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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.medDocCheck AGdoccheck.comView

List of content
i- Goal, areas of specialty, service levels, reputation
ii- Value add to the current space in terms of competition, differentiation, innovation
iii- User experience
iv- Registration policies
v- Protecting privacy
vi- Outreach and communications

i- Goal, areas of specialty, service levels, reputation

Areas of specialty
The mission statement and the targeted audience as defined and described in question 18(a) strongly indicate the area of specialty the new gTLD .med is focusing on. The overall goal in terms of specialization is to establish and maintain a clear-cut focus on topics in the medicine and healthcare category. We are fully aware of the fact that a variety of subtopics can be subsumed under this category. This is due to the varicolored and diverse shades of professions in this field and the formidable size of the topics themselves. Consequently, we expect to have a gray area of topics that might be only partially covered by the mission statement. It will be impossible to find and apply axiomatic rules that can adjudicate on every particular case. However, the goal has to be to reduce such cases to an absolute and inevitable minimum and at the same time maximize quality for the vast majority of topics.

Despite the foreseeable, but limited number of controversial registrations we as the registry operator do not generally see our role as content discriminators. As we fully commit ourselves to the community approach we would like to establish a grassroots democracy means of community votes in cases of doubt to maintain and uphold the overall mission and the registry agreement. Such a means would, of course, have to be completely in line with all dispute resolution processes already established by ICANN and are additionally subject to discussion with and appraisal of an ICANN institution (please refer to the description of intended registration policies for further details).

Service Levels
In terms of service levels that the new gTLD .med will add we expect two effects to occur. At first, we believe that with increasing penetration, the new gTLD will more and more become a quality label added to the second level domains. As a matter of fact, already today only two aspects of a website can indicate any information to the user about that site before even before visiting it: the second level and the top level domain. As the second level domain can be defined at the registrant’s discretion, it will most likely testify something about the content a user will find on the respective website. However, this must not always be the case. A second level domain can also be composed of imaginary terms or worse, fake and obscure words. A top level domain such as the proposed string .med however, cannot be altered by any registrant and will therefore remain the same for all second level domains in the zone. In coherence with thorough marketing measures promoting the gTLD .med as a quality label, the internet user can judge the content quality of a website. With the help of a joint mission statement, registration policies and a code of conduct, we believe that the label .med will indicate quality, security and reliability of information. The user will develop a maximum sense of trust towards .med websites and therefore be more likely to visit them when being in need for medical and healthcare topics. As the element of trust also becomes more and more important for search engine operators such as Google or Bing, this development will also lead to a preferred status of .med websites in search results and consequently in a higher ranking.

This has several implications for the reputation of registrants and their respective websites. On the one hand, registrants can now label the first user touchpoint of their website the domain with a gTLD that symbolizes trustworthiness, credibility, and accuracy. On the other hand, internet users are able to identify a valuable website without even visiting it, just by the indication of the gTLD. The interaction of registrants and internet users enabled by a top level domain .med is largely oriented towards the similar effects of brands. Therefore, it is fair to say that it can be expected that .med will become a brand or signet that websites have to qualify for. It will then hold true that if a website is assigned with the signet .med, it offers trustworthy and reliable information to the internet user.

ii- Value add to the current space in terms of competition, differentiation, innovation

The introduction of the new gTLD .med creates a new competitive environment. As mentioned before, internet users will be able to quickly identify and classify information presented among the namespace of the proposed gTLD .med. The gTLD is intended to serve the community as a whole. It makes great demands on content types, content quality, and on the publisher of the website itself. It has the ambition to become a label, brand, or signet which needs registry and registrants pulling together in the same direction. To ensure this, we believe that the establishment of competition among all registrants applying for a .med gTLD will add quality to the namespace itself and the internet as a whole which will then again benefit all internet users. As the gTLD will be on the one hand a sign of quality and reliability for internet users, it will on the other hand have positive effects for the respective website owners in terms of rising visits, higher publicity, and possibly an increase in revenue. Therefore, every .med website operator will strive for perfection of content type, information quality, and service availability. By doing so, they can make sure to remain eligible for receiving the signet .med.

