Description of TLD Policies
I.GENERAL TLD POLICIES
The intention of the Sponsoring Organization ("Organization") is to introduce and develop a new mobile Internet top-level domain (TLD), in which the domain name system is optimized for mobile devices and mobile Internet access. The proposed TLD will be restricted to ensure that all content, services and hosts in the domain are intended for mobile use. The implementation of this restriction will require a certain number of policies which differ from the ones in use in the existing delegated domains. This is the purpose of the policies outlined below.
This application is focused on presenting an entirely new concept for domain name system usage. The TLD string allocated to the domain should reflect this intention and its essential elements – mobility, individuality and instant access –, but there is no specific TLD string that would be crucial for the proposed TLD. Therefore, in order not to risk the acceptance of the proposed concept because of the proposed TLD string, the applicant wishes to propose several possible strings for a basis for further discussions with ICANN to define the final TLD string. These include:
to emphasize the fact that the TLD will be optimized for mobile devices and services.
to emphasize the instant access to mobile devices and services.
to emphasize the personal nature of the Mobile Internet.
to emphasize the availability of more mobile applications and services.
to emphasize the mobile access and maximal benefits for the mobile Internet users.
to emphasize mobile identity and mobile identification.
to emphasize the importance of the TLD as an enabler of Mobile Information Society.
The structure of the proposed domain name system is very simple. Second-level domain names will only be available for registrars, who are providers of mobile devices and services. The registrants, i.e. the mobile Internet users, will use third and lower level domain names. The global system for assigning unique phone numbers can be utilized to clearly identify the domains linked to mobile devices.
Three alternative sub-domain categories will be available:
The consequent naming structure is outlined below. The registrar may decide whether to provide just one of these or a combination of them for registrants:
ALTERNATIVE 1: [phone number].[domain of registrar].TLD
ALTERNATIVE 2: [name of user].[domain of registrar].TLD
ALTERNATIVE 3: [nickname or other character string].[domain of registrar].TLD
As mentioned above, second-level domain names in the TLD will only be available for registrars who provide mobile devices and services. The Registry will only register second-level domain names while third-level domain names will only be available through the registrars in accordance with the policies set forth by the Organization. In accordance with the current sentiment of the Internet community, the Registry will not function as a registrar. Registrants will deal solely with registrars.
The number of registrars in the domain will grow to be substantial. Therefore, there will be significant competition between the registrars, which will ensure low pricing for the registration of third-level domains to the mobile Internet users. Since registrars will be providers of mobile devices and services, they are presumed to have a common interest to serve the users of the Mobile Internet. It can even be expected that many registrants will register third-level domains without charge to boost the use of mobile domains.
Applications from organizations desiring to be registrars are evaluated by the Registry according to the policies defined by the Organization. Registrars of the proposed TLD can also become members of the Organization.
Intellectual Property Provisions
The proposed system distinguishes between two different types of domain name registrations: the registration of second-level domain names by the registrars and the registration of sub-domain names by the users of mobile devices and services. In both cases, the system will discourage registration of domain names that infringe intellectual property rights in the following manner:
(a) Registration of second-level domain names by providers of mobile devices and services who act as registrars
When filing an application to become a registrar, the potential registrar will have to inform the Registry of the second-level domain names that it is proposing and clearly demonstrate their utility for the users of the Mobile Internet.
Together with the statements of the chosen second-level domain names, the registrar is required to file an affidavit with the Registry from a qualified trademark agent or a corresponding legal practitioner to the effect that an international trademark search has been made in respect of the domain name and that the search results fulfil the following criteria:
(i) no trademarks registered for goods or services were found that would be confusingly similar to the goods or services of the registrar, and (ii) the domain name does not conflict with any registration of a trademark that can on the basis of the search results or on the basis of common knowledge be assumed to be a well known trademark in the sense of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention.
In assessing the well known character of a trademark, the trademark agent will be assumed to have made further investigations where the search results have revealed registrations of a specific trademark that are particularly wide-ranging both as to their geographical scope and/or as to the goods or services covered.
