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DotAfrica is a ‘Standard’ gTLD:
DotAfrica gTLD will be a standard, open, generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) that serves the diverse needs and purposes of the global Internet community, but with special focus on promoting Internet use in Africa. It will have no community restrictions in its registration policies.
DCA believes that DotAfrica does not qualify as a community-based application for two main reasons:
a) There is no clearly delineated, organized and pre-existing community that is targeted by the DotAfrica gTLD.
b) It is difficult to clearly identify who are the ‘members’ of the community, since a ‘community-definition’ of DotAfrica will restrict its use and functionality. Since ‘DotAfrica’ does not necessarily mean a TLD for ‘Africans’, it is difficult to determine the persons or entities that are considered to form the community, and the number of people or entities that make up the community.
It is for these reasons that we think that any community-based application submitted for DotAfrica is merely to get a very important generic word – that refers to a geographic name – as a gTLD string for the ‘purposes’ of a community that is very difficult to define and construct.
DCA Trust intends to apply for DotAfrica as a standard gTLD and after its application is successful, to implement an open gTLD registry in line with the Mission and Purpose of DotAfrica. DotAfrica will not cite any particular community both in the application, and in the resulting new gTLD Registry agreement.
For example, it is not envisioned that community-based restrictions such as policies allowing registration of community members only or use of registered domain names in conformity with the stated purpose of the community-based TLD, as enshrined under Article 2.18 of the new gTLD Registry Agreement will apply to DotAfrica. DotAfrica is therefore not aimed at any particular community, and as such, no community has participated directly or indirectly in the development of the policies of the TLD. DCA Trust does not believe that DotAfrica gTLD should be operated and used to serve the needs of any particular community. DCA Trust has not defined a community-based purpose for DotAfrica gTLD, and no particular community has been named in this application.
Expected Objectives and Benefits of the new gTLD Programme:
ICANN as the organization overseeing the new gTLD programme is dedicated to preserving the security and stability of the Internet, promoting competition, achieving broad representation of global Internet communities, and developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. The new gTLD programme is in line with ICANN’s primary mission of ensuring the security and stability of the DNS, and, in particular the Internet’s root server system. According to the principles, recommendations and implementation guidelines for the new gTLD programme, the reasons for introducing new Top-Level domains include:
• Demand from potential applicants
• An application process that would promote competition in the provision of registry services
• New TLDs are expected to add to consumer choice, market differentiation, and geographical and service-provider diversity
According to the new gTLD Applicant’s Guidebook, the new gTLD programme is expected to open up the top-level of the Internet’s namespace to foster diversity, encourage competition, and enhance the utility of the DNS. Some of the important expected objectives of the new gTLD programme are:
i. Creating significant potential for new users and benefits to Internet users across the globe.
ii. Expansion of the Internet by opening up the domain name space, thereby creating new business opportunities based on new web sites that will be introduced
iii. Increased benefit of choice to Internet users
iv. Provide a platform for innovation and further inventiveness on the Internet
v. Foster more creativity in the use of domain names
DCA’s application for the DotAfrica gTLD is in line with the new gTLD programme objectives of ICANN. We believe that the expansion of the Internet will also lead to the expansion of Internet use in Africa. This is fundamental to DCA’s Mission and Purpose for DotAfrica: harness the prospects and opportunities presented by the new gTLD programme to introduce profound changes to the way the Internet is utilized in Africa, especially the new domain names that will be created and become available under DotAfrica gTLD.
Important Duties & Responsibilities of a ‘Registry Operator’:
DCA understands that being delegated the gTLD and appointed ‘registry operator’ is a very important responsibility that imposes certain duties and obligations to operate a part of the Internet DNS which obliges DCA to:
1) Operate the DotAfrica gTLD in a stable and secure manner.
2) Comply with consensus policies and temporary policies.
3) Implement start-up rights protection measures such as a Sunrise period and a Trademark claims service during the start-up phases for registrations in the TLD as provided in the registry agreement.
4) Implement post-launch rights protection measures.
5) Implement measures for protections of country and territory names in the new gTLD.
6) Pay recurring fees to ICANN.
