20(e) Provide a description of the applicant's intended registration policies in support of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.REITNational Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Inc.nareit.comView

NAREIT will establish a clear policy structure for determining an applicant’s eligibility to register a second-level name in the gTLD. Only a REIT will be deemed eligible to register a domain name in the TLD. Whether an entity applying for a domain name qualifies as a REIT will be determined by two criteria: 1) whether a REIT regime is in place in the nation in which the applicant is domiciled; and, 2) whether the applicant is, in fact, organized and operating as a REIT under the REIT regime established in that nation.

i. NAREIT will determine whether the nation in which the applicant is domiciled has a REIT regime in place. As stated in Question 20a, the core features of a REIT are: 1. ownership must be widely held; 2. a majority of assets & income are real estate related; 3. a majority of income is distributed annually to shareholders (pursuant to applicable law; regulatory or stock exchange requirements or customs; or in order that its distributions be deductible from entity-level income tax); and, 4. there is only one level of tax on income distributed by the REIT

NAREIT will also consider whether the nation of the applicant has a law which formally establishes a national REIT regime. If an applying entity is organized & operating as a REIT as described above pursuant to the REIT regime in the countries set forth in Appendix 20e.1, NAREIT will consider it eligible to register a domain name.

Several nations not listed in 20e.1 appear to have regimes in place or under consideration that may meet some or all of the criteria described previously. With additional clarifying information provided by an applicant, applicants from these nations (listed in Appendix 20e.2) may move in to the list of nations with qualifying regimes.

NAREIT regularly draws on major publications & compendiums of REIT regimes around the world, such as the EPRA Global REIT Survey, PWC Compare and Contrast: Worldwide Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Regimes; Ernst & Young Global Real Estate Investment Trust Report, as well as its own policy research to maintain its list of global REIT regimes. The primary list is neither meant to be static nor dispositive in the event the applicant is able to demonstrate that the nation or company in question meets the core criteria. Because laws change from time to time, NAREIT will update & publish this list on a regular basis as applicable laws change or as circumstances otherwise warrant.

The absence of a nation from either of the lists is not considered finally conclusive in the determination of whether the nation in which the applicant is domiciled has a REIT regime in place. Indeed, as noted above, NAREIT shall consider any relevant information and documentation provided by an applicant and will also consider whether commercial investment-oriented indexes of publicly traded REITs and real estate companies around the world include the applicant as a REIT in its nation of domicile.

ii. NAREIT will next determine whether the applying entity is indeed organized or operating as a REIT, with an emphasis on verification by the applicant providing third-party documentation. Possible forms of documentation include, but are not limited to: 1. Certified filings of the applicant with agencies of the relevant national government; or, 2. A letter written in English from independent outside counsel with REIT legal expertise. Unlike several existing sponsored Top-Level Domains (“sTLDs”), NAREIT will not rely on easily manipulated verification information, including links to established websites or community-based email addresses belonging to applicants.

In addition, to accommodate REIT regimes when such documentation is not available, applicants shall have the opportunity to briefly describe their claim to REIT status, such as by providing an English-language copy of a relevant national law governing REITs or REIT-like entities along with documentation establishing the REIT’s compliance with that law, or any other indicia of qualification or operation as a REIT. NAREIT shall reserve the right to require any applicant to provide further information or clarification regarding its request to register a domain name.

