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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.istIstanbul Metropolitan MunicipalityView

Registrars and Registrants

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (the ʺIMMʺ) will offer all registrars that are accredited by ICANN and certified by its registry service provider the opportunity to register domain names in the proposed TLDs. The IMM will not restrict the number of qualifying registrars that may register names in the proposed TLDs and will treat all qualifying registrars equally.

Domain name registrants may select their registrar of choice for the purpose of registering a domain name in the proposed TLD. The IMM will not deal directly with domain name registrants.

Registry Registrar Agreement

Any registrars seeking to register domain names in the proposed TLD will be required to execute a Registry Registrar Agreement (ʺRRAʺ), which will govern the relationship between the registrar and the IMM. The agreement will specify the services (i) that IMM will provide for the registrars, such as domain name registration services, and full-database Whois functionality; and (ii) for which registrars will be responsible, such as providing all customer support functions for domain name registrants.

The RRA will also incorporate a code of conduct encompassing the policies described in this proposal, and a prohibition on the use of the Whois database to send unsolicited e-mail to registrants, to solicit registrants by telephone or to use the database for other commercial purposes. As part of the RRA, each registrar will be required to demonstrate that it can comply with the technical and administrative requirements of the back-end registry providerʹs code of conduct. The RRA will provide that registrars may not hold themselves out to the public as eligible to submit registrations to the Company until they have demonstrated such compliance to the Companyʹs satisfaction.
The RRA will also mandate that each registrar enter into a registration agreement with domain name registrants, who will agree to waive any and all claims against the registry.

Furthermore, RRA will also prohibit the purchase of domain names by registrars for any purpose except instances where the registrar has a bona fide intent to use that domain name on its own behalf. This provision is in accordance with ICANNʹs current policies to prevent registrars from engaging in the wholesale purchase and sale of domain name registrations for their own accounts or the accounts of others.

Termination of Registrar

The RRA will enable the IMM to reject registration requests from a registrar that is not in compliance with the RRA or any IMM policy. IMM will continue to reject such requests until the registrar ceases its non-compliance. In the event that such non-compliance continues, IMM will have the right to terminate the RRA. When the RRA is terminated by the IMM for any reason, the proposed TLD domain name registrations managed by that registrar will be reallocated to other registrars in accordance with any applicable ICANN policy and back-end registry provider policy.

Fees, Rebates and Marketing Fund

IMM does not intend to charge any accreditation or licensing fee to registrars that execute a Registry Registrar Agreement (ʺRRAʺ). The IMM believes that minimizing entry barriers and encouraging all ICANN-accredited registrars to register domain names in the proposed TLD will help IMM create demand for the TLD and thereby enhance the validity of the TLD as a true proof of concept.

IMM will require each registrar to maintain an account with the its registry service provider. The beginning monthly balance of such account should reflect the expected number of monthly domain name registrations submitted by the registrar. Back-end registry provider on behalf of IMM will collect registration fees from registrars.

In addition, all registrars, whether registrars of back-end registry provider located in Turkey or not, will receive the same services from back-end registry provider and IMM at the same price. The IMM is committed to equal treatment of all registrars, to ensure that registrars compete in the proposed TLDs based on the services they offer and the fees they charge.

The IMM will intend to initiate an annual rebate program. This rebate program is intended to permit all registrars registering names in the new TLD to share in the profits associated with the operation of the registry. Assuming that the IMM has sufficient cash for distribution, registrars registering domain names in the TLD in any given year will be entitled to a cash rebate based on the volume of such registrations.

Finally, the IMM will intend to make a marketing development fund program on a yearly basis after the third year of TLD operations to support its Registrars and⁄or their affiliates and their resellersʹ marketing activities and strategies. IMM will intend to reserve appropriate amount of revenue for this program after the second year of the TLD registry operation.

The institution of this rebate and marketing fund program are meant to confirm IMMʹs belief that the participation of all registrars in the introduction of this TLD serves a number of important purposes in the proof of concept phase. First, it will create a level of demand for a TLD that will encourage true competition at the registry level. Next, it will leverage registrars and their affiliates. Finally, it will serve to raise awareness of the Istanbul globally.

The IMM will provide the following services and support to its registrar customers:

1) Registration Services

Domain Name Registration
The IMMʹs core service will focus on registering domain names submitted by our back-end service provider Back-end registry providerʹs ICANN-accredited registrar customers to its TLD registry. Back-end registry provider on behalf of the IMM will register the domain names submitted by registrars as a general policy for a term ranging from one to ten years, as selected by registrar customers on a first-come⁄first-serve basis.

Domain Name Renewal
The IMM will provide domain name renewal services whereby registrars may renew domain names with the registry on behalf of their registrant customers for an additional term, which can range in length from one to ten years in yearly increments. Back-end registry provider on behalf of the IMM will automatically renew registrations by one year when domain registrations expire. Renewals, however, may be canceled by registrars for a refund of the renewal fee within 45 days of the renewal.

Registrar Transfer
When a registrant transfers a registration from one registrar to another, back-end registry provider on behalf of the IMM will automatically extend the term of the registration for an additional year.

2) TLD Marketing

The IMM will market and brand the new TLD firstly countywide and then worldwide. Through these marketing efforts, IMM will have a great opportunity to create a brand for Istanbul that brings the City culture, history, social life and businesses to individuals and business everywhere and it acts to fulfill ICANNʹs mission to enhance the functionality and usability of the Internet. These marketing efforts are intended to create enhanced global awareness of the Istanbul, its culture, and its evolution from a local city to a worldwide Metropolis with broad appeal that transcends geographic boundaries.

In addition to investing in the Istanbul brand by advertising it in a range of markets, IMM is uniquely positioned to utilize its Registrars to market the TLD to their registrant customers, triggering a viral, cost-effective marketing campaign.

3) Rebate Program

IMM will institute a rebate program during each year of operation. Through this rebate program, ʺactive registrarsʺ (defined as those ICANN-accredited registrars that have registered domain names in the new TLD) will be eligible to receive a rebate based on the amount of domain names registered in the registry. IMM will allocate appropriate amount of cash on hand to distribute among these active registrars. This amount will be distributed to the registrars in proportion to the number of registrations registered by that registrar during the relevant period.

4) Marketing Development Fund Program

IMM will also intend to make marketing development fund award available to registrars and⁄or their resellers that launch approved marketing efforts in support of IMM’s overall unit and revenue goals for each year of operation. The objectives of the program are to encourage registrars to look for local opportunities and attractive ways to create awareness for proposed TLD domain names, such as promote the TLD brand in target regions (Turkey, EMEA and etc.) and support the growth and effectiveness of the registrars.

Registrars will be required to participate the program and will be responsible for developing and executing their own marketing materials, creative and plans during this program. The IMM will evaluate the marketing plans of the participated registrars and qualified registrars will have a choice of payout for each program period of either a credit to their account or a wire transfer.

Similar gTLD applications: (1)

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.istanbulIstanbul Metropolitan MunicipalityView