In case the above mentioned requirements are fulfilled, the domain name will be registered in the name of the registrar.
It is clear that the necessity of obtaining an affidavit from a qualified trademark agent will deter the registrars from registering trademarks that conflict with existing trademark rights on two levels: (i) in the initial decision process, the registrar will be less likely to choose an infringing domain name, since it is aware of the fact that a trademark agent will be making an evaluation concerning existing rights and (ii) if the registrar is to opt for an infringing domain name, the trademark agent will refuse to sign an affidavit to the effect that the trademark does not infringe the rights of a third party and the registration will therefore not be approved by the Registry.
The system described above will also reduce the amount of non-willful registrations of a domain name that infringes the trademark rights of a third party, a feature not present in the current TLD registration process.
(b) Registration of sub-domains by users of mobile devices and services
There are three forms in which a sub-domain can be registered: in the form of the registrant's phone number, in the form of the registrant's name, and in the form of a nickname or other character string identifying the registrant.
In the registration of a phone number the possibility of an infringing registration is non-existent, since the each phone number can exist only once and it will always belong to the registrant in question.
In the case of the registration of a personal name, conflicts can occur because different people can have the same name. The registration of a name as a sub-domain is carried out on a "first come, first serve" basis. It should be noted that the name space of the proposed top-level domain is rather wide, since the same name can exist under different second-level domains. The abusive registration of well known names that belong to a third party will be deterred according to the same principles that apply to the registration of nicknames and other character string identifying the registrant (see immediately below). Furthermore, the Registry will instruct the registrars to attempt to set up a registration procedure whereby the domain name allocated to each registrant should logically follow from the registrant's name.
It is in the case of registration of a nickname or other character string identifying the registrant that the greatest possibility of an infringing sub-domain name exists. The registration of an infringing name is deterred by the fact that registrars will have the prerogative to refuse registration on the basis of conflicts with existing trademark rights. The registrars may not specifically be checking the nicknames or other character strings identifying the registrant for which the registration is sought and any refusals made ex officio will most probably result from the identical character of the domain name with a well known trademark.
Furthermore, the registration of infringing domain names will also be discouraged by the dispute resolution policy (described below), which provides an easy and cost-friendly procedure for the injured party.
The potential registrars will bear the burden of having to make a pre-screening of their proposed second-level domain names before they file the application. No pre-screening by the Registry or registrar is necessary due to the fact that the registration system in relation to second-level domains already reduces the amount of infringing domain names and the dispute resolution in relation to sub-domains has been made extremely easy.
The proposed system will provide a fast and efficient way to intervene in case of an infringement of a third party trademark right in the registration process. Other violations than trademark infringements can be litigated in a general court of law in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy.
Special protection is provided for well known trademarks: The affidavit provided by a qualified trademark agent or lawyer will provide a presumption that the proposed second-level domain name does not infringe any well known trademarks.
Broader protection also exists in cases where the registrant of a sub-domain and a third party both have rights to the same trademark. According to the general dispute resolution principles, the registrant will maintain its registration in such circumstances only where the third party's trademark is not well known.
Sections 1, 2 of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy will apply as such.
Section 3 will apply but additional circumstances for a cancellation or transfer will be added (see E6.2).
Section 4(a) will apply but it will be amended to fit the proposed two-layered domain system (see E6.2).
Sections 4(b) and 4(c) will not apply.
Sections 4(d), (e) and (f) shall apply in full.
The cost procedure in 4(g) shall be amended to reflect the proposed dispute resolution policy (see E6.2).
Sections 4(h)-(k) shall apply in full.
Sections 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 remain as they are.
Different dispute resolution procedures shall exist in relation to the two different layers of domain name registration (second-level and sub-domain registration):
(a) Registration of second-level domain names by registrars
A third party who feels that its rights to a trademark have been infringed by a registrar's domain name registration will be able to institute proceedings with the administrative body established to handle domain name disputes relating to the proposed TLD. Evidence that needs to be submitted to the administrative body consists of (i) proof of a trademark registered for goods and/or services that is the same as or confusingly similar to the trademark registered for services or products of the registrar or (ii) proof showing that the complainant's trademark is well known. The costs of the administrative proceedings will be borne by the losing party.
