29 Rights Protection Mechanisms
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29.1. Rights Protection Mechanisms
The dotMusic Registry is firmly committed to the protection of Intellectual Property rights and to implementing the mandatory rights protection mechanisms contained in the Applicant Guidebook. .music recognizes that although the New gTLD program includes significant protections beyond those that were mandatory for a number of the current TLDs, a key motivator for .music’s selection of Neustar as its registry services provider is Neustar’s experience in successfully launching a number of TLDs with diverse rights protection mechanisms, including many the ones required in the Applicant Guidebook. More specifically, .music will implement the following rights protection mechanisms in accordance with the Applicant Guidebook and its Community requirements as further described below:
• Trademark Clearinghouse: a one-stop shop so that trademark holders can protect their trademarks with a single registration.
• Sunrise and Trademark Claims processes for the TLD.
• Implementation of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy to address domain names that have been registered and used in bad faith in the TLD.
• Uniform Rapid Suspension: A quicker, more efficient and cheaper alternative to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy to deal with clear cut cases of cybersquatting.
• Implementation of a Thick WHOIS making it easier for rights holders to identify and locate infringing parties
• Sunrise Eligibility Requirements (SERs).
• Music Eligibility Dispute Resolution Process (MEDRP).
• The .music TLD will use a variety of online scanning tools that search for key words that are commonly used to signal the availability of music distributed without appropriate authorization or in violation of intellectual property rights to aid in mitigating copyright infringement.
• We will engage an abuse detection and prevention team
A. Trademark Clearinghouse Including Sunrise and Trademark Claims
The first mandatory rights protection mechanism (“RPM”) required to be implemented by each new gTLD Registry is support for, and interaction with, the trademark clearinghouse. The trademark clearinghouse is intended to serve as a central repository for information to be authenticated, stored and disseminated pertaining to the rights of trademark holders. The data maintained in the clearinghouse will support and facilitate other RPMs, including the mandatory Sunrise Period and Trademark Claims service. Although many of the details of how the trademark clearinghouse will interact with each registry operator and registrars, .Music is actively monitoring the developments of the Implementation Assistance Group (“IAG”) designed to assist ICANN staff in firming up the rules and procedures associated with the policies and technical requirements for the trademark clearinghouse. In addition, .music’s back-end registry services provider is actively participating in the IAG to ensure that the protections afforded by the clearinghouse and associated RPMs are feasible and implementable.
Utilizing the trademark clearinghouse, all operators of new gTLDs must offer: (i) a sunrise registration service for at least 30 days during the pre-launch phase giving eligible trademark owners an early opportunity to register second-level domains in new gTLDs; and (ii) a trademark claims service for at least the first 60 days that second-level registrations are open. The trademark claim service is intended to provide clear noticeʺ to a potential registrant of the rights of a trademark owner whose trademark is registered in the clearinghouse.
B. Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS)
The UDRP is intended as an alternative dispute resolution process to transfer domain names from those that have registered and used domain names in bad faith. Although there is not much of an active role that the domain name registry plays in the implementation of the UDRP, Neustar has closely monitored UDRP decisions that have involved the TLDs for which it supports and ensures that the decisions are implemented by the registrars supporting its TLDs. When alerted by trademark owners of failures to implement UDRP decisions by its registrars, Neustar either proactively implements the decisions itself or reminds the offending registrar of its obligations to implement the decision.
In response to complaints by trademark owners that the UDRP was too cost prohibitive and slow, and the fact that more than 70 percent of UDRP cases were “clear cut” cases of cybersquatting, ICANN adopted the IRT’s recommendation that all new gTLD registries be required, pursuant to their contracts with ICANN, to take part in a Uniform Rapid Suspension System (“URS”). The purpose of the URS is to provide a more cost effective and timely mechanism for brand owners than the UDRP to protect their trademarks and to promote consumer protection on the Internet.
The URS is not meant to address Questionable cases of alleged infringement (e.g., use of terms in a generic sense) or for anti-competitive purposes or denial of free speech, but rather for those cases in which there is no genuine contestable issue as to the infringement and abuse that is taking place.
Unlike the UDRP which requires little involvement of gTLD registries, the URS envisages much more of an active role at the registry-level. For example, rather than requiring the registrar to lock down a domain name subject to a UDRP dispute, it is the registry under the URS that must lock the domain within 24hours of receipt of the complaint from the URS Provider to restrict all changes to the registration data, including transfer and deletion of the domain names.
In addition, in the event of a determination in favor of the complainant, the registry is required to suspend the domain name. This suspension remains for the balance of the registration period and would not resolve the original website. Rather, the nameservers would be redirected to an informational web page provided by the URS Provider about the URS.
Additionally, the WHOIS reflects that the domain name will not be able to be transferred, deleted, or modified for the life of the registration. Finally, there is an option for a successful complainant to extend the registration period for one additional year at commercial rates.
.music is fully aware of each of these requirements and will have the capability to implement these requirements for new gTLDs. In fact, during the IRT’s development of f the URS, Neustar began examining the implications of the URS on its registry operations and provided the IRT with feedback on whether the recommendations from the IRT would be feasible for registries to implement.
