IDN Working Group Telephone Conference (07 March 2007)


Donna Austin, ICANN

Ian Chiang, .tw

Hiro Hotta, .jp

Ming-Cheng Liang, .tw

Min-Jung Park, .kr

Gabi Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat

Charles Shaban, ccNSO Council

Jonathan Shea, .hk

William Tan, .us

Second Level Issues

An overview was given on the work of the Second Level Issues working group, basing on the paper sent out to the IDN Working Group members in advance of the meeting.

The first key issue identified by the group is dealing with language tables. Some countries have already introduced second level IDNs and some of the used language tables have been registered by IANA, others haven�t. Therefore, the feeling of the group was that when IDNs will be introduced at the top-level, there will also be a need for some alignment between the language tables, to avoid confusion.

Another issue is whether any mapping or alignments with already existing registered IDN names in the second level is necessary. This issue also applies to IDNs on the top-level. A discussion on who should be responsible for doing the mapping is needed as well.

The group further posted the questions whether the mixing of a script within a single label should be allowed, or whether different scripts should be allowed across the labels.

Another key issue is dealing with WHOIS. At the moment some WHOIS services allow people to enter information in their native language, whilst others are restricted to ascii. There is some need to coordinate and align the different practices.

A short discussion followed on the mixing of scripts. In was pointed out that some countries, such as Japan, already allow the mixing of scripts across labels. It was clarified that the ICANN IDN guidelines accept mixed scripts, with only a few exceptions for a few languages, such as Cyrillic. It was, however, pointed out that there is a broad consensus within the ICANN community, including the gNSO, that registries should be as restricted as possible when it comes to mixing scripts within a single label.

A question was posted whether the WORKING GROUP should tackle the issue, or if it should just follow the current ICANN IDN guidelines. The feeling was that since the guidelines doesn�t really cause any inconvenience for ccTLDs, they should be followed. However, the group should have a close look at them and try to find out whether the guidelines perhaps have omitted some issues that could cause problems for certain language groups.

It was pointed out that there has already been work done by ccTLDs within the own countries in which they operate. To be able to share information, some coordination is needed and it was felt that the ccNSO should try to lead the discussion.

The group has to polish the posted paper and is to prepare a priority list which will be discussed at the next phone call.

Cross-over Issues Working Group

Min-Jung Park (.kr) presented the paper from the Cross-over Issues Working Group. She pointed out that the other sub-working group members had not been able to comment on it due to time restraints and therefore asked other Working Group members for help with the paper. Ming-Cheng and Jonathan volunteered to assist.

Min-Jung identified three main points that needs to be addressed:

The first point is dealing with Language Tables and the need for updating them. It was noted that the Second Level Working Group is dealing with the same issues.

The second point deals with the question whether there should be a reservation of IDN-equivalents of existing gTLDs in the IDN ccTLD space. Most ccTLD managers see no need for this; however, some voices have been raised, claiming such reservations should be done. The Working Group members felt that there was no need for such reservations and it was suggested to put this into a recommendation to ICANN so that it is kept in mind when a new IDN gTLD is accepted.

Another issue identified was whether there should be a reservation list of geopolitical names in the IDN TLD space. Min-Jung pointed out that a lot of discussion was going on about the issue on the Reserved Names Working Group within the GNSO and that the Working Group has asked for ccNSO input on the matter. The question is whether the ccNSO is able to come up with a reservation list in a timely manner, or, alternatively, whether to define recommendations, which would then have to be accepted by the GAC, gNSO and the corresponding communities.

All attendees agreed this is an important subject to consider and that further discussions are needed.

The third point dealt with whom to consult when selecting IDN TLD strings. It was felt that when an application for a new IDN TLD was filed, both the GNSO, ccNSO and the GAC should be consulted, so that the groups have the opportunity to express their concerns and opinions. This is of special importance in circumstances where the new TLD may have some geographic or geopolitical connotation. There should be a joint scrutiny between the groups on the TLD, even if the application concerned a generic TLD.

It was pointed out that there already is a group within ICANN, dealing with new TLD applications. Min-Jung clarified that the aim is to install a cooperation mechanism between this group and the ccNSO, GNSO and GAC for a joint examination of the applications.


Hiro Hotta expressed his apologies for not putting forward a paper on the work of the Top-Level IDN Working Group. He pointed out that some work had already been done in Sao Paulo, but the group would come up with a more polished paper in time for the next call.

He also suggested that the Working Group should have a close look at the documents presented, to be able to identify whether all issues listed in Sao Pail had been covered, or whether work is being duplicated in the different groups.

Ian was designated to check whether the Sao Paulo points have been treated, and whether any overlap issues exist in the sub-groups.

Ming-Cheng encouraged all participants to re-read and prepare comment on both papers for next call.

Finally, it was suggested to have a physical meeting before the start of the ccNSO meeting in Lisbon to discuss the work of the working groups extensively. It was suggested to hold the meeting on Monday, 26th March. This was supported by the attendees.