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[council] Fwd: ICANN Synthesis on Single-Character Names at the Second-Level

  • To: Chuck Gomes <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] Fwd: ICANN Synthesis on Single-Character Names at the Second-Level
  • From: Daniel Halloran <daniel.halloran@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 19:44:40 -0700
  • Cc: Jeffrey Neuman <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx>, council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • References: <42DB711E-44C1-4CBA-A446-E6264C3DFE9E@icann.org>
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


FYI -- copied below is my response to Jeff Neuman's question that you forwarded to the Council list earlier today regarding single-character names at the second-level of gTLDs. I'm cc'ing Jeff here ... he also gave me the OK to send the below excerpts of additional discussion on this thread in case it might be helpful to you and the rest of the Council. Thank you for your attention.

Best regards,
Dan Halloran

cc: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Begin forwarded message:
From: Daniel Halloran
Date: 20 March 2008 2008-03-20T14:27
To: "Neuman, Jeff"
Cc: "Patrick Jones", "Kurt Pritz", "John Jeffrey", "Craig Schwartz", "Drazek, Keith", "Tindal, Richard", "Stacy Burnette" Subject: Re: ICANN Synthesis on Single-Character Names at the Second- Level


Thanks for your note. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

As Patrick indicated below, we're not talking about a "Consensus Policy" that would force anybody to do anything. I understood that this was a discussion about possible allocation models in the event that registries requested the release of these reserved names. Your comment to the effect that one size won't fit all, and your input on NeuStar's preferred distribution model are both very valuable. I think you made your point clearly.

I hope you'll continue to contribute to the community discussion about whether ICANN needs to continue requiring registries to reserve these single-character second-level domains, and how the domains could be allocated should the reservation ever be lifted. As you noted, the registry agreements differ on whether there is an express provision for granting exceptions to the reserved strings list, but any reservation could of course be lifted through a waiver or bilateral amendment.

Earlier in this thread you asked a hypothetical question about whether ICANN could "force" registries to allocate previously reserved names. I haven't heard anyone discuss that as a possible outcome of the current discussions. If I understand correctly, you're asking for a purely advisory opinion from ICANN about how to interpret NeuStar's contract in the hypothetical event that ICANN might some day try to require NeuStar to release single-character SLDs? I'm not prepared to answer that right now, and I don't think ICANN should be in the business of handing out such hypothetical advisory opinions to its contracted parties. You clearly think this is important, and we have no problem listening to your interpretation of the agreement.

If the GNSO was to decide for some reason to launch a policy- development process on this issue (which staff doesn't think is necessary), then the Issue Report would include a formal General Counsel's opinion on whether the issue is properly within the scope of the ICANN policy process. I think it's premature to venture a guess on what that opinion would be, but I will note that the extent of the GNSO's scope is broader than the extent of the subjects on which gTLD registrars and registries can be "forced" to comply with Consensus Policies (which I'd guess is at the core of your question). Said another way, I think we'd agree that just because the GNSO discusses something doesn't mean ICANN could "force" a new obligation on registries or registrars on that subject. Makes sense?

Thanks again for your inquiry, and for your patience. Please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions or if we can be of any other assistance.

Best regards,


On 19  Mar 2008, at 07:13, Neuman, Jeff wrote:


I was wondering if you all had an answer to the questions posed. I am told the GNSO Council has this on their agenda next week and they need to know if there are any issues about scope before they spend time and resources on this issue.

When can we expect a response?

Jeffrey J. Neuman, Esq.
Sr. Director, Law, Advanced Services  &
Business Development
NeuStar, Inc.

From: Patrick Jones
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 1:56 PM
To: Neuman, Jeff
Cc: Kurt Pritz; John Jeffrey; Craig Schwartz; Daniel Halloran
Subject: RE: ICANN Synthesis on Single-Character Names at the Second-Level


This paper is an incremental step to advance the work on single- character second-level names. The paper was prepared at the direction of the GNSO Council and Reserved Names Working Group, which recommended that single-character domain names at the second- level be released. Consensus policy is not necessary to release single-character names. The Schedule of Reserved Names for most registry agreements states “Except to the extent that ICANN otherwise expressly authorizes in writing, the Registry Operator shall reserve names formed with the following labels from initial (i.e. other than renewal) registration within the TLD.”


From: Neuman, Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6:17 PM
To: GNSO Registry Constituency Planning; Patrick Jones; Craig Schwartz
Cc: Daniel Halloran; John Jeffrey
Subject: RE: [REGYCON] FW: [council] ICANN Synthesis on Single- Character Names at the Second-Level

I am cc’ing Patrick, Craig, Dan and John on this so I can repeat the same questions I have now asked twice to ICANN staff and Board members. I even note that Craig took notes at the constituency meeting in Dehli to follow up on these questions.

I would like the following answered:

Does ICANN believe that they can force gTLD Registries to allocate single letter domain names in the first place through a Consensus Policy? I note the following statement in the report: “ICANN has received many inquiries from third parties seeking to register single-character domain names, has advised these parties that the names are reserved, and informed these parties that the reservation can be removed through a bottom-up process.

- On what basis did ICANN make these statements?

I do not believe that ICANN (or the community) can force these reservations to be removed without registry consent even if there is a Consensus Policy. If ICANN feels differently, please explain the rationale of your statement.

Let me expand on why I believe ICANN cannot force the allocation of single letter domains. The following is from the .biz agreement (also in .com, .net, .info and others) which states that Consensus policies may not

“3.1 (b)(v)(I) alter services that have been implemented pursuant to Section 3.1(d) of this Agreement (unless justified by compelling and just cause based on Security and Stability.”

3.1(d) is the section talking about Registry Operations. It includes the following:

“3.1 (d)(i)(A) Registry Operator shall reserve, and not register any TLD strings (i) appearing on the list of reserved TLD strings attached as Appendix 6 hereto or (ii) located at http://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt for initial (i.e., other than renewal) registration at the second level within the TLD.”



Jeffrey J. Neuman, Esq.
Sr. Director, Law, Advanced Services  &
Business Development
NeuStar, Inc.

From: GNSO Registry Constituency Planning [mailto:REGYCON-L@NIC.MUSEUM ] On Behalf Of Gomes, Chuck
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:14 PM
Subject: [REGYCON] FW: [council] ICANN Synthesis on Single- Character Names at the Second-Level

I haven't had a chance to read this yet but thought I would forward it right away.


From: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx ] On Behalf Of Patrick Jones
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:22 PM
To: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [council] ICANN Synthesis on Single-Character Names at the Second-Level Prior to the Delhi meeting I advised the Council that staff was preparing a paper on single-character domain names at the second- level. The attached ICANN Synthesis on Single-Character Domain Names at the Second-Level is being sent to the Council for information and discussion. Staff is working on engagement of a qualified entity or entities to assist with additional process development for various auction needs. Further information will be provided to the community and the Council.

In the meantime, could you place this paper on the schedule near the end of the Council meeting for discussion on 6 March?



Patrick L. Jones
Registry Liaison Manager &
Coordinator, ICANN Nominating Committee
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: +1 310 301 3861
Fax: +1 310 823 8649

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