Although there have been a few changes to the URS since the IRT recommendations, Neustar continued to participate in the development of the URS by providing comments to ICANN, many of which were adopted. As a result, Neustar is committed to supporting the URS for all of the registries that it provides back-end registry services.
The mission of .music is to serve and represent the interests and defining elements of its membership. Appropriately, .music will develop a dispute process for members of the .music community to dispute .music domain activity that violates the RRA, RA, published acceptable use policy and⁄or community eligibility requirements for .music community membership. The CEDP will be available from the initiation of Sunrise through the ongoing operation of the registry during general availability. .music will engage ICANN accepted dispute resolution providers such as WIPO to adjudicate the CEDP and bind all relevant parties through the RRA and RA to comply with the finding of the arbitrators.
C. Implementation of Thick WHOIS
The .music registry will include a thick WHOIS database as required in Specification 4 of the Registry agreement. A thick WHOIS provides numerous advantages including a centralized location of registrant information, the ability to more easily manage and control the accuracy of data, and a consistent user experience.
D. Policies Handling Complaints Regarding Abuse
In addition the Rights Protection mechanisms addressed above, 〈tApplicant〉 will implement a number of measures to handle complaints regarding the abusive registration of domain names in its TLD as described in.musicʹs response to Question 28.
Registry Acceptable Use Policy
One of the key policies each new gTLD registry is the need to have is an Acceptable Use Policy that clearly delineates the types of activities that constitute “abuse” and the repercussions associated with an abusive domain name registration. The policy must be incorporated into the applicable Registry-Registrar Agreement and reserve the right for the registry to take the appropriate actions based on the type of abuse. This may include locking down the domain name preventing any changes to the contact and nameserver information associated with the domain name, placing the domain name “on hold” rendering the domain name non-resolvable, transferring to the domain name to another registrar, and⁄or in cases in which the domain name is associated with an existing law enforcement investigation, substituting name servers to collect information about the DNS queries to assist the investigation. .music’s Acceptable Use Policy, set forth in our response to Question 28, will include prohibitions on phishing, pharming, dissemination of malware, fast flux hosting, hacking, and child pornography. In addition, the policy will include the right of the registry to take action necessary to deny, cancel, suspend, lock, or transfer any registration in violation of the policy.
Monitoring for Malicious Activity
.music is committed to ensuring that those domain names associated with abuse or malicious conduct in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy are dealt with in a timely and decisive manner. These include taking action against those domain names that are being used to threaten the stability and security of the TLD, community requirements, or is part of a real-time investigation by law enforcement.
Once a complaint is received from a trusted source, third-party, or detected by the Registry, the Registry will use commercially reasonable efforts to verify the information in the complaint. If that information can be verified to the best of the ability of the Registry, the sponsoring registrar will be notified and be given 12 hours to investigate the activity and either take down the domain name by placing the domain name on hold or by deleting the domain name in its entirety or providing a compelling argument to the Registry to keep the name in the zone. If the registrar has not taken the requested action after the 12-hour period (i.e., is unresponsive to the request or refuses to take action), the Registry will place the domain on “ServerHold”. Although this action removes the domain name from the TLD zone, the domain name record still appears in the TLD WHOIS database so that the name and entities can be investigated by law enforcement should they desire to get involved.
Reducing Opportunities for Behaviors such as Phishing or Pharming
Due to the extensive and exhaustive mark requirements and trademark validation protocols during Sunrise, the registration of effective Phishing domains during the startup period is effectively prevented. Pharming opportunities will be diminished since pharming requires an initially resolving domain and because Sunrise application will only result in resolving domains after the close of the Sunrise period.
Question 28 (“Abuse Prevention and Mitigation”) outlines our considerable and strong anti-abuse program. Our program has been effective is shutting down phishing and pharming and has the ability for quick takedown of domain name abuses. This program will prove a deterrent to the criminal element since it greatly reduces attempts to initiate phishing domains without infringing upon the rights of legitimate registrants. Similarly, pharming is typically done by redirecting traffic at the recursive DNS level; therefore, intervention at the ISP level has proven effective in curtailing this activity. By producing and maintaining related educational FAQs on related DNS security together with providing educational materials on how pharming works on the Registry’s public website, we will support ISP mitigation initiatives. These programs are designed for use in the Land Rush and Open Registration periods.
29.2 Safeguards against Unqualified Registrations
Robust Sunrise Program
In order to fully maximize the awareness of potential trademark holders, the .Music Sunrise will be strategically marketed both directly to the general public as well as Reseller channels. Domains that are open to application will be specified through our Sunrise policy.
The Sunrise period will include a two week quiet period and will operate for a minimum of 30 days prior to the general availability of domain names. While the work connected to Trademark Clearinghouse matches and related notifications are being completed, the registration functions will not be available throughout the quiet period.
