& Commercial Constituency Comments on Proposals for New Top
(5 November 2000)
The Business and Commercial Constituency
of the DNSO notes that:
- Given that assignment of generic and country
code Top Level Domains has been passed to the Internet Corporation
for Assigned Names and Numbers, and
- Given that the responsibility for ensuring
a stable framework for the existing and future primary domains
and recommends that ICANN should:
- ensure that extensions of the current
framework should take place in a well-controlled manner and be
subject to assessment;
- establish a clear policy on dealing with
any pre-emption, requested extensions from private domains to
the Root Server system or reservations that seek to avoid the
procedures created for this purpose;
- consider carefully the benefit arising
from each proposal, for and the effects upon, users of the Internet
and not the volume of support which a proposal has engendered;
- create new Internet domain names in a
way which simultaneously meets the global desire for more names
and reduces the potential for consumer fraud and confusion.
We would like to endorse to ICANN the following
minimum standards and recommendations.
1. Establish a Classification Framework
for existing and future Top Level Domains
ICANN should seek to enhance the public
benefit by ensuring improved ease of access through an appropriate
semantic framework for new Top Level Domains as recommended by
this constituency of the DNSO, in the excerpt from our earlier
The BC believes that a possible long-term
solution is to extend the classification role of gTLDs to their
logical conclusion. One option is to create a large set of gTLDs
to reflect the needs of the consumer. Thus, for example, the
following three commercial and one non-commercial options could
all co-exist: Lotus.software, Lotus.cars, Lotus.paper, Lotus.flowers
Such a system has wide-ranging benefits:
- A browser search would be more likely
to turn up relevant options.
- There would be little purpose in defensive
ownership of unwanted sites.
- Each new gTLD would have uniqueness and
its added value would enhance competition.
A process to identify possible new names
should be evaluated by a gTLD panel established by the ICANN
Board under the auspices of the DNSO Names Council'
The Business & Commercial constituency
also strongly recommend the ICANN Board to require new TLDs to
provide for a structured semantic sub-domain structure that enables
ease of access to specific content areas. Without such an approach
any new domain will sustain the risks of exhaustion and also
encourage a high volume of protective registrations that has
been quoted as limiting further registrations in the .com domain.
2. Limit Assignments and Reservations
- Proposers submitting multiple applications
or single applications with multiple proposals should identify
which single proposal they wish to be considered.
- New domains should be assigned to new
TLD operators with the positive aim of re-balancing the current
geographical distribution of registry locations.
- Operators of unauthorised TLDs or those
pre-selling registrations before assignment should not receive
- Each successful proposer should be assigned
no more than one domain at this time.
3. Defining the Scope of the Assignment
There should be a clear statement from
ICANN of the scope of the TLD assignment to avoid confusion between
domains, such as .air being used for air transport or radio communications
4. Differentiation Between Top Level
ICANN should ensure that new domains do
not merely duplicate existing assignments under a synonymous
generic label (eg .bus = .com), which would merely confuse Internet
users, but add value by differentiating its scope and target
registrants. Registry operations should be unique not-for-profit
services within each domain, competition being established at
the registrar level.
5. Require the inclusion of the following
Registry Policies in all TLD assignments:
5.1 On Rights to Domain Names:
ICANN should require the operators of all
new and existing Top Level Domains:
- to accept the legal principles covering
the intellectual property, trade marks and brand names for registrations
within their domain(s) in all jurisdictions in which they take
- to adopt the policies recommended by ICANN
based on the WIPO report;
- to verify that applications for domain
names do not infringe the rights of holders of intellectual property,
trade marks or brand names of existing entities, whether commercial,
non-commercial or individual;
- to reject bulk registrations and pre-emptive
registrations which seek to create an opportunity for speculative
resale of domain names;
- to proscribe the reselling or auction
of domain names through the assignment policies;
- to provide, in advance, protective registrations
for domain names that are the intellectual property, trade marks
or brand names of existing businesses, at cost;
- to proscribe the use of any domain for
abusive or denigratory purposes subject to immediate suspension
and withdrawal of the assignment;
- to resolve any infringement of trademark,
cyber-squatting and warehousing through the recommended UDRP;
5.2 On access to WHOIS information:
In addition the Registry operators should be required to:
- provide free access to WHOIS facilities
as part of the service for registrants seeking to confirm the
availability or registration of given domain names;
- provide registrars with facilities to
discourage potential infringement of existing Domain Name holders,
including providing information when the same second-level domain
name is already in use in another TLD;
- flag applications when there is a risk
of homonyms arising which may create confusion with other registrants'
6. In accordance with the Joint Submission
on Minimum Safeguards from the Business and Intellectual Property
The Business and Commercial constituency
also reaffirm the joint statement of principle and in particular
6.1 On Registrants' Information:
All registrants in new TLDs should be required
- pre-pay all registration fees;
- provide accurate contact information and
keep it current;
- fully complete electronic registration
- certify that statements made in the registration
application are true.