7) Regularly deposit Registry Data into escrow with a ‘Data Escrow Agent’.
8) Deliver monthly reports in a timely manner to ICANN.
9) Provide a Whois service.
10) Maintain partnerships with ICANN accredited registrars.
11) Maintain an abuse point of contact.
12) Cooperate with contractual compliance audits.
13) Maintain a Continued Operations Instrument so as to minimize risk to users and registrants.
14) Maintain community-based policies and procedures (This will not be applicable for a non-community⁄standard application for DotAfrica gTLD)
15) Have continuity and transition plans in place.
16) Make TLD zone files available via a standardized process.
17) Implement DNSSEC.
Charitable Mission & Purpose
As an independent non-profit, DCA Trust intends to utilize surplus proceeds from the registry operation accruing to the Trust Fund for charitable projects. Funds will be regularly allocated to different corporate social responsibility programmes. Specific projects will be identified, and supported. As the first gTLD for Africa, it will aim at bridging the digital divide that exists between other regions of the Internet community and Africa by promoting the use of ICT for development. Therefore, DCA intends to focus on development projects that will aid the increased use and penetration of the Internet in Africa, including provision of low-cost⁄affordable computers, Internet bandwidth, and user training for disadvantaged groups, target local communities and focus groups in Africa.
Some of the programmes that DCA has already initiated :and continues to support include the Youth Demographic in Africa
Generation.Africa is a youth focused program launched by DCA to empower a new generation of Internet users in Africa using its generation.africa theme. It is aimed at different youth audiences and encourages their involvement in discussions that define and increase their common stake-holding in the development and evolution of the Internet.
The Miss.Africa programme is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences in Africa to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment, and overall self-esteem. It is aimed at attracting more young girls and women to the Internet platform to enable them form a sizable demographic of Internet users in Africa, thereby involving them in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives of young girls and women.
The African ccTLDs and the Yes2DotAfrica Awareness Campaign are other two initiatives that DCA will support.
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|.voyage||Ruby House, LLC||donuts.co||View|
Q18A CHAR: 7985
Donuts Inc. is the parent applicant for this and multiple other TLDs. The company intends to increase competition and consumer choice at the top level. It will operate these carefully selected TLDs safely and securely in a shared resources business model. To achieve its objectives, Donuts has recruited seasoned executive management with proven track records of excellence in the industry. In addition to this business and operational experience, the Donuts team also has contributed broadly to industry policymaking and regulation, successfully launched TLDs, built industry-leading companies from the ground up, and brought innovation, value and choice to the domain name marketplace.
DONUTS’ PLACE WITHIN ICANN’S MISSION
ICANN and the new TLD program share the following purposes:
1. to make sure that the Internet remains as safe, stable and secure as possible, while
2. helping to ensure there is a vibrant competitive marketplace to efficiently bring the benefits of the namespace to registrants and users alike.
ICANN harnesses the power of private enterprise to bring forth these public benefits. While pursuing its interests, Donuts helps ICANN accomplish its objectives by:
1. Significantly widening competition and choice in Internet identities with hundreds of new top-level domain choices;
2. Providing innovative, robust, and easy-to-use new services, names and tools for users, registrants, registrars, and registries while at the same time safeguarding the rights of others;
3. Designing, launching, and securely operating carefully selected TLDs in multiple languages and character sets; and
4. Providing a financially robust corporate umbrella under which its new TLDs will be protected and can thrive.
ABOUT DONUTS’ RESOURCES
Donuts’ financial resources are extensive. The company has raised more than US$100 million from a number of capital sources including multiple multi-billion dollar venture capital and private equity funds, a top-tier bank, and other well-capitalized investors. Should circumstances warrant, Donuts is prepared to raise additional funding from current or new investors. Donuts also has in place pre-funded, Continued Operations Instruments to protect future registrants. These resource commitments mean Donuts has the capability and intent to launch, expand and operate its TLDs in a secure manner, and to properly protect Internet users and rights-holders from potential abuse.
