Posted: 26 October 2003
Background Paper: RegistryPro Request to Offer Second Level Registrations
On the agenda for the 31 October 2003 Board meeting is the proposal by RegistryPro, Inc. (the ICANN-designated operator of the .PRO registry) to begin offering domain registration services at the second level in addition to the current offering of .pro registrations at the profession-specific third-level (these are currently law.pro, med.pro, and cpa.pro).
The proposal is submitted in accordance with the provisions in the Registry Agreement between ICANN and RegistryPro, Section 2.6 of Appendix L, which, after written ICANN approval, allows for implementation of second level registration under .pro.
The Registry Agreement between RegistryPro and ICANN was signed in May 2002. RegistryPro is currently preparing to publicly launch the .pro registration process.
On 6 August 2003, ICANN received a request from RegistryPro, Inc. which plans to launch registrations of second level domains (SLD). The request seeks the revision of the appendices to the .pro Registry Agreement to provide for it to offer two types of second level registrations directly under the .pro top-level domain (TLD).
In the first case, registrants that provide multiple services and meet the requirements for two professions or more can register directly under .pro that is such as companyname.pro, instead of for example companyname.med.pro and companyname.law.pro.
In the second case, any professional that meets the requirements for one of the professions specific third level names, a redirecting service to the third-level name will be offered. Such as for example companyname.pro will redirect to companyname.law.pro for a company offering legal services.
The RegistryPro SLD Proposal
RegistryPro proposes to offer SLD registrations in addition to the current profession-specific third level domain registrations in the .PRO name space.
The proposed SLD registrations would be offered only through ICANN-accredited registrars. In summary, the SLD registration offering proposed by RegistryPro would operate as follows:
Further, the RegistryPro proposal specifies that the registrants would be required to meet all of the registration requirements set forth in Appendix L in both of the above cases.
Considerations in Evaluating the Proposed Amendments
While registration under the .PRO domain space is generally restricted to third-level domain names, the .PRO Registry Agreement does provide for future allowance of second-level registrations under Section 2.6 of Appendix L:
RegistryPro has consulted with its Advisory Board, which as contemplated by the .PRO Registry Agreement is composed of representatives of professional associations that are representative of the legal, medical, and accountancy professions (the subjects of the First-Phase Profession-Specific-SLDs to be offered by RegistryPro). The Advisory Board has provided a statement of support for the RegistryPro proposal which indicates the support for the proposal.
The Board has noted in resolution 02.100, where ICANN is evaluating significant registry changes,
If no legitimate interest appears in danger of being harmed, then the request for modification of the agreement is considered under a streamlined procedure. If, however, there are specific reasons to conclude that the legitimate interests of others are likely to be harmed, this suggests that the contractual revision may involve a change in policy to be considered through the formal policy-development process. It is important to note that the .PRO request differs from the previous but similar .NAME request, since the request to offer second level registrations is contemplated in the .PRO Registry Agreement at Section 2.6 of Appendix L as set out above. The .NAME Registry Agreement did not contemplate a second level registration, and was accordingly subject to an additional level of review.
The RegistryPRO proposal to offer SLD registrations does not appear likely to harm anyone's legitimate interests. In fact, this statement is enforced by the unanimous support from the RegistryPRO Advisory Board, and further RegistryPRO have consulted those registrars currently intending to offer the .pro TLD, and have received positive feedback from these parties as well.
Registration of SLD .PRO names will be in addition to the professions-specific third level names, and will only be available through ICANN accredited registrars, and thereby promoting registrar-level competition as well as allowing for more diverse and clearer consumer choice in the .pro name space.
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