A. General Description of the Application
  1. TLD String(s) Requested.
  2. Category.

    The Museim Domain Management Association (“MDMA”) requests the .museum TLD to support accredited museums worldwide. MDMA targets a restricted registrant base, broad end user group and focuses primarily on non-commercial uses. MDMA qualifies for the special purpose category.
  3. Sponsor, Registry Operator and Subcontractor.
    a. Sponsor. MDMA is a newly formed not-for-profit membership organization. The Founder Members are the International Counsel of Museums ("ICOM") and the J. Paul Getty Trust. ICOM is a non-governmental organization created in 1946 by the United Nations' Economic and Social Counsel to represent the interests of museums worldwide. ICOM currently has approximately 15,000 members in 147 countries. The J. Paul Getty Trust operates the J. Paul Getty Museum and claims to have a long established commitment to the museum community. All applicants for the .museum TLD must fall within ICOM's definition of a museum.
    b. Registry Operator. CORE Internet Council of Registrars ("CORE") is a not-for-profit association organized under Swiss law, with its principal address in Geneva, Switzerland. CORE is an association in which its members have coordinated a technical framework while retaining their own marketing and customer service functions. CORE currently acts as an ICANN accredited registrar and utilizes a shared registrations system ("SRS") which allows its members to register domains under .com, .net and .org. This SRS is based on a model originally designed for use by a registry and manages over 800,000 domains. Before commencing registry operations, CORE plans to create a separate not-for-profit entity through which registry operations will be run. It intends to have two separate membership processes, separate supervisory bodies and separate staff, however, both organizations will have rights to use the CORE SRS.
    c. Subcontractor. CORE does not expect to outsource any function accounting for more than 10% of operations to any single operator.
  4. Registry-Registrar Model.
    The MDMA intends that registrants in the .museum TLD will deal directly with the registrar and not with the registry except in certain limited situations.

B. Technical Review
  1. Summary Description of Proposal.
    The proposal suggests creation of a .museum TLD to support accredited museums worldwide. The registry would be run by CORE using a fat registry model. The proposal does not suggest any significant changes in how registries are run, beyond adopting the existing CORE alternative to the NSI methods.
  2. Support of the Business Plan by the Technical Plan.
    a. Total Capacity. Total capacity is estimated in the 20,000-50,000 range. The resources proposed are more than adequate to support that level, and the rationale for assuming that range seems sound.
    b. Projected Growth Rate. Slow and never very large. Again, the rationale for this expectation seems sound.
    c. Startup Period. They anticipate no problems, based on their expectation of limited use.
    d. Fault Tolerance. Reasonably solid, probably acceptable for the purpose.
    e. Security. Reasonably sound, probably acceptable for the purpose.
  3. Summary of Relevant Experience.
    CORE will run the facilities. It and their members are overqualified to do so, based on running registries with hundreds of thousands to millions of domains. They also have strong experience in developing registry software.
  4. Apparent Implementation Risks.
    There appear to be few technical risks. There seems little doubt that the proposer can handle any likely load or new requirements if the TLD is successful.
  5. Available of Human, Operational and Technical Resources to Cope with Unexpected Events.
    More than adequate resources are available to cope with surprises. The backing of CORE ensures that the registry will be well supported.
  6. Advancing the State of the Art.
    This proposal makes no technical advances to the state of the art.
  7. Other Comments.
    A solid, professional technical plan that is likely to work as expected.

C. Business Review
  1. Applicant’s Representations.
    The MDMA was organized to form, maintain and operate a top-level domain for the benefit of the global community of museums. The MDMA has two Founder Members, ICOM and the J. Paul Getty Trust. In addition to these founding members, two classes of voting members and one class of non-voting members will be established.

    CORE is a non-profit association of ICANN-accredited registrars, with a registrar business itself. It does not currently have any employees of its own for its registrar activity due its outsource arrangements with its members. CORE’s mission is to develop and operate standards and coordinating mechanisms for the central management of Internet domain registrations in the public trust on a not-for-profit basis. There are 200 of CORE’s members’ staff concerned with CORE domain registrations. CORE reported revenues of $1.7 million for the six-months ended June 30, 2000 and net assets of negative $1.1 million at June 30, 2000.

    The revenue model for the registry is cost-recovery. Eligibility for the .museum TLD, a restricted domain, is based on the ICOM definition of museum. There are an estimated 40,000 institutions and organizations worldwide that will immediately qualify for the .museum TLD.
  2. ICANN’s Evaluation.
    The strengths of the application lie in (1) the Founder Members’ international representation in the museum community, (2) the strong financial resources of the founding members, (3) the notion of authenticity that the .museum TLD will bring to the registrants, and (4) the operator’s registrar experience. Application weaknesses include a weaker discussion of the demand and revenue model compared to other applicants in this category. This application also does not contain financial projections. Overall, this application could lead to a successful new TLD given the funding of the sponsors, the technical background of the operator and the altruistic purposes of the TLD.

D. Summary of Public Comments
  1. Number of Comments.
  2. Support for the Application.
    .museum TLD would offer “a significant database of information that [is] readily accessible and recognizable.”

    Numerous other comments posted in support of the .museum TLD.
  3. Opposition to Application.
    Existing TLDs are adequate to deal with the needs of museums.

    “.musea” would cause confusion with a French non-profit music label.
  4. Substantive Comments and/or Questions.

[1]Preferred TLD.