Questions to and Answers from Applicant for .ads, .agency, .aids, and others

ICANN Questions:

ICANN is in the process of reviewing Name.Space's TLD Application. As outlined in the October 23, 2000 TLD Application Review Update which appears at http://www.icann.org/tlds/tld-review-update-23oct00.htm, ICANN may "gather the additional information [it] require[s] by posing specific questions to applicants in e-mail and requesting a written response."

Keeping in mind the goal to evaluate applications to operate or sponsor new TLDs in as open and transparent a manner as possible, both the questions posed by ICANN and the Applicant's responses will be publicly disclosed on the ICANN website.

Accordingly, ICANN requests your reponses to the following questions:

1. Identify and summarize Applicant's assumptions with respect to the existence of other general purpose TLDs in determining the total number of registrations in your application.

2. State in detail your position as it relates to possible legal claims by certain applicants and/or non-applicant third parties based on alleged trademark, patent or other violations of purported rights in the TLDs identified in your application.

3. If you receive a new TLD, state whether you will indemnify ICANN for claims arising from legal challenges regarding your right to operate the new TLD. If you will indemnify ICANN, identify and describe in detail the resources you propose to utilize for the indemnification.

Name.Space Responses:

1. The assumptions take into consideration that there will be other TLDs available by other registries; the numbers in Name.Space's plan pertain to expected demand for all the TLDs submitted in Name.Space's application to ICANN.

The expected demand pertains to all the TLDs submitted in Name.Space's application to ICANN. Reducing the number of TLDs may affect the wholesale price resulting in higher prices to the end users, if volume for such limited set of TLDs does not scale according to the pro forma levels.

As a publishing gateway for TLDs, Name.Space provides services for TLDs that serve diverse interests including cultural, community, and commercial. Not all TLDs will be commercially successful if operated on their own. Many valid TLD strings presently published and operated by Name.Space may only serve a limited number of users, but have a high cultural, non-profit, community value. The infrastructure needed to support one TLD can support numerous TLDs at no appreciable cost. The efficiency of this shared infrastructure makes it possible to charge the same low price for all TLDs whether they become commercially successful or not. This model already exists in "legacy" domains ("com." "org." "net."): The volume of registrations under "com." is sufficient to run a profitable business on a large scale, witness Network Solutions. If NSI had to depend however only on "org." or "net." for their revenues they would either need to charge several times the current rates, or suffer financial difficulty. In addition, NSI would not be able to afford to register "edu." domains for free. The recent statistics show "com." registrations exceed 20 million while "org." and "net." combined total much less than 10 million registrations.

Any reduction or limits to the number of TLDs operated on a given infrastructure will cause upward pressure on the wholesale price of registrations. Limiting a registry to only a single domain poses the greatest business risk because it demands the TLDs' commercial success, meaning a high volume of registrations (several million or more) in that TLD. This unnecessarily excludes less popular but otherwise valuable TLDs that serve cultural, community and non-commercial purposes.

As a publishing gateway and wholesale provider of TLDs, Name.Space seeks to reduce those risks and the necessity for the commercial success of any single TLD, by serving a wide variety of interests, providing many TLDs for various special purposes at reasonable rates. The efficiency of operating many TLDs on the same infrastructure keeps the costs down across the board for all TLDs, at the wholesale level.

With a large variety of specific TLDs available, and policies in place that reduce bad faith and speculative registrations, overall volume of demand should be reduced over what has been experienced with regards to legacy domains, especially "com." where governing policies provided fertile grounds for speculative registrations and hoarding, and numerous bad faith registrations that resulted in disputes. By honoring famous trademarks, and screening famous names, Name.Space seeks to reduce the number of speculative and bad faith registrations. As well, initial registrations whose sole purpose is to resell the domain will be prohibited, thus further reducing the number of speculative and bad faith registrations.

2. This question calls for legal conclusions Name.Space is not in a position to give. The TLDs submitted in the Name.Space application assume that all existing laws regarding any legal claims will continue in full effect and will be applied in accordance to those terms and judicial proceedings.

3. Indemnification should be determined on an industry-wide, all registry/ registrar basis by provisions set forth on a consensus basis. If such indemnification terms exist, i.e. as in the ICANN Registrar agreement, or are in formation, Name.Space will entertain them.

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