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Versions: 00 01                                                         
draft-postel-iana-itld-admin-01.txt                            J. Postel
                                                               June 1996

  New Registries and the Delegation of International Top Level Domains


Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months.  Internet-Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by
   other documents at any time.  It is not appropriate to use Internet-
   Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as a working
   draft or work in progress.

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
   1id-abstracts.txt listing contained in the Internet-Drafts Shadow
   Directories on ds.internic.net, nic.nordu.net, ftp.nisc.sri.com, or


   This document describes a proposed policy, procedure, and control
   structure for the allocation of additional top-level domains.
   Further it discusses the issues surrounding additional international
   top level domains (iTLDs) and registries, qualification proposals for
   operating such a registry, and justifications for the positions
   expressed in this paper.

   This document describes policies and procedures to

       o allow open competition in domain name registration in the

       o and provide the IANA with a legal and financial umbrella

   Note that while cooperation between competing iTLD registries is
   allowed, it is not required.  This is specifically not assumed in
   this proposal, and is considered to be an operational aspect of a
   registry best determined, and coordinated, by contractual agreements
   between private interests.

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   The NEWDOM, IETF, and related mailing lists are encouraged to read,
   and comment, on this material.  Presuming a consensus can be found
   within these audiences, the distribution of this memorandum should be
   expanded to include general commentary from the Internet community.

1. Introduction

   For the purpose of delegation, the top level domains (TLDs) fall into
   the categories listed below.  While all are described to provide
   context, only the last is the subject of this document.

   1.1. National TLDs

      The two-character namespace is, and will remain, reserved for ISO
      country codes under existing accepted Internet RFCs.

      National TLDs such as AF, FR, US, ... ZW are named in accordance
      with ISO 3166, and have, in the major part, been delegated to
      national naming registries.  Any further delegation of these TLDs
      is undertaken by the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA), in
      accordance with the policies described in RFC 1591.

      It is good practice for these delegated TLD registries to publicly
      document the applicable management policies and further delegation
      procedures for these national domains, as, for example, RFC 1480
      does for the US domain.

   1.2. US Governmental TLDs

      1.2.1. Delegation of the GOV TLD is described by RFC 1816, and is
         under the authority of the US Federal Networking Council (FNC).

      1.2.2. Delegation of the MIL domain is under the authority of the
         DDN NIC.  See RFC 1956.

   1.3. Infrastructure TLDs

      TLDs such as IN-ADDR.ARPA and INT are under the authority of the
      IANA and may be delegated to others, e.g., IN-ADDR.ARPA is
      currently delegated to the Internic for day-to-day management.
      They are created for technical needs internal to the operation of
      the internet at the discretion of the IANA in consultation with
      the IETF.  See RFC 1591 for general guidance on the use of the INT
      and ARPA domains.

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   1.4 The EDU TLD

      Delegation of the EDU domain is under the authority of the FNC and
      is currently delegated to the NSF which has contracted to the
      Internic for registration.  See RFC 1591 for general guidance on
      the use of the EDU domain.

      Over time, the FNC and NSF may decide to use other delegation
      models, such as those described below for non-governmental TLDs.

   1.5 The International Top Level Domains (iTLDs) COM, ORG, and NET

      COM, ORG, and NET are the current generic international top level
      domains (iTLDs) which are open to general registration.  They are
      currently delegated to the Internic by the authority of the IANA.
      See RFC 1591 for general guidance on the use of the COM, NET, and
      ORG domains.

      The INT top level domain is also used for a very restricted class
      of international organizations established by treaties between the
      governments of countries.  See RFC 1591 for general guidance on
      the use of the INT domains.

      1.5.1. The intent for these iTLDs is discussed in RFC 1591.
         Generally, COM is for commercial organizations (e.g., companies
         and corporations), NET is for the internal infrastructure of
         service providers, and ORG is for miscellaneous organizations
         (e.g., non-profit corporations, and clubs).

      1.5.2. There is a perceived need to open the market in commercial
         iTLDs to allow competition, differentiation, and change, and
         yet maintain some control to manage the Domain Name System

         The current situation with regards to these domain spaces, and
         the inherent perceived value of being registered under a single
         top level domain (.COM) is undesirable and should be changed.

         Open, free-market competition has proven itself in other areas
         of the provisioning of related services (ISPs, NSPs, telephone
         companies) and appears applicable to this situation.

         It is considered undesirable to have enormous numbers
         (100,000+) of top-level domains for administrative reasons and
         the unreasonable burden such would place on organizations such
         as the IANA.

         It is not, however, undesirable to have diversity in the top-

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         level domain space, and in fact, positive market forces dictate
         that this diversity, obtained through free competition, is the
         best means available to insure quality service to end-users and

      1.5.3. As the net becomes larger and more commercial, the IANA
         needs a formal body to accept responsibility for the legal
         issues which arise surrounding DNS policy and its

   1.6. This memo deals with introducing new registries for iTLDs and
      additional iTLDs names, it does not deal with the longer term
      issue of the management and charter of the current iTLDs (COM,
      NET, and ORG), or the specialized TLDs (EDU, GOV, MIL, INT, and

      The current iTLDs may come under the provisions of this document
      when their current sponsorship relationship ends.

