18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.ARTAremi Group S.A.steptoe.comView


With a three-letter identifier that is simple, distinctive, and memorable, .ART is intended as a virtual space in which to house works, thoughts, and ideas at the intersection of creativity and communication. Its broad spectrum will serve as a home for all who feel an affinity for the creative, whether as creators themselves or as appreciators, observers, critics, or academics. Those who wish to develop and use websites at .ART may include, for example: professional artists; hobbyist performers of theater, dance, or music; local artisans marketing and showcasing their unique wares; institutions; galleries; families sharing and archiving their children’s creations; and students and scholars of all forms of arts. With the technological framework in place, imagination is the only limit to the collaborative, networked canvas that is .ART.

Allowing these users the ability to create .ART domain names and websites gives them the ability to customize their domain and website names and signal to the general population of Internet users that their websites are art-related, without having to incorporate a non-art-related term such as .com, .net, or .biz. Built into a wider process of web optimization and marketing, the inclusion of the ‘art’ keyword will likely have positive implications for website promotion purposes.

This specialization simultaneously makes it easier for Internet users who are looking for arts-related information to locate this information more efficiently. The appendage of the .ART TLD indicates to users what they can expect to find at that website. It also has another added benefit in that web addresses will become shorter one impact of a dearth of ‘good’ web addresses has been for them to get longer over time. Using the .ART TLD not only means sites can benefit from having an important keyword in their web address, but it will also be much faster to type in the address. This will increase traffic to these websites, promote competition, and facilitate use by mobile users who prefer shorter domain names.

Service Levels
The goal of the .ART Registry is to offer domain name registration services at the highest level. Primarily, this entails contracting with and using proven industry experts to provide the highest possible level of quality in registry and registrar services.

Providing the highest possible service levels includes working with the registry service provider (Neustar) to deliver a protected, trusted, and always-on registry infrastructure needed to reliably host and operate second-level domains in the .ART TLD.

This also includes working with our registrars to ensure that consumers will receive secure, fast, and reliable domain name registrations with high-level customer service.

Finally, the Registry will provide the highest level service to trademark and other legal rights owners as well as second-level domain owners by responding to abuse complaints on a 24 hours per day, 7 days per week basis, providing rapid and efficient takedown services when warranted, promptly abiding by the decisions and judgments of UDRP and URS panels, and being responsive to requests by other governmental, judicial and law enforcement bodies, in accordance with ICANN consensus policies.

The goal of the .ART Registry is to achieve the highest possible reputation gained through superior customer service and efficient recognition by Internet users of subject matter-related domain names and content. The Registry will strive to achieve this reputation through secure, fast, and reliable customer service throughout the registration life cycle of all second-level domains in the TLD, and by creating a safe and secure registry that avoids abusive domain name practices.

In addition, the .ART registry will market its Internet space to potential registrants and users with an inclination for all types of creative expression. As such, .ART will build and maintain a reputation as a unique destination for creative online content.

The Registry will strive to be known for ensuring only non-fraudulent registrants maintain domain names in the TLD, for reflecting a culture of affinity for the arts, for a thick and reliable WhoIs, and for being responsive to legal rights owners and others who may have complaints regarding potentially abusive registrations. In all, the Registry will strive to be known as an exemplary and model domain name services citizen.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) report “Artists and Art Workers in the United States: Findings from the American Community Survey (2005-2009) and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2010),” there are 2.1 million artists in the U.S. alone, which accounts for 1.4 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Eurostat released a pocketbook on ʺCultural Statisticsʺ in April 2011 stating an equally impressive figure of 3.6 million people employed in the five main cultural sectors of economic activity, representing 1.7 percent of total employment. Accordingly, these statistics alone suggest an interested audience of approximately 5.7 million people that Applicant could reach to promote the TLD at the outset, plus relevant retail and manufacturing channels. In addition, these and other similar studies, referenced in more detail below, support Applicant’s assumptions related to its registration forecast in that the studies also indicate a strong correlation and growing connection between “art” and “artists” and the Internet.

For example, in the context of discussing musicians, art fairs, and literary festivals, a 2007 report to the U.K. government presented by the Work Foundation (Staying ahead: the economic performance of the UK’s creative industries) cites the use of interactive websites by millions of British people as not merely a way to interact, but also as a way to express themselves creatively. The same report also highlights the enhanced accessibility of creative offerings via the Internet, and likewise the opportunities for offering creative products through different channels, i.e., the Internet.

In the U.S., a 149-page report released in June 2010 by the NEA, explores the influence of technology and arts participation and provides specific statistics regarding arts participation through the Internet. The data, collected in 2008 before even the latest Internet advancements, revealed that thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults used electronic media to view or listen to a benchmark arts activity (e.g., classical music, opera, musical or non-musical plays, ballet, jazz, art museums⁄galleries) in the 12 months ending in May 2008, slightly more than the percentage of adults that attended a benchmark activity (35%) during the same time period. Overall, the findings showed that people in the U.S. are participating in the arts through electronic media at higher rates than through live attendance.