Donuts firmly believes a capable and skilled organization will operate multiple TLDs and benefit Internet users by:
1. Providing the operational and financial stability necessary for TLDs of all sizes, but particularly for those with smaller volume (which are more likely to succeed within a shared resources and shared services model);
2. Competing more powerfully against incumbent gTLDs; and
3. More thoroughly and uniformly executing consumer and rights holder protections.
This TLD is attractive and useful to end-users as it better facilitates search, self-expression, information sharing and the provision of legitimate goods and services. Along with the other TLDs in the Donuts family, this TLD will provide Internet users with opportunities for online identities and expression that do not currently exist. In doing so, the TLD will introduce significant consumer choice and competition to the Internet namespace – the very purpose of ICANN’s new TLD program.
This TLD is a generic term and its second level names will be attractive to a variety of Internet users. Making this TLD available to a broad audience of registrants is consistent with the competition goals of the New TLD expansion program, and consistent with ICANN’s objective of maximizing Internet participation. Donuts believes in an open Internet and, accordingly, we will encourage inclusiveness in the registration policies for this TLD. In order to avoid harm to legitimate registrants, Donuts will not artificially deny access, on the basis of identity alone (without legal cause), to a TLD that represents a generic form of activity and expression.
DONUTS’ APPROACH TO PROTECTIONS
No entity, or group of entities, has exclusive rights to own or register second level names in this TLD. There are superior ways to minimize the potential abuse of second level names, and in this application Donuts will describe and commit to an extensive array of protections against abuse, including protections against the abuse of trademark rights.
We recognize some applicants seek to address harms by constraining access to the registration of second level names. However, we believe attempts to limit abuse by limiting registrant eligibility is unnecessarily restrictive and harms users by denying access to many legitimate registrants. Restrictions on second level domain eligibility would prevent law-abiding individuals and organizations from participating in a space to which they are legitimately connected, and would inhibit the sort of positive innovation we intend to see in this TLD. As detailed throughout this application, we have struck the correct balance between consumer and business safety, and open access to second level names.
By applying our array of protection mechanisms, Donuts will make this TLD a place for Internet users that is far safer than existing TLDs. Donuts will strive to operate this TLD with fewer incidences of fraud and abuse than occur in incumbent TLDs. In addition, Donuts commits to work toward a downward trend in such incidents.
Donuts has consulted with and evaluated the ideas of international law enforcement, consumer privacy advocacy organizations, intellectual property interests and other Internet industry groups to create a set of protections that far exceed those in existing TLDs, and bring to the Internet namespace nearly two dozen new rights and protection mechanisms to raise user safety and protection to a new level.
These include eight, innovative and forceful mechanisms and resources that far exceed the already powerful protections in the applicant guidebook. These are:
1. Periodic audit of WhoIs data for accuracy;
2. Remediation of inaccurate Whois data, including takedown, if warranted;
3. A new Domain Protected Marks List (DPML) product for trademark protection;
4. A new Claims Plus product for trademark protection;
6. Limitations on domain proxy and privacy service;
7. Published policies and procedures that define abusive activity; and
8. Proper resourcing for all of the functions above.
They also include fourteen new measures that were developed specifically by ICANN for the new TLD process. These are:
1. Controls to ensure proper access to domain management functions;
2. 24⁄7⁄365 abuse point of contact at registry;
3. Procedures for handling complaints of illegal or abusive activity, including remediation and takedown processes;
4. Thick WhoIs;
5. Use of the Trademark Clearinghouse;
6. A Sunrise process;
7. A Trademark Claims process;
8. Adherence to the Uniform Rapid Suspension system;
9. Adherence to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy;
10. Adherence to the Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Policy;
11. Detailed security policies and procedures;
12. Strong security controls for access, threat analysis and audit;
13. Implementation DNSSEC; and
14. Measures for the prevention of orphan glue records.
DONUTS’ INTENTION FOR THIS TLD
As a senior government authority has recently said, “a successful applicant is entrusted with operating a critical piece of global Internet infrastructure.” Donuts’ plan and intent is for this TLD to serve the international community by bringing new users online through opportunities for economic growth, increased productivity, the exchange of ideas and information and greater self-expression.