      The specialized iTLDs have such restrictive requirements for
      registration that they do not play a significant role in the
      competitive business environment.

   1.7. Trademarks

      Domain names are intended to be an addressing mechanism and are
      not intended to reflect trademarks, copyrights or any other
      intellectual property rights.

      Except for brief mentions in sections 6.1, 6.4, and 9.3,
      trademarks are not further discussed in this document.

   1.8. Observations

      There seem to be three areas of disagreement about the proposal to
      increase the number of top level domains: (1) trademark issues,
      (2) competition, and (3) directory service.

      1.8.1. Trademark Issues

         The statement is made that "increasing the number of top level
         domains does not solve the trademark problem".  This may be
         because "the trademark problem" has no solution.

         The Domain Name System was created to simply name computers
         attached to the Internet.  There was no intention that domain
         names identify products or services in any way, or that domain
         names have any relationship to trademarks.

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         Two points must be kept in mind: (a) domain names are and must
         be unique, and (b) trademarked names are not necessarily unique
         (and the are many examples of non-unique trademarks).

         There are no international trademarks.  There is no official
         international registry of world wide trademarks.  Trademarks
         may be registered per country (and in the United States (at
         least) per State).  The World Intellectual Property
         Organization offers an international arbitration service on
         such matters.

         There are "strong" trademarks that are registered in many
         countries and are vigorously defended.  These may come close to
         being unique.  There are many "not so strong" trademarks that
         may be regional or business sector specific (for example,
         United Air Lines and United Van Lines, or the Acme Brick
         Company and the Acme Electric Corporation)).

         There are two conflicting goals of different trademark holders
         with respect to domain names: (a) to protect their trademarks
         against infringement, and (2) to have access to the domain name
         system to use their trademarks in a domain name.

         Trademark infringement is the use of a trademarked name in a
         way that may confuse the consumer about the source or quality
         of a product or service.  For strong trademarks there may also
         be infringement if the use of a trademarked name dilutes the
         value of the trademark.

         Holders of strong trademarks want to control every use of their
         trademark.  These people would say it is pointless to create
         additional top level domains since they will acquire, reserve,
         and otherwise protect their trademarked name in every top-level
         domain so no new users will get access to domain names this
         way, and besides you are just making more work for the lawyers.
         While these holders of strong trademarks might not actually
         acquire their names in all the possible top-level domains (no
         extra income to the registries), they probably would take steps
         to stop any infringement thus making those name unavailable to
         anyone else (extra income to the lawyers).

         Holders of not so strong trademarks want the ability to use
         their trademarked name in a domain name while some other holder
         of the same mark for a different purpose also can use their
         trademarked name in a domain name.  These people would say it
         is essential to create additional top-level domains to permit
         fair access to domain names by holders of not so strong

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         I would suggest that the number of not so strong trademarks far
         exceeds the number of strong trademarks and that the domain
         name system should provide for the needs of the many rather
         than protecting the privileges of the few.  Thus new top-level
         domains should be created.

      1.8.2. Competition

         Another concern with the current situation in the Domain Name
         System is that there is one registry for the top-level domain
         names and it is charging fees apparently unconstrained by
         effective regulation or competition; it is in a monopoly
         position.  Given this, it is reasonable to introduce
         competition in the form of other registries to provide
         equivalent services.

         There is a question, though, about how equal the service must
         be to provide effective competition.  Does the establishment of
         new registries provide effective competition with the existing
         registry and the most popular top-level domain (that is, the
         COM domain)?

         Will people be willing to change their domain name to get
         better service or lower price?  A name acquires substantial
         value as it is used and it becomes a significant undertaking to
         change a name.  It is unlikely that many companies registered
         in one domain (for example COM) will change to another (new)

         Can other top-level domains be successful?  It seems that it is
         most likely that for new top-level domains to be successful
         they will have to attract users new to the Internet.  This may
         require marketing efforts and promotion (that is, exactly the
         competition that is currently missing).  This can have a
         significant impact very quickly.  Given that the number of
         users of the Internet is doubling every year, in three years
         the current population of Internet users - and domain names -
         will be a small minority of only one-eighth of the population.

         Is there a practical way to share a single domain name between
         competing registries?  There are technical solutions to this
         problem.  But are there are manageable administrative
         arrangements for this situation.  I am not convinced there are.

         Even if a manageable administrative arrangement for competing
         registries to operate in the same top-level domain can be
         found, these arrangements can be introduced in multiple top-
         level domains in the future.

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         While new single registry top-level domains may allow only a
         limited form of competition, it is a better situation than we
         have now, and it can be generalized in the future.  Thus there
         is no "competition" argument to prevent creating new top-level

      1.8.3. Directory Service

         Is the Domain Name System a directory service?

         Is it reasonable to expect that if one thinks of a company name
         that the string "www.company-name.com" will be the locator for
         that company's web page?  Even though it works some of the time
         now, it is less likely to work in the future even if all
         company names are registered in the COM domain due to more
         frequent clashes in names and the requirement of uniqueness.

         The creation of additional top-level domain names allows
         companies to have more natural names in one of the various
         top-level domains.  This will make it harder to guess the
         actually domain name for a company, but probably no harder that
         it will become if all companies must find unique names in the
         COM domain.

