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

Prototypical answer:

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.ECOBig Room Inc.View

WHAT IS THE GOAL OF YOUR TLD IN TERMS OF AREAS OF SPECIALTY, SERVICE LEVELS, OR REPUTATION?

The .ECO Community top level domain (TLD) aims to establish the .ECO System, aggregating the .ECO-profiles of registrants, as a global trusted source of environmental information. Further, the Registry aims to be an internationally-respected TLD that follows best practices in both the Internet and Environmental communities.

In line with this global scope, developing country participation will be prioritized. Recognizing that linguistic diversity is an important part of the Global Environmental Community (the Community), the Registry plans to translate key registry information and systems into the six UN languages.

The .ECO System is also an accountability and compliance tool that will prevent fraudulent registrations and deliver accountability on member actions and commitments, particularly where a lack of transparency contributes to misleading claims about environmental goals or achievements.

II. WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE YOUR PROPOSED gTLD WILL ADD TO THE CURRENT SPACE, IN TERMS OF COMPETITION, DIFFERENTIATION, OR INNOVATION?

Big Room and the Dot ECO Global Community Organization (the Organization) believe that the .ECO System will provide a useful alternative to other TLDs. It will allow Community members to identify themselves and interact online, including with entities that are providing products and services aligned with Community values.

Currently, there is no unified way for members to identify themselves online. The .ECO System will be a unique and powerful tool, acting as a common global system for identifying members of the Community through the sharing of information about their actions and commitments. The ICANN DNS is the ideal structure to create an ECO identifier; the Internet community is global and organized in a way that reflects multi-stakeholder processes also prevalent in the environmental community.

Innovation

1. The .ECO System: Registrants will have to create a .ECO-profile on registering a .ECO domain. .ECO-profiles will consist of responses to questions about commitments to the environment and confirmation of community membership based on memberships, certifications, reporting, and other accreditations recognized by the Community.

Every Registrant’s .ECO-profile must be linked to their .ECO website. All .ECO-profiles will be publicly maintained by the Registry in an online database called the .ECO System. Together, .ECO-profiles and websites will create a unique resource of freely available, current, structured environmental data.

The following elements are also included in the .ECO System:

a) Verified .ECO-profiles: To speed .ECO domain activation and enhance existing community profiles, registrants with active public certification profiles at specified member organizations can utilize this profile as a proxy for their .ECO-profile.

b) .ECO-toolkits: Tools for calculating environmental performance, offered to registrants that want to improve their .ECO-profiles (eg, energy use or emissions calculators).

c) .ECO Trust-mark: Registrants can opt to make their .ECO website their .ECO-profile or to create a new website at their .ECO domain. If they choose the latter, they must include a .ECO logo (a trust-mark) on the website that links to their .ECO-profile, ensuring visitors to .ECO websites can discover the registrant’s .ECO-profile.

2. Platform Names: The Registry and the Organization will create a class of names reserved for community dialogue and information sharing. These ‘platform names’ may include industry sectors and keywords that will act as forums for community dialogue. (eg, finance.eco or forestry.eco).

3. Community Partnership: A collaborative process established in 2009 resulted in a new partnership between the .ECO Registry and the Community. This partnership comprises cross-board representation, the .ECO Policy Consensus, and the provision of explicit rights to an independent, not-for-profit community organization governed by community-agreed bylaws, connected to the .ECO Registry via a contract. This approach maximizes efficiency and independent multi-stakeholder community dialogue on .ECO policy.

4. Community Accountability: The Registry will layer community forums, online complaint and abuse reporting, dispute resolution, mediation, and arbitration to ensure eligibility, content, use and naming policies are enforced in a transparent and accountable way. The Registry will engage the Organization on matters requiring broader policy decisions. The Registry will conduct ‘spot-checks’ by reviewing .ECO-profiles to ensure compliance. These mechanisms are explained in an Accountability Policy. Also see Q20(e).

5. Independent Foundation: The Registry and Organization will create an independent foundation funded from sales and renewals of .ECO domains and dedicated to supporting environmental goals. Every user that registers a .ECO domain will know how much of their fee is going directly to the foundation, and users can suggest funding priorities.

III. WHAT GOALS DOES YOUR PROPOSED gTLD HAVE IN TERMS OF USER EXPERIENCE?

Community members will be able to rely on .ECO domains as a form of community identification for individuals, organizations and businesses as well as products and services they provide. In line with guidance from the .ECO Policy Consensus, the Registry’s goal will also be to inform and connect members of the Community and encourage actions that support the environment.

Registering a .ECO domain and creating a .ECO-profile will be inexpensive, user friendly, multi-lingual, and accessible to remote and⁄or slow internet connections and mobile platforms such as those in rural environments and⁄or developing countries. Community members will be able to access .ECO domains via existing registrar channels and through Community entities and networks.

