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New sTLD Application:

Requirements for Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal

(Draft for public comment)

Posted: 24 June 2003


This document is a draft for public comment posted on 24 June 2003. Please be sure to check the ICANN website for any later versions of this document before you submit your application.

Please submit any comments on this draft to <stld-rfp-comments@icann.org>.

Sponsoring Organization's Proposal

INSTRUCTIONS: This document describes the requirements for completing a New sTLD Sponsoring Organization Proposal. A Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal is to be submitted as part of an application for a new sponsored TLD. It should be prepared and submitted by either the Sponsoring Organization, or, where the Sponsoring Organization has not yet been formed, by organization(s) or person(s) proposing to form the Sponsoring Organization.

The Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal should be prepared with careful reference to the other documents to be submitted and the Request for Proposals ("RFP") itself. Particular attention should be paid to the Evaluation Methodology and Selection Criteria that describes how your application will be evaluated and should therefore affect how the following questions are addressed.

The Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal will be posted on the ICANN website as part of the applicantís overall application. As such, no confidential information should be included in the Proposal.

The Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal should be separately bound and labeled: ďNew sTLD Sponsoring Organizationís ProposalĒ and should cover all the questions raised below. It should be signed where indicated on behalf of the applicant(s).

I. DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED sTLD AND SPONSORING ORGANIZATION

A1. The purpose of this section is to describe the motivation for the proposed new sTLD and expected Sponsored sTLD Community, and to provide background and an overview of the Sponsoring Organization, and the proposed policy-making methodology, including requested delegation of policy authority from ICANN.

A2. Namestring and Naming Conventions

A2.1 TLD String. Please identify the TLD string(s) you are proposing. You may propose up to three, to be ranked in the order of your preference.

A2.2 Naming conventions. Describe the naming conventions and structure within the TLD. e.g., will registrants have names registered at the second level (directly under the TLD, as in registered-name.com), or will the TLD be organized with sub-domains so that registered domain names are created at a lower level (as in registered-name.widget.com)?

A3. Sponsoring Organization Structure

A3.1 Please submit a comprehensive description of the structure and nature of the Sponsoring Organization and the manner in which that organization will conduct its operations, including policy-formulation activities. We strongly recommend retaining professional legal assistance to aid in the formulation of your Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal and accompanying documents.

A3.2 The following documents should be attached to the description:

A3.2.1. Articles or certificate of incorporation, organization, association, etc.;

A3.2.2. Bylaws or any similar organizational document or agreement between or among the organization and its shareholders or members;

A3.2.3. List of persons presently on the supervising board of directors of the organization, or, if the organization is a subsidiary, those persons on the supervising board of directors of the ultimate parent company (or to be initially on the board of directors); and

A3.2.4. Resumes for present or proposed board members (please do not include any home address or telephone numbers or other personally identifying sensitive information as part of these resumes, since the resumes will be posted on the ICANN website).

Although applicants that have not yet formed the sponsoring organization may not be in a position to provide as much detail as those who have, every effort should be made to provide as much detail as possible. The ability for the evaluators to understand the proposed sponsoring organization is critical in the evaluation of the Sponsoring Organization and structure (see Evaluation Methodology and Selection Criteria).

A4. To the extent applicable and not clear from the foregoing attached documents, please address the following topics in detail.

A4.1. Organization Information. Principal location, legal status of the organization, laws under which it is organized, type of organization (corporations with and without members, associations with and without members, intergovernmental organizations, etc.).

A4.2. Organization Structure. Size of organization, roles/duties of directors and officers and other staff, supporting and/or contributing organizations, affiliates, membership.

A4.3. Organization Purpose. Functions and mission of the organization, definition of community to be served, method of ensuring operation in the interest of the stakeholders of the community to be served and the Internet at large.

A4.4. Appropriateness of Sponsored TLD Community. Please provide detail on the community to be served and explain why the defined community to be served is appropriate for the creation of an sTLD.

A4.5. Representation. Manner in which the organization will represent and take input from the community to be served, and the categories of stakeholders or constituents to be included in the organization.

