18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
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i) Goal of the .design gTLD
The .design gTLD will add a layer of user and navigational simplicity across the design world, bringing participants, organizations, businesses and brands that are involved in the design industry closer together.
As a common identifier, the .design gTLD will promote a sense of community identity within the design industry.
The .design gTLD has also the potential to serve as an efficient e-marketing and communication vehicle for designers.
ii) Key differentiation factors brought by the .design new gTLD
Design is a term that encompasses a wide variety of parties and activities. It is often described as a bridge between art and technology.
In the current market, design is a significant driver for user-centred innovation and should therefore be promoted as such on the Internet.
The design community is made of small and young businesses and of freelance designers. One in ten UK design businesses, for instance, has been in operation for less than a year. Small and young businesses and freelance designers usually rely on the Internet to promote their products and services.
Many designers do not have a degree or an equivalent qualification. A lot of attention is therefore given to their portfolio. A portfolio is a set of pieces of creative work collected by someone to display their skill. The World Wide Web is the most valuable tool designers have at their disposal to showcase their work, as it is accessible to everyone, notably to employers.
Due to the scarcity of space within the existing domain name system, many established and newly established designers have not been able to register the domain name they initially wanted. The .design gTLD will provide the design industry with a fresh set of domain names that are available for registration.
The .design gTLD will thus not only open a new domain space for the design community but also help promote their industry.
BENEFITS OF THE .DESIGN GTLD FOR THE DESIGN INDUSTRY
Design is a consumer-oriented industry and therefore relies on large communication tools such as the Internet.
The .design gTLD will provide the design industry with a new and unique platform to promote their goods and services, and thereby improve linkages between the industry and the consumers.
The .design gTLD will therefore help effectively and efficiently match buyers to sellers.
Due to the scarcity of space within the existing domain name system, many established and newly established design related businesses have been unable to register the domain name they initially wanted.
The .design gTLD will resolve this problem by opening a new pool of domain names that are available for registration.
Finally, Starting Dot expects the .design gTLD to increase the number of design related domain name registrations, and thereby raise awareness of Internet usage and technology application among the design community.
BENEFITS OF THE .DESIGN GTLD FOR THE PUBLIC
The .design gTLD will also serve design consumers and appliers.
In March 2012 Google AdWords Keyword Tool registered a total of 101 million requests on Google for the word “design”, which demonstrates a real appetite for design related online content.
Due to the large amount of design related information on the Internet (903 million URLs contain the word “design” according to Google), it is still very difficult to locate detailed and accurate online design content.
The .design gTLD will relieve the daily frustration of design consumers and appliers struggling in their quest to locate design related goods or services on the Internet.
In fact, the .design gTLD will offer consumers the unique ability to tie design related content with relevant domain names.
Starting Dot is therefore convinced that this seamless vision will deliver a confident, safer and more relevant user experience to design consumers and appliers.
iv) .design intended registration policies
In the operation of its proposed unrestricted .design gTLD, Starting Dot intends to implement all current and future ICANN policies.
Accordingly, Starting Dot will follow ICANN’s policies with respect to dispute resolution, including the adoption of the Uniform Dispute resolution Policy, as the same may be amended from time to time.
In addition, Starting Dot will design a specific dispute resolution procedure to address situations in which there is objectively clear abuse of:
- A company name;
- A personal name;
- A professional name;
- A name with national or geographic significance.
Starting Dot has defined a list of reserved and prohibited domain names under the .design gTLD. Reserved names are domain names reserved for special use or for special organizations. Prohibited names are names that may not be registered under the .design gTLD.
Except to the extend that ICANN otherwise expressly authorizes in writing, Starting Dot will comply with the restrictions on registration of character strings set forth at Specification 5 of the Registry Operator Agreement.
Starting Dot also intends to define and control a list of domain names that have a value for the entire design community, in order to delegate them to those registrants who are committing to use these in order to support the community for which the .design gTLD is initially intended.
Hence, one character labels and a list of generic names will be reserved by Starting Dot and only released at its sole discretion.