(b) Registration of sub-domains by registrants
The main principle of the proposed system is that the registrant does not have the right to register a name that is identical to or includes as an integral part of the registered trademark of a third party. However, the costs of requiring each registrant of a sub-domain, often a natural person, to file an affidavit from a qualified trademark agent or lawyer would be too high. Therefore, the proposed system suggests that the costs of protecting trademark rights in relation to sub-domain names should primarily be the responsibility of the trademark owner. The proposed system aims to reduce such costs significantly.
In case a third party considers that its trademark rights have been infringed, it may request the transfer of the sub-domain name by providing the registrar with an affidavit from a trademark agent or a corresponding legal practitioner that ensures that the said third party is the proprietor of a trademark registration that is identical to or clearly incorporated in the domain name. The affidavit must also identify the fact that the complainant has priority, i.e. that he has filed the application for the registration of the trademark prior to the domain name application date.
The sub-domain name will automatically be transferred to the complainant in case the registrant does not file a request for the institution of proceedings before the administrative body prior to a fixed deadline.
The registrant has the right to contradict the transfer by requesting the administrative body to make a decision in the matter in case he considers himself to have better or equal rights to the sub-domain in the form of a personal name or a trademark. In order to avoid frivolous requests for an administrative process, the losing party will bear the costs. Initially, however, the party initiating the proceedings will pay the fee of the administrative body.
In case the registrant and the complainant are found to have equal rights to a trademark, the registrant will maintain his sub-domain registration with the exception of a situation where the administrative board finds, on the basis of material submitted by the complainant, that the trademark of the complainant is well known according to Article 6bis of the Paris Convention.
The Organization will commit to the protection of data privacy of the TLD users. The Registry or registrars should not engage in the practice of selling or trading their customers' personal data to third parties for any other purposes than those necessary to uphold the services, or for purposes generally accepted in applicable policies.
If the Registry or registrars are compelled by law, court order or other judicial process to disclose any of their customers' personal information to a court or third party, the Registry or the registrars will attempt to give the customer in question a prior notice using the contact information provided. Provided that the Registry or the registrars collect personal information for other purposes than those necessary for upholding the services, the entity collecting the data, will use "opt in" options for the users of mobile devices and services.
The Registry and the registrars will take appropriate measures to prevent unauthorized access to and improper use of their customers' personal information.
Appropriate and sufficient Escrows will be implemented by the Registry.
The new top-level domain will be operated on a non-profit basis. Neither the Registry nor the Organization seeks direct financial benefit from the proposed responsibility for operating the domain.
The financial benefits of the proposed top-level domain concept are indirect. The intention is to introduce and develop a new mobile Internet domain, in which the domain name system and services support mobile Internet access and mobile IP communications in an efficient manner. This will ensure higher quality of service for all mobile Internet users and boost the adoption of mobile Internet applications, which would be beneficial for all parties involved.
The operating costs of the Registry and the Organization will be divided among all registrars based on principles to be defined by the Organization.
The registrars will be given the right to define and price their registration services for their third and lower level domain names. Given that all registrars have a common interest in boosting the use of mobile domains, it can be expected that registrars will compete through the services they provide and many will offer third-level domains without charge.
To ensure that all views are taken into account when the billing, collection, service and pricing principles are defined for the new top-level domain, the detailed principles are left for the Organization to define in accordance with ICANN policies.
II. REGISTRATION POLICIES DURING THE START-UP PERIOD
The start-up operations of the proposed top-level domain are characterized by the fact that the mobile top-level domain and the proposed domain name system are both new concepts.
The exact growth rate of the domain name system is impossible to predict. This is caused by the uncertainty relating to the willingness of the Mobile Internet community to adopt the new concept and the challenges in creating the necessary technical solutions for something as dynamic in nature as the Mobile Internet. The current domain name system is primarily designed for stationary hosts. This is obviously not the case for mobile devices.