A4.6. Openness and Transparency. Measures taken to promote openness and transparency, access to information, web site use, public posting of information, meeting minutes, notice and comment provisions.

A4.7. Initial Directors, Officers and other Staff. The identity and qualifications of the initial directors, officers and staff.

A4.8. Selection of Directors, Officers, Members, Staff, etc. Eligibility, method of selection, term of service, compensation, conflicts of interest, resignation, removal, vacancies.

A4.9. Meetings and Communication. Frequency of meetings, location of meetings, provisions for telephone meetings, other methods of communication, responsibility for generation of minutes for meetings and access to the same once prepared.

A4.10. Fiscal Information. Initial budget, expenses, existing capital, sources of revenue, accounting standards applied, frequency of audit, copies of last prepared annual report and annual statement, if available.

A4.11. Indemnification from Liability. Please provide an overview of the limitation on liability of the organization, directors, officers, and staff, as applicable.

A4.12. Amendment of Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws. Procedures for making amendments to the articles of incorporation/association, bylaws, and other organizational documents.

A5. Proposed Extent of Policy-Making Authority. Please list and describe in detail the areas over which a delegation of policy-formulation authority is sought, including:

A5.1. the scope of authority sought;

A5.2. the reasons/justifications for seeking authority;

A5.3. the method of guaranteeing that your organization will administer the policy in the interest of the Internet at large;

A5.4. the means for ensuring opportunity for members of the Sponsored TLD Community to discuss and participate in such policy formulation;

A5.5. the creation of procedures for facilitating participation by a broad cross-section of the Sponsored TLD Community; and

A5.6.Whether variation from existing ICANN policies is intended during the start-up phase of the new sTLD.

A6. Proposed Policy-Making Process. Please provide a detailed description of the process for formulating policies for the TLD, including a detailed description of the requirements for adoption of different types of policy. Please also provide any proposed policies or procedures for allowing reconsideration and review of proposed or adopted policy or implementation decisions.

A7. Level of Support from Sponsored TLD Community. Please provide evidence of broad-based support from the proposed Sponsored TLD Community for the establishment of the sTLD, for the proposed Sponsoring Organization, and for the proposed policy development, implementation and maintenance process. This should be summarized in the Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal itself, but letters of support can be attached to the proposal.

ICANN may reject a proposal, however sound it may otherwise be, should ICANN receive, either as part of this proposal or independently, significant evidence of opposition to the proposal from key segments of the affected Sponsored TLD Community.

II. ADDITION OF NEW VALUE TO DNS

The purpose of this section is to describe why the introduction of the proposed new sTLD will make the Internet and the DNS more useful and more accessible to broader communities and to more end users; and why the same objective(s) cannot be achieved at the second-level of an existing TLD.

A8. Attributes of Name. Please describe to what extent the proposed name(s) of the sTLD:

A8.1 Categorizes a broad and lasting field of human, institutional, or social endeavor or activity;

A8.2 Represents an endeavor or activity that has importance across multiple geographic regions;

A8.3 Has lasting value;

A8.4 Is appropriate to the scope of the proposed Sponsored TLD Community.

A9. Enhanced Diversity of DNS. Please describe how the proposed sTLD:

A9.1 Is clearly differentiated from existing TLDs and how this differentiation will be beneficial.

A9.2 Meets needs that cannot reasonably be met at the second level of an existing TLD (e.g., widget.com instead of .widget).

A9.3. Attracts ďsupplierĒ and ďuserĒ communities to the Internet that are not already served by the DNS.

A9.4. Enhances competition in domain-name registration services, including competition with existing TLD registries.

III. REACHING AND ENRICHING BROAD GLOBAL COMMUNITIES

This section describes how the proposed new sTLD will have broad functional, geographic, and demographic impact, meeting the needs of significant global communities.

A10. Demographic Reach. Please project realistically the demographics of planned registrants and users, and the basis for these projections. As a minimum, the following information should be included: number of people and institutions served; number of potential and planned new registrants.