         This directory problem is not really a Domain Name System
         problem.  The Domain Name System provides a name to address
         look up service.  It assumes that one starts with the exactly
         correct name and allows the look up of information associated
         with that name.  The Domain Name System does not (and never
         was) intended to provide a general search facility.  It is much
         more appropriate to use application level search tools like the
         various web search systems, or directory services like the
         X.500 directory service to find the exact Domain Name System
         based on a fuzzier description of the company identity.

         The nub of this issue is the question "Should domain names be
         guessable?"  My answer is that it is not possible in general to
         have guessable domain names, so we shouldn't try too hard.
         Thus there is no "directory service" argument to prevent
         creating new top-level domains.

      1.8.4. Side Remarks
  Case Law on Trademarks and Domain Names

            Trademark holders must assume that domain names are related
            to trademarks.  One of the requirements to keep a trademark
            is that it be defended.  If a trademark holder becomes aware

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            of something that might be an infringement of the trademark,
            it would be folly not to pursue the issue, lest it turn out
            to be important, and they loose their trademark because of
            lack of action.  That they take this action doesn't mean
            that it is required, just that there is some doubt.  Until
            one of these cases actually makes it to a high-level court,
            no one is going to know for sure.

            The courts will either decide that domain names don't
            infringe trademarks, simply because of their existence
            (unless possibly someone has a trademark on a full name like
            "isi.edu" or "cisco.com") at which stage the trademark
            holders will know that they don't have to go chasing every
            domain that happens to use their magic word somewhere in it,
            or they made decide that the use of "foo.com" is actually a
            violation of someone's trademark on "foo", in which case
            people may make trademark searches before registering domain

            Even if the use of a trademarked word in a domain name is
            ruled to not inherently infringe the trademark it is still
            possible use the domain name in a way that would be an
            infringement of the trademark.

            It is also possible that creating new top-level domains will
            strengthen the interpretation that the Domain Names System
            simply names computers and is not related to trademarks by
            making it clear that in a domain name like "foo.com" or
            "foo.bus" the "foo" part cannot be extracted and be left
            with any meaning at all, it means something only with the
            complete suffix appended as an indivisible string.

            Treating the Domain Name System as a directory service may
            also strengthen the arguments that domain names identify
            products and services and thus are subject to trademark

            In two real cases in the United States courts have found
            that use of the equivalent of the "foo" in "foo.com" is a
            violation of trademark.  For practical purposes the law is
            now established - the use of someone else's trademark in a
            domain name in and of itself can be an infringement of
  Proposal to Eliminate International Top-Level Domains

            There is a viewpoint that the problems generated by the
            Unites States legal system should be confined there (and the

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            same for every country in the world).  This argues to
            eliminate the the international top-level domains (COM, NET,
            and ORG) altogether and proposes to sweep the current users
            of those domains into the country code domains.  One logical
            consequence of this view is that corporations in the Unites
            States should be registered in COM.US.

            This argument suggests that the trademarked words versus
            domain names issue is a United States only phenomenon.
            While this might be possible, i think it is short sighted.
            When the number of companies registering domain names in
            other countries reaches a large number or a substantial
            percentage of the number of companies in that country, i
            think they will find they have substantially the same
            problems as currently occur with the COM domain.

            This proposal would not fix the trademark, competition, or
            directory issues, but it would repatriate them.  There is
            presumably no existing law, but it might be relatively easy
            to establish that acme-cleaners.co.uk and acme-
            cleaners.com.us were distinct and non-confusing to
            consumers.  So there may be actually some improvement with
            respect to not so strong trademarks.

            While this is an interesting suggestion, it is completely
            unrealistic.  The concept of moving - renaming - all the
            over 200,000 companies now registered in the COM domain is
            simply a non-starter.

            So, the argument goes, just close the COM (and NET and ORG)
            domain to new registrations and tell all those making
            registration requests "were sorry, COM was a mistake, you
            now have to register under your country code".  After all,
            by the growth argument, in a couple of years the number of
            companies in COM will be a small percentage of the total

            I don't think this will work.  There would certainly be a
            lot of complaints (and probably legal actions) suggesting
            that some unfair practices were being followed and that the
            new requesters were being arbitrarily disadvantaged.  I
            think it would be hard to argue that over 200,000
            registrations following a procedure in place over 5 years
            was a small mistake.

            By the way, i've explored the possibility that there might
            be technical reasons to limit the size of a domain.  For
            example, not enough disk space, or too big to transfer for

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            backup, or whatever.  The technical experts say not to
            worry, there are solutions for all those possible problems.

            A key point in this little story is the statement "This
            would not fix the trademark, competition, or directory
            issues, but it would repatriate them.", which is an
            admission that no problem is solved by this proposal, rather
            the problem is moved to some other sphere of responsibility.
            As a practical matter, the suggestion is to close COM and
            open COM.US.  The result would be a lot of pain for
            registration authorities and staff as well as the companies
            denied registration in the COM domain, and not much else.
            All the existing conflicts would emerge at once.  Much pain,
            no gain.

