18(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.galAsociación puntoGALView

The Pre-launch, Launch and General Availability phases of the .gal TLD are designed to minimize social costs and negative externalities.

The community-based approach of the .gal TLD (please see answers to Q20 below for more details), with its rules for Elegibility, Name Selection, Accepted Use and vigorous Enforcement practices (see answer to Q29 below for additional details) ensure that trademark owners and other right holders will not face the usual costs of monitoring, and defending against abuses. Nor would they feel impelled to defensively register their names, identities, products, services or brands in the .gal TLD to prevent abuses.

The .gal Registry will furthermore implement vigorous and comprehensive general malicious conduct (see answer to Q28 below for additional details) prevention and mitigation policies to minimize the number, importance and effects of abuses harming the general users.

The different registration phases protect potential registrants and potentially affected parties while maximizing the value of the name space to its registrants and users.
This approach is based on the premise that extensive screening efforts by the Registry in the early stages will create a fair and orderly name space with lower compliance costs in the long term.

In phases and areas where the first-come-first-served principle tends to yield perverse results, alternative modes are used. These include:

1) A pioneer name program and name space mandate program. These programs adjudicate domain names based on an open and transparent project selection process. This process is highly economical in terms of social costs and yields substantial external benefits.
The pioneer name and name space mandate programs are part of the the .gal TLD outreach program. It begins before delegation of the TLD. In terms of workload, it mainly affects proposers who themselves are required to demonstrate support for their projects. Support will be required to come from the segment of the community concerned with the respective portion of the name space. Given the high value of the resulting on-line resources for the community and the public interest, and given the economic benefits that can be derived from their operation, the administrative effort is largely justified. To further protect affected parties, all adjudications in this phase have a safety-valve clause, allowing for later adjustments based on community input. The principle of the safety-valve is that affected parties can obtain adjustments to a component of a mandate if they propose (and commit to) an improved use of the underlying domain names from a public interest perspective.

2) Launch phase: there will be a long, single launch phase (simultaneous sunrise and landrush) based on domain applications. Domain applications are not domain registrations: multiple applications are accepted for any domain name. (By contrast, only a single registration can exist for a given domain.)

All applications are published on the Whois service. Applicants mark their prior rights, if any, in the application. There are four categories: entities which specific goal is to promote Galician language and culture; trademark-based applications; previous online content in Galician; and no prior rights.

For a given domain, the highest priority applications will be validated with respect to the claimed priority right. If there is more than one application for the same domain in a given category (or subcategory), a contention resolution process begins. The contention resolution process allows agreement between contenders (withdrawal and refund of application), random selection (if all contenders agree), mediation and arbitration and, as a tie-breaker of last resort, auction. In most circumstances, the agreement or auction are the cheapest solution for affected parties and are likely to be selected. The options available are thus designed to promote quiet resolution at minimal effort, yet allowing the appropriate differentiated handling of exceptional cases where the quiet mechanisms (withdrawal and auction) could lead to perverse results. These mechanisms have arguably the lowest social costs and the highest public benefits while protecting individual stakeholders from excessive burdens.


Answers to enumerated question points:

c) i. How will multiple applications for a particular domain name be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first-come⁄first- serve basis?

As described above, during pre-launch and launch phase, the first-come⁄first-served principle is NOT applied. If there is more than one application for the same domain in a given category (or subcategory), a contention resolution process begins. The contention resolution process allows agreement between contenders (withdrawal and refund of application), random selection (if all contenders agree), mediation and arbitration and, as a tie-breaker of last resort, auction.

c) ii. Explain any cost benefits for registrants you intend to implement (e.g., advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts).

The focus of the .gal TLD is bottom-line cost to registrants and stakeholders, not the direct per-unit cost. The bottom-line cost is greatly reduced thanks by avoiding contention between legitimate community-based applicants and speculators.

c) iii. Note that the Registry Agreement requires that registrars be offered the option to obtain initial domain name registrations for periods of one to ten years at the discretion of the registrar, but no greater than ten years. Additionally, the Registry Agreement requires advance written notice of price increases. Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation? If so, please describe your plans.

Asociación puntoGAL is committed to providing domain name registration services in accordance with the requirements, notices and periods set forth in the Registry Agreement. The .gal TLD will be based on predictability regarding pricing. The .gal TLD Registry-Registrar Agreement will not contain specific or non-standard clauses regarding price escalation between the .gal Registry and its registrars.

The .gal TLD business plan is designed to avoid any future necessity to increase registration price in real terms. The fundamental principle is prudence: starting from conservative price levels and gradually lowering them. This method ensures sufficient financial reserves, favors optimal allocation of domain names, helps prevent misuse and supports an orderly registration process.

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