22 Describe proposed measures for protection of geographic names at the second and other levels in the applied-for gTLD

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.visaVisa International Service Associationvisa.comView

Registry Agreement - Specification 5 criteria

§2 The reservation of two-character label string may be released to the extent that Registry Operator reaches agreement with the government and the country-code manager. The Registry Operator may also propose release of these reservations based on its implementation of measures to avoid confusion with the corresponding country names.

§5… the reservation of specific country and territory names may be released to the extent that the Registry Operator reaches agreement with the applicable government(s), provided, further, that Registry Operator may also propose release of these reservations, subject to review by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and approval by ICANN.

Visa International Service Association (“Visa”) generally respects and abides by the Governmental Advisory Committee’s (“GAC”) Principles regarding New gTLDs, dated March 28, 2007. In particular, Visa adheres to and⁄or intends to adhere to the recommendations directed towards new registry operators in Sections 2.1, 2.4, 2.7(b). On the other hand, Visa assumes that several of the recommendations directed towards new registry operators, in general, are less applicable in the case of closed Registry operational models such as .VISA than in an completely open Registry model. These include without limitation Sections 2.2, 2.3, 2.7(a) and 2.9.

In order to comply with the requirements of the Registry Agreement and Specification 5, all Two-character labels (§2) and Country and Territory Names (§5) will be initially reserved. However, Visa believes that the use of geographic terms may provide a benefit to internet users because these terms may be intuitive ways to resolve to Visa International Service Association’s content that is specifically relevant and targeted to users in the particular geographic region and in line with local customs, laws and regulations. Thus, the use of the geographic terms may be valuable to internet users because they may be reassured that the content that they are viewing is relevant to their local situation, thus possibly mitigating the risk of unnecessary user confusion.

Visa may therefore use any Two-character label and⁄or Country or Territory Name domains at Visa International Service Association’s discretion, subject to participating in or implementing a process by which any affected government may reasonably object to that use. Visa envisions possible scenarios for ensuring an affected government’s agreement to the use of Country and Territory names. For example, a possible scenario is set forth below. In any event, the appropriate arrangement will be explored in detail at the appropriate time with ICANN and the GAC to ensure a mutually agreeable solution.

SCENARIO 1 (Letter to GAC)
In advance of any use of geographical names Visa will send a letter to the chair of the GAC informing of its intention to use geographical names in the .VISA TLD. The letter will outline the reasons for using geographical names and provide affected governments with the opportunity to contact Visa within 90 days to reserve their respective geographical name from use in the TLD. Should a government inform Visa that it wishes to reserve the use of their respective geographical name, the name will remain reserved for the duration of Visa International Service Association’s registry agreement with ICANN. The opportunity to reserve a name will be offered to affected governments free of charge.

Generally, it is unlikely that Visa International Service Association’s tightly controlled use of any cc.VISA or countryname.VISA domain name would be confusing or detrimental to users, or otherwise offensive to any country. Nor is it likely to be detrimental to the operator of a country code top level domain. To the extent that use of any .VISA domain was deemed to be confusing or offensive, Visa will make reasonable efforts to resolve the matter. Visa will ensure that its designated abuse contact is aware of the additional sensitivities that may potentially arise with respect to use of cc.VISA or countryname.VISA domains, such that any complaints of this nature are prioritized accordingly. Visa will not use geographic names until ICANN has approved such use

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