18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.music.music LLCView

How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others? Answers should address the following points:

1. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?

Our goal is to work with members of the global music community to create a trusted, secure and restricted TLD for accredited members of the music community. The dotMusic Registry will provide qualifying registrants the opportunity to register their preferred domain name in a safe, reputable and globally accessible TLD. Registrants will be identified and validated as members of the music community through their existing and maintained membership in existing associations related to the creation and support of music.

The World Wide Web today features a large number and enormous variety of music-related websites. While our business model depends only on modest uptake in the early years, we anticipate that as the .music TLD demonstrates the trust and security of a specialized namespace over time, more and more music-related content and related economic transactions will be moved to the .music TLD from current gTLD and ccTLD domains.

• The .music TLD will meet or exceed the ICANNʹs availability requirements. The .music TLD will operate as an exemplary registry, using best practices and deploying appropriate technology to safeguard creative rights, providing end users assurance about the identity and community qualifications of the TLD’s registrants.
• The .music TLD will use a variety of online scanning tools that search for key words that are commonly used to signal the availability of music distributed without appropriate authorization or in violation of intellectual property rights to aid in mitigating copyright infringement for the music community in general.
• The .music TLD will maintain a reputable marketplace for end-users through our general abuse policies and their active enforcement.

2. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

Among ICANN’s core values is a fundamental commitment to “Introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain names where practicable and beneficial in the public interest.” The dotMusic Registry will be a new direct competitor to the current group of global generic TLDs, offering an entirely music-focused environment and branding. Our business plan is to serve musicians in economically-developed, as well as key growing international markets, who will benefit from a TLD registry dedicated to address the unique needs of its community.

The dotMusic Registry’s differentiation will be “supporting and sustaining musical creativity through respect for intellectual property”. More than any of the current community-focused gTLD registries, we will provide end-users a domain space that assures them of the community qualifications and identity of a registrant. The reputation of that registrant is tied to their domain registration through verification of their membership standing by their applicable music association. The dotMusic Registry will directly verify a registrant’s affiliation with a qualifying music association member both at initial application and through annual reviews of each association. Intrinsically, this adds the reputational weight of many music associations (through our .music registrants) to that of the domain name.

The dotMusic Registry’s innovation will focus on two areas: 1) The restricted registrant participation of our string, which we believe is an ideal combination of inclusiveness for all music associations and their members AND validation of community standing, and 2) Our enhanced abuse management programs to ensure the sustainability of the artist and songwriter through protection of their creations.

New gTLD registries have largely focused on North America and European marketplaces. Since music is the “universal language”, as the dotMusic Registry, we will offer the .music TLD to international markets, with the goal of a truly global distribution of registrants. To further serve the international market, the dotMusic Registry may at its option, offer the IDN equivalents of .music in other scripts⁄languages.

Our intent is to operate .music with a focus on trust and security for the .music brand. This entails running a robust rights protection program from initiation, which in our case meets - and significantly exceeds - ICANN’s requirements. We will engage an abuse-detection and prevention team, as well as bring on board an experienced and disciplined management team. These, along with other strong provisions (detailed in our answers to 28, 29 and 30), will enable us to act where registrars are remiss in their responsibilities. The dotMusic Registry will have the potential to set new standards for the reduction and mitigation of domain abuse.

3. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

The purpose of .music is to provide an online “home” to registrants identified as members of the .music community to hold active registrations for their name or online identity⁄brand The Internet user will know that they are dealing with a registrant that is identity-verified and compliant in their use and distribution of intellection property. This assurance allows Internet users of the .music TLD to have high expectations of trust and security regarding content purchased or consumed. These are intrinsic in the qualifications associated with our defined community.

The dotMusic Registry will deploy DNS Security Extensions, also known as DNSSEC, for the .music TLD. DNSSEC will help prevent data integrity attacks, and the risk of users being diverted or hijacked to malicious or unsafe sites, which often are involved in identify theft. DNSSEC deployment will ensure that visitors to .music domain names are in fact reaching their intended website and not subject to malicious activity such as phishing or identity theft. We will also abide by all policies and practices required by ICANN in the Registry Agreement and⁄or via any Consensus Policy.

