|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
The applicant—SOHU.com Limited—is a wholly owned subsidiary of SOHU.com Inc. (hereinafter referred to as SOHU). SOHU, established by Dr. Charles Zhang, one of Chinaʹs Internet pioneers, is in its sixteenth year of operation. It is Chinaʹs premier online brand and indispensable to the daily life of millions of Chinese, providing a network of web properties and community based⁄web 2.0 products which offer the vast SOHU user community a broad array of choices regarding information, entertainment and communication. SOHU has built one of the most comprehensive matrices of Chinese language web properties, covering all-around Internet services such as online media destination, interactive search engine, games information portal, top real estate website, online alumni club, wireless value-added services, leading online mapping services, and development and operation of online games.
In 2000, SOHU (NASDAQ:SOHU) formally listed on NASDAQ, becoming a famous international Internet brand. In 2008, as the only Internet content sponsor of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, SOHU becomes the first choice of Internet users and wins the highest user satisfaction among the portals for its authoritative, fast, comprehensive and professional report. Now SOHU has become the most influential and trustworthy news center, as well as the most popular entertainment center, sports center and fashion center. By virtue of its unmatched media resources and prominent strengths, SOHU develops professional channels for four major industries—Auto, Real Estate, Finance and Economics, and IT, aiming to provide the most fast, real and authoritative information for the public and build a robust and all-around media platform. As of the end of 2011, SOHUʹs total operating income stood at USD 852 million, an increase of 39% year on year (YoY).
The following is the introduction of major services and products of SOHU.
Online Game Business: The Company’s online game business is conducted through SOHUʹs majority-owned subsidiary Changyou. Changyou.com (NASDAQ:CYOU) is a leading developer and operator of online games in China. It began operations in 2003 as SOHUʹs massively multi-player online games (MMORPG) business unit, before its carve-out as a separate, stand-alone company in Dec 2007 and subsequent listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market in April 2009.
Sponsored Search Business: The companyʹs sponsored search business is conducted through SOHUʹs online search subsidiary Sogou through Sogou.com, an interactive search engine. By integrating three high-quality and popular Internet applications (Sponsored search service, Sogou Pinyin and Sogou Browser), SOHU has become the most promising enterprise in Chinese Internet industry.
Brand Advertising Business: The Company’s brand advertising business offers various products and services (such as free of charge premier content, interactive community and other Internet services) to its users, and provides advertising services to advertisers on its matrices of Chinese language Web properties consisting of sohu.com, a portal and online media destination; 17173.com, a game information portal; focus.cn, a real estate Website, and chinaren.com, an online alumni club.
SOHU properties consist of sophisticated Chinese language Web navigational capabilities, approximately 40 content channels, Web-based communication and community services. Its regional Websites have extensive reach across China. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 1,600 content partners, which enable the Company to provide a wide range of content offerings.
Currently, the domains in SOHU have three major applications: a) majority of domains are under the main domain .sohu.com, including the popular business of SOHU (e.g. micro blog, video, photo album); traditional channels (e.g. news, sports and auto) and regional portals(e.g. Guangzhou, shanghai), which are content and social network dominated; b)the search and software products are under the domain .sogou.com, including search portals, browser and input method; c)the functional portal brands have own channels under the .sohu.com as well as their independent domains.
SOHU found it difficult to manage its domain name portfolio and maintain a consistent and secure brand image which is currently scattered across several different TLDs, therefore, SOHU is applying for .sohu which is commonly known shorten Chinese name for SOHU to grasp the opportunity of new gTLD to promote its online brand. Through this gTLD, SOHU will be able to protect its brand and deliver the right impression and message to the end users, thus becoming the brand protection and brand building mechanism that the company deserves to have in this modern age of the internet. Furthermore, .sohu will have a multiplier effect on SOHUʹs efforts to expand and promote its range of business globally.
The .sohu is planned to be used for SOHUʹs internal business, mainly focuses on the subsidiaries and product lines of SOHU. At present, SOHU has 30 subsidiaries, and several important product lines, including SOHU, Sogou, Changyou, Focus, Chinaren, Go2map, 17173. The existing domains of these subsidiaries and product lines will be gradually integrated under .sohu, without affecting usersʹ usage habits. In addition to these main product lines, .sohu can be used for other purposes as follows: a) special reports for certain significant news or events made by SOHU, such as sars.sohu for the reports of SARS; b) large activities or projects held by SOHU, such as dream2009.sohu, cma.sohu (Chinese Music Award); c)communities about celebrities or superstars, including their archives, photos, news, works or fans club, such as dlj.sohu for the community of the famous singer Deng Lijun; d)the fist products or portals of SOHU, such as ldj.sohu for the MMORPG named Lu Ding Ji developed by Changyou; e) the sports events or competitions in certain place or year, such as 2012.sohu for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
According to the plan of .sohu, SOHU expects .sohu to have 2,000 domain names by the third year of operation at a price of $20 per domain per year. Three stages of domain registration are divided. In the first year of operation, domains of SOHUʹs subsidiaries, principal product lines and channels are planned to be registered, which will be about 1,000 domain registrations. In the second year, domains of SOHUʹs all product lines are planned to be registered and leads to 1,500 domain registrations. In the third year, all new-increased product lines are intended to be registered and result 2,000 domain registrations in total.
By consolidating all the domain names associated with SOHU and its subsidiaries, .sohu will unify all of the companyʹs online related business, reposition them and create a solid foundation for the future. By doing so, SOHU can further increase the scope and range of its online related business while consolidating its position in the market. SOHU will also explore the new operation model of online business.
Furthermore, .sohu will increase the level of trust from the users as problems like phishing, domain redirection and domain parking will be eliminated. Users know that they can depend on such gTLDs that are the brand personification of the actual entity. At the same time, it is so much easier for users to remember instantly and search for such famous companies.
With the rich and high quality gTLD resources, SOHU can redeploy the online business and IT infrastructure to improve the compatibility as well as exclusivity of online business and enhance the security and intelligence of IT infrastructure. To fulfill this mission, SOHU will invest heavily on upgrading and improving the security and intelligence of its information technology backbone and architecture.
In addition, with the leverage of .sohu, SOHU can help to promote healthy competition from the registrars by improving the level of service and providing more optimized choices of domains.
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.data||Romeo Birch, 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.