            A side point to this proposal is that it reinforces
            nationalistic tendencies rather than supports the shared
            world spanning community feeling.

2. Goals

   To facilitate administration of the domain name subsystem within the
   Internet by ensuring that there is an open and competitive
   marketplace for clients to obtain and subsequently maintain
   delegation of subdomains within the iTLDs, while preserving the
   operational integrity of the Internet DNS itself.

   The specific measures to achieve this objective are as follows:

   2.1. Provide the IANA with the international legal and financial
      umbrella of the Internet Society (ISOC),

   2.2. Allow open competition in domain name registration in the iTLDs,
      which will then allow registries to charge for their services,

   2.3. Allow multiple registries to operate cooperatively and fairly in
      the existing iTLDs and/or other multi-registry iTLDs which may be

   2.4. Facilitate creation of new iTLDs in a fair and useful, but
      reliable, fashion,

   2.5. Provide for reliable maintenance of the registrants of an iTLD
      should the current delegatee no longer wish to maintain it, and

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   2.6. Define iTLD policies and procedures by open methods, modeled on
      the IETF process and/or using IETF mechanisms when appropriate.

3.0 Scope of this Document

   This document describes the administrative structure for the
   operation of the iTLDs.  While other administrative issues may exist
   within the broader domain of the DNS, they are not addressed in this


   3.1. Only those relationships between the IANA, IETF, and ISOC which
      are specifically necessary for responsible maintenance of the
      iTLDs are described.

   3.2. The Board of Trustees acts for the ISOC, the IAB for the IETF,
      and the IANA for itself.

   3.3. Long range maintenance of the IANA is not described; although it
      is believed that the IANA should draw financial support from a
      wide community.

   3.4. The IETF is not directly involved in operation of the net.
      Hence it serves the iTLD administrative work mainly in a technical
      capacity, such as the formalization of new protocols and the
      handling of technical appeals.

   3.5. The ISOC does not directly operate the net.  But it takes legal
      responsibility for standards processes and some network management
      processes, manages funds, and participates in the appeals process.

   3.6. The IANA and any necessary ad hoc groups deal with operational

   3.7. The ISOC, the IETF, and the IANA are not to be legally or
      financially responsible for the registries.  The registries must
      be responsible for themselves.

   3.8. Creation of a large staff is not desired.

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4. Technical Assumptions

   Further growth within the iTLDs can be accommodated technically, and
   tools are in evidence to automate much of the process of registration
   and maintenance of entries within the DNS as well as multiple
   administrative access to a single delegated domain.

   4.1. The size of current TLD databases such as COM, while large, is
      not really a burden on servers, nor is it expected to become so in
      the near future.

   4.2.  Procedures which allow mutual exclusion for the creation of
      names within a single TLD are being developed within the IETF's
      "dnsind" and "dnssec" working groups, and a test implementation is

   4.3. Tools are being developed to ease the processes of registration
      and running the information servers which are expected of

5. The Process

   5.1. The IANA continues to supervise and control all operational
      aspects of the iTLDs, and is the second level of the appeals
      process after the registries (which are the first level).  It
      appoints three members to the ad hoc iTLD group.  The IANA may
      directly review appeals and/or it may ask the Internet DNS Names
      Review Board (IDNB) to participate in the review of an appeal.
      The IANA has the option of asking the IDNB to review an appeal, or
      the IANA may handle the appeal itself.

      As described in RFC 1591 regarding a dispute between parties
      contending for the management of a national TLD, the IDNB, a
      committee established by the IANA, will act as a review panel for
      cases in which the parties can not reach agreement among

      Now the role of the IDNB is expanded to include appeals on a
      technical basis of the process documented in this memo.

   5.2. The IETF, as part of its normal procedures, publishes documents
      which describe technical and operational aspects of the domain
      space including the iTLDs.  It also provides an appeals procedure
      for process issues and appoints two members to the ad hoc iTLD
      group(s).  That is, it reviews appeals that question whether the
      process was properly followed.

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   5.3. The ISOC provides the legal and financial umbrella, and the
      final level of the appeal process.  It provides an appeals
      procedure for procedural issues and appoints two members to the ad
      hoc iTLD group(s).  The ISOC assumes legal liability for the
      process and the iTLDs.  The ISOC reviews appeals that question the
      fairness of the process itself (not the application of the process
      to a particular case).

   5.4. The ad hoc working group, for developing procedures and deciding
      creation of new iTLDs and chartering of registries, consist of
      seven members appointed by the IANA (3), the IETF (2), and the
      ISOC (2).

   5.5. Note that 'ad hoc' means 'for this purpose only.'  In this case,
      a new ad hoc group is created and convened on a periodic basis
      (probably annual) when needed to change procedures or to review
      registry and iTLD applications.

   5.6. It is estimated that approximately thirty (30) new iTLDs
      allocated to approximately ten (10) new registries will be created
      per year.  It is expected that this will continue for the next
      five years - unless something significant happens to change this

      In this first year of this plan significantly more new iTLDs and
      registries may be chartered, perhaps up to one-hundred-fifty (150)
      iTLDs allocated to up to fifty (50) registries.

