By signing this application through its representative, the Applicant attests that the information contained in this Description of TLD Policies, and all referenced supporting documents, are true and accurate to the best of Applicant's knowledge.
(c) 2000 The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
All rights reserved.
Updated August 15, 2000
Both in its preliminary report from Yokohama, Japan and its recently released request for proposals, ICANN has set out a number of basic concerns regarding the introduction of new top level domains (TLDs). Among the most important of these concerns to ICANN are the following six central concepts that should be reflected in proposals for new TLDs:
· The need to maintain the Internet’s stability, and especially the protection of domain name holders from the effects of registry or registration-system failure.
· The extent to which selection of the proposal would lead to an effective “proof of concept” concerning the introduction of top level domains in the future, including the diversity the proposal would bring to the program—fully open top level domains, restricted and chartered domains with limited scope, commercial domains, and personal domains—in support of a variety of business models and geographic locations.
· The enhancement of competition for registration services at the registry and registrar level.
· The enhancement of the utility of the DNS.
· The extent to which the proposal would meet previously unmet needs.
· The importance of appropriate protections of the rights of others, including intellectual property rights in connection with the operation of the TLD, especially during the start-up phases.
The policies developed by or for new TLD registries will provide, in major part, the framework for meeting ICANN’s goals and addressing any concerns. The JVTeam policy proposals outlined below will address ICANN’s concerns and provide for a stable and competitive TLD registry.
JVTeam is conscious that the first-round introduction of new TLDs will provide vital information for the ongoing development of the DNS. JVTeam also is aware that the existing mechanisms and policies implemented by ICANN have, on the whole, been very successful in maintaining the stability of the Internet. As such, the concepts being proposed by JVTeam have been developed with a view to extending and enhancing the existing DNS environment in a measured, evenhanded manner. This approach does not preclude innovation but rather it promotes the carefully considered, responsible evolution of the DNS. The concepts being evaluated represent substantial, incremental enhancements to the domain name system as well as solutions to several pre-existing issues. The JVTeam proposal is premised on paving the way for the stable growth of the domain name system.
The introduction of new TLDs is entirely uncharted territory. The domain name system has for the most part remained unchanged since its inception. There have been several forward steps such as the introduction of TLD registrar competition in 1999 and the addition of several ccTLDs. There has been significant progress made in laying the foundation for new TLDs leading up to the current ICANN program, including the publication of an initial recommendations document in 1997 for the Ad Hoc Committee, and the meetings in Yokohama, Japan. However, several issues have not been resolved to general acceptance. Some of these issues have been technical in nature while others have involved intellectual property issues and an effective solution to the complexities presented by the start-up period.
In recent years, the most significant changes in the DNS environment has been the sheer enormity of its growth as well as the increasingly critical role that it plays in global commerce and communications. So while it may have been possible in the late 1980s to implement major modifications with little concern over their impact, the breadth of the DNS as it currently exists makes the level of risk inherent in modifications far greater. The world needs the domain name system to grow, but it simply cannot afford a domain name system that is not stable.
It is for this reason that the JVTeam solution is focused on evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes to the DNS. The concepts being proposed for evaluation have been chosen because they represent incremental enhancements that absolutely maintain the stability of the Internet, that facilitate the growth of the DNS and that provide simple solutions to complex problems.
In keeping with this philosophy, to the extent that JVTeam’s policy proposals vary from existing ICANN policies and procedures, they do so largely to reflect JVTeam’s unwavering belief that the registry operator must operate as a trusted neutral third-party to address new functionality in the new TLD (and in the provisioning of DNS services). Access to DNS services is critical to entities wishing to participate in the DNS industry specifically and in Internet business generally. Domain names are the means by which businesses and consumers gain access to, navigate, and reap the benefits of the World Wide Web. These benefits cannot be fully realized, however, unless policies are in place to ensure that DNS resources are administered in a fair and efficient manner that makes them available to all parties desiring to provide DNS services. JVTeam submits that to meet this goal, DNS services by a registry must be administered to meet the following objectives:
· Facilitate entry into the DNS marketplace by making DNS resources available on an efficient, timely basis to registrars and registrants
· Not unduly favor or disadvantage any particular industry segment or group of consumers
· Ensure that interests of all DNS constituents are considered and addressed fairly and efficiently.
To ensure that JVTeam meets these objectives, it commits to strict adherence to the following registry Code of Conduct:
REGISTRY CODE OF CONDUCT
JVTeam will at all times operate as a trusted neutral third-party provider of DNS registry services. JVTeam recognizes that domain names are the means by which businesses, consumers, and individuals gain access to, navigate, and reap the benefits of the global Internet. These benefits cannot be fully realized, however, unless DNS resources are administered in a fair, efficient, and neutral manner that makes them available to all parties desiring to provide DNS services. To ensure the provision of neutral registry services, JVTeam will comply with the following Code of Conduct.
1. JVTeam will never, directly or indirectly, show any preference or provide any special consideration to any company that is a DNS registry provider or registrar services provider, as those terms are defined by ICANN, including any affiliated registry or registrar.
2. All ICANN accredited registrars shall have equal access to those JVTeam’s registry services operated directly by JVTeam. In those instances where JVTeam operates as the backend technical services provider for another ICANN accredited registry, access to the services of that registry will be determined by that ICANN accredited registry.
4. Any shareholder, subsidiary, affiliate, or other related entity of JVTeam that also operates as a provider of registrar services shall maintain separate books of account with respect to its registrar operations.
5. Neither JVTeam, nor its shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, or other related entities shall have access to user data or proprietary information of a registrar served by JVTeam, except as necessary for registry operations.
6. JVTeam will ensure that no user data or proprietary information from any registrar is disclosed to its affiliates, subsidiaries, or other related entities.
7. Confidential information about JVTeam’s business services will not be shared with employees of any DNS services provider.
8. No member of JVTeam’s Board of Directors will simultaneously serve on the Board of Directors of a registrar that obtains registry services from JVTeam.
9. No employee of JVTeam will hold a greater than 5% interest, financial or otherwise, in any company that obtains registry services from JVTeam.
10. No employee of JVTeam will also be an employee of any JVTeam subsidiary, affiliate, or other related entity that also operates as a provider of registrar services.
11. No employee of any JVTeam subsidiary, affiliate or related entity that also operates as a provider of registrar services will also be an employee of JVTeam.
12. JVTeam will ensure that no user data from or proprietary information of any registry operated or controlled by JVTeam is disclosed to any other registry operated or controlled by JVTeam.
13. In addition, JVTeam will conduct internal neutrality reviews on a regular basis. JVTeam will allow ICANN to hire an independent party, at ICANN’s expense, to conduct a neutrality review of JVTeam, ensuring that JVTeam and its shareholders comply with all the provisions of this registry Code of Conduct. JVTeam and ICANN will mutually agree upon the neutrality analyst. The neutrality review may be conducted as often as once per year. JVTeam will provide the analyst with reasonable access to information and records necessary to complete the review. The results of the review will be provided to ICANN and shall be deemed to be confidential and proprietary information of JVTeam and its shareholders.
The concepts proposed in the JVTeam policy proposal are built on the strengths of an intimate knowledge of the DNS and a commitment to the ongoing development of a stable Internet environment. Only JVTeam can bring to this process the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to understand the importance of this process to the long-term future of the DNS. Only the JVTeam has the ability, experience, and resources to facilitate the next step in the evolution of the domain name system.
JVTeam largely will follow proven Internet and DNS policies developed by ICANN and the Internet community at large. This approach will ensure the continued stability and consistent operation of the DNS and recognizes the consensus efforts of ICANN.
Significant effort by ICANN and the Internet community has gone into the development of policies to govern the relationships between ICANN, TLD registries, TLD registrars, and Internet end-users. These efforts have resulted in the development of a workable shared registry model that encourages competition and Internet stability, as well as protects the individual rights of Internet users. Recognizing these efforts and the need to maintain consistent Internet governance models, JVTeam will utilize as basic models the existing ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement, NSI Registrar License and Agreement, ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement, and the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, with only minor modifications as described herein. These modifications are designed primarily to ensure the neutrality of the registry, to account for certain identified aspects of the JVTeam proposal, or to account for differences brought about because these original policies and agreements were designed, at least partially, to facilitate a transition from a monopoly registry to a shared registry system.
JVTeam proposes to establish .web as an unsponsored, unrestricted domain space to compete with .com on the Internet.
JVTeam proposes to offer registry services for the .web TLD as an unsponsored, unrestricted (i.e., generic open) TLD. JVTeam’s market research indicates that .web represents the best and most competitive alternative to .com. Because one of ICANN’s primary goals with this “proof of concept” set of new TLDs will be to create a viable competitive alternative to .com, .web becomes a logical choice for a new unrestricted TLD. .web will be a highly marketable and memorable domain and therefore will provide an excellent “proof of concept” for new unrestricted TLDs.
