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