In support of this registration requirement, we make a firm commitment to protecting users of our TLD and to maintaining the TLD as a reputable space. Our .music will have powerful policies and procedures for dealing with abusive registrations, and the illegal or malicious use of domain names. We describe those plans fully in our response to Question 28 (“Abuse Prevention and Mitigation”).

The introduction of .music will include a rollout planned with a primary goal of protecting trademark rights and intellectual property. We describe those plans fully in our responses to Question 18(c) and Question 29 (“Rights Protection Mechanisms”).

Users of the .music TLD will also have the use of the WHOIS service; registrants and other contacts will have their contact details available via WHOIS. Please see our answer to Question 26 regarding “searchable WHOIS” and rate-limiting. Limiting the mining of WHOIS data will mitigate spammers and other malicious parties who abuse access to WHOIS services by mining the data for their own illegitimate purposes.

Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.

Musical artists, musicians, songwriters and music professionals who are validated members of a qualifying music association will be permitted to register second level names (name, online identity⁄brand) in the .music TLD. As such, the TLD will have a restricted registration policy so that Internet users are assured that a .music registrant is in fact a member of at least one or more Member Organizations in the Global Music Community. The TLD is supported by music organizations and associations from around the globe, and will be available to registrants in all areas of the world. Since many qualifying music associations themselves are global in nature and⁄or accept membership from individuals globally, we anticipate rapid international participation. Domain registrations may be accepted, but will not resolve until the registrant has been identified and validated as a member of the music community via their membership in at least one existing association related to the creation and support of music. Second level .music domain names can be registered by individuals, businesses and not-for-profit entities.

Members of the community of musical artists, musicians, songwriters, and music professionals have highly varying needs and use websites in a wide variety of ways. In addition, because .music will operate as a global registry from inception, formatting flexibility is required to accommodate bandwidth constraints that may be experienced in the developing world. Accordingly, the registry will not mandate any particular formatting or usage. Registrants must, however, hold valid rights to all materials displayed on and⁄or distributed through their specific site. We anticipate this will result in innovative and creative websites by .music registrants.

Reserved Names:

In .music we will reserve the following classes of domain names, which will not be available to registrants via the Sunrise or subsequent periods:

• The reserved names required in Specification 5 of the new gTLD Registry Agreement.
• The geographic names required in Specification 5 of the new gTLD Registry Agreement, and as per our response to Question 21. See our response to Question 22 (“Protection of Geographic Names”) for details.
• The registry operator will reserve its own name and variations thereof, and registry operations names (such as nic.music, and registry.music,), so that we can point them to our Web site. Reservation of the registry operator’s names was standard in ICANN’s past gTLD contracts.
• We will also reserve names related to ICANN and Internet standards bodies (iana.music, ietf.music, www.music, etc.), for delegation of those names to the relevant organizations upon their request. Reservation of this type of name was standard in ICANN’s past gTLD contracts.
The list of reserved names will be published publicly before the Sunrise period begins, so that registrars and potential registrants will know which names have been set aside.

Premium Names:

• The dotMusic Registry will also designate a set of “premium names,” which will be set aside for distribution via special mechanisms. Premium names have been a standard feature of gTLD and ccTLD rollouts since 2005. The list of premium names will be published publicly before the Sunrise period begins, so that registrars and potential registrants will know which names have been set aside.
• Premium names will be distributed by application only. We will accept applications that describe intended use of a given premium name that best supports the development of the .music community consistently with its defining criteria. The policies and procedures for receiving, reviewing, and awarding premium name applications will be posted on the .music web site in advance, based on input from the .music Policy Advisory Board. We will create policies and procedures that ensure clear, consistent, fair, and ethical distribution of names. For example, all employees of the dotMusic Registry operator, and its contractors, will be strictly prohibited from bidding in auctions for domains in the TLD. As an additional protection for Rights Holders we will continue to use the Trademark Clearinghouse during General Availability (Trademark Claims Service) for an additional 60 days, for notifications of new registrations only where the string is a complete match with a filing in the Trademark Clearinghouse. Additionally, we will address this process asynchronously to the registration process and in consideration of the technical capabilities⁄limitations of the Trademark Clearinghouse, once an implementation model for the Clearinghouse has been finalized.