JVTeam recognizes that ICANN may be concerned with regard to the possible legal challenges to a .web registry based upon alleged trademark and other purported rights of certain applicants and non-applicant third parties. Such challenges are without merit and should not sway ICANN in its decision-making process. Nonetheless, JVTeam is prepared to meet with ICANN and discuss any legal issue relating to a .web registry. If necessary, JVTeam will indemnify ICANN for legal expenses incurred by ICANN resulting from any legal challenges brought regarding a grant of the .web registry to JVTeam.
In the event, however, that ICANN determines that it will not grant a .web registry due to potential legal challenge, JVTeam proposes the following alternative unsponsored, unrestricted TLDs, in order of preference:
In order to provide for the most competitive and economically viable commercial alternative to .com, JVTeam proposes to register .web TLDs at the second level only, identical to .com registrations. This will help ICANN by ensuring consumer recognition and supporting a competitive DNS.
.web registrations will be made at the second level (as in registered-name.web). JVTeam’s market research indicates that there would be a significant drop off in registration volumes for .web if registrations were made at a level higher than the third. Because one of the important criterion for ICANN’s “proof of concept” TLD rollout is the creation of a competitive DNS, JVTeam submits that .web should be registered in a manner identical to .com in order to satisfy consumer expectation.
JVTeam will abide by full Internet standards regarding naming and reserved names including RFC 1034, RFC 1123, RFC 2606, and RFC 2352.
JVTeam will operate the registry as a neutral third-party provider. Consistent with neutrality requirements, however, JVTeam will follow existing policy models for registry/registrar relations. This approach will ensure that the Internet community perceives JVTeam as a trusted, unbiased provider of core Internet DNS functionality while providing the registry and registrar industries with consistent, well-known, and stable business models for operation and use of the new TLD.
Among the most important aspects of the JVTeam neutrality policy will be the registry’s relationship with registrars. As noted above, the registry controls a vital component of the DNS industry: the names themselves. As a result, any favoritism or unfair treatment, perceived or real, of one registrar over another may harm competition in the DNS industry. Therefore, JVTeam has taken strong steps to ensure that registrars are presented with a level playing field with respect to the provisioning of registry services.
In order to ensure a level playing field, a truly neutral registry operator, and the continued open, stable, and technically consistent operation of the Internet, JVTeam proposes largely to follow the existing guidelines for registry/registrar relations established by ICANN for the .com, .net, and .org registry. This approach will ensure that the industry model will be well established and familiar to registries, registrars and consumers. Such stability and consistency in the models used for the introduction of new TLDs is crucial to a successful “proof of concept.” Unrestricted TLD registry models that vary significantly from current business models will prove very difficult to evaluate from the perspective of successful introduction of competition into the DNS.
Domain name holders will deal with the registry through registrars. The registry will avoid direct relationships with domain name holders in order to ensure its continued neutrality. A neutral third-party operator such as JVTeam must not be perceived as competing with its customers (i.e., the registrars in this case) and therefore JVTeam will not deal directly on a customer-provider basis with the domain name holder. Moreover, this approach preserves established DNS business models and will increase DNS competition at the registrar level.
As the registry operator, JVTeam will be responsible for the provision of high quality, efficient and neutral TLD registry services, including registration and Whois services, and database management services. The registrars will be responsible for domain name holder registrations, customer relations, and additional services.
JVTeam’s strict adherence to the registry Code of Conduct discussed above will ensure that no registrar is treated unfairly vis-ŕ-vis JVTeam services and that no registrar or group of registrars will be able unduly to influence JVTeam’s operations and services. Under this model, the registrars will be responsible for all consumer/end-user relations and the registry will be responsible for the fair, efficient, and high-quality technical operation of the registry itself. Thus the registry maintains unquestioned neutrality and can implement, so long as technically feasible, any registrar policy adopted by ICANN for the benefit of the Internet community.
Unlike the existing registry, however, JVTeam proposes to operate a “fat” registry. This “fat” registry will centralize the databases normally associated with the registry but typically operated separately by each registrar. The decentralized approach is inefficient, requiring significant duplication of efforts and resources. JVTeam intends to eliminate such duplications and, using the associated economies of scale, reduce the costs of DNS services to the registrars.
In order to encourage the rapid implementation of the new TLD, promote strong competition among registrars and registries, and ensure the continued neutrality of the registry, JVTeam will provide registry services to all existing and future ICANN accredited registrars without material restriction. Eligibility to use the registry will be subject only to technical testing and approval by JVTeam technical staff, the payment of a registrar deposit (to cover initial registrations), and the execution of a registrar License and Agreement similar to that required for existing registrars in the .com TLD.
Because JVTeam proposes an open shared registry, there will be no restrictions on the number of registrars permitted to register names in the system. The only limitations on the number of registrars will be interest within the industry and ICANN’s ability to process and approve accreditation applications.
All existing and future ICANN accredited registrars will be eligible to operate as registrars to the JVTeam TLD. No specific selections have been or need be made.
All selections will be made on the basis of ICANN accreditation only. JVTeam is prepared to assist ICANN if needed in the accreditation of new registrars, subject to final ICANN approval.
JVTeam will have a registrar License and Agreement with each registrar that operates with the registry. The agreement explicitly will require that each registrar comply with all TLD policies of ICANN and the registry. Although based closely on the NSI registrar License and Agreement, certain modifications will be made to ensure that TLD policies are implemented.
Of particular importance to the registrar agreement will be a registrar Code of Conduct. JVTeam must have a workable mechanism for requiring registrars to follow important TLD policies. Therefore, the Code of Conduct, which will be developed in consultation with the registrars, will set out required conduct for registrars, violation of which will be grounds for termination of the registrar/registry relationship. The agreement will also, of course, provide an opportunity to cure breaches of the registrar Code of Conduct and also will establish a reconsideration process in the event of termination. JVTeam believes that this approach will provide sufficient means to ensure policy implementation and compliance by the registrars.
As a neutral third-party operator, JVTeam proposes to implement mechanisms for assisting intellectual property holders in the protection of their rights.
Since well before the formation of ICANN, intellectual property owners have debated whether new TLDs should be introduced into the DNS and how to protect their trademarks and globally famous marks on the Internet. On April 30, 1999, the World Intellectual Property Organization recommended to ICANN a proposal for providing a mechanism to protect globally famous trademarks in any new TLDs. ICANN’s Domain Name Support Organization (DNSO) thereafter created Working Group B to address the issue of whether protection should be given to famous names in the DNS. However, there has never been within the Internet community a true consensus on the appropriate mechanism.
The most current proposal, set forth by the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) of the DNSO and supported by the International Trademark Association and the American Intellectual Property Organization and which has gained some support among the Internet community, advocates a “Daybreak Proposal” to be incorporated into the rollout of new TLDs. During the “Daybreak Period” owners of trademarks and service marks would be able to register their marks as domain names on a first-come-first-served basis in a new TLD before that new domain is made available to the general public. The trademark owner would only be permitted, however, to register their exact trademark as a domain name during this period.
Under the IPC proposal, any owner of a valid national trademark registration is eligible to seek registration of a domain name during the Daybreak period, provided that the national registration for that mark was issued at least one (1) year prior to the date on which the mark owner applies to register the mark. The registry (or registrar), would not be required to validate the fact that the person/entity has a valid national registration prior to the registration of the domain name. The proposal, however, does contemplate a “take down” procedure if it is brought to a registrar’s attention by an entity that has intellectual property rights in a domain name, that an entity registered a domain name during the Daybreak period which was not eligible to take advantage of the Daybreak period at the time the domain name was requested.
Critics of the Daybreak proposal, including the United States Small Business Administration and the Non-commercial Constituency of the DNSO, argue that
· The Daybreak proposal is not grounded in law.
· The Daybreak provision will not be effective in curbing trademark violations since only the exact corresponding mark will be allowed to be registered early.
· The Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedures established by ICANN coupled with the new anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act adequately protect the interests of trademark owners without the need for Daybreak provisions.
· The Daybreak proposal arbitrarily sets a one-year requirement on having a trademark registration, thereby ignoring the legitimate trademark rights of companies with common law trademark rights and even those with national trademark registrations that are less than one year old.
· There is a possibility that such provisions could subject ICANN to liability for restraint of trade in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
In addition, critics argue that under the IPC’s Daybreak Proposal, there would be nothing to stop an individual or entity from fraudulently registering generic domain names during the Daybreak period even with a “take down” procedure. This would not only be an abuse of the Daybreak provisions, but would also deny all other users of the Internet from registering those marks on a first-come first-served basis when the TLDs are introduced to the public at large. Critics claim that this is primarily because no one has a legitimate intellectual property right to use the generic mark as a domain name and therefore, no one has standing to challenge such a fraudulent registration.
Given the lack of consensus within the industry regarding an effective and fair mechanism for protecting intellectual property rights during start-up of a new TLD, and recognizing that it is not within the purview of a registry to preside over intellectual property disputes, JVTeam does not intend to adopt the Daybreak Proposal. Rather, JVTeam seeks to operate in a neutral manner that does not favor one right holder over another. Adequate mechanisms exist for the protection of intellectual property rights, including the Uniform Dispute Resolution Program established by ICANN and the courts. Therefore, while JVTeam is cognizant of the needs of intellectual property rights holders and intends to implement mechanisms for assisting such holders, JVTeam will not establish preferential registration mechanisms unless such mechanisms are mandated by ICANN.