   5.7. The policies and procedures to be used by the ad hoc working
   group will be decided by the first ad hoc group in an open process
   and will be clearly documented.  This group will be appointed and
   convene in in the next few months.  It is expected that these
   policies and procedures will mature over time.

   5.8. Multiple registries for the COM TLD database, and multiple
   registries for other (new and old) iTLDs may be created in the

   5.9. New iTLDs and registries will be created over time.  This is a
   direct change to RFC 1591.  New iTLDs may be created with a non-
   exclusive administration arrangement (multiple registries for one

   5.10. The intent is similar to the licensing of radio stations in
   some countries.

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   5.11. Registries pay for charters, and the fees collected are kept in
   a fund managed by the ISOC and used for the iTLD process (such as for
   insurance against an iTLD registry withdrawal or collapse), and
   possibly to support an evolved future funding model for the IANA.

6. Selection of iTLDs and Registries

   6.1. The New Registries and iTLDs

      There will be up to one-hundred-fifty (150) new iTLDs allocated to
      as many as fifty (50) new registries, with no more than two thirds
      (2/3) in the same country, created in 1996, and chartered to
      operate for up to five years.

         In the case that all the applications are from one country (for
         example, United States) then only thirty-three (33) new
         registries and only ninety-nine (99) new iTLDs would be

      Up to three iTLDs may be operated by any single organization.
      Each new registry will choose up to 3 new iTLD names it will
      manage under its charter.

      There will be no institution of multiple registries per iTLD in
      1996 by the ad hoc committee.  Registry operators are encouraged
      to make such arrangements on their own initiative.

      Summary: A new registry gets up to three new iTLDs for exclusive
      management for a period of up to five years; if the registry
      chooses it may establish a joint management of one or more of its
      iTLDs with other registries.  All registries will be reviewed
      after five years, it is very likely that registries that provide
      good services will be rechartered.

      6.1.1. The new iTLD Name Space

         It is desirable to maintain a "short" suffix on these iTLDs to
         permit easier use by the public.  As such, the presumption will
         be that only three-character alphanumeric iTLDs will be

         The space of new iTLD names will be restricted to alpha numeric
         strings of exactly 3 characters.  iTLD names are case
         independent (i.e., COM = com = cOm).

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               <iTLD-name> ::= <let-dig> <let-dig> <let-dig>

               <let-dig>   ::= <letter> | <digit>

               <letter>    ::= A | B | C | ... | Z

               <digit>     ::= 0 | 1 | 2 | ... | 9

         These names must be generic, i.e., not well known company
         identifiers or trademarks.  iTLDs which are previously
         registered trademarks are specifically excluded from
         consideration as appropriate assignments.

            A possible exception might be for a generic term that is
            trademarked substantially world wide and is not associated
            with a particular product or service or purpose other than
            domain name registration.

         This condition may be impossible to enforce, since on a world
         wide basis in may be very difficult to determine if a
         particular string of letters is a trademark in any country or
         is the identification of a well known company in any country.

         In any case the neither the IANA nor the ad hoc committee plan
         to spend any time or energy on research in this area.  The
         applicants to operate registries and manage iTLDs are on their
         honor not to select iTLD names knowingly in violation of this

   6.2. Who May Apply

      Persons or organizations wishing to operate registries and manage
      iTLDS shall send applications to the IANA in accordance with the
      provisions of this memo.

      A "person or organization" may be a single person or organization
      or any group of persons and organizations which may combine to
      offer registration services under one name as a cooperative or
      competitive provider of services, provided that all partners in
      the confederation or alliance shall otherwise be in compliance
      with the terms of this document.

      Organizations granted iTLD names may add or remove additional
      cooperating registration partners at their discretion, provided
      that doing so does not violate the provisions of this memorandum.

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   6.3. Open Process

      The applications for iTLD domain names and registries shall be
      evaluated in a neutral, impartial, and open manner.

      The proceedings and evaluations of the applications submitted
      shall be available for public inspection via an on-line procedure
      (e.g., web site) along with the decisions made.

      Financial and business aspects of proposals are kept confidential
      during the evaluation process.  The complete proposal of the
      successful applicants, including these aspects, will be made
      public at the completion of the ad hoc committee process.

   6.3. Review Criteria

      All applications are judged on three criteria: Registration
      Services, Operational Resources, and Business Aspects.

      Business aspects are not necessarily the most important criteria,
      reliability, quality of service, sustainability, are also
      important aspects.

      When a registry which has provided good quality and reliable
      service comes up for charter renewal, barring unusual
      circumstances, the charter renewal application should be approved.

      6.3.1. Registration Services

         Each registry provide the following administrative services and
         policies for each iTLD they administer:

         1) Access to the Registration Database

         The DNS database files and "whois" databases maintained by any
         iTLD operator are deemed to be publicly available and public,
         non-protected, information. The intent is to allow easy access
         to the information needed to investigate and correct
         operational problems.

         A registry shall provide guaranteed availability of the
         registration data in a useful form should transfer of
         responsibility become necessary, e.g., regular publication of
         the information, or regular deposits of copies of the
         information with a reputable "escrow holder" instructed to
         release the information to the IANA.

         The IANA is authorized to designate an organizations as the

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         escrow holder of said database information for the purposes
         described below under "Termination of Registries".