In addition, the Business & Commercial
and Intellectual Property constituencies consider that applications
for restricted or chartered TLDs should have clear and specific
- who is permitted to register second-level
domain names in that space;
- what activities are and are not appropriate
or acceptable on the corresponding sites, and
- for what purposes.
All applicants for restricted or chartered
TLDs should provide speedy and efficient mechanisms, which can
be invoked by interested third parties, to implement and enforce
these rules, and the capability to revoke rapidly domains that
do not comply with defined purposes and conditions.
6.2 On Dispute Resolution:
ICANN statistics show that the UDRP provides a valuable tool,
for cases where domain names in .com, .net and .org have been
registered in bad faith, for the quick resolution of legitimate
rights to the domain name, in a fair, efficient, and cost-effective
manner. Given the success of the UDRP in existing open TLDs,
there will be benefit in expanding the UDRP to new TLDs, including
chartered or restricted TLDs.
Registries in new chartered or restricted TLDs should supplement
their unilateral capacity to revoke a fraudulent registration
by adhering to an expanded UDRP, under which the registration
or use of a domain name in a chartered or restricted TLD in violation
of the TLDs charter or other pertinent rules would demonstrate
bad faith. This would give an interested member of the consuming
public the ability to ensure that a bad faith actor will not
be permitted to use the name in the chartered or restricted TLD.
Any Registrant found to have provided false information on its
entitlement to register in that TLD, or to have registered or
used a domain name registration in a chartered or restricted
TLD in violation of its established purpose, should have the
offending domain name removed from the TLD. As the above requirements
already apply to all registrants in the established TLDs. In
all TLDs, knowing submission of false contact data, or use of
a domain for illegal purposes, should be grounds for revocation
of the registration.
6.3 On Support for WHOIS facilities:
It is essential that all applicants for new TLDs, as a condition
of their assignment and as a material element in their continued
accreditation, agree to participate in the operation of a cross-registry
WHOIS database, which will provide searching capabilities and
access to all information concerning domain name registrations
regardless of which TLD the domain name is registered in or which
registrar processed the domain name application. Such agreement
shall further require all applicants to keep the cross-registry
WHOIS database current and comprehensive.
ICANN should require operators of the new TLDs to disclose sufficient
information on the registrants that contending applicants can
contact those registrants to resolve domain name ownership issues.
All new TLDs operators should provide the means by which the
registry administrator will work with accredited participating
registrars to provide the public with unfettered access to complete
and up-to-date data for each registered domain name record.
The minimum information provided must contain the following:
- the TLD and second-level domain name in
which the name is registered;
- status of the domain name, e.g., "on
hold" or "deleted";
- registrant's name and postal address;
- administrative/technical contacts' name,
postal address, e-mail address, telephone number and (if any)
- NIC handles and IP address;
- original registration date, expiration
date and date on which the database was last updated;
- Internet Protocol addresses and corresponding
names of primary and secondary name-servers for the SLD; and
- registrar's name and web site address
or hyperlink thereto.
Additionally, members of the public need
to be able to search for all domain names registered to a particular
registrant, at a particular postal address, or involving a particular
contact, without an arbitrary limit. This ability is important
under the UDRP, for example, to demonstrate a "pattern"
of bad faith conduct.
The Business & Commercial constituency
acknowledges that disclosure is subject to various national laws
affecting data privacy, but applicable conditions should not
permit registrants to opt-out of identification and avoid resolution
of Domain Name ownership.
7. Support for Proposals:
ICANN should assign the new TLDs to proposers
whose applications provide the greatest scope for the rapid extension
of the Internet to the public at large. For example, by enabling
access through proposals including existing addressing systems
such as telephony numbering. This will also meet the requirements
for expanding competition, as there are multiple service providers
in such industries.
ICANN should also assign new TLDs to proposals
that offer the capability of improved access for users through
a directory-based TLD. This will enhance and accelerate usage
of the Internet by many who seek greater selectivity in searching
for contacts providing products and services, enabling greater
adoption of e-commerce solutions.
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Page Updated 08-November-00
(c) 2000 The Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
All rights reserved.