Safeguards for the Introduction of New TLDs -- Joint Statement
from the Business and Intellectual Property Constituencies
On July 16, 2000, the ICANN Board of Directors
approved a resolution regarding the introduction of new TLDs
in a "measured and responsible manner."
The Business Constituency and the Intellectual
Property Constituency encourage a process to 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 the following minimum standards
to help with this goal.
1. GENERAL SAFEGUARDS.
A. Registration Requirements and Procedures
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.
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.
In addition, applications for restricted
or chartered TLDs should have clear and specific rules about
who is permitted to register second-level domain names in that
space, and about 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. In this
regard, a procedure must be established whereby a registrant
found to have provided false information as to 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, will have the offending domain name
removed from the TLD.
ICANN statistics show that the UDRP provides
a valuable tool for the large number of cases where domain names
in .com, .net and .org have been registered in bad faith. Approximately
1,500 UDRP proceedings have been initiated for determining rights
of domain name holders who are alleged to have registered and
used domain names in bad faith and roughly 900 decisions have
been rendered. The results of UDRP proceedings indicate that
cases involving cyberpirates and others acting in bad faith are
quickly resolved in a fair, efficient, and cost-effective manner,
and that domain name registrants have prevailed when their legitimate
rights to the domain name have been established.
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.
Additionally, all applications for new
TLDs should set forth the means by which the registry administrator
will work with accredited participating registrars to provide
the public unfettered access to complete and up-to-date data
for each registered domain name record which, at a minimum, must
contain the following:
- second-level domain name and the TLD in
which the second-level domain name is registered;
- status of the second-level 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)
- original registration date, expiration
date and date on which the database was last updated;
- Internet Protocol addresses and corresponding
names of primary and secondary nameservers for the SLD; and
- registrar's name and web site address
or hyperlink thereto.
Consistent with long-standing Internet
practice and applicable law, the information set forth above
must be available on a publicly accessible database, which is
searchable by domain name, registrant's name, registrant's postal
address, contacts' names, NIC handles and Internet Protocol address.
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 (e.g. NSI search aborts at "50"
hits and searches by postal address cannot be conducted). This
ability is important under the UDRP, for example, to demonstrate
a "pattern" of bad faith conduct. Finally, it is essential
that all applicants for new TLDs, as a condition of their accreditation
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
2. START-UP PHASE SPECIFIC SAFEGUARDS.
The intentional registration of trademarks
by parties other than their owners leads to confusion at best
and fraud at worst. Customers and businesses engaged in e-commerce
will be best served if each application includes a proposal for
providing adequate intellectual property protection during the
start-up phase of the new TLD. In this regard, it is critical
to have a procedure whereby owners of trademarks and service
marks having been registered in a national trademark office for
at least one year prior to the creation of the new TLD can pre-register
on a first-come, first-served basis, the material textual element(s)
(i.e., the word portion of their marks) as a domain name in a
fully open TLD. Such domain name pre-registrations would be confined
to a single registration corresponding to a trademark. In the
case of TLDs that are not fully open (i.e., restricted or chartered
domains with limited scope, including non-commercial domains
and/or personal domains), such pre-registration also would be
subject to compliance with the charter or registration requirements
of such TLD.
Our goal is to work together with all stakeholders
to develop proposals for new TLDs that will achieve the goals
of the ICANN Board's July 16th resolution.
Comments concerning the layout, construction and
functionality of this site
should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page Updated 08-November-00
(c) 2000 The Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
All rights reserved.