By introducing the new gTLD program, registry operators for the first time in internet history are able to offer a top level domain as a quality differentiation criterion. Differentiation by top level domain name adds value for both the target group (described in 18(a)) and internet users. It is commonly known that a product or service offering is in great need for competitive differentiators and unique selling propositions in order to distinguish itself from competitors and therefore be successful. Website providers with content covering medical and healthcare topics will from then on have the chance to differentiate their offering from others via the unique label .med. This becomes especially important on the internet for two reasons. First, the individual internet user independently searches for such information and is usually not capable of judging medical and healthcare content on its quality and reliability. Second, parts of internet have unfortunately become the playground of drug forgers and wheeler-dealers at the cost of the patients and internet users. Therefore, the quality-controlled environment of a .med gTLD will avoid all such problems and highlight and differentiate between all website operators that commit to the concept.

Again, the new gTLD program offers the application of some innovative means and measures. At first, we consider the differentiation aspects also to be highly innovative because such thoughts have not been possible or applicable before. At second, we also intend to implement some innovative operation measures that support our overall mission. For example, we believe that not DocCheck AG should be in charge of defining content boundaries, but the community itself. DocCheck AG will establish and maintain a framework of basic general requirements necessary to ensure controlled and well-regulated operations. Nevertheless, this service is carried out for the medical and healthcare community consisting of highly-educated and homogenous organizations and individuals. Therefore, we intend to integrate the community in decision making processes as much as possible and feasible. Additionally, when considering dispute cases, we also think about integrating a third party as dispute resolution provider. Its task would be assessing the alignment of website content with the requirements raised in the mission statement, the registration policies and the code of conduct. At third, the community itself benefits from the establishment of a new gTLD .med and can therefore exploit global innovation processes. The former regionally-organized community parts will set out further, using synergies existing through the internet and their connector .med to expand and strengthen the bands between each other.

iii- User experience
As some aspects that have already been described earlier also enhance user experience, they will at first be briefly repeated before focusing on new aspects. As mentioned before, we expect to help centralizing medical and healthcare topics on the internet and therefore creating a label or brand that offers the user a one-stop shop approach towards all facets of such topics. Accompanying effects will be the effect of higher trust for .med-labeled websites, the first-time possibility to evaluate website content quality before even visiting the respective site, and the assurance of quality, security and reliability of information. A new aspect of enhanced user experience concerns the group of medical and healthcare professionals as beneficiaries of the .med gTLD. From experience, we know that organizations and individuals belonging to such professions usually follow a very conservative approach towards information policies. As they operate in a field where discretion and data security is a crucial part of daily business (especially when being in contact with patients), this fact is not surprising at all. However, especially this field is also heavily driven by research activities, which relies on information exchange for consensual progressing. We believe that the gTLD .med can play a vital role in connecting professionals and encouraging communication. This is due to the fact that professionals will also identify the assured quality, reliability, and security of information provided and therefore more easily publish their information or engage in discussion forums for example.

iv- Registration policies
First, an applicant for a .med second level domain has to apply for a DocCheck account. This step is necessary and favors almost all goals directly or indirectly for the following reason. One of the core competencies of DocCheck AG is the verification process for members of the medical and healthcare professions (organizations and institutions as well as individuals) worldwide. As we operate a single sign-on (SSO) service for more than 10 years now, we have the in-house knowledge to verify identification documents and classify the relevant professions. During this highly-optimized and therefore rapid process, only relevant information is acquired from the registrant and data security is always in compliance with relevant laws and data security regulations. Therefore, outsourcing this activity (to a registrar, for example) would harm the goal of assuring quality, security and reliability of information, especially as no costs are generated for the registrant. This procedure directly supports the goal of maintaining a target group solely consisting of members from the medical and healthcare professions. Each applicant for a new .med second level domain will have to provide proof of being an eligible member of the community (please refer to question 18(a) for further details on eligible professions and organizations). Consequently, DocCheck AG has automatic and in some cases manual verification mechanisms in place (as described above). This supports the community approach providing a platform for safe and secure information addressed to both beneficiary groups, professionals and all internet users.