            The escrow holder will have to keep very up to date copies
            of the database probably through some automated system that
            makes a copy on a daily basis.

         There may be reasons (other than "transfer of responsibility"
         or "termination of registries") to provide controlled access to
         the data held by the escrow holder for special purposes, such
         as legal proceedings in trademark cases.

         The registry must provide a means, via the "whois" protocol, to
         search the database of second-level domains maintained by this
         registry and return common directory information.  This
         information shall include, but not necessarily be limited to:

         a) The "owner" of the second-level domain, including contact
            name(s), physical address(es), and telephone number(s) of
            the persons responsible for the operation of the second-
            level domain.

         b) The nameserver hostnames and IP addresses serving that
            second-level domain.

         c) The current status (operational, on hold, pending, etc) of
            that second-level domain.

         There is no intent to have a "global phonebook" of second-level
         domain holders.  The intent is to provide information necessary
         for tracking down and resolving operational problems.

         iTLD registries are expected to provide their own directory
         service, and "rWhois" is designated as one of the operational
         choices which a registry may wish to utilize.  However, no
         attempt is made to mandate any particular technical or
         organizational requirements from a registry to service requests
         for lookups of a domain holder in other, competing registries
         and iTLDs.

         Internal database and operational issues are to be decided by
         the registry.  These issues, including pricing to customers of
         the registry, are properly free-market issues and are excluded
         from the control of the IETF, IANA, ISOC and other related

         2) A help desk and staff to answer questions via electronic
         mail, fax and normal telephone during customary business hours.

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         3) Published policies on services offered, registration
         procedures, and fees.

         4) A clear description of the appeals mechanism within the
         registry, including the entry point for appeals and the
         expected response time.

         5) All of the public information identified in points 1 through
         4 above shall be made available via WWW, FTP, and automated
         email responder at an address associated with the organization.

      6.3.2. Operational Resources

         1) Internet Connectivity

         A description of the Internet connectivity to the site where
         each nameserver for each iTLD will be located.

         For example, a diagram showing full multi-homed connectivity to
         the organization's computers which will serve as the iTLD
         nameservers, with each leg of that connectivity being at a
         non-aggregated data rate of <*** whatever ***>.

         And route advertisement via BGP4 for this organization's
         connectivity must be operational for the connections maintained
         under this provision, and the network involved should be
         operating in a "defaultless" configuration.

         2) Nameserver Performance

         The description of at least two (2) nameservers for the iTLDs
         in question.  These nameservers shall run the latest
         "consumable" release of the BIND code (4.9.x at present), and
         may include local enhancements, changes, or operational

         The names and IP addresses of the hosts which are proposed to
         serve the iTLDs.

      6.3.3. Business Aspects

         A description of the applicant which shows sufficient business
         viability that the registry is likely to operate successfully
         for at least five years (this is not a business plan, rather
         some documentation that lends credibility to the applicant's

         An initiation fee of USD 10000 payable to the "Internet

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         Society" to be deposited in the "iTLD fund"; and each registry
         established under this plan will contribute one percent (1%) of
         its gross income from fees, dues, or other charges to its
         customers to the "Internet Society" to be deposited in the
         "iTLD fund", to be paid on a quarterly basis.

   6.4. The Application

      All of the information required to be supplied with an application
      should be prepared for transmission via email in plain ASCII text,
      in English.  The details of the submission of applications will be
      determined by the ad hoc committee.

      The application shall include the following:

      6.4.1. Applicant Name

         The name of the applicant, including the contact information.

      6.4.2. iTLD Names

         The three three-character iTLDs proposed, along with an
         statement indemnifying the IANA and the ISOC for any
         infringement of trademark which may be created by the IANA
         authorizing this assignment.

      6.4.3. The Criteria Statements

         The applicant's approach to the three criteria of section 6.3,
         Registration Services, Operational Resources, and Business

         These statements should include:

         A clear statement of the charter, policies, and procedures,

         a statement of registrant qualification procedures,

         a statement that they will be non-discriminatory in the sense
         of treating all applicants equally (if a registry chooses to
         operate the iTLD "CHM" for companies in the chemical business
         it may decline to register companies not in that business)

         a description demonstrating the organizational and technical
         competence to run a registry and the expected accompanying
         information services,

         a statement that the registry will

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            (1) abide by the results of the appeals process (as
            described in this memo) and the direction of the IANA, and

            (2) hold harmless ISOC, IANA, IETF, the ad hoc committee,

            (3) obtain the usual prudent insurance.

      6.4.4. The Application Fee

         A non-refundable application fee of USD 1000 payable to the
         "Internet Society" to be deposited in the "iTLD fund".

   6.5. Charters are for a period of five years, but annual progress
   reports are submitted for review by IANA and the ad hoc group.  Only
   in exceptional cases of radical change or abuse of a charter may the
   IANA or the ad hoc group recommend to the IANA and ISOC that the
   charter be reevaluated before the charter period is reached (see
   appeals process, and termination of registries sections).

   6.9.  Sorting Out the iTLD Requests

   It is fairly likely that severral applicants will request the same

   Suppose that two or more of the registry applicants that have been
   otherwise approved by the ad hoc committee have requested the same
   name as one of their new iTLDs.