Registrants and users will be able to flag exemplary or weak .ECO domains or .ECO-profiles, and suggest areas of improvement for the .ECO policies through the Organization. The Organization will provide a reliable and just accountability framework to resolve disputes in the interests of the Community.

Community members can provide information that highlights their environmental credentials, especially where this information is already public (eg, acknowledged member of an environmental alliance). Registrants can find new ways to engage and achieve Community goals.

Visitors to .ECO services will be able to understand and compare .ECO registrant qualifications and actions via their .ECO-profiles. Search engines will be able to identify the characteristics of a .ECO domain and crawl structured environmental disclosure information in the .ECO-profiles.

IV. PROVIDE A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THE APPLICANT’S INTENDED REGISTRATION POLICIES IN SUPPORT OF THE GOALS LISTED ABOVE

The following registration policy is taken from the .ECO Policy Consensus. It represents Community guidance on the registration policies for the .ECO domain and directs .ECO Registry policies, contracts, and other documents to reflect the community interest. Please also see Q20(e). The Community will continue to review and refine the .ECO Policy Consensus in accordance with the Dot ECO Global Community Organization’s contract with Big Room as the Community Registry Operator.

Registration Policy

Registration Process: When a registrant applies for a .ECO domain, they will fill out a questionnaire that is relevant to the type of use they identify for the website associated with their domain. The answers will form their .ECO-profile. Before DNS resolution is permitted for their domain, the registrant must demonstrate a commitment to the .ECO purpose, principles and policies by agreeing to the registrant agreement, which includes a commitment to the .ECO mission and purpose, affirmation of membership in the Community, and answering the mandatory .ECO-profile questions.

The Registry will prevent DNS resolution of .ECO names until such time as the registrant submits their .ECO-profile information to support their compliance with the .ECO community eligibility requirements. Provided that this step is completed, active DNS resolution will be enabled.

The Registry will employ standard registration lifecycle mechanisms, statuses, and states such as HOLD or LOCK functions, or other existing Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) commands, in order to disallow a domain to be active when a registrant is not in compliance with the community eligibility requirements or under related community dispute resolution procedures.

Use Types: Different .ECO use types will have varying impacts and potential contributions to environmental goals. Therefore, registrants will be asked to respond to different questions based on declared type of use. The five types of .ECO use initially will be: not-for-profit, business, individual, government, and product.

Not-for-profit and business may be sub-divided into categories based on a blend of indicators, including number of employees, revenue and, in the future, by resource usage.

Results of the Registration Process: Answers to the .ECO-profile registration questions will be displayed via a required link from the registrant’s .ECO website and will also be searchable through the .ECO System. Archived versions of past .ECO-profiles will also be available through the .ECO System to show progress over time, in line with the Improvement Principle.

Registration Questions: The Organization will develop a process to establish and regularly review .ECO-profile questions. The questions, which must be verifiable, will cover community-recognized memberships, accreditations, registrations, certifications, and reports that demonstrate active commitment, practice and reporting. Additional questions may: be both qualitative and quantitative; include commitments to environmental and social issues that are considered to be linked to environmental goals; and, reference robust existing environmental standards, requirements, indicators, regulations, codes, and calculators.

Registrants holding certain certifications may automatically qualify to register for .ECO domain names without providing additional details through a .ECO-profile. The Organization will establish the qualifications for certified registrations in advance and agreements with certifiers will be put in place to enable rapid, accurate validation. Certified registrants will be identified and promoted as such within the .ECO System.

Community Naming Policies

The .ECO Policy Consensus includes a Names Policy that provides Community guidance on how to align .ECO domain names with Community interests. Key points from the names policy are summarized as follows:

Premium Names - Community-priority: The Organization will approve a list of community-priority names and will work with the Registry to develop a ‘best use plan’ competition. Allocated names will be donated to the winners for a defined term. All community-priority names will be reviewed every two years against their use plans.

Premium Names - Auction-able: The Registry will publish a list of names for auction. Funds generated from these names will be used to support the Registry and the independent .ECO Foundation.

Controversial Names: While some strings could be used in a manner inconsistent with the Community’s goals, values and⁄or interests or may be highly controversial, and⁄or potentially undermine trust in the .ECO Community TLD, controversial names will not be automatically blocked. Instead, the Organization will develop a method to flag strings based on existing public policy, Community recommendations, industry sector and green-washing watch-lists, and research⁄surveys. Registrants selecting identified names will be notified that registration will be subject to additional scrutiny.

Platform Names: The Registry will reserve names that could be useful in implementing the .ECO Purpose and .ECO System (eg, names of industry sectors, environmental issues or significant nouns).

Other Policies

Other reserved names will be those required in Specification 5 of the new gTLD Registry Agreement per our response to Questions 21 and 22. The Registry’s name, operations names, and variations thereof, names related to ICANN, Internet standards bodies, and United Nations Organizations, Funds and Programs, for delegation of those names to the relevant organizations upon their request.