As noted above, intellectual property violations are not properly within the purview of the registry. Rather, such matters must be left to the UDRP agents and the courts. JVTeam will, of course, abide by the decisions of the UDRP agents and any court of proper jurisdiction, but it cannot be responsible for making determinations regarding intellectual property rights. Therefore, JVTeam does not propose to establish initial mechanisms to prevent a given domain name registration. JVTeam will, however, establish an intellectual property notification service, as described below.
JVTeam understands that ICANN has been charged with consideration of the intellectual property issues raised by the introduction of new TLDs. JVTeam will implement, to the extent technically feasible, any intellectual property protection mechanism or policy mandated by ICANN, including the IPC’s Daybreak Proposal. Appendices 1 and 2 contain JVTeam’s proposed modified UDRP and UDRP rules. The modified UDRP contains the manner in which JVTeam would implement the Daybreak Proposal if required by ICANN.
As a trusted third-party provider, JVTeam cannot be perceived as favoring intellectual property owners over non-commercial interests. Therefore, JVTeam proposes no pre-screening of registrations that would result in the necessary refusal of a registration. However, recognizing that certain registrants might seek to violate the intellectual property rights of a business or businesses through a .web registration, JVTeam proposes to establish a system to notify participating intellectual property rights claimants of potential infringing registrations.
JVTeam will implement a system whereby, for a fee to cover costs, an intellectual property right holder would register a string with the registry. The claimant would then be notified if a registrant registered a domain name that contained that string. The intellectual property claimant then would be able to monitor the use of the domain name to ensure that its use did not violate intellectual property rights. A complete description of this service can be viewed in Registry Operator’s Proposal Section II.2.1.
The JVTeam recognizes the complexities raised by intellectual property issues and will provide a service whereby interested parties are able to monitor registration of domains which may infringe upon their intellectual property concerns. This service will be facilitated by the registry but will be offered and administered via registrars.
The points below provide a high-level overview of the operation of the Intellectual Property Notification Service prior to the live date of the new TLD. However, the process would continue to be in operation once normal registration operations have commenced.
Phase 1: The registry provides advance information describing the process—Ninety days prior to the registry going live, a notification will be placed on the ICANN web site advising of the process for interested parties to enroll in the Intellectual Property Notification Service. This may also be broadcast by providing a button to accredited registrars to place on their web sites. The button will link to the ICANN site and would include a title such as “Enroll in the Intellectual Property Notification Service for new TLDs.” During this time, information kits will be freely distributed to the press, registrars, and the general public. The kits will provide detailed information regarding the Intellectual Property Notification Service and how it can be utilized.
Phase 2: The registry accepts pre-registration enrollments—During a period of 30 days prior to the “live registration date,” entities who hold a registered trademark may lodge a request to be notified when a domain name, which they believe may infringe upon their intellectual property rights, is registered. To activate this system, the entity completes an online form. The form is intended to capture details of the party claiming intellectual property over a particular domain name together with the justification for that claim. Since this system is intended to afford protection to parties with genuine, registered trademarks, the registration details of the trademark will also be captured.
Below is an example of the information required from an entity wishing to enroll in this service.
· Domain name
· Exact trademark
· Country of registration
· Trademark or other reference number
· Date of first use
· Contact details including trademark holder entity name, address, phone, fax, email
· Contact person name, address, phone, fax, email, and relationship to trademark holder entity
· Additional comments.
Each submission will contain only one string and in order to activate this service, a nominal fee per submission will be required. This fee will cover administrative costs as well as provide a mechanism to discourage “frivolous” use of the service.
After trademark holders have successfully lodged a request to be notified, they are advised that their submission has been received but that their submission in no way guarantees that the name will be reserved for or allocated to them and that there may be other parties claiming intellectual property rights over that particular domain name. They are also provided information regarding the Uniform Charter Dispute Resolution Policy (UCDRP).
At the registry system level, the domain name (which doesn’t yet exist as a registered name) has attached to it a code indicating that someone has claimed intellectual property rights over that name.
Phase 3: The registry begins accepting registrations and notifies of possible trademark infringement—When an application is lodged for a domain name which has been enrolled with the Intellectual Property Notification Service, the domain name applicant is advised that a third party or parties has claimed intellectual property rights over that domain name. They are also directed to the section of the UCDRP/registration agreement that refers to intellectual property infringements and told that the license may be removed from them if they are acting in “bad faith.” The applicant is not prevented from completing the registration.
Once the application has been completed, all parties who have engaged the notification service for that exact domain name are advised by email that “a party” has registered that domain name. Included in the email will be further information on the UCDRP and an explanation of steps to take for further dispute action.
The Intellectual Property Notification Service will provide an additional level of protection for holders of registered national trademarks and will work in conjunction with the UDRP to discourage incidences of domain names being registered in bad faith.
JVTeam believes that intellectual property disputes, however, are not properly within the purview of the registry. Rather, such matters must be left to the UDRP service providers and the courts. JVTeam will, of course, abide by the decisions of the UDRP service providers and any court of proper jurisdiction, but it cannot be responsible for making determinations regarding intellectual property rights. Therefore, JVTeam proposes to establish no initial mechanisms to prevent a given domain name registration, with the possible exception of the notification mechanism described above.
JVTeam stresses, however, that it will not refuse any registrations through this program.
The mechanism discussed above will assist intellectual property claimants in policing their intellectual property rights and will help to curb infringing registrations. Beyond these mechanisms, JVTeam does not propose to become more heavily involved in intellectual property disputes. JVTeam believes that adequate mechanisms, such as the UDRP and the courts, are available to protect intellectual property rights.
JVTeam will, of course, comply with all applicable laws. However, existing trademark and cybersquatting legislation will not require specific measures beyond those discussed above.
Because JVTeam must maintain its neutral standing, no further famous trademark protections beyond those discussed above will be required. The notification program discussed above will assist famous trademark holders in policing their intellectual property and taking any disputes to the appropriate forum.
JVTeam plans to operate as a “fat” registry in that it will maintain all relevant databases for the registry in a centralized fashion. This approach increases stability, security, and fault tolerance of the registry. JVTeam will backup and escrow all data to ensure its integrity. The Whois database will be updated on a near real-time basis and access will be provided subject to strict data privacy and security requirements.
In order to ensure up-to-date Whois data, included in the registrar Code of Conduct discussed above, there will be a provision requiring registrars to make “best commercial efforts” to maintain up-to-date registrant data. In addition, JVTeam intends to explore with the registrars the development of a 3-month Whois data update reminder system. Registrants would be asked every three months whether their Whois data remains accurate and would be provided with an update link if data was out of date.
In addition, in order to ensure complete data at registration, JVTeam will design its systems so that no registration will take affect unless all required information fields are completed.
A more detailed discussion and description of Whois services can be found in the Registry Operator’s Proposal, Section III.2.8 of this proposal.
As discussed above, JVTeam proposes evolutionary development of new TLD policies rather than revolutionary change. In keeping with this approach, JVTeam intends to implement the UDRP with no changes for trademark issues with the possible exception of an addition of a Daybreak implementation. The UDRP has been praised by both the intellectual property community as well as the Internet community as a whole. Therefore, JVTeam sees no reason not to follow the UDRP for abusive domain name registrations in which the domain name registrant is alleged to have violated the intellectual property rights of the claimant by registering a domain name in bad faith.
Attached as Appendices 1 and 2 are copies of JVTeam’s proposed UCDRP and corresponding proposed Rules for Uniform Charter Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UCDRP Rules), which not only incorporate the policy of addressing bad-faith intellectual property domain name disputes as already implemented by ICANN, but also serve as a dispute procedure in the event that a registrant violates a specific charter for a restricted TLD. In addition, the proposed policies include a mechanism for addressing bad faith Daybreak registrations, should ICANN require that Daybreak be adopted.
JVTeam, as a trusted, neutral third-party registry, must maintain the trust of the registrars and the consumers. Therefore, JVTeam will not market, in any way, the registrant information obtained from registrars for purposes of running the registry, nor will it share that data with any unrelated third parties. The registry operator will only have access to such data as is necessary for operation of the registry itself and will use that data only as required by registry operations.
JVTeam will provide registrars with a mechanism for accessing and correcting personal data and will take reasonable steps to protect personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration, or destruction. To further secure registrant data, each registrant will have a secure password for his or her registry records. Only through use of this password will data be changed, registrars transferred, domain name servers updated, etc. Registrars will, in consultation with the registry, develop secure password verification and authentication mechanisms.
In addition, as part of the registrar Code of Conduct, registrars will be required to abide by all applicable international, national, and local laws regarding data privacy and information collection.
JVTeam will maintain redundant data centers as well as follow the escrow requirements established by ICANN with respect to .com, .net, and .org. By so doing, JVTeam will ensure that all data necessary for operation of the registry will be available in the event of a catastrophic failure of the registry or following the selection by ICANN of a new registry. Please refer to Registry Operator’s Proposal Section III.2.7, Data Escrow and Backup, for a more detailed discussion of data escrow mechanisms.