A11. Global Reach and Accessibility. Please indicate how the proposed sTLD will serve broad global communities, and to what extent the proposed name will have broad global meaning.

IV. PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS

This section describes how policies to be followed by the proposed new sTLD will protect and respect the rights of others, particularly with respect to ensuring that only charter-compliant individuals or entities will be able to register domain names and means of protecting the rights of those with legitimate claims on domain names, whether or not those claims lead to actual possession of domain names.

A12. Assurance of Charter-Compliant Registrations. Describe the policies for protection of intellectual property. Your response should address at least the following questions, as appropriate to the TLD:

A12.1 What measures will be taken to discourage registration of domain names that infringe intellectual property rights?

A12.2 What measures do you propose to take to ensure that only charter-compliant persons or entities are able to register domain names in the proposed new sTLD?

A12.3 If you are proposing pre-screening for potentially infringing registrations, how will the pre-screening be performed?

A12.4 What registration practices will be employed to minimize abusive registrations?

A12.5 What measures do you propose to ensure compliance (on an on-going basis) with applicable trademark and anti-cybersquatting legislation?

A12.6 Are you proposing any special protections (other than during the start-up period) for famous trademarks?

A12.7 What are your procedures for tracking applications that are deferred or denied because of eligibility concerns?

A12.8 How do you intend to monitor transfers to ensure eligibility of the registrant to which the registration is to be transferred has been confirmed?

A12.9 How do you propose to provide a complete, up-to-date, reliable, and conveniently accessible Whois database concerning registrations in the TLD?

A13. Assurance of Adequate Dispute-Resolution Mechanisms. Describe the policies for domain name and other dispute resolution. If you are proposing variations to ICANNís Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, please address the following questions:

A13.1 To what extent are you proposing to implement the ICANN Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy?

A13.2 Please describe any additional, alternative, or supplemental dispute resolution procedures you are proposing.

A14. Provision of ICANN Policy-Compliant Whois Service. Describe your proposed policies on data privacy and Whois service to the extent there is any proposed variation from ICANNís applicable Whois policies.

V. ASSURANCE OF STABLE REGISTRY OPERATION

The purpose of this section is to provide reasonable assurance that the introduction of the new sTLD will not affect the stability of the DNS, and that there will be continuity of service to existing registrants in the event of business failure of either the Sponsoring Organization or the proposed Registry Operator. The purpose is also to provide information on how ICANN-accredited registrars will relate to the proposed sTLD.

Sponsoring organizations are responsible for securing an initial Registry Operator for the proposed TLD and ensuring that the Registry Operator completes the Registry Operatorís Proposal (only required if the applicant has selected Option B in the New sTLD Application Transmittal Form. See Requirements for Registry Operatorís Proposal). Successful applicants will be responsible for entering into detailed contracts for the provision of registry operation services. These contracts should address all of the required functions as outlined in the Registry Operatorís Proposal. However, for the purposes of this application, a Letter of Commitment or proposed contract from the proposed Registry Operator will suffice.

A15. Identification of Registry Operator.

Please list the full legal name, principal address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the Registry Operator.

A16. Contract with Registry Operator.

Please attach one of the following:

  • A copy of your contract with the selected Registry Operator for provision of registry services;
  • A signed letter of commitment (or a registry services contract) from the proposed Registry Operator. The letter of commitment must indicate at a minimum (a) the willingness of the proposed Registry Operator to enter into an appropriate agreement for services with the Sponsoring Organization if the latter is successful in its application and in negotiating an agreement with ICANN; (b) the general terms and conditions of such an agreement, including its duration; (c) details of a mechanism so that in the event of business failure of the Sponsoring Organization, the rights of the Sponsoring Organization under the agreement with the Registry Operator must be assignable to ICANN for a period of at least one year; (d) the Registry Operatorís performance obligations; and (e) provisions for handling changes of the Registry Operator, non-performance, and termination.
  • A statement that the Sponsoring Organization will serve as the Registry Operator for the proposed TLD. In this case, the Sponsoring Organization must prepare and submit the Registry Operatorís Proposal in addition to the Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal.