The proposed Sunrise Eligibility Requirements (SERs) will be congruent to the following qualifications which were taken from many previous TLD Sunrise programs:
(i) Ownership of a qualifying mark.
a. See Section 7.2, number (i): The registry will honor and recognize all word marks that are regionally or nationally registered. The Trademark Clearinghouse would have had to have received and validated proof of use of the word mark – either by a declaration or a single specimen of current use.
b. Trademarks not listed in the Clearinghouse but which are verified by a third party validation contractor and which conform to the following standards will be honored and recognized:
i. the Domain Name is identical to the textual or word elements of the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the Domain Name is based , AND
ii. the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the Domain Name is based is of national effect; AND
iii. the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the Domain Name was based was issued (registered) prior to [a cutoff date to be determined].
iv. representation that all provided information is true and correct; and
v. provision of data sufficient to document rights in the trademark.
(ii) Applicant must be verified as a member of the .Music community.
i. Applicant must have declared related membership in an accredited .music member association.
ii. Submitted Applicant information will be submitted to their declared member association. Applicants not found on the rosters of the member association may be declared invalid by the member association. Applicants found to have applied for a domain without community membership will be subject to the Acceptable Use Policy and will forfeit the domain.
iii. Applicant must be clear of all dispute processes (including the Community Eligibility Dispute Process prior to acceptance of their Sunrise applications.
Submissions received during Sunrise will be accepted as applications only. Once the Trademark has been declared to conform to the SERs listed above, it will be accepted as a full registration. Multiple applications for the same string will be allowed from multiple Trademark holders. Where more than one qualifying applicant exists, contention will be resolved through auction. The application will be promoted to a full domain registration if there is a single qualifying applicant or if an auction has been won in the case of more than one qualifying applicant.
Trademark Validation and Safeguards
Sunrise applications will be examined by a third party Trademark validator as permitted⁄approved by ICANN. This validator will have global experience and thus be well versed in intellectual property law and will engage the following process and functions:
Examination of Trademark
Trademarks will be validated against either the Trademark Clearinghouse, or against a National Trademark Database from a qualifying country. This is a strict requirement for a Sunrise application to be considered “qualified or validated”.
Any Sunrise application will be subject to a request for additional information or clarifying documents as decided by the Trademark Validator. This may include direct verification of the applicant’s identity with respect to the cited trademark.
Administration fees associated with filing Sunrise applications are NOT refundable. We will make this abundantly clear in policy documents, training materials and FAQs. This administration fee is designed to recover validation costs and will discourage frivolous applications.
Contending Applications, Sunrise Auctions
Following the close of the Sunrise period, the Registry will complete all Sunrise application validations. The only three outcomes and subsequent actions are as follows:
• Outcome: Only one valid application is received for a given string.
Action: The domain will be awarded to that applicant.
• Outcome: Two or more valid applications are received for the same string.
Action: The domain will be offered to the applicants at auction. The highest bidder will be awarded the domain.
• Outcome: No valid applications are received for a given string.
Action: The domain will be offered in subsequent phases of the Registry but without Trademark requirements.
It may take some time to conduct a Sunrise auction and these will likely overlap other phases such as Landrush. If no applicant places a bid at auction, then the domain will be awarded to the first valid application.
Parties who may wish to file a UDRP or CEDP challenge will have 60 days in which to do so. During this time, domains awarded under Sunrise will be locked (Sunrise lock status)
Once a Sunrise domain is awarded, it will be promoted to a full registration and the relevant (RDDS) Whois data will be published as per standard Registry (RDDS) Whois policy.
Conflict of Interest restrictions will be applied to employees, contractors, consultants and significant investors of the Registry disallowing participation in Sunrise auctions.
29.3 Resourcing Plans
The rights protection mechanisms described in the response above involve a wide range of tasks, procedures, and systems. The responsibility for each mechanism varies based on the specific requirements. In general the development of applications such as sunrise and IP claims is the responsibility of the Engineering team, with guidance from the Product Management team. Customer Support and Legal play a critical role in enforcing certain policies such as the rapid suspension process. These teams have years of experience implementing these or similar processes.
The necessary resources will be pulled from the pool of available resources described in detail in the response to Question 31. The following resources are available from those teams:
Development⁄Engineering – 19 employees
Product Management- 4 employees
Customer Support – 12 employees
Abuse and Compliance Monitoring Team – 4 employees
.Music, as noted in our financials, has provisioned for a community compliance and support function. Oncall 24⁄7⁄365, this team supports both the community eligibility verification functions as well as providing response and support required for the related dispute process beyond Neustar customer support. We estimate the community and compliance support function will spend no more than 5% of their collective time responding to related dispute procedures in view of the estimated registration volumes and for the following reasons:
– Registrants are verified members of an accredited .Music community organization or association in order to have an “active” registration and are held to strict community eligibility requirements
– Registrants are well informed that IP protection is a fundamental priority to attain a .Music domain. They risk substantial investment loss by risking non-compliance to the participation requirements in .Music
– Registrants who lose their .Music registrations due to non-compliance can put their related music organization or association memberships at risk
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