The Whois database for .web, like that available for the .com, .net and .org TLDs, will be a publicly available database. Each Whois database record includes the following information for all second level Internet domain names registered in the TLD:
The information set forth above will be available on a publicly accessible database searchable by domain name. A more detailed discussion of the Whois database can be found in Registry Operator’s Proposal, Section III.2.8. Because of the problems associated with mining of Whois data for commercial purposes, and particularly spamming, JVTeam does not intend to make more inclusive searching functions available. JVTeam believes that searches by domain string will be sufficient for legitimate purposes, such as monitoring intellectual property rights.
The registry’s billing and collections procedures will be consistent with existing industry procedures. All payments for new TLD registrations will be on an upfront payment basis. No registration will be completed until the registry receives payment. Because registry services to the registrant will be provided through the registrars, all billing and collections policy matters with respect to the registrant will be the responsibility of the registrars. The registry will implement for the registrars a five (5) day registration cancellation period for faulty registrations (to accommodate misspelled domain names, for example) or non-payment.
For a complete discussion of JVTeam’s proposed registry services and pricing, please refer to Registry Operator’s Proposal Sections II.2.1 and II.2.2.
Because JVTeam proposes policy evolution rather than revolution, the policies discussed in response to specific ICANN questions represent the sum of JVTeam’s additional policy proposals. Should ICANN and the industry determine in the future that additional policies are necessary, JVTeam will consider further evolution of its TLD policies.
As no new generic TLDs have been introduced since .com, .net and .org, it is extremely difficult to establish accurate predictions of the initial volume of registration requests. While some basic assumptions will assist in defining boundaries, any solution to the start-up issues must take into account a degree of uncertainty and be able to provide contingencies for the case where demand greatly exceeds predictions.
JVTeam proposes to implement a batch processing, round robin solution to control any initial “rush” for registrations. As demonstrated in Exhibit II-1, the round robin system will provide an effective and fair method for ensuring the stability of the new TLD and the Internet during the initial registration period.
Phase 1: Communication of the processľTo ensure the smooth implementation of the start-up procedures, JVTeam will undertake a pro-active educational campaign with registrars. This will involve distribution of information kits by email as well as personal contact from the registry customer support staff and account managers. In this way, registrars will be ensured the opportunity for a complete understanding of the procedures and processes involved in the round robin solution.
Phase 2: Submission of registration listsľEach accredited registrar will provide a list of domain names and registration details. There will be no minimum or maximum limit for the lists. The registration files will be submitted via a secure transport mechanism before a specified closing time for first submissions. Registration lists cannot be modified until the first batch is processed and completed.
Phase 3: Randomly assigning a sequence position to each registrarľImmediately prior to processing the submitted lists, all registrars will be allocated a random position in numerical order. For example, if there are 100 registrars, each registrar is allocated a position between 1 and 100. Registrars will not be made aware of their assigned sequence in the round robin solution to prevent modifications or “trading” of the registrar sequence.
Phase 4: Round one of batch processingľOnce the registration system is activated, a domain name will be randomly selected from the list supplied by the registrar assigned position number one. This domain name will then be entered into the registry database. Once the registrar with sequence one is allocated a domain name, the system “activates” the list supplied by the registrar who has been assigned position number two. A domain name is selected at random from the list and entered into the system. If the domain name chosen is unavailable, then another name is chosen at random from the registrar’s list until one of the following occurs:
· A successful registration is complete.
· The registrar has no more available names on its list.
· The batch time frame concludes.
This process will be repeated for each registrar in the random
sequence and will rotate through all registrars for a 12-hour period.
Phase 5: Results and resubmissions—At the end of each batch, the results of registrations are returned to the registrar. Registrars are then allowed a fixed period of time to submit a new list of domains for the second batch of processing. The batches will continue in twelve-hour blocks until the number of registrations being submitted falls below a specified volume.
Phase 6: Commencing normal registration procedures—When it is determined that the demand for new registration volumes has fallen below a certain number, all registrars will be advised that the batch processing has concluded and the registry will be activated on a specific date and time to accept new registrations directly into the registry via the XRP.
The round robin solution provides the following benefits:
· Neutral, impartial allocation of domain names during the start-up period
· Effective management of technical resource issues
· Non-discriminatory application process for all parties of new domain names
· Scalable and effective support for any volume of registrations
· Flexible system capable of responding to rapidly changing volumes
· Inexpensive solution to implement
· No member of the Internet community is excluded because of price.
The Intellectual Property Notification Service and the round robin solution will effectively moderate the anticipated volumes of registration requests without having any significant impact on fairness, stability or system resources. The JVTeam solution is fully scalable so that stability is assured even if registration volumes greatly exceed predictions. Only JVTeam has the experience and knowledge to develop and implement this solution.
For a discussion of projected registration volumes, see Registry Operator’s Proposal, Section II.2.5.
The “start-up period” for .web should last no more than ninety (90) days.
JVTeam does not intend to place numerical restrictions on the number of registrations by a registrant. Registrants may indeed have legitimate reasons for wanting multiple individual names. Businesses, for example, may choose to register names for individual products in addition to their trade name. Because .web will be an unrestricted TLD, no numerical restrictions are appropriate.
JVTeam does not propose pricing mechanisms to dampen a rush for registration on initial offering of the TLD. Registrars will set all registration prices. To encourage use of the new TLD, individual registrants must not be discouraged from registering in the new domain. Higher price points would significantly impact the perceived fairness of the process since it could severely restrict access by small businesses, and individuals. It would also involve a somewhat arbitrary allocation of price points to domain names.
As discussed above, JVTeam does not intend to implement a “sunrise” or “daybreak” period. Such periods could give the appearance violating JVTeam’s neutrality and are fraught with implementation and policy concerns. JVTeam has proposed mechanisms, such as the Intellectual Property Notification Service, that will assist those claiming rights in certain names. However, also as noted above, JVTeam will implement, as far as technically possible, a “sunrise” or “daybreak” period if ICANN determines that such is necessary.
JVTeam proposes to operate .web as an unrestricted, unsponsored TLD. Therefore, there will be no restrictions on registrations and an answer to this section is not required.
JVTeam will abide by full Internet standards regarding naming and reserved names including RFC 1034, RFC 1123, RFC 2606, and RFC 2352.
Over the past several years, the demand for unrestricted domain names has grown exponentially. The number of registrations in the .com TLD far outstrips all of the other TLDs. Moreover, there are no indications that there will be any slowing of this trend. Indeed, demand is expected to continue to grow.
Given this phenomenal demand and the ever-dwindling supply of .com domain names, it is now an appropriate time for the establishment of a new unrestricted domain to serve the Internet community. JVTeam proposes .web to meet that need.
At the end-user level, there will not be, at least initially, any significant distinction between a .web domain name and a .com domain name beyond the obvious difference in the name itself. In addition, the price for a .web registration likely will be lower given a lower price to registrars. Perhaps the most important difference to registrants, however, will be the availability of names that long have been unavailable in .com. .web will provide relief to the perceived lack of valuable unrestricted domain names and allow the creation of new markets and communities on the Internet.
The most important distinction for the Internet community at large, however, will be the fact that .web will represent the next generation in registry services. Because .web will be built from the ground up, it will not be hampered by the issues of compatibility with aging or outmoded infrastructure, protocols, or software. The .web registry will be developed to be more robust, flexible, and efficient than existing registry operations. As is discussed elsewhere in this proposal, JVTeam proposes a registry operation that will include advanced, scalable, and redundant infrastructure, a “fat” registry design to centralize critical registration databases, an expandable Whois database, and a next generation, open standard registry-registrar protocol. This next generation registry will provide enhanced registry services at a lower cost and will enable the development of new and innovative future services by registrars. In addition, the flexibility of the registry system enables it to function as the platform for any number of different TLDs and new DNS services.
.web promises significant benefits to all Internet participants. Internet users will benefit from a more robust and innovative DNS at a lower price. Registrars will benefit from more efficient and flexible registry services. ICANN will benefit from a very powerful “proof of concept” for new competitive DNS services.
The JVTeam proposes .web for the entire Internet community. Because there will be no restrictions on registration in the domain space, .web will effectively compete with .com, .net, and .org. To the extent that the community to be served by .web also is served by .com, .net, and .org, JVTeam believes that these TLDs never will be able to offer the kind of comprehensive robust registry services proposed for .web. Moreover, competition is in the DNS is one of ICANN’s primary goals in this round of TLD proposals. .web provides the best option for direct competition with existing TLDs.
The most important unmet need in the DNS at this moment is the need for competition to drive innovation and lower prices and the need for a next generation registry to support such innovation. The .web proposal meets both of these needs.
ICANN and the Internet community already have recognized the need for competition at the registry level. Not only will such competition bring down prices and increase registry services, but it also will drive innovation and compeition at the registrar level. The nature of the current registry for .com, .net and .org does not support new innovative services developed by registrars. As discussed above, however, JVTeam’s proposed registry system will be designed to be extensible to support new services and functionalities. Registrars and other third-party providers would implement these additional services and DNS functionalities. The registry will, on a totally open and even basis, enable services by providing the centralized secure database functions necessary to support these new functionalities.