The complete list of reserved, platform, auction-able, community-priority, and controversial names will be published publicly prior to Sunrise. The Registry will create policies that ensure clear and fair distribution of names. For example, all employees of the Registry and its contractors will be strictly prohibited from bidding for or allocating .ECO domains.

The Registry will continue to use the Trademark Clearinghouse during general availability for notifications of new registrations only where the string is a complete match with a filing in the Trademark Clearinghouse. The Registry will address this process asynchronously to the registration process and in consideration of the technical capabilities of the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Dispute Resolution Mechanisms: Registrants and rights holders will have access to fair and transparent processes to adjudicate claims to domains that 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. See Question 29 (Rights Protection Mechanisms).

.ECO domains will be subject to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). See Question 29 (Rights Protection Mechanisms).

.ECO domains will also be subject to the Universal Rapid Suspension (URS) policy. See the URS specifications in Applicant Guidebook Module and Question 29 (Rights Protection Mechanisms) for full details. The Registry will provide systems to take in and administer cases as per ICANN’s Registrar Transfer Dispute Resolutions Policy, allowing registrars to protect registrants by filing disputes about inter-registrar transfers that they believe were unauthorized or improperly executed.

The Registry will support a Community Eligibility Dispute Resolution Process (CEDRP) aligned with the Accountability Policy described in the .ECO Policy Consensus. This dispute process can be initiated by either a member of the .ECO Community or a member of the general public to address an alleged violation of the .ECO member policies or operating requirements by a registrant or registrar.

V. 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.

The privacy and⁄or confidential information of registrants will be protected through several industry-standard measures. We will minimize the mining of WHOIS data by spammers and other parties who abuse access to the WHOIS. See Question 26 for details regarding searchable WHOIS and rate limiting.

The use of privacy services can protect the privacy and personal data of registrants from parties that mine zone files and WHOIS data. The Registry will allow these services where they comply with ICANN policies and requirements. We are also aware of and respect parties who may use privacy services to protect themselves from political or religious persecution. See Question 28 for details regarding privacy services, abuse management, as well as proposed policies to reduce e-crime by limiting the use of privacy services by malicious parties.

The Registry will notify each of our registrars regarding the purposes for which data about any identified or identifiable natural person (Personal Data) is collected and used, as well as the intended recipients of such Personal Data, as per the requirements of the new gTLD Registry Agreement (Article 2.17). Each registrar must also obtain the consent of each registrant in the TLD for such collection and use of Personal Data. We shall not use or authorize the use of Personal Data in a way that is incompatible with the notice provided to registrars.

Security policies and procedures will be used in order to protect the registry system and the data it contains from unauthorized access. As the Registry, Big Room will take significant steps to protect Personal Data from misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration, or destruction. For full details, see Question 30 (Security Policy) and Question 38 (Escrow).

Registrars must adhere to various information technology policies created to protect registrant data before obtaining accreditation for .ECO. Examples include password management protocols or standards for access to the registry system. See Question 30 (Security Policy).

In order to protect registrant’s data from unauthorized modification, domain transfers, and⁄or deletions, we will offer a registry lock service. See Question 23 (Registry Services).

The Registry will implement a privacy policy for inclusion in agreements with registrants, and⁄or users, and⁄or contractors. Key points include:

Personal Information will not be used for any other purpose without consent. The Registry will not transfer Personal Information to third parties, except for business partners who have agreed to comply with legally required privacy standards, and will use the information only for the purposes disclosed at the time of collection. The Registry may disclose Personal Information in some other limited circumstances, but will specifically describe them to registrants⁄users when we collect the information.

The Registry may disclose Personal Information to a third party without their consent if it has reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with (either intentionally or unintentionally) the Registryʹs rights or property, other registrants⁄users or anyone else that could be harmed. The Registry may also disclose Personal Information when we believe in good faith that such disclosure is required by and in accordance with the law.

The Registry will take technical, contractual, administrative, and physical security steps to protect Personal Information. We will implement procedures to ensure that Personal Information is only made available to designated staff to carry out the stated purposes communicated to registrants⁄users.

Registrants⁄users will have the right to access their Personal Information for verification. Upon receipt of a written request, the registry will provide them with a copy of their information.

VI. DESCRIBE WHETHER AND IN WHAT WAYS OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS WILL HELP TO ACHIEVE YOUR PROJECTED BENEFITS

Communication and outreach will continue to play an important role in on-going engagement for .ECO registration, policy and accountability processes. Engagement on policy will ensure .ECO reflects the Community’s goals, which will drive registrations and active use of .ECO domains. Engagement on accountability will prevent misuse of .ECO.

Communication will emphasize that the .ECO Community TLD provides a meta-platform for trusted environmental data managed in the public interest by the Community, a way to identify Community members online, and the opportunity to make community-aligned choices based on reliable information. For Community members specifically, there will also be a focus on the opportunity to identify themselves via a .ECO domain, to share their actions in support of the environment, to participate in developing .ECO policies and suggest priorities for the .ECO foundation.

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