   The ad hoc committee will have to use an unbiased and fair method to
   select which applying registry is to manage that iTLD.

   This could result is some approved registries having fewer than three
   iTLDs to manage.

   After all the original iTLD requests of the approved registries have
   been resolved any registries with fewer than three iTLDs to manage
   will be asked to propose additional iTLD names until three non-
   conflicting names have been selected.

   6.10.  Contract

   The actual agreement to establish a new registry will take the form
   of a contract between the registry organization and the Internet
   Society (ISOC).

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   6.11.  Schedule

   There are several stages that each take some time: forming the ad hoc
   committee, finalizing the procedure, accepting the applications, and
   evaluating the applications.

   6.9.1. Assume the ad hoc committee is be formed day 1.

   6.9.2. The ad hoc committee will finalize and announce its procedures
      by day 30.

   6.9.3. The ad hoc committee will accept applications until day 90.

   6.9.4. The ad hoc committee will review the applications and announce
      its selections by day 135.

   For example suppose the ad hoc committee was formed on 1-May-96.
   Then the schedule would be:

            01-Jul-96       ad hoc committee formed

            01-Aug-96       procedures finalized,
                            begin accepting applications

            01-Oct-96       stop accepting applications,
                            begin evaluation

            15-Nov-96       announce selections

7. Termination of Registries

   iTLD registries may decide they no longer wish to operate their
   registry.  Likely, the operation will not be profitable when this
   occurs, yet the registrants under the iTLD may need to be supported
   for a considerable time.

   Some portion of the fees in the ISOC-managed iTLD fund may be used to
   pay for some other organization to operate the failing iTLD or
   registry until it again becomes viable or until the registrants have
   safely migrated elsewhere.

   While it is unclear how expensive providing even temporary service
   for the iTLDs of a failed registry might be, the iTLD process must be
   prepared for the case where a very popular, possibly because it is
   low cost, iTLD or registry fails.

   Some views on the possible scenarios:

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      It will be very expensive.

         Bailing out the registrants of a failing domain could be very
         expensive, even on the order of a million USD (remember, a
         likely failure mode may be because someone thought they could
         do it for less).

      It is not a big deal.

         It is presumed that any registry with a significant client base
         will constitute a legitimate on-going business interest with
         revenue prospects sufficient to insure that the registry will
         in fact be transferred to another organization.

         As an example, presuming 5,000 registrants of a given registry
         and a fee of 50 USD per year, a revenue stream of 250000 USD
         per year would inure to the benefit of any organization taking
         over the services of a defunct organization.

         Should a registry close without having significant second-level
         registrations in place at that time, the impact to the Internet
         users as a whole will be minimal or non-existent.

   Succession issues related to the relationships between customers of a
   registry and that registry itself are properly contractual matters
   between the registry and its customers, and when properly attended to
   do not involve the IETF, ISOC, or the IANA.

   The IANA or its designee may operate an "escrow holder" to insure
   that the records contained in a registry will remain available in the
   event of intentional or accidental destruction due to a registry
   forfeiting a iTLD.

   Organizations providing registry services may elect to terminate
   their involvement in this program and release the iTLD namespace
   delegated to their organization under the following circumstances:

   7.1. Any organization may transfer the authority for, and
      registration services provided, for a iTLD to any other
      organization provided that the new registration authority complies
      with all provisions of this memorandum.  The business and
      financial terms under which this transfer is conducted shall be
      properly between the old and new registry organizations and not
      under the jurisdiction of the IANA, the IETF or the ISOC. However,
      the IANA must be notified of such a transfer, and the charter of
      the registry for the management of these iTLDs shall be reviewed
      as a renewal of the charter at the next normal session of the ad
      hoc committee.

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   7.2. iTLDs which are "orphaned" by a registry that constructively
      abandons them or ceases business operations without first securing
      a successor organization to assume the authority and registration
      services for that namespace shall be deemed "abandoned".
      Abandoned iTLD namespace shall be auctioned to the highest bidder
      by an open, competitive bid process adjudicated by the IANA or its
      designees, which shall be conducted without undue delay.  During
      the interim period in question the IANA shall be authorized to
      designate one or more firm(s) to hold the existing registration
      records to prevent the interruption of service.

   7.3. An organization that is found by the IANA to be in violation of
      the terms of this delegation memorandum shall be given notice by
      the IANA of intent to recover the iTLD domain space allocated
      under this policy via normal postal mail.  Within 30 days, the
      organization against which the complaint has been lodged shall a)
      cure the violation(s) of this policy, (b) transfer authority to
      another organization under 7.1 above, or (c) constructively
      abandon for public auction the namespace under the provisions of
      7.2 above.  Where the facts are disputed regarding possible
      violations of this policy, the IANA is authorized to promulgate
      reasonable adjudication policies which should include an
      arbitration provision.

8. Finances

   It is desirable to keep the ISOC, IANA and IETF from becoming
   involved in operational and contractual aspects of the iTLD
   registries, and it is further desirable to separate, to the extent
   possible, the IETF and IANA funding from these organizations.