JVTeam proposes the development of a dynamic registry infrastructure to meet both the current and future needs of the Internet community.
The JVTeam proposal for .web creates competition among registries by creating a new global market segment that cannot effectively be served by existing registries. Beyond simply competing with other TLDs, the .web TLD will allow new focused DNS functionality that simply cannot be provided by legacy registry systems. This new competition will spur further innovation and refinement among all TLDs to ensure ever-increasing market share. Consumers will benefit from enhanced functionalities, improved performance, increased security, and a new choice for TLD services.
The .web TLD also will enhance competition among registrars. The development of an extensible registry protocol will provide registrars with a platform for innovation in services, and thus, the opportunity to distinguish their service offerings. As the value of the extensibility of the JVTeam platform is recognized in the industry, registrars will develop newer and better functionalities in an attempt to further distinguish their services from their competitors. These competitive developments will greatly benefit individual consumers as well as further advance the state-of-the-art of the Internet and the DNS.
JVTeam intends to ensure maximum leverage and instructional experience from the introduction of TLDs. In pursuit of this goal, the JVTeam is proposing several methods of capturing and measuring information. In particular through the use of online feedback forms for use by registrars and registrants, technical discussion groups, and the ongoing compilation and analysis of the captured data, JVTeam hopes to compile a clear picture of the impacts of the introduction of a new unstructured namespace. This information will be made available to ICANN and/or other relevant bodies for use in the release of further TLDs.
The .web domain space represents an exciting new branch in the ongoing evolution of the DNS. The introduction of .web will pave the way for new TLDs by introducing competition, by taking an innovative approach to registry services, by addressing the unique challenges of the start-up period, by offering an intellectual property notification service and by operating in accordance with to a comprehensive marketing and operational plan. These concepts represent the JVTeam’s evolutionary approach to the ongoing development of the DNS.
A new unrestricted top level domain—The core concept being evaluated in .web is the notion of a second truly open and unrestricted TLD space. Indeed, .web represents the first truly open domain space intended for any person or organization wishing to have an easy-to-remember address on the Internet.
The focus for the .web domain space will be its global acceptance by Internet users. It is the JVTeam’s contention that a carefully constructed marketing plan combined with user focused features will provide an extremely attractive and successful consumer product.
Concept to be proven: That a new unrestricted domain space will meet a currently unmet market need.
A policy of purpose—The JVTeam acknowledges the substantial work undertaken by ICANN in the development of policy in particular with relations to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy. For the purposes of .web, the charter of the space will be administered by registrars according to all of the requirements of the currently active UDRP as well as an additional section that covers the issue of charter compliance. This is an evolutionary application of the UDRP to effectively deal with charter violations without compromising the efficiency of domain name registration and administration.
Concept to be proven: That charter compliance may be affectively administered via an extended UDRP.
An innovative approach to the start-up period—One of the most challenging issues attached to the introduction of any new TLD will be the initial rush for registrations during the start-up period. The three key issues are managing the extremely high transaction volumes, providing some mechanism to moderate registration volumes at levels which cannot be accurately predicted during the initial period, and ensuring fairness and evenhandedness in the allocation of domain names.
It is JVTeam’s contention that the round robin solution will prove extremely valuable as a solution for future, controlled introduction of new TLDs.
Concept to be Proven: That the round robin solution will provide an effective and fair solution to managing high transaction volumes during the startup period and set a standard for the introduction of future TLDs.
A better registry/registrar solution—The existing registry/registrar model has in large part been successful at introducing competition at the registrar level. However the system has failed to meet the demands of a transient registrant community in particular with relation to the transfer of registrar operation. Because of inconsistency in Whois formats and authentication procedures, many registrars have struggled with management and automation of this procedure. The lack of clear guidelines for the presentation of Whois data has also created significant confusion for domain name license holders with several instances of inadvertent and or unauthorized registrar transfers and change of registrant operations.
JVTeam believes that the manner in which registrant details are stored must be reviewed so that future registries do not suffer the same administrative shortcomings of the existing registry/registrar model. One such solution, and the one proposed by JVTeam, is the concept of the “fat” registry incorporating a centralized Whois service.
Concept to be proven: That the fat registry model will provide solutions to many existing administrative and security issues.
A competitive registry environment—The JVTeam registry will represent the next leap forward in the evolution of TLD registry operations. The solution will draw on JVTeam’s extensive experience in database management, domain name services, channel management, registry and registrar experience, policy administration, and the provision of high transaction software and infrastructure. This unique skill set and experience enables JVTeam to understand the existing issues in the single registry environment and innovate in all key areas including better adapted functionality, better service standards, increased reliability, effective marketing, and business development. The result in all this for the consumer is the ability to choose a domain name backed up by a registry capable of delivering these improvements.
Concept to be proven: That a registry which provides the next generation of services and service standards will cultivate a competitive multiple registry environment.
The introduction of .web will be an evolutionary step for the domain name system. The JVTeam proposal poses several key areas for evaluation in the interests of gathering information for the future introduction of TLDs and additional registry providers. JVTeam is committed to ensuring that lessons learned in the introduction of .web will benefit the whole DNS community. Only the JVTeam, with its demonstrated history of neutrality and intimate involvement in the DNS, understands these issues and their implications for the future of the domain name system.
JVTeam is committed to establishing simple, measurable, and attainable reference points for assessing the success of the introduction of the .web domain space. JVTeam will draw on its in-depth understanding of the entire DNS environment to set these points of reference in close consultation with all interested parties.
Listening to the end users—JVTeam understands the importance of this phase of new TLDs in the ongoing development of the DNS. JVTeam is also committed to the notion that domain names are much more than a technical object. They are a critical tool for business and end users. Therefore, it is ultimately they who should judge the success of any new TLDs. JVTeam will at all stages take a consultative approach to measuring the success of the new TLD and as there are several distinct “user groups,” the measures of success will be customized for each one. JVTeam will seek input from several different bodies and communities in defining exactly what the success criteria should be and seek their assistance evaluating the results. It is envisaged that the evaluation process will be undertaken in close consultation with ICANN representatives.
Key groups who will be encouraged to participate in this process will include:
· The end user community (domain name license holders)
· The registrar community
· The Internet service provider community
· The IETF
· Other registries.
The table below provides an example of the evaluation methods and measures of success that could be used for specific concepts. These methods and measures will be further refined as part of an ongoing dialogue with all relevant parties.
SAMPLE EVALUATION METHODS AND MEASURES FOR SUCCESS
Measure of success
The utility of the DNS can be extended via a TLD intended for business use as opposed to individual use
Measure number of domains registered and activated with new functionality
>70% domains registered in first 3 months of launch activate new functionality
Policy application through charter
Monitor registrations during first 3 months and automate an audit of charter compliance at registry level
<5% charter violations
Round robin solution to start-up
Feedback from registrars and registrants via registrars and ICANN
>70% positive feedback
Measure disputes under UDRP during start up period via registrars
<5% of registrations precipitate UDRP actions
Additional registry functionality creates competitive edge for the new TLD
Ongoing market research on perceived value of additional functionality and its impact on demand
Market research indicating competitive value proposition of new TLD over existing spaces
A better registry/registrar model will provide solutions to administrative issue
Registrar feedback online forms
>70% reduction in manual administrative functions such as transfer of registrar
Registrant feedback on online forms via registrars
>70% positive feedback
Registry level authentication for business domains
Count number of domain hi-jacking claims
>90% decrease in hi-jacking claims
Trademark Notification Service
Registrar feedback on online forms
>70% positive feedback
Registrant feedback online forms via registrars
>70% positive feedback
Feedback forms provided to WIPO, IPC for distribution amongst legal representatives
>70% positive feedback
By taking a consultative approach to evaluation and by actively facilitating feedback mechanisms, JVTeam will evaluate the success of the .web domain space and utilize the information to constantly improve the registry’s services and operations as well as provide it to ICANN for use in the ongoing program for introducing new TLDs and registry-level competition.
Because JVTeam proposes an evolutionary approach to introduction of new TLDs, ICANN will have a ready reference point in the existing TLDs. The data to be gathered and reported to ICANN will provide the necessary input to pave the way for a technically stable, multiple registry environment.
JVTeam submits that the results of its evaluation of the introduction of the .web registry will assist ICANN and the Internet community at large to:
· Confirm the technical stability of a multiple registry environment with particular attention to management and distribution of zone files
· Confirm the commercial viability of additional TLDs
· Confirm the commercial viability of enhancing TLD utility and expansion into arenas outside of traditional uses
· Confirm the “moderated” approach to the start-up issues associated with introducing a new TLD
· Identify improvements to the process for the introduction of new TLDs by capturing feedback and suggestions from the registrar community
· Confirm that the “fat registry” model is the way forward for a multiple-registry environment.
For this round of allocations there is not any substantial existing data to base predictions and projections for technical and administrative issues. By collecting, analyzing, and publishing data gathered from this process, it will be much simpler for ICANN and future registries to project requirements for system and administrative resources in launching further TLDs.