The list of prohibited names under the .design gTLD includes, in particular:
- Abusive terms;
- Racist terms;
- Obscene terms;
- Terms relating to crime or offenses.
Starting Dot does not intend to allow third-level name registrations under the .design gTLD.
ILLEGAL USE AND COMPLIANCE
Use of a domain name that is barred or prohibited by law or legal proceeding in any jurisdiction, or is considered to be defamatory will permit Starting Dot to revoke the domain name. Policies to this end will be developed by the registry and published in due time following ICANN’s delegation of the .design gTLD to Starting Dot.
Starting Dot, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to refuse to register a domain name on the grounds provided by the .design domain name registration policies.
Starting Dot will be entitled to suspend, revoke or delete a domain name upon third-party notification and at its own initiative in the event that the registrant is in breach of any of the .design domain name registration policies.
Not only will the Domain Name be revoked or suspended but Starting Dot will also inform the public that the domain name has been previously used contrary to its policies.
v) Measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants
Starting Dot is committed to being a responsible participant in the efforts of the Internet community to balance the need for data privacy with the need to provide access to records that allow the public to identify and contact domain name holders. To that end, Starting Dot will strive to maintain open access to registrant information to the extent compatible with applicable privacy laws.
In the operation of the .design gTLD, Starting Dot will offer a thick WHOIS service as set forth in Specification 4 of Registry Operator Agreement. Providing true, current, complete and accurate contact information will be a condition of domain name registration under the .design gTLD. The use of proxy domain name registration will be prohibited.
The data collected by registrars during domain name registration will be published in the .design gTLD WHOIS database. This information will provide the public with the ability to get in touch with the domain name holder for any reason that requires actions to be taken. In this operation, Starting Dot will be compliant with applicable privacy laws.
In addition, Starting Dot will require registrars to post privacy policies that provide clear and complete notice to registrants of the type of data that will be collected and maintained by Starting Dot, the use of such data in operating the registry service (including display through the WHOIS service), and the registrant’s right to access and correct data maintained by Starting Dot. Clear consent to such data practices will be a prerequisite to the submission of a domain name registration request.
Starting Dot will take reasonable steps to protect personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration or destruction. Starting Dot will prevent the abuse of data through the .design domain name registration policies and by implementing technical restrictions set forth in our response to question 26 of this application.
Starting Dot will not use or authorize the use of personal data in a way that is incompatible with the notice provided to registrants and registrars.
vi) Marketing and communications strategy to promote the .design new gTLD
Starting Dot’s goal is to introduce the .design gTLD as a “must-have” for all design related businesses, associations and individuals who already have a presence or want a presence on the Internet.
To achieve its goal, Starting Dot will build awareness of the .design gTLD on a global basis and educate the community about the benefits of the .design gTLD.
Starting Dot intends to promote and implement the new .design gTLD in all key markets through a dedicated marketing department, managed by a prominent TLD marketing figure.
Starting Dot’s priority target for the marketing of its .design gTLD are web-savvy business users, defined as business organizations having one (or more than one) domain name registration in an existing top-level domain. Inside its priority target, Starting Dot has identified three specific segments:
- Top 100 design industry players, especially design agencies and furniture designers;
- Small and medium businesses unsatisfied with their current Internet domain name;
- Newly established companies facing the unavailability of the domain name corresponding to their name, brand or trade name in existing TLDs.
Through its co-operative marketing plan, Starting Dot will encourage registrars to promote the gTLD in their local markets.
Starting Dot also intends to involve supporting design organizations in the promotion and marketing of the new .design gTLD.
Finally, a massive awareness campaign via online media (e.g. display advertising, interactive and email marketing) and event marketing (e.g. exhibitions) will establish the credibility of the .design gTLD in the marketplace.
Regardless of the marketing or communication vehicle, the messaging will always be consistent: the .design gTLD will deliver more consumer choice, promote free and healthy competition and offer businesses the ability to expand their reach and increase consumer trust.
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