18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
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The “.amsterdam” TLD will benefit registrants, Internet users and others in a number of ways.
i. The goal of the proposed TLD is to provide the City of Amsterdam, her citizens, trademark holders, partners, cultural and other target audience to promote themselves through the domain names with the TLD “.amsterdam”. The most powerful benefits for the target audience is that they have a new, easy and powerful way, namely the “.amsterdam” TLD, to connect with each other, search for local identities, enterprises or other City related activities. The reputation of the City is very powerful due to its history of over seven centuries and the current “I amsterdam” branding strategy, which in itself is already a likely motivation to register domain names – the City generally is “something to be proud of” and this will likely to be perceived as to be reflected in the TLD. The international brand awareness, recognizability and uniform spelling of the name of the City, will also contribute significantly to the adoption and use of the this TLD.
The Registry anticipates that “.amsterdam” will add to the current space more differentiation in the way that it provides registrants the opportunity to have an important new means of showing and⁄or promoting their brand or shop, identity or community via a TLD that reflects a locality and a bond (to the City and its citizens) in a positive way. This TLD is family of and yet distinctly different from the “.nl” TLD – the most successful TLD in The Netherlands. In terms of competition the Registry will provide the community, stakeholders and visitors of the City of Amsterdam with a TLD that will strengthen their bond to the City and its values and adds more consumer choice in a market dominated by the national “.nl” TLD. Many of the domain names desired by local businesses had been taken by companies elsewhere in The Netherlands and the introduction of the “.amsterdam” TLD gives them a good chance to claim a ‘prime’ domain name for their business again. In terms of innovation the City of Amsterdam has traditionally been a national leader in providing IT Services to its citizens and would like the new TLD to reflect that ongoing innovation. With respect to domain name registration the innovative element can be found in the concept that a number of domain names will be reserved and issued in batches to parties with a specific interest in the entire batch of domain names in conjunction with the obligation for the registrant to actively use these domains in line with such specific interest. An example would be the grouping of domain names offered for sale in the area of ‘housing’: wonen.amsterdam, woningen.amsterdam, koopwoningen.amsterdam, huurwoningen.amsterdam. The prospective buyer of this cluster has the advantage of owning related domain names to maximize his potential, with the obligation to actively publish and refresh those domain names within a short time frame and with a high frequency after acquisition.
Also, the purchaser of a domain name will be offered the option to receive a gift card, so the acquired domain name can become a present to friends or family – the branding campaign of the City will be used to emphasize these kinds of possibilities.
The registration policies in order to reach these goals the Registry aims to put in place several specific guidelines in the registration process.
The Registry plans to set up the following registration policy:
I - pre-launch
This phase will be used for determining optimal pricing strategies after consultation with registrars, local media partnerships and the branding of the TLD. As there have been relatively few TLD’s other than “.nl”, we feel we need to place emphasis on setting our “.amsterdam” TLD as a brand.
During sunrise tradenames and trademark holders can be the first to claim their domain name. This will be a positive experience in the sense that the rightful trademark or tradename holders can prevent someone else claiming their domain names. Thus In this way internet users will find the relevant information of the holder that they expect at this domain name.
III - landrush
This period is both critical in generating the right kind of positive public attitude towards the new TLD as it is for the business plan of the Registry. Therefore most resourcing of the companies involved with be aimed at preparing for and execution during this period. The Registry will reserve several domain names for the City of Amsterdam, which they could use for the promotional activities and offering its services to the public. These reserved domain names for the City of Amsterdam contribute directly to the City of Amsterdam’s city marketing goals and those of her Partners. For Example schiphol.amsterdam and airport.amsterdam (Amsterdam Airport)
Next to that a number of domain names will be reserved for the City of Amsterdam and its institutions, several domain names are sold in batches to parties with a specific interest in the entire batch of domain names in conjunction with the obligation for the registrant to actively use these domains in line with such specific interest. Examples of these ‘batches’ mentioned above would be “wonen.amsterdam”, “woningen.amsterdam”, “koopwoningen.amsterdam” and “huurwoningen.amsterdam”. By offering these four domain names for sale as a ‘batch’ during the landrush period sale, with the conditions of active use within a short period after purchase (to be determined) we can achieve rapid public availability of these strategic domain names. On top of that, by auctioning these batches, we create a level playing field allowing all interested parties to acquire those names (with the conditions mentioned being a part of the sale), while at the same time offering the new owner the strategic advantage of having acquired a coherent set of domain names, which can be considered to be of premium value.
IV launch -
The remaining domain names will be sold on first come, first serve basis.
Wide promotion for the use of the TLD appealing to both wide audiences and specific markets, has the goal of broad acceptance and achieving at least the amount of growth that was projected in the business plan. Promotion will include all imaginable marketing materials, gift cards (allowing a domain name to be bought and given as a present) etc.
While registration and auctions will remain a key element of the Registry’s business the first year, they will be supplemented by an increasing focus on the provision of a complete range of services, by either the Registry or the Registrars, to enable its customers to grow their e-commerce.
v. With regard to the protection of the privacy or personal information of registrants and users the Registry will not impose any specific measures. The Registry will consider applying for the permission to restrict WHOIS in accordance with the limitations requested by Fundació puntCAT, the registry operator for the .cat TLD.
The registry refers to the RSEP procedure initiated by Fundació puntCAT on October 5, 2011 under the name ‘Whois changes according to EU data protection legislation’. As the registry is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, it is, as the .cat and .tel registries subject to the EU Data Protection Legislation which is in this case implemented into Dutch law. In short the acceptance of this amendment to the regular WHOIS will lead to the non disclosure of the data associated to the domain names registered by individual registrants that choose so.
The registry chooses however to request the allowance to provide such amended whois services at this stage only as an alternative to the regular whois services that the registry will implement if reaching an agreement on the amended whois services may not be feasible as a result of the current application procedure or if the evaluation of this application is seriously hampered by any discussion or the necessity of extended evaluation.
Although the amended whois is a serious and important element for the Registry, it is at the same time more important for the registry to obtain the delegation in due time. In that case the Registry expects that Registrars will offer Privacy Protect services to (prospective) registrants and will apply for an amended WHOIS via the ICANNʹs Registry Services Evaluation Process (RSEP).
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