If Option B is selected (see New sTLD Registry Operator's Proposal and the sTLD application Transmittal Form), a Registry Operatorís Proposal must accompany this application (see Requirements for Registry Operatorís Proposal [crossref]). This is not required if Option A is selected. Option A applies where the Sponsoring Organization has selected as a Registry Operator one of the Registry Operator organizations (listed in Appendix C of the Request for Proposal) with which ICANN already has entered into an agreement for the provision of registry services, provided that the chosen Registry Operator must be in compliance with all material terms of the existing agreement and presently itself responsible for the provision of the registry services under the agreement.

A17. Registration Policies

This section is used to describe the registration policies to be followed by the sponsored sTLD.

A17.1 Registrars. Describe in detail the policies for selection of, and competition among, registrars. As reflected in subsection 3.6 of the model agreement, ICANN policies generally require sponsors to ensure that all Registry Services are provided through ICANN-Accredited Registrars. There are, however, two notable exceptions: (a) Eligibility and Name-Selection Services may be provided by other means, to the extent described in the delegation of authority to the sponsor set forth in the Sponsorship Agreement and (b) during the start-up phase, a different means of providing Registry Services may be provided. In addition, the agreement specifies the extent of the Sponsorís ability to select the ICANN-Accredited Registrars that will be used for the sTLD. With these requirements in mind:

A17.1.1 How do you propose to provide Eligibility and Name-Selection Services, both during the start-up phase and afterward?

A17.1.2 Do you propose to provide registry services to registrants during the start-up phase only through ICANN-accredited registrars? If not, please state in detail how you propose to provide registry services during the start-up phase, and describe in detail the schedule and procedures for change-over to use of accredited registrars.

A17.1.3 Do you propose to allow all ICANN-accredited registrars to act as registrars for the sTLD? If not, what criteria do you propose to use in selecting registrars, and how many do you propose to select.

A17.2 Billing and Collection. Describe variations in or additions to ICANNís policies for billing and collection.

A17.3 Services and Pricing. What registration services do you propose to establish charges for and, for each such service, how much do you propose to charge?

A17.4 Start-up Period. In this section, you should thoroughly describe all policies (including implementation details) that you propose to follow during the start-up phase of registrations in the TLD, to the extent they may differ from the eligibility and name-selection services; functional or performance specifications provided for in the Model Agreement, or policies for use of ICANN-accredited registrars (see Attachments 6, 7 and 9 to the Model Agreement). The following questions highlight some of the areas that should be considered for start-up policies:

A17.4.1 How do you propose to address the potential rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? How many requested registrations do you project will be received by the Registry Operator within the first day, week, month, and quarter? What period do you believe should be considered the TLDís ďstart-up period,Ē during which special procedures should apply?

A17.4.2 Do you propose to place limits on the number of registrations per registrant? Per registrar? If so, how will these limits be implemented?

A17.4.3 Will pricing mechanisms be used to dampen a rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? If so, please describe these mechanisms in detail.

A17.4.4 Will you offer any ďsunrise periodĒ in which certain potential registrants are offered the opportunity to register before registration is open to the general public? If so, to whom will this opportunity be offered (those with famous marks, registered trademarks, second-level domains in other TLDs, pre-registrations of some sort, etc.)? How will you implement this?

A18. Signature Page

Every New sTLD Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal must terminate with a signature page containing the following affirmation:

By signing this New sTLD Sponsoring Organizationís Proposal, the undersigned certifies (a) that he or she has authority to do so on behalf of the Sponsoring Organization and, on his or her own behalf and on behalf of the Sponsoring Organization, (b) that all information contained in this proposal, and all documents attached to this proposal, is true and accurate to the best of his/her/its knowledge and information. The undersigned understands that any material misstatement or misrepresentation (or omission of material information) will reflect negatively on any application of which this proposal is a part and may cause cancellation of any delegation of a top-level domain based on such an application.

_______________________________
Signature

_______________________________
Name (please print)

_______________________________
Title

_______________________________
Name of Applicant Entity

_______________________________
Date


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