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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.ruhrregiodot GmbH & Co. KGdotzon.comView

* SPECIALITY – A connected namespace *

The .RUHR domain names shall be the essential name space for the communication and interaction within the Ruhrgebiet Community with its large target groups like Internet users, companies and other organizations.

By becoming an essential source of information and communication for community members and foreigners, the .RUHR namespace integrally connects them on the Internet. The applicant is particularly interested in stimulating the creation of unique content for the region to actually make the namespace under the proposed TLD both the online home for private and business users in the region as well as a valuable source of information for those outside the region that seek information and services in the Ruhrgebiet. In order to achieve this goal, the applicant will ensure that general terms, which are descriptive for cultural, business and leisure offers are run as directory services populated with information from and about the region. Such directory sites shall be available as of the launch date of the TLD to make the namespace attractive from the very beginning.

* REPUTATION and SERVICE LEVEL - A trustworthy Namespace *

The applicant is a German entity and governed by German law, which provides a high protection level in terms of data protection and data security. Additionally, the policies on registration abuse and usage abuse are drafted to protect minors, human dignity, intellectual property and other core values according to the protection level in Germany. Combined with responsive reporting mechanisms, well trained personnel working on abuse reports, robust escalation procedures and efficient enforcement, the proposed TLD is well equipped for being a reputable namespace.

A good example to showcase that Germany provides an excellent framework for a reliable, secure and trustworthy namespace is DENIC, which runs the most successful ccTLD (.de) in the world.
Like DENIC, the applicant has installed a requirement for registrants to name an Admin-C in Germany to whom correspondence can be served. This allows for an efficient enforcement of applicable laws as well as contractual sanctions, if needed.

City names, names of certain associations (e.g. the chamber of commerce or professional associations), certain cultural assets or names of geographic, historical or political relevance will be placed on a list of names, which can only be registered by the competent authority. This helps ensuring that such terms are actually reserved to the use of the appropriate bodies, which is another means to increase the reputation of the namespace.

In addition to that, the registration policies and the phased roll-out plan ensure that, after rights holders can apply for registration during the sunrise-period, registrations are possible for registrants in the Ruhrgebiet exclusively before the landrush phase allows for registrations from the general public. Thus, Internet users may rest assured that interested parties from the region have priority in populating the namespace and making available information and services under .RUHR. This is a service level that is demanded by the global Internet community and which will contribute towards a very positive reputation of .RUHR.

* Intuitive and memorable namespace *

Domain names under .RUHR are descriptive, precise and create identity for all parties related to the Ruhrgebiet. It enables commercial and non-commercial suppliers and enquirers to come together in a more intuitive manner than today. This is a speciality that has rarely been seen in existing top-level domains, but will become a standard in future top-level domains.


* COMPETITION - Added Value by local Flavor *

As an addition to gTLDs and ccTLDs .RUHR and its domains names will be an ideal supplement with a local flavor and search engine relevance to existing domain name portfolios. By this there will be a natural competition in the global domain name business by introducing a dedicated namespace for the Ruhrgebiet. The new .RUHR domain names are a valuable alternative to the established local ccTLD. The .RUHR top-level domain will be welcome, since the national ccTLD .de is overcrowded with nearly 15 million registered domain names. In order to make the namespace more attractive to German users, the regiodot GmbH & Co.KG (herein after referred to as regiodot) will deploy IDN characters used in the German language.

* A speaking TLD *

The .RUHR TLD and its .RUHR domain names are clearly diffentiated to existing TLDs, not only due to their descriptive and speaking nature which has a clear meaning and value to the targeted registrants and Internet users but also due to its dedicated and validated owners.

* Prosperous and promising namespace *

The .RUHR environment will create new business opportunities and fosters the development of innovative services for the benefit of the Ruhrgebiet. With .RUHR domains, the Ruhrgebiet community will have the ability to enhance their search engine rankings by delivering more relevant search results for members, foreigners, investors and tourists. This will benefit in more direct e-commerce on .RUHR websites and increase their position in the global market. From a user perspective a quicker and easier way to find information will result.


The intuitive and descriptive domain names under a “speaking TLD” like .RUHR will enable consumers to navigate and search more easily for information and services in and about the Ruhrgebiet on the Internet. Since a huge portion of all search queries with search engines relates to local information, the proposed TLD may assist in increasing the visibility of local or regional offers compared to other TLDs. This will increase the visibility along with the marketing efforts for .RUHR by regiodot and the community. Additionally, the aforementioned directory services will provide an unprecedented user experience in unified format for numerous generic terms. Thus, the users will be able to find relevant information on the region via direct type-ins, should the user wish to do so. In order to avoid repetition, please refer to the answers given above, which also support the aim of a good user experience.


Beyond the provisions of the New gTLD Agreement the the following policies are imposed.

In order to support the goal of creating a namespace for Internet users in the Ruhrgebiet and to provide valuable information for the users in the region, regiodot has chosen to give special treatment to certain domain names.

