18(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?
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The application and use of .sohu TLD is meant to improve consumer trust and to minimize consumer costs. SOHU has developed and adopted several operating rules to this end.
How will multiple applications for a particular domain name be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first-come⁄first-serve basis?
Specifically, with regards to multiple applications for a particular name, they would be addressed in the following manner:
1. During the pre-launch period, SOHU will implement a sunrise service to trademark holders with supporting letter from the SOHUʹs legal department.
2. If there are multiple eligible applications, SOHU will resolve this using the internal dispute resolution mechanism (please refer to answer to Question 29 for the detail).
SOHU will setup a panel to facilitate the negotiations. This panel shall conduct internal negotiation by hearing both parties on the rights claims. The panel then would come to a conclusion regarding the rights of the domain name registrant within 5 working days.
Explain any cost benefits for registrants you need to implement (e.g. advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts).
The running of .sohu TLD is based on a cost-recovery basis. As such, there is no intention to provide any promotion or bulk registration discount.
Note that the Registry Agreement requires that registrars be offered the option to obtain initial domain name registrations for periods of one to ten years at the discretion of the registrar, but no greater than ten years. Additionally, the Registry Agreement requires advance written notice of price increases.
Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation? If so, please describe your plans.
SOHU will offer optional multi-year registrations for up to ten years.
Since .sohu TLD is not geared toward for profit, the price of each domain will be $20⁄year, which will not be raised in future. SOHU shall inform of the price adjustment to its registrars through various channels of website announcements, news media, emails, etc.
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