ICANN not only must consider the impact of the introduction of new TLDs, but also must consider the impact of the introduction of different kinds of TLDs. A .web type TLD is likely the only unrestricted introduction for this round. ICANN must have the data necessary to consider such introductions in the future.
Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
(As Approved by ICANN on
Purpose. This Uniform Domain
Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy") has been adopted by the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN"), is incorporated
by reference into your Registration Agreement, and sets forth the terms and
conditions in connection with a dispute between you and any party other than us
(the registrar) over the registration and use of an Internet domain name
registered by you. Proceedings under Paragraph
4 of this Policy will be conducted according to the Rules for Uniform Domain
Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules of Procedure"), which are
and the selected administrative-dispute-resolution service provider's
2. Your Representations. By applying to register a domain name, or by asking us to maintain or renew a domain name registration, you hereby represent and warrant to us that (a) the statements that you made in your Registration Agreement are complete and accurate; (b) to your knowledge, the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party; (c) you are not registering the domain name for an unlawful purpose; and (d) you will not knowingly use the domain name in violation of any applicable laws or regulations. It is your responsibility to determine whether your domain name registration infringes or violates someone else's rights.
3. Cancellations, Transfers, and Changes. We will cancel, transfer or otherwise make changes to domain name registrations under the following circumstances:
a. subject to the provisions of , our receipt of written or appropriate electronic instructions from you or your authorized agent to take such action;
b. our receipt of an order from a court or arbitral tribunal, in each case of competent jurisdiction, requiring such action; and/or
c. our receipt of a decision of an Administrative Panel requiring such action in any administrative proceeding to which you were a party and which was conducted under this Policy or a later version of this Policy adopted by ICANN. (See Paragraph 4 below.)
We may also cancel, transfer or otherwise make changes to a domain name registration in accordance with the terms of your Registration Agreement or other legal requirements.
4. Mandatory Administrative Proceeding.
Paragraph sets forth the type of disputes for which you are required to submit
to a mandatory administrative proceeding. These proceedings will be conducted
one of the
administrative-dispute-resolution service providers listed at www.icann.org/en/dndr/udrp/approved-providers.htm
(each, a "Provider").
a. Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a "complainant") asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that
(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove thateach of the
three elements are .
Evidence of Registration and Use in Bad Faith. For the
particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.
c. How to Demonstrate Your Rights to and Legitimate Interests in the Domain Name in Responding to a Complaint. When you receive a complaint, you should refer to Paragraph 5 of the Rules of Procedure in determining how your response should be prepared. Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(ii):
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
you are making a legitimate
fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly
divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
d. Selection of Provider. The complainant shall select the Provider from among those approved by ICANN by submitting the complaint to that Provider. The selected Provider will administer the proceeding, except in cases of consolidation as described in Paragraph 4(f).
e. Initiation of Proceeding and Process and Appointment of Administrative Panel. The Rules of Procedure state the process for initiating and conducting a proceeding and for appointing the panel that will decide the dispute (the "Administrative Panel").
f. Consolidation. In the event of multiple disputes between you and a complainant, either you or the complainant may petition to consolidate the disputes before a single Administrative Panel. This petition shall be made to the first Administrative Panel appointed to hear a pending dispute between the parties. This Administrative Panel may consolidate before it any or all such disputes in its sole discretion, provided that the disputes being consolidated are governed by this Policy or a later version of this Policy adopted by ICANN.
g. Fees. All fees charged by a Provider in connection with any dispute before an Administrative Panel pursuant to this Policy shall be paid by the complainant, except in cases where you elect to expand the Administrative Panel from one to three panelists as provided in Paragraph 5(b)(iv) of the Rules of Procedure, in which case all fees will be split evenly by you and the complainant.
h. Our Involvement in Administrative Proceedings. We do not, and will not, participate in the administration or conduct of any proceeding before an Administrative Panel. In addition, we will not be liable as a result of any decisions rendered by the Administrative Panel.
i. Remedies. The remedies available to a complainant pursuant to any proceeding before an Administrative Panel shall be limited to requiring the cancellation of your domain name or the transfer of your domain name registration to the complainant.
j. Notification and Publication. The Provider shall notify us of any decision made by an Administrative Panel with respect to a domain name you have registered with us. All decisions under this Policy will be published in full over the Internet, except when an Administrative Panel determines in an exceptional case to redact portions of its decision.
Availability of Court Proceedings.
The mandatory administrative proceeding requirements set forth in Paragraph 4 shall not prevent either
you or the complainant from submitting the dispute to a court of competent
jurisdiction for independent resolution before such mandatory administrative
proceeding is commenced or after such proceeding is concluded. If an
Administrative Panel decides that your domain name registration should be
canceled or transferred, we will wait ten (10) business days (as observed in
the location of our principal office) after we are informed by the applicable
Provider of the Administrative Panel's decision before implementing that
decision. We will then implement the decision unless we have received from you
during that ten (10) business day period official documentation (such as a copy
of a complaint, file-stamped by the clerk of the court) that you have commenced
a lawsuit against the complainant in a jurisdiction to which the complainant
has submitted under Paragraph
3(b)(xiii) of the Rules of Procedure. (In general, that jurisdiction is
either the location of our principal office or of your address as shown in our
Whois database. See Paragraphs
1 and 3(b)(xiii)
of the Rules of Procedure for details.) If we receive such documentation within
the ten (10) business day period, we will not implement the Administrative
Panel's decision, and we will take no further action, until we receive (i)
evidence satisfactory to us of a resolution between the parties; (ii) evidence
satisfactory to us that your lawsuit has been dismissed or withdrawn; or (iii)
a copy of an order from such court dismissing your lawsuit or ordering that you
do not have the right to continue to use your domain name.
5. All Other Disputes and Litigation. All other disputes between you and any party other than us regarding your domain name registration that are not brought pursuant to the mandatory administrative proceeding provisions of Paragraph 4 shall be resolved between you and such other party through any court, arbitration or other proceeding that may be available.
6. Our Involvement in Disputes. We will not participate in any way in any dispute between you and any party other than us regarding the registration and use of your domain name. You shall not name us as a party or otherwise include us in any such proceeding. In the event that we are named as a party in any such proceeding, we reserve the right to raise any and all defenses deemed appropriate, and to take any other action necessary to defend ourselves.
7. Maintaining the Status Quo. We will not cancel, transfer, activate, deactivate, or otherwise change the status of any domain name registration under this Policy except as provided in Paragraph 3 above.
8. Transfers During a Dispute.
a. Transfers of a Domain Name to a New Holder. You may not transfer your domain name registration to another holder (i) during a pending administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Paragraph 4 or for a period of fifteen (15) business days (as observed in the location of our principal place of business) after such proceeding is concluded; or (ii) during a pending court proceeding or arbitration commenced regarding your domain name unless the party to whom the domain name registration is being transferred agrees, in writing, to be bound by the decision of the court or arbitrator. We reserve the right to cancel any transfer of a domain name registration to another holder that is made in violation of this subparagraph.
b. Changing Registrars. You may not transfer your domain name registration to another registrar during a pending administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Paragraph 4 or for a period of fifteen (15) business days (as observed in the location of our principal place of business) after such proceeding is concluded. You may transfer administration of your domain name registration to another registrar during a pending court action or arbitration, provided that the domain name you have registered with us shall continue to be subject to the proceedings commenced against you in accordance with the terms of this Policy. In the event that you transfer a domain name registration to us during the pendency of a court action or arbitration, such dispute shall remain subject to the domain name dispute policy of the registrar from which the domain name registration was transferred.
9. Policy Modifications. We reserve the right to modify this Policy at any time with the permission of ICANN. We will post our revised Policy at <URL> at least thirty (30) calendar days before it becomes effective. Unless this Policy has already been invoked by the submission of a complaint to a Provider, in which event the version of the Policy in effect at the time it was invoked will apply to you until the dispute is over, all such changes will be binding upon you with respect to any domain name registration dispute, whether the dispute arose before, on or after the effective date of our change. In the event that you object to a change in this Policy, your sole remedy is to cancel your domain name registration with us, provided that you will not be entitled to a refund of any fees you paid to us. The revised Policy will apply to you until you cancel your domain name registration.
Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
In these Rules:
Complainant means the party initiating a complaint concerning a domain-name registration.
ICANN refers to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
Mutual Jurisdiction means a court jurisdiction at the location of either (a) the principal office of the Registrar (provided the domain-name holder has submitted in its Registration Agreement to that jurisdiction for court adjudication of disputes concerning or arising from the use of the domain name) or (b) the domain-name holder's address as shown for the registration of the domain name in Registrar's Whois database at the time the complaint is submitted to the Provider.
Panel means an administrative panel appointed by a Provider to decide a complaint concerning a domain-name registration.
Panelist means an individual appointed by a Provider to be a member of a Panel.
Party means a Complainant or a Respondent.
Policy means the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy that is incorporated by reference and made a part of the Registration Agreement.
Provider means a dispute-resolution service provider approved
by ICANN. A list of such Providers appears at
Registrar means the entity with which the Respondent has registered a domain name that is the subject of a complaint.