Dispute Resolution Mechanisms:

• Registrants and rights holders will have access to several dispute mechanisms. These are fair and transparent processes to adjudicate claims to domain names, and they also protect registrants against reverse domain hijacking.
• Names registered in the Sunrise Period will be subject to a Sunrise Dispute Policy. This policy and procedure will be in effect for a finite time period, to provide special protection of qualified trademark rights. Please see our response to Question 29 (“Rights Protection Mechanisms”) for full details.
• As required by ICANN, .music domains will be subject to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Please see our response to Question 29 (“Rights Protection Mechanisms”) for full details.
• As required by ICANN, .music domains will also be subject to the Universal Rapid Suspension (URS) policy. See the URS specifications in Applicant Guidebook Module 5. Please see our answer to Question 29 (“Rights Protection Mechanisms”) for full details about how we will provision for our URS responsibilities.
• We will provision systems to take in and administrate cases as per ICANN’s Registrar Transfer Dispute Resolutions Policy ( http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄en⁄transfers⁄dispute-policy-12jul04.htm ) This process will allow registrars to protect registrants by filing disputes about inter-registrar transfers that they believe were unauthorized or improperly executed.
• MEDRP: .music will support the Music Eligibility Dispute Resolution Requirements Procedure. This dispute mechanism will be available to members of the .music community and end-users to file claims against registrants of the .music domain for violations of the .music eligibility and use community rules and policies. We will select an adjudication service from the list of ICANN approved arbitrators to facilitate MEDRP claims (please see Q28 and Q29 for further details).

Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.

We will have several measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users.

• Please see our answer to Question 26 regarding “searchable WHOIS” and rate-limiting. That section contains details about how we will limit the mining of WHOIS data by spammers and other parties who abuse access to the WHOIS.
• Please also see our answer to Question 28, regarding the use of proxy and privacy services. We will allow the use of such services, where they comply with ICANN policies and requirements, which can protect the privacy and personal data of registrants from spammers and other parties that mine zone files and WHOIS data. If ICANN establishes a privacy⁄proxy service accreditation program, registrars will be required to use accredited providers only. We are aware that there are parties who may use privacy services to protect themselves from political or religious persecution, and we respect this need. In Question 28, we also describe our proposed policies to limit the use of privacy and proxy services by malicious parties, thereby reducing e-crime within the TLD.
• As per the requirements of the new gTLD Registry Agreement (Article 2.17), we shall notify each of our registrars regarding the purposes for which data about any identified or identifiable natural person (“Personal Data”) submitted to the Registry Operator by such registrar is collected and used, and the intended recipients (or categories of recipients) of such Personal Data. (This data is basically the registrant and contact data required to be published in the WHOIS.) We will also require each registrar to obtain the consent of each registrant in the TLD for such collection and use of Personal Data. As the registry operator, we shall not use or authorize the use of Personal Data in a way that is incompatible with the notice provided to registrars.
• As the registry operator we shall take significant steps to protect Personal Data collected from registrars from loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration, or destruction. In our responses to Question 30 (“Security Policy”) and Question 38 (“Escrow”) we detail the security policies and procedures we will use to protect the registry system and the data contained there from unauthorized access and loss.
• As registry operator we plan to use ICANN accredited registrars who agree to a variety of information technology policies and procedures designed to verify registrant eligibility, validate registrant contact data, and protect registrant data from unauthorized access, use, or alteration. These may include standards for access to the registrar and registry system, password management protocols. Please see our response to Question 30 (“Security Policy”) for details.

• We also plan to offer a “registry lock” service, designed to help protect participating registrants’ contact data from unauthorized modification, and against unauthorized domain transfers and deletions. Please see Questions 23 (“Registry Services”) for details.

Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

Our goal for .music is to create a trusted brand and secure name space for accredited members of the .music community. To achieve this, we will emphasize distribution channels internationally – not just in one or more focused regions. Our business plans call for focused outreach through our accredited community associations, who in connection with verifying registrant eligibility, may interact directly with ICANN-accredited registrars that have demonstrated their ability and willingness to adhere to the .music standards. As part of that relationship development, we will design our communication approach to initially target those accredited music associations seeking to work with registrars to distribute .music domains as potential resellers to their members.

We anticipate that ICANNʹs outreach and communications program will benefit all new gTLDs. Media coverage about the availability of new TLDs will validate and reinforce our efforts. The more that members of the .music community understand that new TLDs are available, the faster they are likely to adopt our .music registrations and other new TLDs.

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gTLDFull Legal NameDetail