ICANN Resolutions » Recommendations for the Technical Utilization of the Root Zone Label Generation Rules
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Whereas, the ICANN Board approved the Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels on 4 November 2013, which has been implemented to incrementally develop the Root Zone Label Generation Rules to determine valid top-level domains (TLDs) and their variant labels.
Whereas, multiple script communities have completed their RZ-LGR proposals, of which sixteen scripts have been integrated into the third version of the RZ-LGR, while many of the remaining scripts are in the process of finalizing their RZ-LGR proposals.
Whereas, the ICANN Board approved the Recommendations for Managing IDN Variant TLDs on 14 March 2019 which require the use of RZ-LGR to determine valid IDN TLDs and their variant labels, requesting that the ccNSO and GNSO take into account these recommendations for developing their respective policies relevant to IDN variant TLDs while ensuring a consistent solution.
Whereas, the ICANN Board further requested the ICANN community to form a study group to investigate any issues in technically employing the RZ-LGR to determine valid IDN TLDs and their variant labels;
Whereas, the ICANN community formed the study group which finalized the Recommendations for the Technical Utilization of the RZ-LGR after taking input from the community, and published these recommendations on 7 October 2019. These recommendations have been reviewed by ICANN org and considered by the ICANN Board.
Resolved (2020.01.26.03), the Board requests that the ccNSO and GNSO Councils take into account the Recommendations for the Technical Utilization of the RZ-LGR while developing their respective policies to define and manage the IDN variant TLDs for current TLDs as well as for future TLD applications.
Initial work by the community in 2012 on the issues related to IDN variant TLDs, as part of the Integrated Issues Report (IIR)1, identified that there is no accepted definition for what may constitute a variant relationship between top-level labels. To address this issue ICANN org and the community developed the Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels (LGR Procedure)2. This procedure allows to define label generation rules for different scripts to determine valid TLD labels and their variant labels. In 2013, the ICANN Board endorsed this procedure and requested ICANN org and the community to undertake it. Based on process stipulated in the LGR Procedure, to date multiple Generation Panels (GPs) have completed their RZ-LGR proposals, of which sixteen scripts have already been integrated into the third version of the RZ-LGR (RZ-LGR-3). Many of the remaining script communities are also in the process of finalizing their RZ-LGR proposals. Further, the ICANN Board approved the recommendations3 for managing the IDN variant TLDs, which requires the use of RZ-LGR to determine valid IDN TLDs and their variant labels, and requested ccNSO and GNSO to take these into account in their policy development processes.
With the availability of the RZ-LGR and its anticipated central role in determining valid TLDs and their variant labels, the ICANN Board requested the ICANN community (including Supporting Organizations (SOs), Advisory Committees (ACs) and Internet Architecture Board (IAB)) to study issues in the technical use of the RZ-LGR consistently across all IDN TLDs, including IDN gTLDs and IDN ccTLDs. Accordingly, the RZ-LGR Study Group (SG) was formed from the nominees of SOs, ACs, IAB and additional volunteers from the ICANN community to address the request from the ICANN Board. After its formation, the RZ-LGR SG first worked on the scope of its work and finalized it after feedback received by the community through the first public comment call in August 2018. The SG deliberated the relevant technical details based on this scope and developed a set of recommendations. These recommendations were released in the second public comment by the SG in May 2019. Based on the input from the community, the SG finalized these recommendations and published them on 7 October 2019 for further consideration of the ICANN Board.
There will be a fiscal impact of these recommendations due to the maintenance of the RZ-LGR based on the LGR Procedure and deployment and maintenance of an LGR Tool to process TLD labels based on the RZ-LGR. The continued fiscal impact for maintaining the RZ-LGR is anticipated to be less significant than the existing financial support being expended for its development. Also, an LGR Tool has already been developed and deployed by ICANN org to support the script-based GPs in developing their RZ-LGR proposals which can be used for processing TLD labels in the future. The actual fiscal impact is also dependent on the recommendations eventually developed by the ccNSO and GNSO Councils through their respective policy processes related to IDN TLDs and their variant labels, and adopted by the ICANN Board.
The recommendations support ICANN's mission and contribute towards a secure and stable operation of the unique identifier system in multiple ways as they: support a uniform definition of IDN variant TLDs across gTLDs and ccTLDs and for both the existing TLDs and future TLD applications; support a community-driven mechanism to maintain RZ-LGR in line with the LGR Procedure which maintains its stability; and highlight and address any discrepancies between what is allowed through RZ-LGR and what is delegated in the root zone. This is achieved while respecting the community policy development role. The work, supporting the use of RZ-LGR to consistently determine and possibly delegate IDN variant TLDs, also contributes to the public interest by enhancing access to the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) in different scripts.