NAREIT will review all requests from applicants internally, through a dedicated six-member Determination and Verification Team (“Team”) composed of NAREITʹs: Executive Vice President and General Counsel; Senior Tax Counsel; Senior Vice President, Industry & Member Affairs; Vice President, Investment Affairs & Investor Education; Vice President, Operations; and, Industry Affairs Coordinator. As discussed further below, all eligibility determinations made by the Team are subject to reconsideration through the Eligibility Reconsideration Process administered by an independent board of global REIT community members.
The purpose of the TLD will be to advance the interests of the global REIT community by providing information and services relating to REITs. Accordingly, with regard to name selection, NAREIT will limit the registration of domain names in the TLD to the legal trade names of REITs, or the names by which REITs are commonly known, which may include acronyms, registered and common law trademarks, and exchange ticker symbols. NAREIT’s name selection policy will tie in with its verification policy, such that any certified documentation required for community eligibility should also clearly display the applicant’s trade or commonly known name. NAREIT may also require English-language copies of trademark registrations for name selection purposes or evidence of use in commerce, such as websites or marketing collateral.
NAREIT will implement a policy similar to the existing .jobs sTLD and both: impose a continuing obligation on applicants to maintain their trade names or commonly known names concurrently with their domain name registration; and retain discretion as the sole arbiter of determining whether the applicant meets the naming criteria—subject only to the discretion of a dispute resolution provider under the Community Eligibility Dispute Resolution Procedure (“CEDRP”) described below—as well as the appropriate level of documentation necessary to substantiate the applicant’s claim. Initially, NAREIT will prohibit registration of generic and descriptive terms relating to REITs on the second level that do not refer to the trade name of a specific REIT.

NAREIT will implement a strict “first come, first served” policy to vitiate the potential for multiple requests for the same second level domain name. Only in the event where a “first come, first served” policy is inadequate to settle demand for the same second level domain by multiple eligible applying entities, NAREIT may consider registration of geographic modifiers, such as “US-[REITʹs name].REIT” or “[REITʹs name]Asia.REIT” so long as no confusion is caused by such modifiers.

The TLD shall be used for the benefit of the community. All domain names must serve the needs of the REIT community, and can be cancelled if they do not. Serving the needs of the REIT community shall include providing information about or offering services relating to a registrant’s REIT. Thus, the TLD will ensure its integrity and purpose as an authorized source of REIT-related information and services for investors, media, interested members of the public, or people who use the services of REITs- such as tenants of REIT properties.

NAREIT will bolster this general policy with an affirmative duty upon registrants to establish use of all domain names within one year of registration, which may include forwarding the domain name to an existing TLD that serves the needs of the REIT community. In addition, as part of the regular renewal process for domain names, registrants shall reaffirm current eligibility as a REIT and use in accordance within the TLD content and use policy.

As reflected in NAREIT’s answers to Questions 28 and 29, NAREIT will further delineate the particular uses that are not allowable- for example: unlawful activities, spamming, causing consumer confusion, or reselling the domain names- and prominently display links to such policies on the TLD domain name registration website. NAREIT will also specifically prohibit registration of domain names “solely for the purpose of selling, trading or leasing the domain names for compensation.”

NAREITʹs 6-member Team described above shall ensure continued compliance with NAREITʹs eligibility, naming, content & use policies through random audits of all registered domain names on a regular basis. In addition, NAREIT will place a prominently displayed contact email on the TLD home page as a point of contact for this Team.

NAREIT will adopt a modified version of the ICANN Charter Eligibility Dispute Resolution Procedure, called the “Community Eligibility Dispute Resolution Procedure” (“CEDRP”), and NAREITʹs representatives are currently engaged in discussions with third party service providers to administer the CEDRP. Only slight modifications will be made to incorporate the eligibility policy above.

NAREIT will also adopt a robust Eligibility Reconsideration Policy (“ERP”), modeled after the existing .aero ERP, to ensure accountability of the TLD to the international REIT community through a reconsideration process of NAREIT decisions that: 1) a second level domain name applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements and so is not entitled to obtain a domain name; or, 2) that a registrant no longer meets the eligibility requirements and so its domain name is cancelled or transferred. The ERP shall be administered by a 7-member International Appeal Board that will be composed of REIT industry professionals representing expertise in: law relating to REITs; investment in REITs; accounting practices of REITs; and national or regional associations of REITs and real estate companies. All panelists will volunteer for rotating 2-year terms to be staggered for rotational purpose

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