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Agreements & Policies

The following agreements and policies govern a registrar's relationship with ICANN, the gTLD registry operators, registered name holders and the registrars' resellers:

  • Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA): this is the contract between ICANN and the registrar that governs ICANN's relationship with an accredited registrar and the terms and conditions of maintaining an accreditation.
  • Statement of Registrar Accreditation Policy: this explains the qualifications for becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar.
  • Registry-Registrar Agreement: for each gTLD you plan to offer to your customers, you will have to enter into an agreement with the responsible registry. The content of the agreement varies from registry to registry. You should directly contact the registries for further information.
  • Registration Agreement: every registrar shall require all registered name holders to enter into an electronic or paper registration agreement with the registrar. This agreement must comply with all the obligations and requirements established under the RAA. Every registrar is encouraged to consider whether their registration agreements are sufficient under the laws, rules, and regulations to which the registrar is subject. For example, a registration agreement that is based upon U.S. laws, rules, and regulations may not be the appropriate registration agreement for a registrar that does not conduct business within the U.S.
  • Reseller Agreement (if applicable): every registrar that enters into an agreement with a reseller of services must ensure that the agreement includes the RAA provisions and consensus policies, and is consistent with all applicable RAA obligations.
  • Consensus Policies: ICANN's agreements with accredited registrars and with gTLD registry operators require compliance with various specifically stated procedures and with "consensus policies" developed in consultation with the stakeholder community.
  • Data Escrow Agreement: Under the data escrow provision of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), all ICANN-accredited registrars must regularly deposit a copy of certain gTLD registration data with ICANN's designated escrow agent or, to a reputable escrow agent mutually approved by the registrar and ICANN. The data shall be held under an agreement among the registrar, ICANN, and an ICANN-approved data escrow service provider. The registrar's obligation to begin depositing data will commence once it begins to register domain names.
  • Model Privacy Policy: the model privacy policy assists registrars in preparing notice to its customers contemplated by Subsection of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."