An explosion in the number of domains is not expected before both the domain name system and the mobile devices begin supporting mobile hosting of domain names. As that requires extensive development of both the domain name system and mobile devices, rapid growth is not expected before year 2004.
The risks of the start-up period will be managed in two ways:
Firstly, the number of second-level domains will be relatively small and the domains will be systematically managed. Second-level domains can only be registered by registrars. The number of sub-domains will thus be small compared to existing top-level domains and the domain name system will be relatively easy to manage.
The Organization will create detailed requirements for the registrars. The ability of the potential registrars to operate a sub-domain according to the policies of ICANN and the Organization will be carefully evaluated by the Registry. The registrars will also be expected to show clear commitment to limit the use of the domain to mobile services.
Secondly, technical solutions for the new mobile domain name system will be created step by step to allow full testing of technology. The intention is to test the whole system and especially the new solutions relating to the mobile aspect of the domain thoroughly before the domain becomes fully operational. During the test period, the number of second-level domains will be kept to a minimum needed for adequate testing. This ensures that the introduction of the new mobile domain causes no disruptions to the Internet.
The registrars will be partners in the development of the TLD. One of the requirements for the first registrars is that they are willing to contribute to the creation of the mobile domain name system and mobile IP technology. To ensure the technical development of the domain name system, the Organization may define additional conditions for the registrars during the start-up phase.
III. REGISTRATION RESTRICTIONS
The proposed TLD will be restricted to ensure that all content, services and hosts in the domain are intended for mobile use. The main principles of the registration restrictions in the TLD are outlined below.
The proposed restrictions for the TLD will promote efficient use of domain names and deter cybersquatting. Use of domain names will be limited to users and providers of mobile devices and services.
Second-level domains will only be granted to registrars. When registering new second-level domain names, registrars will be expected to limit the use of the domain to mobile devices and services. Each newly registered or transferred second-level domain name will have to be taken into active use within a reasonable period of time, the maximum of which will be specified by the Organization.
The registrars can utilize their second-level domain names as destination sites offering mobile services, for registering third and lower level domains in the sub-domains for registrants, or for some other use that serves the Mobile Internet community.
The ability of each potential registrar to operate a second-level domain according to the policies of the Organization and ICANN will be carefully evaluated by the Registry. Applications for registrar status and registrations of second-level domains will not be approved unless they meet the set requirements and demonstrate an interest in serving the Mobile Internet community.
Registrants only use sub-domains of the second-level domains. The registrars will define the guidelines for the use of sub-domains in their second-level domains in accordance with the policies set forth by the Organization.
The Organization will define the appeal process for registrars, registrants and third parties seeking cancellation of a domain name registration due to failure to comply with the registration policies and restrictions
IV. CONTEXT OF THE TLD WITHIN THE DNS
During recent years, two major phenomena have dramatically changed the way people communicate.
The first one is the rapid growth of the Internet. The Internet has become an increasingly important part of our lives as an important source of information. Many people today expect to be able to access information immediately, from a wide variety of online sources.
The second change has been the introduction of mobile communications. Mobility appears to be one of the fundamental elements in the information society. As services move increasingly to networks, they offer a significant benefit over their physical counterparts – but only if the access is independent from time and location.
The combination of these two phenomena, the Internet and mobility, will radically affect our lives.
An increasing part of the growth in the number of mobile devices will come from web-connected handsets. The applicant estimates that the number of mobile handsets connected to the web will exceed the number of PCs connected to the Internet by the year 2003.
The convenience of mobile access to information and services everywhere results in increasing demand for customized mobile Internet access solutions. Customers request scalable services that adapt to their changing needs. Services will be segmented based on the type of usage and data rates required. The market demand is to have mobile access to information anytime and anywhere.
When the amount of information and media content available in digital format for mobile use becomes overwhelming, good tools for finding the desired information are a necessity. A clear domain name structure, specifically defined to serve the Mobile Internet needs, will be an essential part of structuring the information.
