18(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?
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Response to Question 18c - Mission⁄Purpose
i. The Applicant will organize the registry operation for .brussels in such a manner that it will minimize the likelihood of having disputes about multiple applications for a particular domain name. This can be achieved in the following ways:
1. Prior to the launch of the Sunrise Period for the .brussels top-level domain, the Government of the Brussels Region and the Applicant will decide whether or not to work with exclusion- and⁄or reservation lists. An exclusion list would enumerate all .brussels domain names that are blocked from registration and will not become available (not during the Sunrise Period and not after the start of the normal registration process). This list could contain words, expressions or phrases that are considered harmful, illegal or inappropriate in public use. A reservation list could be established for multiple purposes. It could provide opportunity for the Applicant to reserve for itself a number of domain names corresponding to its function as registry operator e.g. nic.brussels or registry.brussels. It could also provide the different government entities the same possibility to reserve for themselves a number of domain names that correspond with the name of their organizations or their geographical descriptions. Important is that the existence of such lists need to be communicated to registrars and public at large well in advance of the start of the Sunrise Period so that it becomes clear that those domain names are unavailable;
2. Prior to the start of normal registrations based upon the “first come, first served” principle, there will be a multi-phased Sunrise Period. During phase 1 holders of national and European established trademarks, governmental entities seeking to protect their geographical or social name and entities disposing of a protected designation of origin or a geographical indication, will be able to apply for the domain name corresponding to the rights they wish to claim. In phase 2 registrants will be able to apply for domain names corresponding with their trade name or company name. Finally, it is also under consideration to provide a 3rd phase during which private individuals would be allowed to apply for the domain name corresponding with their family name. In all phases of the Sunrise Period, applicants will have to substantiate the applied for domain names with legal proof of the rights they wish to claim. The invoked rights will need to match exactly with the domain name for which the application is introduced and all applications will be validated by an independent reviewer that will perform that function under contract awarded by the Applicant. Sunrise applications will receive a time stamp and will be validated in chronological order as far as the applicant manages to accompany his application with the required legal proof for the right he wishes to invoke;
3. At the start of the normal registration process, subject to the actual domain name registration policy adopted by the Applicant and in force at the time of registration, domain names will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. As registry operator for .be and as operational, technical partner during the start-up of the .eu TLD, Applicant has acquired the necessary experience to cope with high volume demands for registration of domain names and will deploy adequate technical resources for the start of the so called Landrush phase avoiding to the maximum extent possible any loss of time, elevated costs or high degrees of frustration for individual or business users wishing to register a .brussels domain name.
4. It is to be noted that Applicant does not seek to introduce procedures or methods enabling reservation of domain names or so called waiting-list services. Applicant has considerable experience with Sunrise and Landrush procedures (both for .be and for .eu) and has noticed that service offers enabling applicant-registrants to make a reservation for a specific domain name often involve high costs without any guarantee that the desired domain name can be obtained during the sunrise period or afterwards at the start of normal registrations.
ii. The Applicant is a not-for-profit organization and has committed to the Government of the Brussels Region to operate and manage the .brussels TLD on a not-for-profit basis. This means that revenues coming from new registrations and renewals will be directly linked with the costs of operating the TLD without any aim of generating profit for the Applicant. It is Applicant’s view that fees for new registrations and renewals could decrease considerably when the registration of domain names takes up.
iii. The Applicant does not intend to provide specific clauses concerning fee levels and possible price mechanisms in the Registration Terms & Conditions for registrants. This would force Applicant to change the Terms & Conditions each time one of the fee levels is altered. Obviously, Applicant will follow all provisions from the registry agreement concerning pricing of its services. As explained above, Applicant anticipates gradual price declinations in function of the number of registrations. Moreover, Applicant has committed through the concession agreement with the Government of the Brussels Region to re-invest a substantial part of the revenue in the further development of the gTLD as soon as the operations of the TLD services are financially break-even.
Similar gTLD applications: (1)
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