18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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.inc intends to be an open gTLD for those who believe that a name itself can make a difference.
The .inc Registry believes in the economic and social value of a broadly generic namespace whose meaning will be defined by the users and registrants of the domains rather than predetermined by the Registry. The vision of the Registry is that the availability of .inc TLD as a distinct, attractive new frontier for the Internet challenges the prevailing mindset within and beyond the industry, which in turn serves to foster innovations with prospects of redefining how namespaces can be imagined.
The mission and purposes of the .inc Registry are:
1. To operate the .inc TLD as an open namespace that is globally recognized as a frontier and platform for Inter-connectivity, Internet activity and development;
2. To promote a socially responsible approach for the development of the .inc namespace that balances the respect for the rights of others with fostering innovation;
3. To encourage the creative use of domain names and to enhance consumer choice with the acceptance that names can represent value in and of themselves; and,
4. To preserve and advance the security and stability of the Internet and the DNS in the operation of a economically viable and socio-technically sustainable registry.
Many feel that “value” is created only with the content and services served under a domain, while the domain name itself is purely an address providing means for navigating, or occasionally “categorizing”, the Internet. The .inc Registry challenges that mindset with a proposition that domain names can be substance itself, echoing Marshall McLuhan’s celebrated observation that “the medium is the message”.
The Registry intends to offer “.inc” domain names for open registrations. Nevertheless, the Registry understands and acknowledges that the string “inc” is used as a short form of “incorporated” and a form of registered legal entity in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Philippines. What is important to note is that the collective represents a minority in the global context based on their collective population, Internet users as well as size of the economies as compared to the world at large (further analysis provided in #18c).
Even though this represents a minority community, the Registry is committed to take strong measures to curb abusive registrations that exploit this. These include, in addition to standard Rights Protection Mechanisms, comprehensive extra reservation and Sunrise processes, prolonged priority periods, special claims and notification procedures that aim to ensure a stable and orderly launch of the .inc TLD into the technical and social fabric of the Internet (further discussions are included in #18c and #29).
In addition, to its mission and vision, as a new gTLD, the Registry believes in its responsibility as a responsible industry participant to advance competition, enhance consumer trust and promote consumer choice with the development of the TLD:
A. Advance Constructive Competition
A critical feature of the DNS, with a single authoritative root, is in its maintenance of global uniqueness of names. As a broad generic TLD, “.inc” presents itself as an attractive alternative to existing generic TLDs. While the Registry believes that .inc would likely attract serious business users, we further believe in allowing the users of “.inc” to ultimately define what it means to them. The meaning of words and phrases changes over time. And in the context of a broad generic TLD, we believe that not pre-determining what it fully stands for may in fact be better.
As a good example, “.com” which was intended to mean “commerce” is perceived by many internet users as possibly meaning “company”, “communications”, “computer” and others. The .inc Registry aspires to let end users and registrants define what “.inc” means to them. Through which, the Registry aims to advance constructive competition by providing a fully open and broadly generic namespace, which in turn challenges the prevailing mindset about top-level domain names, which often believes either in a category-based notion or a TLD agnostic view.
The .inc Registry imagines a new possibility where a TLD represents a meaningful part of a domain name expressing a deliberate choice for an identity. For example, “Monsters Inc” was the name of a feature film from Disney, and “monsters.inc” would be a good domain for the movie even when “Monsters Inc” is not actually a registered incorporation. The Registry believes in opening up further opportunities for creative development of .inc names.
B. Enhance Consumer Trust
The .inc Registry is dedicated to ensuring a secure and stable TLD platform (technology infrastructure) as well as an orderly introduction of the TLD (policies) to enhance consumer trust for the Internet and the DNS. The Registry will put in place Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPM #29) and Abuse Prevention & Mitigation (APM #28) policies above and beyond the standard ICANN requirements described in Specification 7 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement. Furthermore, the Registry believes in maintaining an open TLD with broad appeal without predetermining
Strong and comprehensive RPM and APM policies serves to curb abusive registrations and enhance consumer trust. At the same time, overly restrictive or protective policies would mean a bias in favour of corporations and vested interests, which goes against consumer trust. Therefore, the Registry believes in a balanced 3-prong approach:
1. Thorough set of startup processes, along with robust and effective procedures, will be put in place to ensure that prior rights of others are protected through priority registrations by eligible registrants (including duly registered “inc.” designated companies);
2. Open registrations with equitable allocation processes (non-chaotic contention resolution processes during startup, and first-come-first-served approach upon GoLive) that do not compromise the integrity of the registry (including special considerations for reserving names of duly registered “inc.” designated companies)
3. Ongoing abuse prevention mechanisms including the use of standard RPM dispute resolution processes, as well as additional claims and notification processes (especially for duly registered “inc.” designated companies).
Together, protective startup mechanisms, open and equitable allocation processes as well as ongoing measures to mitigate against abuse, provides the foundation that enhances consumer trust.
C. Promote Consumer Choice
As an open gTLD, the .inc Registry believes in promoting consumer choice by offering a broadly generic name for registration. Furthermore, the Registry believes that the registrants and end users of “.inc” domains will eventually define what “.inc” means. This promotes consumer choice of how a gTLD can be used and what it represents.
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