The future mobile Internet users will have a wide variety of choices when it comes to both the device form factor and the enabled applications. Different devices are joined to form new multi-purpose devices, and devices and applications converge to form digital personal tools. Content, such as web-based information will need to be appropriately customized for each device.
The content in the traditional Internet is not optimized for mobile use, and even when it is, the users have in most cases cannot know the suitability of the content for mobile use before trying to access it. Accessing most content requires heavy browsers, big screens, fast connections and a lot of memory. There is, of course, a growing number of services in the Internet designed for mobile devices, but they are in many cases difficult to find without knowing the exact address.
By adopting the policies introduced for the new top-level domain in this application, all services in the domain will always be designed for mobile use, regardless of, for example, the content type or mark-up language. The users will also automatically know that all the other devices hosting the third-level domains are mobile devices, which will guarantee smooth communication between the devices. This will ensure an Internet experience of higher quality for the rapidly growing Mobile Internet community.
Future mobile devices will be able to receive, host and send different types of Internet content. There will be domains that are completely mobile. For this kind of new Internet usage, the current domain name system does not offer the optimal environment.
Some hosts of the Mobile Internet are typically not connected to the network all the time, but will be unreachable for relatively long periods of time. Technical solutions do not yet exist for ensuring updated routing information and a relevant name base connection for mobile hosts in a domain name system accommodating millions of constantly moving devices, which can be randomly switched on and off. This will be an interesting challenge for the developers of future Internet and mobile communications technologies.
In the proposed top-level domain, the requirements for registrars will be designed to ensure that the domain name system always functions and that updated routing information is constantly available, even with many hosts off-line. Combined with the introduction of IPv6 this mechanism will also allow direct IP-based communications between mobile terminals, a step towards the original Internet ideal of easy peer-to-peer computing, now with the added benefits of mobility.
Due to the distinct character and untraditional usage situations and patterns of mobile applications and services, the Mobile Internet will always have its particular needs. New innovative solutions are needed. A top-level domain particularly specified and carefully managed to meet the needs of the mobile devices is one of the key elements in providing the Mobile Internet community with the quality of service it justifiably expects.
V. VALUE OF PROPOSAL AS A PROOF OF CONCEPT
The proposed concept focuses on meeting the needs of the Mobile Internet community and the domain name structure will be specifically defined to improve the quality of the Internet experience for mobile Internet users. Hence, the optimization of the domain name system of a TLD for mobile use is what will be proven possible.
To serve this purpose, a new kind of domain name system is introduced. In this structure, solely the registrars who can register lower level domain names in their own sub-domains will operate the second-level domain names. The Registry will register only the second-level domain names. The third-level hosts will typically be mobile devices. This naming and registration structure is one of the concepts to be proven.
A substantial number of registrars will ensure competition in the registration services.
It can be expected that many registrars will be offer third-level domain names without charge, since it is in the interest of everybody involved to boost the adoption of Mobile Internet. If proven, this concept would be very favorable for the Internet community.
All the policies of the new TLD, as well as the requirements for registrars, will be formulated with the intention to ensure that all content, all services and all hosts in the TLD are intended for mobile use. The new top-level domain will also prove that this restriction is beneficial and can be implemented.
An important task of the Organization and the Registry is to develop new features, which enable the use of Internet services through the growing number of mobile devices with increased functionality. The development work will be carried out together with providers of mobile devices and services, as well as the Internet community.
The success of the proposed TLD can be measured by the number of users, service providers and registrars adopting the concept. Other measures are the number of sub-domains registered and the number of mobile services available.
The Organization intends to research on a regular basis the user perceptions on the quality of service, the clarity and functionality of the domain name system, the quality and availability of services and registration, and user satisfaction in general.
The Registry will specify guidelines for the name service configuration within the new TLD. To guarantee that the domain causes no interference to the rest of the network and that the integrity of the domain itself is maintained, the Registry will regularly inspect that the guidelines are followed.