   It is presumed in the best interest of the IETF, the IANA, ant the
   ISOC to see that this separation of function is preserved.


         Indemnification provisions from the registries to the IANA and
         related organizations may not serve to properly insulate the
         ISOC, IANA and IETF from legal proceedings, as it should be
         presumed that any organization which is legally challenged in a
         significant fashion may be unable to properly pay any judgments
         levied against it.  Current "deep pockets" legal practice
         exposes related organizations to the negative effects of these
         legal actions should the original organization be unable to
         fulfill its financial obligations.

         There is a concern that the presence of a funding path creates
         a tying arrangement between for-profit organizations and a set

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         of non-profit organizations which up to now have not been
         legally, financially, or otherwise encumbered by the actions of
         these registries.

   8.1. A registry may charge as it sees fit, within the bounds of the
      policy published when it is chartered.

   8.2. The ISOC manages all finances in a separate iTLD fund with open
      reporting and published budgets.  Agreement of the ISOC, the IANA,
      and the IETF is required on all budgets.

   8.3. Charter fee income may be used to pay legal costs of the IANA,
      IETF, ISOC, and ad hoc groups when legal disputes arise from the
      iTLDs process.

   8.4. Charter fee income is also used to pay modest and publicly
      visible costs of the chartering process, e.g., the costs of the ad
      hoc committee, the administrative staff, and costs incurred by the

   8.5. Charter fee income may also be used to fund the IANA if and when
      it becomes necessary.

   8.6. Should the reserves be too large, a consensus of the IANA, IETF,
      and ISOC would allow disbursements for the general network good,
      e.g., scholarships for engineers from developing countries.

   8.7. The ISOC may charge a modest amount for administering the iTLD

9. Appeals

   Arbitration to resolve conflicts is encouraged.  That an appeals
   process is specified should not preclude use of arbitration.  The
   appeals process described here is for when arbitration has failed or
   when the parties decide not to use arbitration, yet they do not wish
   to exercise recourse to lawyers and courts.

   9.1. The appeals process does not apply to disputes over Intellectual
      Property Rights on names (trademark, service mark, copyright).
      These disputes are best left to arbitration or the courts.
      Registries may require appropriate waivers from registrants.

   9.2. The appeals process does not apply to charging and billing.
      This is left to market forces, arbitration, and the courts.

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   9.3. The appeals process applies to all other aspect of registry
      processing of registration requests.

   9.4. A registrant's first recourse is to the registry which has
      denied them registration or otherwise failed to provide the
      expected service.

   9.5. All registries must specify in their applications an entry point
      and a process for appeals, as well as a response time, and must
      subsequently conform to them.

   9.6. If appellant is dissatisfied with the registry response, appeal
      may be escalated to the IANA.   The IANA hears appeals based only
      on technical issues.  Note that the IANA may use the IDNB to
      process the appeal.

   9.7. The IANA must define its entry point for appeals and must
      respond to appeals within four weeks.

   9.8. If appellant is dissatisfied with the IANA response, and the
      appeal has nontrivial process aspects, the appeal may be escalated
      to the IETF.  The IETF hears appeals based only on process issues,
      that is, claims that the procedure was not followed.

   9.9. If appellant is dissatisfied with the IANA and, if invoked, the
      IETF response, appeal may be escalated to the ISOC.  The ISOC
      appeals process hears appeals only about the fairness of the
      procedure.  I.e.  the decision of IANA and/or IETF is final,
      unless there is an appeal that the procedure itself is unfair.

   9.10. The appeals process works by email.  Appellant must provide
      concise history of the case and summarize grounds of appeal.  The
      IANA, the IETF, or the ISOC may ask for information from third
      parties.  All information is normally treated as nonconfidential
      and may be made publicly available.  Confidential information is
      considered only in special circumstances.

   9.11. The IANA, the IETF and the ISOC may establish appeals sub-
      committees chosen either from their own membership or outside of
      it by whatever means each deems reasonable for their procedures
      and purposes.

10. Security Considerations

   There are no known security considerations beyond those already
   extant in the DNS.

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11. Acknowledgments

   This memo is a total rip off of a draft by Randy Bush, combined with
   substantial inclusion of material from a draft by Karl Denninger.
   The appeals section was originally written by Brian Carpenter.

   To this base i've made many changes small and large.  So to the
   extent you like this it is probably their work, and to the extent you
   don't like it it is probably all my fault.

   A lot of significant and constructive input and review was received
   from the following:

       Alan Barrett        <apb@iafrica.com>
       Randy Bush          <randy@psg.com>
       Brian E. Carpenter  <brian@dxcoms.cern.ch>
       Karl Denninger      <karl@MCS.Net>
       Robert Elz          <kre@munnari.oz.au>
       Geoff Huston        <gih@aarnet.edu.au>
       John Klensin        <klensin@mci.net>
       Lawrence Landweber  <lhl@cs.wisc.edu>
       Nick Trio           <nrt@watson.ibm.com>

12. Author's Address

       Jon Postel
       IANA                                      Phone: +1 310 822-1511
       USC/Information Sciences Institute        Fax:   +1 310 823-6714
       4676 Admiralty Way
       Marina del Rey, CA 90292                  Email: Postel@ISI.EDU

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