18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.ticketsAccent Media Limitedcloudnames.comView

i. The .TICKETS domain will be a safe, secure and trusted global domain space for ticket sales and ticket marketing and promotions.

The benefit for Internet users is clear: a .TICKETS domain will take them to trusted ticket vendors and associated service providers. Over time, consumer trust in the online ticket sectors will be improved, fraud and deception will be reduced and consumer protection will be increased.

We have support for our mission from a range of stakeholders that are connected to the ticket sector and ticket services. For example we have support from the Music Managers Forum - the UK trade organisation of over four hundred music managers representing more than one thousand music artists - who are keen to see our application succeed and for our gTLD to protect music fans from fraudulent and deceptive activity. See formal statement of support at http:⁄⁄www.stormcrowd.com⁄ACCENT_MEDIA⁄FAC_MMF_Accent_Media.pdf.

Registrants, being part of the global ticketing industry which is, for most industry sectors, unregulated will benefit from having available to them a “kite mark” of authenticity and legitimacy which will build consumer trust and confidence in online ticketing within the current global environment of increasingly sophisticated and widespread ticketing fraud and deception.

The legitimacy of registrants operating a .TICKETS domain will be secured through carefully developed industry specific eligibility criteria, containing quality standards and specifying service levels and best practices, compliance with which shall be monitored on an ongoing basis, and when appropriate amended in order to deal dynamically with new challenges that arise.

The reputation of the .TICKETS domain shall be paramount; the public’s trust in the safety and security of the .TICKETS domain must be sought through effective education and marketing, and maintained through diligent gatekeeping of the .TICKETS domain space.

ii. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

In terms of the current space, online ticket selling and online ticket service provision, the .TICKETS domain will provide simple, immediate and effective differentiation and innovation by introducing a safe, secure and trusted global domain space.

It will assist in promoting fair competition by minimising fraud and deception. Fraud and deception costs consumers, ticket sellers, credit card companies and others in terms of brand equity losses, money, resource and time. The .TICKETS space with its industry sub-sector specific eligibility criteria will benefit all of these stakeholders. In so doing, it will assist operators in the .TICKETS domain space in building their businesses and brands, and will encourage new innovative players to enter the market and compete.

Furthermore, the .TICKETS domain space will enhance competition within the ticketing industry by allowing ticketing businesses who don’t have a traditional gTLD (such as .COM),(because their business or brand name has already been reserved in that gTLD domain space), to nonetheless obtain a second level domain name. This may make it easier for the public to find them and thus increase competition in the ticketing marketplace.

The .TICKETS namespace will facilitate a much greater level of innovation within the ticketing industry by giving those operating within this space the opportunity to develop specialist services such as trusted aggregators for, for example, festivals, concerts or sporting events.

The .TICKETS domain space will also enhance diversity; principally diversity regarding eligibility mechanisms for gTLDs. We envisage that the majority of new gTLD registrations will be plain Internet identifiers, not protected gateways like .TICKETS.

iii. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

As has already been stated, a .TICKETS domain will take users to trusted ticket vendors and service providers.

A .TICKETS domain will remove uncertainty for consumers and save them time, removing the need for consumers to carry out their own due diligence on the website from which they intend to procure ticketing goods or services, which they are often advised to do (see for example the advice from the UK Government joint initiative website, Get Safe Online at www. http:⁄⁄www.getsafeonline.org⁄nqcontent.cfm?a_id=1800)

In short, a .TICKETS second level domain will operate as a badge of authenticity and legitimacy within the ticketing sector in a similar way to that provided to Internet users who seek out .EDU for registered educational establishments or .GOV for official government websites.

iv. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.

The Registry policies surrounding the .TICKETS namespace will support and enable our mission to create a safe, secure and trusted global domain environment for online ticket sales, marketing and promotions free from fraudulent activity. It will ensure that only non-fraudulent operators can acquire second level domains and will also protect intellectual property rights owners.

The .TICKETS domain is intended to serve the global ticketing industry. Registrants will be those participating in the ticketing and ticket-related industries, and will be limited to a predetermined list of industry-types (which may be extended) to be developed by extended coalitions of cross-sector advisors.