The .ART TLD shall also serve as a central meeting place where professional and hobbyist artists, be they musicians, poets, painters, sculptors, fashion designers, choreographers, dancers, actors, architects, interior designers, performance artists, etc., can provide to the marketplace a showcase of their creations. In addition, it can serve as a space to share ideas and information about all works of art.

The .ART TLD is unique in terms of the class of persons, entities, and institutions it shall seek to benefit. There is no current TLD that is similar to the .ART string itself in sight, sound, or meaning. The .ART TLD will be a clear signal to website visitors that the site they are visiting is arts-related. As a result, the .ART TLD will have the opportunity to flourish, to become recognizable, and to provide a trusted source for an array of arts-related goods, services and information, offering a platform that is specialized while broad in appeal.

The .ART TLD shall promote innovation on several levels. First, the registration policies and procedures will ensure that the persons or entities operating second-level domains in the .ART TLD are doing so in a non-abusive manner. This will permit users and customers to interact more safely with potential vendors, trusting that their personal information will not be misused. This shall also permit service providers to offer unique services that would otherwise not have been possible in current TLDs in which it can be difficult for users to determine whether a site should be trusted. Second, individual artists, dealers or agents, corporations, and benefactors will have attached to their names, trademarks, etc. the .ART TLD address that will permit targeted marketing and branding opportunities, thus increasing the probability that their target users will find them immediately rather than being misdirected to unrelated websites and content. Third, Applicant plans on promoting collaboration among .ART second-level domain registrants such that the .ART TLD becomes a recognizable symbol of trust within the arts-related communities the world over.

The goals of Applicant for the .ART TLD are to provide a trusted and secure environment wherein artists, their supporters, critics, institutions, and others can flourish. A user’s experience of the .ART TLD shall come to be synonymous with reliability and the provision of genuine arts-related goods and services. In addition, Applicant plans on engaging in research and development with regard to innovative registry services that may enable further collaboration between registrants and users of a TLD by adding enhancements to WhoIs functionality and utilizing social media platforms to promote the exchange of ideas within the .ART TLD. Such research will allow Applicant to work with ICANN to incorporate new registry services into the .ART TLD as technology evolves.

Registration Policies

I. Introduction
Inherent in the concept of art is the idea that the artist requires freedom to express his or her creative ideas. Without freedom of expression there is no art. However, as with any society, without rules or policies there is no way for people or their artistic creations to coexist peacefully. The policies of the .ART TLD will serve to balance the needs of (1) freedom versus (2) security and protection.

II. General Policy
As discussed previously, the .ART TLD is intended to serve as a home for all who feel an affinity for the creative, whether as creators themselves, as dealers or agents, as corporate owners or promoters of the arts, or as appreciators, observers, critics, or academics. Applicant may, by published policy amendments, establish stricter requirements depending on demand and the nature of the registrants in the TLD. In addition, in the event any changes are made to the scope of the targeted .ART users, Applicant will promptly act in accordance with its agreement with ICANN and follow all necessary requirements and guidelines.

The policies discussed herein are subject to the policy requirement set forth by ICANN in the Applicant Guidebook and elsewhere, and the rights protection policies discussed in response to other questions in this application.

III. Name Selection Policies
There are two types of name selection policies: (1) those that are set forth by ICANN in the Applicant Guidebook (such as disallowing two-letter second level domains) and (2) policies that emanate solely from Applicantʹs delegated authority to control the .ART TLD. This section focuses solely on the policies within the sphere of Applicantʹs authority.

Applicantʹs name policies will of course be limited by its anti-abuse and rights protection policies discussed in response to other questions of this application, specifically, Questions 28 and 29 below. Subject to the policies set forth by ICANN and applicable rights protection mechanisms, the .ART TLD will strive for openness and a wide variety of domain name registrations. As such, Applicant will accept registration applications on a “first-come, first-served” basis for all second-level domains except domain names violating the anti-abuse policies set forth in the response to Question 28. In the event an application is not deemed to meet the requirements of Applicantʹs registration criteria (for example, due to violating anti-abuse policies), then such .ART domain name will remain in the general pool of available names.

Applicant will also have the discretion to develop additional policies on the use of domain names. Such restrictions shall apply to any domain name registration that occurs after such restrictions come into effect, and may be applied to existing registrations with adequate notice. Restrictions may include, but are not limited to, a requirement to develop a website that uses the registered name within a certain time frame following registration (to ensure that each registered name ultimately resolves to a working website and to encourage active use of registered domains).

In addition to the reserved words set forth by ICANN, the Registry may set aside certain reserved words as second-level domains, e.g., ART.ART.