Second, applicants will have to obligate themselves to strictly follow a Code of Conduct (CoC). The CoC will consist of a generic and a medical part.

The generic part covers topics as following
- Second level domain name registration must not infringe upon the rights of others
- Second level domain name registration must not violate trademark (or any other) rights of others
- Second level domain name registration must not, in any case, violate national and international laws
- Neither second level domain name nor content published under it can contain explicit or implicit pornography, violence glorification, political or religious extremism (including but not necessarily limited to fascism, Islamism, etc.)
- The registrant has a legitimate interest in the domain name
- The registrant does not act in bad faith
- The registrant and all respective activities must abide national and international laws
- The registrant agrees that in dispute cases, the verdict of a third party dispute resolution provider (such as a community audit, and according to ICANN’s dispute resolution processes) is binding

The medical part covers topics as following
- The registrant only publishes content relevant for medical and healthcare topics or indicating a strong connection towards it
- The registrant provides platforms for user-generated content only for relevant medical and healthcare topics or indicating a strong connection towards it
- The registrant verifies all content that is published in his responsibility and thereby ensures quality fulsomeness and correctness in all conscience
- The registrant agrees that in dispute cases, the verdict of a third party dispute resolution provider (such as the Health-on-the-Net foundation, a community audit, and according to ICANN’s dispute resolution processes) is binding

Besides, a particular domain name can only be registered if
- The name has not been registered yet
- The name is not reserved or blocked
- The name fulfills the technical and lexical requirements

Third, as mentioned before, DocCheck AG can imagine establishing a so-called community audit as a dispute resolution process. In this case, individual dispute cases would not be ruled by DocCheck AG, but by the democratic vote of the whole community. This would ensure that every case receives fair and equal treatment and disengage DocCheck AG from a content discriminator. Additionally, such a solution would strengthen the connection inherent in the community. We suppose that this thought is new to ICANN and are fully aware that it has to withstand an ICANN appraisal. Nevertheless, we believe it is a relevant means for our community application.

Fourth, the applicant has to agree that a violation against any of the policies of the registration agreement may result in the loss of the registered domain.

Fifth, DocCheck AG will act upon request or complaint on the basis of the registration policies. Moreover the answers provided to questions 27 “Registration Lifecycle”, 28 “Abuse Prevention and Mitigation” and 29 “Rights Protection Mechanisms” describe more clearly in which cases DocCheck will proactively agitate in means of supporting the goals listed above.

v- Protecting privacy
Regarding measures of privacy and⁄or confidential information protection, we intend to adhere to all standards already set by other registries.

vi- Outreach and communications
DocCheck AG has a great interest in transforming the project into a community success. First and foremost, we hope that our ambitious goals can be reached and the community members accept this revolutionary approach towards topic clustering and trust on the internet. Therefore, we plan to carry out several marketing activities. From experience, we are aware of the fact that our target group is risk-averse and conservative towards marketing activities. We know that a reliable, transparent and consistent communication strategy over a long period of time is necessary in order to activate early-adopters and multipliers. Therefore, we plan to create an explanation of advantages of this project and carry out a steadily-timed communication plan. As a provider of various e-services for the medical community (i.e. a daily newsletter with more than 240.000 recipients) we have a multitude of direct marketing means at hand to instantly start with market communication). As we already have business relations to almost all relevant medical and healthcare portals around the globe we plan to carry out banner campaigns with partner websites. Solely for this purpose, we will establish a microsite or a website part integrated in our platform as landing page. Thereby, we hope to provide suitable information directly to the target group. Furthermore, we take an active part at fairs, conferences and conventions and are thinking of presenting the .med topic to a broad audience.

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