Names of cities, authorities, institutions and regions as well as emergency numbers are blocked from general registration and will only be available to the respective entitled parties. This measure helps to both protect the rights of the respective rights holders, but also ensures that names important to the region are actually owned and operated by the appropriate entities (should they wish so).

Additionally, certain Premium Names will be blocked from general registration and will be sold and⁄or auctioned off by regiodot. By doing so, regiodot reduces the risk of speculative domain registrations for domain names that are important to the region. It can be expected that such domain names will be primarily invested in by parties that wish to use the domain names for offering content or services to get a return of investment.

Further, regiodot has the right to reserve certain .RUHR domain names for personal and ⁄ or internal usage and for the provision of directory services to populate the namespace with valuable information relevant to the region. With this measure, regiodot will help the namespace to be populated with unique content from the very beginning to stimulate the creation and publication of content relevant to the region.

Finally, regiodot will include a Regional Registrants Priority Phase during the roll out of before the Landrush phase takes place.

During this phase, applicants who are running a business ⁄ a company or individuals who provide an address with a postal code in the Ruhrgebiet as predetermined by regiodot, will be eligible to apply for a .RUHR domain name. Eligible postal codes will be published by regiodot.

The postal code in the address given by the applicant needs to be absolutely identical with the postal code on the published list to qualify for registrations during this period.
The applicant needs to evidence to run a business or to have its address within an eligible and predetermined postal code area upon request by the Validation Agent.

.RUHR domain names are awarded on a “first come, first served” basis during this phase.
This phase will provide an opportunity for registrants from the region to get „their“ domain name, which shall help making the .ruhr TLD an online home for private and commercial Internet users in the region.

The goal of providing a trustworthy namespace is supported by the .RUHR Eligibility Policy, which requires registrants who do not have a place of general jurisdiction in Germany to name an Admin-C in Germany to provide for an efficient enforcement of applicable laws and contractual sanctions since service of writs or other correspondence can be made to the Admin-C.

Further, regiodot will use an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which provides for clear demarcations of acceptable use versus abuse.

The AUP will differentiate between “registration abuse” and “usage abuse” (together “malicious use”).

“Registration abuse” is:
- Use of faulty⁄falsified⁄incomplete⁄stolen person-related or company-related data on registration (danger to WHOIS accuracy, see below);
- Cybersquatting⁄typosquatting;
- Registration of illegal domain names, which themselves constitute a breach of applicable laws;

“Usage abuse” is:
- Violation of applicable laws or regulation; in particular the provisions of the German Criminal Code, the German Youth Protection Act and the German Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (JMStV);
- Use of a domain to publish content which incites to hatred against parts of the population or against a national, racial, religious or ethnic group, content which glorifies violence, content which violates the human dignity, content which denies or plays down acts committed under the National Socialist regime;
- Distribution of child abusive material;
- Use of a domain name for the dissemination of spam, i.e. unsolicited bulk electronic communication (e-mail, instant messaging, on websites, in forums or mobile messaging) or advertising a domain name by means of spam;
- Use of a domain name for Distributed Denial-of-service attacks (“DDoS attacks”);
- Use of domain names in phishing activities, tricking Internet users into divulging personal data such as names, addresses, usernames, passwords, or financial data;
- Use of domain names in pharming , such as DNS hijacking and DNS cache poisoning;
- Use of domain names for the intentional distribution of malicious code such as spyware, botware, keylogger bots, viruses, worms or trojans;
- Use of domain names to command and control botnets , i.e. a network of compromised computers or “zombies,”
- Use of domain names in activities intended to gain illegal access to other computers or networks (“hacking”), as well as any activity to prepare for such a system penetration; or
- Use of a domain name fast flux hosting, disguising the location of Internet addresses or Internet services.

The AUP which will be enforced by means of robust escalation procedures including response times to provide for swift action, if needed.

Due to the fact that the AUP is based on the rigid youth protection provisions in Germany, registrants are required to make adult material available in closed user groups using age verification systems that follow standards issued by the Commission for the protection of minors in the media (www.kjm-online.de) and material which is detrimental to the development of minors or harmful to minors may only me made available when criteria laid down in the respective legislation are met and which will be further specified in a transparent manner in the policies). This will help providing for a high protection level and exceptional user experience.


Preserving diversity and freedom of opinion is one of the core values of the applicant. Within the boundaries of applicable laws, these constitutional rights shall be supported by the applicant’s registry. Thus, the use of proxy and privacy services to protect the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users will be allowed at the discretion of registrars and registrants. However, the applicant will implement all policies and requirements ICANN may impose on the subject of privacy and proxy services. In addition to that, the registry will conduct its business in compliance with German ⁄ European data protection laws, which provide for a high protection level.


The .RUHR TLD is financially supported by a syndication of different Yellow Pages publishers within the Ruhrgebiet. Already around 2 years before the application we started the outreach to build a reasonable community to support our application. As a result of our outreach the .RUHR TLD has already been gained awareness within the community including presentation at local city government level. We will continue to communicate the benefits of .RUHR domains names within the community. We believe that the broad outreach program, which is part of our marketing efforts, will help us to achieve the projected benefits of .RUHR.

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gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixzDetail