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C19. Please describe in detail mechanisms that you propose to implement to ensure compliance with ICANN-developed policies and the requirements of the registry agreement.

Registry Compliance

The DotOrg Foundation plans to fully comply with ICANN policies, including the requirements of the ICANN Registry Agreement and the .org TLD registrar-registry agreement ("RRA") to be executed between the DotOrg Foundation and ICANN-accredited registrars.  Any deviation of the .org RRA from the current RRA in place for new gTLDs will be negotiated by the DotOrg Foundation and ICANN.  In short, the Foundation will be legally bound to comply with current ICANN policies and future policies developed through the ICANN consensus process per 4.4 of the ICANN Registry Agreement.  The Foundation will be prepared, per its agreement with ICANN, to submit to independent audits of such compliance.

The DotOrg Foundation will have the resources and informed guidance of a Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and staff, including legal and policy counsel, to ensure implementation of ICANN policies.  The DotOrg Foundation will require Registry Advantage or any other vendors delivering registry services to likewise comply, and it will have the staff and processes designed to oversee their compliance with ICANN policies and the requirements of the Registry Agreement and the RRA.  In fact, the DotOrg Foundation has already insisted on the right to require its vendors to supply such information as may be needed for audits, which would be used to monitor compliance.  See Attachment F1.

In an important sense, compliance with ICANN policies is already in place today.  The DotOrg Foundation vendor for registry services - Registry Advantage – has extensive operational experience in managing DNS-related entities consistently with ICANN’s policies and technical management responsibilities.

Vendor Experience enabling Compliance

The DotOrg Foundation will require Registry Advantage to implement ICANN policies, including equal treatment of all registrars using the system, protection of registrars’ confidential information, registrars’ equal access to the Whois database, compliance of the registration system with the UDRP, compliance with privacy issues, and other such registry issues.  The Foundation will oversee such implementation; but the experiences of Registry Advantage and described below illustrate that the Foundation can rely on Registry Advantage’s existing knowledge of and compliance with ICANN policies:

  • was the first testbed registrar to register .com, .net and .org domain names, and as such, helped to shape initial domain name registration policies and practices. has operated for over four years consistently with ICANN’s technical and policy management. 
  • Registry Advantage participates in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working groups on technical management of the DNS, in particular working on the evolving next generation registry-registrar protocol.  Registry Advantage will continue such collaboration in order to ensure continued compliance with IETF policies and protocols.
  • was instrumental in two successful new gTLD registry bids - .info and .pro – whose accomplishment relied upon – and whose implementation continues to rely on - understanding and compliance with ICANN policies. 
  • As the registry operator for RegistryPro’s .pro gTLD, Registry Advantage must already comply with the requirements of the ICANN Registry Agreement, including the appendices thereto.  Registry Advantage’s systems and facilities have been built with those specifications in mind, and its staff trained to comply with Equal Access and Code of Conduct restrictions.  Since the .pro Registry Agreement is substantially similar to the .org model Registry Agreement, Registry Advantage is prepared at the outset to offer the level of compliance that ICANN would need. 
  • In order to operate the .org TLD in a manner that is consistent with ICANN’s function and responsibilities, Registry Advantage has agreed to DotOrg Foundation oversight of vendor compliance. 
  • Finally, Registry Advantage already offers technical, billing and customer service operations for ccTLD registries consistently with ICANN’s policies and technical management of the DNS.

Key ICANN Policies and Mechanisms to Comply

Among the ICANN policies embodied within the requirements of the registry agreement, it is useful to highlight some key compliance measures that the registry and its sub-contractors will meet:

  • Operate and maintain in a stable and secure manner the authoritative primary and secondary name servers of the .org, TLD adequate to resolve names within .org for users throughout the Internet, and any sub-domains over which they retain administrative authority, and ensure that the zone file and accurate and up-to-date registration data is continuously available to ICANN for purposes of verifying and ensuring the operational stability of the .org domain.  The DotOrg Foundation has insisted in its vendor agreement and commitment letter (see Attachment F1) that Registry Advantage’s technical commitments in the final, signed Services Agreement meet ICANN requirements.
  • Inform ICANN in a timely manner of any changes to .org TLD's contact information held by ICANN.  Same commitment.
  • Ensure the safety and integrity of the registry database, including the establishment of a data escrow for the registry data.  Same commitment.
  • Abide by ICANN developed policies concerning: interoperability of .org with other parts of the DNS and Internet; operational capabilities and performance of the registry; and the obtaining and maintenance of, and public access to, accurate and up-to-date contact information for .org registrants.  Same commitment.
  • Provide an interactive web page and centralized Whois service, with public query-based access to a real time updated database. Operate the centralized, authoritative and shared database of .org domain names, in compliance a new service level agreement.  Update the database, per commands received through registrars.  Same commitment.
  • Pay the registry’s contribution to ICANN's cost of operation in accordance with an equitable scale, based on ICANN's total funding requirements (including reserves), developed by ICANN on the basis of consensus.  The DotOrg Foundation will sign a Registry Agreement requiring it to pay such contribution, and has already accounted for the current level of ICANN fees in its budget.
  • Comply with the UDRP or other applicable dispute policies, including providing for registry hold or take down of domain name registrations as appropriate.  In doing so, the registry will cooperate with WIPO and ICANN.  As an existing TLD, .org does not require a Sunrise Period of the type implemented by new TLDs.  The DotOrg Foundation will monitor intellectual property developments, including any new Whois requirements, and implement new ICANN policies or require Registry Advantage to implement such policies in providing the Registry Function.
  • Provide equivalent access to registrars and charge them equal fees.  The DotOrg Foundation expects to sign a Registry Agreement and RRAs with registrars requiring these commitments.  Under the Foundation’s oversight, Registry Advantage will operate a registry system that provides equivalent access.  Moreover, Registry Advantage’s commitments to 24/7 technical support for registrars, provision of toolkits, staged transition plan, and high level service level commitments will ensure that no registrar faces undue hurdles in access and operability.

Finally, other appropriate ICANN consensus policies, such as those relating to dispute resolution, stability, innovation, and competition, may directly effect ICANN’s technical management of the DNS.  The DotOrg Foundation and its vendors will also abide by such policies.

Registrar Compliance

Not only will the DotOrg Foundation make commitments necessary to comply with ICANN policies, it will sign contracts with participating registrars, based on the current registry-registrar agreements found in Exhibit F to the current gTLD contracts, such that registrars’ compliance with ICANN policies will also be mandated.


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