Registration Agreement means the agreement between a Registrar and a domain-name holder.
Respondent means the holder of a domain-name registration against which a complaint is initiated.
Reverse Domain Name Hijacking means using the Policy in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.
Rules means the rules adopted by the
Provider administering a proceeding to supplement these Rules. Supplemental
Rules shall not be inconsistent with the Policy or these Rules and shall cover
such topics as fees, word and page limits and guidelines, the means for
communicating with the Provider and the Panel, and the form of cover sheets
(a) When forwarding a complaint to the Respondent, it shall be the Provider's responsibility to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent. Achieving actual notice, or employing the following measures to do so, shall discharge this responsibility:
(i) sending the complaint to all postal-mail and facsimile addresses (A) shown in the domain name's registration data in Registrar's Whois database for the registered domain-name holder, the technical contact, and the administrative contact and (B) supplied by Registrar to the Provider for the registration's billing contact; and
(ii) sending the complaint in electronic form (including annexes to the extent available in that form) by e-mail to:
(A) the e-mail addresses for those technical, administrative, and billing contacts;
(B) postmaster@<the contested domain name>; and
(C) if the domain name (or "www." followed by the domain name) resolves to an active web page (other than a generic page the Provider concludes is maintained by a registrar or ISP for parking domain-names registered by multiple domain-name holders), any e-mail address shown or e-mail links on that web page; and
(iii) sending the complaint to any address the Respondent has notified the Provider it prefers and, to the extent practicable, to all other addresses provided to the Provider by Complainant under Paragraph 3(b)(v).
(b) Except as provided in Paragraph 2(a), any written communication to Complainant or Respondent provided for under these Rules shall be made by the preferred means stated by the Complainant or Respondent, respectively (see Paragraphs 3(b)(iii) and 5(b)(iii)), or in the absence of such specification
(i) by telecopy or facsimile transmission, with a confirmation of transmission; or
(ii) by postal or courier service, postage pre-paid and return receipt requested; or
(iii) electronically via the Internet, provided a record of its transmission is available.
(c) Any communication to the Provider or the Panel shall be made by the means and in the manner (including number of copies) stated in the Provider's Supplemental Rules.
(d) Communications shall be made in the language prescribed in Paragraph 11. E-mail communications should, if practicable, be sent in plaintext.
(e) Either Party may update its contact details by notifying the Provider and the Registrar.
(f) Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, or decided by a Panel, all communications provided for under these Rules shall be deemed to have been made:
(i) if delivered by telecopy or facsimile transmission, on the date shown on the confirmation of transmission; or
(ii) if by postal or courier service, on the date marked on the receipt; or
(iii) if via the Internet, on the date that the communication was transmitted, provided that the date of transmission is verifiable.
(g) Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, all time periods calculated under these Rules to begin when a communication is made shall begin to run on the earliest date that the communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with Paragraph 2(f).
(h) Any communication by
(i) a Panel to any Party shall be copied to the Provider and to the other Party;
(ii) the Provider to any Party shall be copied to the other Party; and
(iii) a Party shall be copied to the other Party, the Panel and the Provider, as the case may be.
(i) It shall be the responsibility of the sender to retain records of the fact and circumstances of sending, which shall be available for inspection by affected parties and for reporting purposes.
(j) In the event a Party sending a communication receives notification of non-delivery of the communication, the Party shall promptly notify the Panel (or, if no Panel is yet appointed, the Provider) of the circumstances of the notification. Further proceedings concerning the communication and any response shall be as directed by the Panel (or the Provider).
3. The Complaint
(a) Any person or entity may initiate an administrative proceeding by submitting a complaint in accordance with the Policy and these Rules to any Provider approved by ICANN. (Due to capacity constraints or for other reasons, a Provider's ability to accept complaints may be suspended at times. In that event, the Provider shall refuse the submission. The person or entity may submit the complaint to another Provider.)
(b) The complaint shall be submitted in hard copy and (except to the extent not available for annexes) in electronic form and shall:
(i) Request that the complaint be submitted for decision in accordance with the Policy and these Rules;
(ii) Provide the name, postal and e-mail addresses, and the telephone and telefax numbers of the Complainant and of any representative authorized to act for the Complainant in the administrative proceeding;
(iii) Specify a preferred method for communications directed to the Complainant in the administrative proceeding (including person to be contacted, medium, and address information) for each of (A) electronic-only material and (B) material including hard copy;
(iv) Designate whether Complainant elects to have the dispute decided by a single-member or a three-member Panel and, in the event Complainant elects a three-member Panel, provide the names and contact details of three candidates to serve as one of the Panelists (these candidates may be drawn from any ICANN-approved Provider's list of panelists);
(v) Provide the name of the Respondent (domain-name holder) and all information (including any postal and e-mail addresses and telephone and telefax numbers) known to Complainant regarding how to contact Respondent or any representative of Respondent, including contact information based on pre-complaint dealings, in sufficient detail to allow the Provider to send the complaint as described in Paragraph 2(a);
(vi) Specify the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the complaint;
(vii) Identify the Registrar(s) with whom the domain name(s) is/are registered at the time the complaint is filed;
(viii) Specify the trademark(s) or service mark(s) on which the complaint is based and, for each mark, describe the goods or services, if any, with which the mark is used (Complainant may also separately describe other goods and services with which it intends, at the time the complaint is submitted, to use the mark in the future.);
Describe, in accordance with the Policy, the grounds on which the complaint is
made including, in particular,
the manner in which the domain name(s) is/are identical or confusingly similar
to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
why the Respondent (domain-name holder) should be considered as having no
rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name(s) that is/are the
subject of the complaint; and
why the domain name(s) should be considered as having been registered and being
used in bad faith
description should, for elements (
discuss any aspects of Paragraphs 4(b)
and 4(c) of
the Policy that are applicable. The description shall comply with any word or
page limit set forth in the Provider's Supplemental Rules.);
(x) Specify, in accordance with the Policy, the remedies sought;
(xi) Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to any of the domain name(s) that are the subject of the complaint;
(xii) State that a copy of the complaint, together with the cover sheet as prescribed by the Provider's Supplemental Rules, has been sent or transmitted to the Respondent (domain-name holder), in accordance with Paragraph 2(b);
(xiii) State that Complainant will submit, with respect to any challenges to a decision in the administrative proceeding canceling or transferring the domain name, to the jurisdiction of the courts in at least one specified Mutual Jurisdiction;
(xiv) Conclude with the following statement followed by the signature of the Complainant or its authorized representative:
"Complainant agrees that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the domain name, the dispute, or the dispute's resolution shall be solely against the domain-name holder and waives all such claims and remedies against (a) the dispute-resolution provider and panelists, except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, (b) the registrar, (c) the registry administrator, and (d) the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, as well as their directors, officers, employees, and agents."
"Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of Complainant's knowledge complete and accurate, that this Complaint is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument."; and
(xv) Annex any documentary or other evidence, including a copy of the Policy applicable to the domain name(s) in dispute and any trademark or service mark registration upon which the complaint relies, together with a schedule indexing such evidence.
(c) The complaint may relate to more than one domain name, provided that the domain names are registered by the same domain-name holder.
4. Notification of Complaint
(a) The Provider shall review the complaint for administrative compliance with the Policy and these Rules and, if in compliance, shall forward the complaint (together with the explanatory cover sheet prescribed by the Provider's Supplemental Rules) to the Respondent, in the manner prescribed by Paragraph 2(a), within three (3) calendar days following receipt of the fees to be paid by the Complainant in accordance with Paragraph 19.
(b) If the Provider finds the complaint to be administratively deficient, it shall promptly notify the Complainant and the Respondent of the nature of the deficiencies identified. The Complainant shall have five (5) calendar days within which to correct any such deficiencies, after which the administrative proceeding will be deemed withdrawn without prejudice to submission of a different complaint by Complainant.
(c) The date of commencement of the administrative proceeding shall be the date on which the Provider completes its responsibilities under Paragraph 2(a) in connection with forwarding the Complaint to the Respondent.
(d) The Provider shall immediately notify the Complainant, the Respondent, the concerned Registrar(s), and ICANN of the date of commencement of the administrative proceeding.
5. The Response
(a) Within twenty (20) days of the date of commencement of the administrative proceeding the Respondent shall submit a response to the Provider.
(b) The response shall be submitted in hard copy and (except to the extent not available for annexes) in electronic form and shall:
(i) Respond specifically to the statements and allegations contained in the complaint and include any and all bases for the Respondent (domain-name holder) to retain registration and use of the disputed domain name (This portion of the response shall comply with any word or page limit set forth in the Provider's Supplemental Rules.);
(ii) Provide the name, postal and e-mail addresses, and the telephone and telefax numbers of the Respondent (domain-name holder) and of any representative authorized to act for the Respondent in the administrative proceeding;
(iii) Specify a preferred method for communications directed to the Respondent in the administrative proceeding (including person to be contacted, medium, and address information) for each of (A) electronic-only material and (B) material including hard copy;
(iv) If Complainant has elected a single-member panel in the Complaint (see Paragraph 3(b)(iv)), state whether Respondent elects instead to have the dispute decided by a three-member panel;
(v) If either Complainant or Respondent elects a three-member Panel, provide the names and contact details of three candidates to serve as one of the Panelists (these candidates may be drawn from any ICANN-approved Provider's list of panelists);
(vi) Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to any of the domain name(s) that are the subject of the complaint;
(vii) State that a copy of the response has been sent or transmitted to the Complainant, in accordance with Paragraph 2(b); and
(viii) Conclude with the following statement followed by the signature of the Respondent or its authorized representative:
"Respondent certifies that the information contained in this Response is to the best of Respondent's knowledge complete and accurate, that this Response is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Response are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument."; and
(ix) Annex any documentary or other evidence upon which the Respondent relies, together with a schedule indexing such documents.
