18(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?
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Since the art community, as described in our response to Question 20 below, consists of a large number of qualifying registrants and registrant categories, it is important for the .art TLD to strike the right balance between:
- catering to those who are involved, directly or indirectly, in the art community and who would like to register one or more domain names in this extension in order to use such name(s) in a way relevant to the .art extension in general, and the community and public at large in particular;
- discouraging or even disallowing candidate domain name registrants who envisage to use domain names registered in .art for purposes unrelated to the art community in general, and the mission and vision of the TLD in particular.
In order to avoid a disorderly launch of the .art TLD, e-flux is envisaging a launch and roll-out of this extension whereby registrations are first opened to a category of community members who are closely involved in and intertwined with the art community. These member categories include museums, art centers and art galleries, publishing houses who publish art books, art schools and academies, research and fellowship institutes and programs, public and private collections, funding organizations and NGOs, residency programs and international exhibitions such as biennials.
Basically this “primary category” consists of entities that bear the most responsibility towards the international art community, and are most visible to art audiences, and associated with art by the public at large.
Only after the TLD has established its credibility, which is likely going to happen when a substantial part of the “primary category” of registrants have established their presence on the Internet under the .art TLD, the TLD would be opened up to commercial entities and individuals within the international art community.
Considering the fact that the .art TLD will be presented as a highly specialized, highly reputable, and focused Internet extension, the envisaged price points for domain name registrations that are currently being considered by e-flux need to be sufficient in order to allow the Applicant to execute the vision and mission statement described above.
Therefore, the applicant currently does not envisage reductions in pricing, because e-flux wants to primarily reach out to those who are interested in the .art TLD because of the vision and mission of the TLD, its close ties with the art community, and its objective to develop a relevant name space on the Internet.
However, a special application procedure will be available for applicants meeting or exceeding the terms of the mission and vision, and who demonstrate limited financial resources or not-for-profit status, to acquire use of a domain at special rates. This concession is necessary for sustaining the breadth and high quality of the TLD, as the international art community experiences a dramatically uneven distribution of resources.
Although having a large volume of domain names in the TLD would be beneficial from a financial point of view, this is not the primary concern of e-flux, since such focus would provide for opportunities to those who might want to register domain names for reasons unrelated to e-flux’ and the art community’s objectives.
Therefore, the Applicant is convinced that if the TLD is successful in terms of relevancy and value to the art community, it will attract more relevant candidate registrants, and inherently add to the significance of the .art TLD.
As required by ICANN, e-flux will not offer domain name registrations for a period of over ten years. The standard term for registering and renewing domain names in the .art TLD will be one year.
However, registrars will be offered the option to register domain names for longer terms (multiples of one year), but for a maximum term of three years. Considering the fact that e-flux intends to develop the .art TLD for the long term, it may provide incentives to registrars who offer multi-year registrations. These incentives could include discounts, or credits that will be added to the registrar’s deposit account with e-flux.
One of the key elements that e-flux discussed when presenting its plans for the .art TLD to its co-members of the art community was the price point of initial domain name registrations and renewals, as referred to in the financial projections template. The pricing proposed in the financial projections have not been considered an impediment by anyone who has actively participated in the creation of the application for the .art gTLD, and therefore e-flux currently does not foresee any price increases.
However, should there be a need to increase the pricing for initial registrations or renewals, e-flux shall communicate such fees in accordance with the requirements set by ICANN, which will be reflected in the registry-registrar agreement that will be entered into with ICANN Accredited Registrars who would like to offer domain name registrations in the .art TLD.
Furthermore, in order to show our true commitment to the art community, the Applicant will donate at least 10% of its operating profits to one or more art-related projects.
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