Accent Media will involve the ticketing industry in developing the policies it will apply to the .TICKETS domain. Therefore, it will create a policy-making procedure that balances the participation of members of the ticketing industry with consultation and advice from consumer groups and others, including national and international law enforcement agencies. An advisory board will be convened for each industry sub-sector. The Registry shall appoint a policy officer who shall be responsible for assisting, drafting and revising all policies in liaison with the advisory boards. The advisory boards’ recommendations shall be delivered to the Registry’s executive committee for approval.

Please see our answers to Q#29 Rights Protection Mechanisms.

In addition, policies will be created to address the following:

1. The eligibility of registrants

Maintaining the credibility of the .TICKETS domain as a safe, secure and trusted global domain environment for online ticket sales, marketing, and promotions is crucial and Accent Media’s principle objective.

Therefore strict eligibility criteria shall be adopted in order to ensure that all registrants of .TICKETS domain names meet the above objective.

Fair, practicable, relevant and robust eligibility criteria, which will be sub-sector specific, must and will be developed by the advisory boards.

Consideration will be given to the necessity of adopting or revising certain eligibility criteria for different jurisdictions, although this will be the exception.

A potential registrant will be required to complete and submit an application, attesting to their eligibility and declaring the accuracy of the information they have provided. An authentication process, for example similar to that used for acquiring secure certification, will also need to be completed and may vary depending on the specific use cases as defined from time to time by the policy advisory boards.

Registrants shall be required to agree to a privacy policy which shall detail how information provided by them shall be used, including which information shall be made available to the public and under what circumstances.

In accordance with the eligibility criteria policy, the Registry will verify whether the declaration made by the applicant contains inaccurate or false information about the applicant’s identity and credentials and whether it has met the eligibility criteria. In order to verify the information provided by the applicant, the Registry shall be entitled to request supplementary information from the applicant, including but not limited to references.

In the event that an applicant’s application is denied, the applicant shall have a specified period of time within which to request a denial review. Should denial be confirmed following denial review, the applicant may appeal by initiating an appeals process (see below). Names that are subject to the denial review or appeal will not be available to any other applicant.

Eligible registrants may be limited to the number of second level domain names they may register.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate a knowledge of and support for the aims and objectives of the .TICKETS domain space (see below).

The eligibility criteria and authentication process will be reviewed and, if appropriate, updated from time to time.

To ensure fair access to the .TICKETS domain space, any name that is not registered by reason of the ineligibility of any applicant will become available for registration by any eligible party.

No applicant will be deemed eligible without accepting the terms of a registration agreement (see below). The agreement will be submitted to Accent Media either directly or via an authorised channel.

All registrants will be subject to audit and periodic review to ensure that they continue to meet the eligibility requirements. In addition to fixed period audits, the Registry may be entitled to initiate an audit at any time at its discretion, for example, upon receipt of user complaints. Failure to meet the audit and review requirements will be notified to the registrant and a period for compliance shall be given. Failure to demonstrate compliance within such time period may result in revocation of the registration agreement and forfeiture of the registrant’s right to use the .TICKETS domain space, as further defined in the registration agreement.

An appeals process will be available to any applicant whose application is unsuccessful and for any registrant whose registration agreement is revoked. An ombudsman will be appointed for each industry sub-sector to hear appeals. The ombudsman shall be independent from the Registry and the appellant. The ombudsman may be an individual or an entity.

2. Registration agreements

A registration agreement will be entered into by every registrant.

The registration agreement will contain operating rules. These operating rules will govern compliance with Registry policies, and will include, for example how and to whom the applicant may delegate third level domain names within their sub-domain.

The registrant agreement will require the registrant to make a declaration that it is legally entitled to use the name(s) it is proposing to register under the .TICKETS domain. The registrant will also be required to be bound by various dispute resolution policies (see below), including an eligibility dispute resolution policy (to be followed where a registrant’s eligibility is challenged by a third party).

All registrants will be required declare their support for the aims and objectives of the .TICKETS domain space by endorsing the Registry’s charter and code of conduct, which will set out the Registry’s fundamental guiding principles.

The registration agreement will permit the Registry to revoke the registrant’s right to use the .TICKETS domain in certain circumstances.

3. Registry policies

The Registry will develop, again in conjunction with the advisory boards referred to above, Registry policies that will support the Registry in its mission and which will sit alongside existing norms and conventions.

In terms of name selection, the principle that the Registry shall adopt is that the first eligible applicant for registration of a domain name will be entitled to register that name. The date and time of completion of all registration requirements, including eligibility and the authentication process, will determine the applicant’s order of priority.

The Registry shall adopt policies focused on the resolution of any dispute that may arise from the registration and ownership of a .TICKETS domain name. These policies shall include:

- An eligibility dispute resolution policy - to be followed where a registrant’s eligibility is challenged by the third party (NB we wish to make it clear that the Registry itself shall have primary responsibility for ensuring that eligibility criteria have been met by any applicant)
- A compliance consideration policy to be followed where the Registry’s audit and periodic review of registrants’ on-going compliance with eligibility requirements has not been met by the registrant.
- Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) all registrants will abide by the UDRP as approved by ICANN.

4. Appointment of registrars selection and oversight

Policies surrounding the appointment of registrars will be developed and will operate in conjunction with standard operational policies of ICANN and other relevant authorities.

To ensure our aims and objectives are clearly communicated to potential registrants, it is crucial that registrar selection rests with the Registry. The Registry will accept all registrars meeting the Registry’s registrar eligibility criteria.

The Registry will oversee all registrars that it authorises. Such oversight shall include registrars’ adherence to Registry policies, their delivery of registration agreements, their handling and processing of applications according to the eligibility criteria and authentication processes, their delivery and updating of WHOIS data, and their management of cancellations, transfers and renewals.

5. Reserved names policy

Upon launch of the .TICKETS namespace, the Registry will inform the market in an appropriate manner of a list of reserved names and those available as premium domains at a fixed cost and those available as part of the opening premium domain name auction as is customary upon the launch of a new TLD Registry.

Additionally the Registry will comply fully with ICANN policy regarding reservation of geographical names and will ensure that any registrants of geographical names have the appropriate authorisation to use such a name in accordance with ICANN policy. See Q22 for additional specification of this policy.

v. Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.

Information given for the eligibility evaluation:

Registrants shall be required to agree to a privacy policy which shall detail how information provided by them to the Registry will be used, including explaining which information shall be made available to the public and⁄or regulatory bodies and under what circumstances.

For example, the Registry will compile and maintain a publicly accessible registration database that includes basic information about each domain name registered to it, including the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of individuals designated as points of contact for a given domain name.

Information published in the WHOIS service:

Information will be made available for the WHOIS service in accordance with ICANN policy.

General comments:

Registrants shall be required to endorse the Registry’s charter and code of practice which, amongst other matters, will confirm their adherence to privacy and data protection laws and regulations in the territories in which they operate, to ensure the protection of users.

The Registry itself shall operate to the highest standards of privacy and data protection, ensuring comprehensive understanding of its obligations by its senior officers, employees, agents and any third parties with which it works.

Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

Significant marketing and efforts are essential to educating consumers and raising their awareness of the .TICKETS namespace.

Accent Media will develop meaningful strategies and partnerships (with industry bodies, commercial partners (including, for example, credit card companies and banks), consumer protection organisations and law enforcement agencies) to provide the consumer education and awareness programme which will ensure that over time, Internet users requiring tickets or ticketing services will seek out only websites that use the .TICKETS domain. Consumers will trust that the .TICKETS domain will take them to authentic ticket vendors and service providers.

Accent Media will identify and engage with marketing partners to fund consumer education and awareness campaigns. These campaigns will be delivered on a sector by sector, territory by territory basis using locally relevant media campaigns to deliver the greatest impact towards achieving our goals and objectives. The primary goal of these campaigns will be to reach consumers most susceptible to online ticket fraud and deception.

Many industry sectors, such as the entertainment industry, have already engaged in initiatives to promote consumer awareness of fraud in online ticket sales. We will partner with these and new sectors and co-develop innovative ways of promoting our collective objectives that support our mission.

As an analogy, we will explore initiatives similar to that employed, for example, by the alcohol industry in the UK, Drinkaware (see www.drinkaware.co.uk), which aims to promote responsible drinking by equipping people with knowledge so as to enable them to make decisions about how they drink, and which is supported by voluntary donations from across the drinks industry.

Ultimately, through engagement with our key stakeholders, we envisage a future when a .TICKETS message is included prominently on all advertising and marketing for concerts, theatre productions, movies, sporting events and travel promotions as well as included on every ticket that is sold worldwide.

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