IV. Registrant Agreement and License Policies
This paragraph briefly discusses the key terms of the Registrant Agreement and License. The Registrant Agreement and License must be accepted by each registrant and will cover the following areas:
-Renewal and Redemption
-Grace Periods
-Eligibility and Requirements to notify Registry of change of eligibility status
-Authentication and Approval
-Domain Name Disputes
-Basic Warranties and Representations

V. Pricing Policy
Applicant shall set the wholesale price that it charges registrars and the terms for which registrations are available. At launch of the registry, Applicant plans to charge a wholesale price of $40.00 per domain name. Registrars set retail prices and each registrar may have a different retail price. Registrars are free to bundle registrations with other products or services.

Applicant may change the wholesale price and⁄or renewal price at any time by providing notice to registrars. The wholesale price may vary according to policies set by Applicant for promotion programs, bulk name registration and so on.

Applicant, in its discretion, may provide refunds to registrars in the event that a registered name is revoked either as a result of a deletion or as a result of a denial of eligibility.
Further explanation of Applicant’s pricing policy is explained in response to question 46.

VI. Registrar Policy
A. Registrar Selection
In accordance with the Registry Operator Code of Conduct stated in Specification 9 of the Registry Agreement with ICANN, Applicant will provide all ICANN-accredited registrars with equal access to the TLD. Registrars that are not ICANN-accredited or that lose their accreditation will not be eligible to sell .ART domain names.

B. Registrar Oversight
In accordance with ICANN policies, Applicant will not be responsible for managing whether registrars selling .ART domain names remain ICANN-compliant. In addition, Applicant does not oversee registrar handling of registrant accounts, payments, refunding, credit cards or registrar-level marketing and promotion to potential registrants.

VII. Data and Privacy

In addition to the Data, WhoIs, and Privacy requirements set forth in the Applicant Guidebook and required by ICANN, Applicant may collect data in connection with the planned function and usage of each domain name. This data may include the registrant’s function in the arts community (such as Architect, Performer, Visual Artist, Student, Institution, Patron, etc.), as well as other data determined by Applicant from time to time. Delivery of data beyond standard WhoIs information will be encouraged, but will not be mandatory. This data is held by Applicant in accordance with the Registry Agreement Applicant will execute with ICANN. Applicant shall have the right to reference this data as needed to conduct registry operations, i.e., when investigating a potentially abusive registration. Applicant shall handle and use this data only in accordance with the relevant data protection and privacy laws. Applicant will not share data with third parties without permission from registrants, except as required for registry operations or as required under law.

All second-level domain registration data shall be subject to strict confidentiality requirements both by Applicant and its registry services provider, Neustar. Applicant shall ensure that all such data stored locally in its administrative offices and at any facility at which Applicant may in the future occupy will be stored using strong encryption technology and, to the extent possible, placed on storage devices that are unconnected to any network attached to the Internet. In addition, Applicant will comply with best network security practices at all office locations and engage the services of an outside security firm to perform periodic audits of Applicantʹs security precautions. Finally, Applicant has engaged the services of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, an international law firm, for support in compliance with world-wide data security⁄privacy requirements. Applicant shall comply with all such laws -- including requirements arising from updates to the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive and its accompanying transposing legislation -- and shall make all efforts to ensure that Neustar handles the registration data of its second-level domain registrations with the same precautions as Applicant.

Applicant plans on making .ART the premier TLD in which artists institutions, corporations, dealers, agents, and arts patrons of all varieties, such as observers, critics, or academics can register, build and maintain cultural and arts-related websites, from virtual galleries to websites which are themselves experimental and cutting-edge examples of art. To that end, Applicant believes that communications with the public and development of an outreach campaign is essential to the success of the TLD. In 2011, Applicant conducted extensive research regarding several advertising firms in order to find the best partner to develop the .ART brand, strategy for promoting the TLD, and an associated marketing campaign. Applicant has retained Catalyst Branding, a New York-based firm led by experienced branding strategist David Martin, to handle these initiatives.

After Applicantʹs award of the .ART TLD, its marketing and communications campaign will focus primarily on the North American and European markets for the several reasons, but reaching arts-related individuals and businesses in all corners of the globe has also been calculated into Applicant’s strategy for controlled growth of the TLD. As noted above, the European and U.S. markets are proven supporters of the arts to the extent that the impact and relevance of the arts to the economies of these regions have been studied at length and in great detail. Applicant concluded that the European and U.S. markets would provide an interested and willing audience, with the resources to help Applicant develop a sustainable business model that meets customer expectations. Applicant, being based in Europe, and its branding partner, based in New York, are also most familiar with these marketing channels and determined it would be advisable to start locally and rely on experience and first-hand knowledge before launching fully into the global marketplace. This strategy will also allow Applicant to scale operations in a controlled manner to ensure ongoing feasibility of the business model and offers flexibility to track interest and trends to customize future marketing efforts to other regions.

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