(c) If Complainant has elected to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel and Respondent elects a three-member Panel, Respondent shall be required to pay one-half of the applicable fee for a three-member Panel as set forth in the Provider's Supplemental Rules. This payment shall be made together with the submission of the response to the Provider. In the event that the required payment is not made, the dispute shall be decided by a single-member Panel.
(d) At the request of the Respondent, the Provider may, in exceptional cases, extend the period of time for the filing of the response. The period may also be extended by written stipulation between the Parties, provided the stipulation is approved by the Provider.
(e) If a Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the complaint.
6. Appointment of the Panel and Timing of Decision
(a) Each Provider shall maintain and publish a publicly available list of panelists and their qualifications.
(b) If neither the Complainant nor the Respondent has elected a three-member Panel (Paragraphs 3(b)(iv) and 5(b)(iv)), the Provider shall appoint, within five (5) calendar days following receipt of the response by the Provider, or the lapse of the time period for the submission thereof, a single Panelist from its list of panelists. The fees for a single-member Panel shall be paid entirely by the Complainant.
(c) If either the Complainant or the Respondent elects to have the dispute decided by a three-member Panel, the Provider shall appoint three Panelists in accordance with the procedures identified in Paragraph 6(e). The fees for a three-member Panel shall be paid in their entirety by the Complainant, except where the election for a three-member Panel was made by the Respondent, in which case the applicable fees shall be shared equally between the Parties.
(d) Unless it has already elected a three-member Panel, the Complainant shall submit to the Provider, within five (5) calendar days of communication of a response in which the Respondent elects a three-member Panel, the names and contact details of three candidates to serve as one of the Panelists. These candidates may be drawn from any ICANN-approved Provider's list of panelists.
(e) In the event that either the Complainant or the Respondent elects a three-member Panel, the Provider shall endeavor to appoint one Panelist from the list of candidates provided by each of the Complainant and the Respondent. In the event the Provider is unable within five (5) calendar days to secure the appointment of a Panelist on its customary terms from either Party's list of candidates, the Provider shall make that appointment from its list of panelists. The third Panelist shall be appointed by the Provider from a list of five candidates submitted by the Provider to the Parties, the Provider's selection from among the five being made in a manner that reasonably balances the preferences of both Parties, as they may specify to the Provider within five (5) calendar days of the Provider's submission of the five-candidate list to the Parties.
(f) Once the entire Panel is appointed, the Provider shall notify the Parties of the Panelists appointed and the date by which, absent exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall forward its decision on the complaint to the Provider.
7. Impartiality and Independence
A Panelist shall be impartial and independent and shall have, before accepting appointment, disclosed to the Provider any circumstances giving rise to justifiable doubt as to the Panelist's impartiality or independence. If, at any stage during the administrative proceeding, new circumstances arise that could give rise to justifiable doubt as to the impartiality or independence of the Panelist, that Panelist shall promptly disclose such circumstances to the Provider. In such event, the Provider shall have the discretion to appoint a substitute Panelist.
8. Communication Between Parties and the Panel
No Party or anyone acting on its behalf may have any unilateral communication with the Panel. All communications between a Party and the Panel or the Provider shall be made to a case administrator appointed by the Provider in the manner prescribed in the Provider's Supplemental Rules.
9. Transmission of the File to the Panel
The Provider shall forward the file to the Panel as soon as the Panelist is appointed in the case of a Panel consisting of a single member, or as soon as the last Panelist is appointed in the case of a three-member Panel.
10. General Powers of the Panel
(a) The Panel shall conduct the administrative proceeding in such manner as it considers appropriate in accordance with the Policy and these Rules.
(b) In all cases, the Panel shall ensure that the Parties are treated with equality and that each Party is given a fair opportunity to present its case.
(c) The Panel shall ensure that the administrative proceeding takes place with due expedition. It may, at the request of a Party or on its own motion, extend, in exceptional cases, a period of time fixed by these Rules or by the Panel.
(d) The Panel shall determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of the evidence.
(e) A Panel shall decide a request by a Party to consolidate multiple domain name disputes in accordance with the Policy and these Rules.
11. Language of Proceedings
(a) Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.
(b) The Panel may order that any documents submitted in languages other than the language of the administrative proceeding be accompanied by a translation in whole or in part into the language of the administrative proceeding.
12. Further Statements
In addition to the complaint and the response, the Panel may request, in its sole discretion, further statements or documents from either of the Parties.
13. In-Person Hearings
There shall be no in-person hearings (including hearings by teleconference, videoconference, and web conference), unless the Panel determines, in its sole discretion and as an exceptional matter, that such a hearing is necessary for deciding the complaint.
(a) In the event that a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any of the time periods established by these Rules or the Panel, the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint.
(b) If a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under, these Rules or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate.
15. Panel Decisions
(a) A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
(b) In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall forward its decision on the complaint to the Provider within fourteen (14) days of its appointment pursuant to Paragraph 6.
(c) In the case of a three-member Panel, the Panel's decision shall be made by a majority.
(d) The Panel's decision shall be in writing, provide the reasons on which it is based, indicate the date on which it was rendered and identify the name(s) of the Panelist(s).
(e) Panel decisions and dissenting opinions shall normally comply with the guidelines as to length set forth in the Provider's Supplemental Rules. Any dissenting opinion shall accompany the majority decision. If the Panel concludes that the dispute is not within the scope of Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, it shall so state. If after considering the submissions the Panel finds that the complaint was brought in bad faith, for example in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking or was brought primarily to harass the domain-name holder, the Panel shall declare in its decision that the complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.
16. Communication of Decision to Parties
(a) Within three (3) calendar days after receiving the decision from the Panel, the Provider shall communicate the full text of the decision to each Party, the concerned Registrar(s), and ICANN. The concerned Registrar(s) shall immediately communicate to each Party, the Provider, and ICANN the date for the implementation of the decision in accordance with the Policy.
(b) Except if the Panel determines otherwise (see Paragraph 4(j) of the Policy), the Provider shall publish the full decision and the date of its implementation on a publicly accessible web site. In any event, the portion of any decision determining a complaint to have been brought in bad faith (see Paragraph 15(e) of these Rules) shall be published.
17. Settlement or Other Grounds for Termination
(a) If, before the Panel's decision, the Parties agree on a settlement, the Panel shall terminate the administrative proceeding.
(b) If, before the Panel's decision is made, it becomes unnecessary or impossible to continue the administrative proceeding for any reason, the Panel shall terminate the administrative proceeding, unless a Party raises justifiable grounds for objection within a period of time to be determined by the Panel.
18. Effect of Court Proceedings
(a) In the event of any legal proceedings initiated prior to or during an administrative proceeding in respect of a domain-name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, the Panel shall have the discretion to decide whether to suspend or terminate the administrative proceeding, or to proceed to a decision.
(b) In the event that a Party initiates any legal proceedings during the pendency of an administrative proceeding in respect of a domain-name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, it shall promptly notify the Panel and the Provider. See Paragraph 8 above.
(a) The Complainant shall pay to the Provider an initial fixed fee, in accordance with the Provider's Supplemental Rules, within the time and in the amount required. A Respondent electing under Paragraph 5(b)(iv) to have the dispute decided by a three-member Panel, rather than the single-member Panel elected by the Complainant, shall pay the Provider one-half the fixed fee for a three-member Panel. See Paragraph 5(c). In all other cases, the Complainant shall bear all of the Provider's fees, except as prescribed under Paragraph 19(d). Upon appointment of the Panel, the Provider shall refund the appropriate portion, if any, of the initial fee to the Complainant, as specified in the Provider's Supplemental Rules.
(b) No action shall be taken by the Provider on a complaint until it has received from Complainant the initial fee in accordance with Paragraph 19(a).
(c) If the Provider has not received the fee within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the complaint, the complaint shall be deemed withdrawn and the administrative proceeding terminated.
(d) In exceptional circumstances, for example in the event an in-person hearing is held, the Provider shall request the Parties for the payment of additional fees, which shall be established in agreement with the Parties and the Panel.
20. Exclusion of Liability
Except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, neither the Provider nor a Panelist shall be liable to a Party for any act or omission in connection with any administrative proceeding under these Rules.
The version of these Rules in effect at the time of the submission of the complaint to the Provider shall apply to the administrative proceeding commenced thereby. These Rules may not be amended without the express written approval of ICANN.