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

Prototypical answer:

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.nycThe City of New York by and through the New York City Department of Information Technology & TelecommunicationsView

As further detailed in its response to Questions 28 and 29 of the Applicant Guidebook, The City of New York (“City”) believes that the best way to minimize negative consequences⁄costs imposed on consumer is having a strong prevention and mitigation strategy against abusive and malicious domain name registration program as well as ample useful rights protection mechanisms. The City and its Registry Service Provider, Neustar, are in full agreement that a registry must not only aim for the highest standards of technical and operational competence, but also must act as a steward of the space on behalf of the constituents of the City (residents, local businesses, organizations, visitors) as well as ICANN and the broader Internet community in promoting the public interest.More specifically, the following safeguards, which have previously been referenced, include but are not limited to: the existing UDRP; enhanced rights protection mechanisms (i.e., trademark clearinghouse, sunrise and trademark claims processes, the Uniform Rapid Suspension Policy); an abuse point of contact; WHOIS inaccuracy reporting portal; periodic sampling of WHOIS data for nexus⁄accuracy compliance; nexus requirements and enforcement; and nexus administrative dispute processes. 

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

The City and its selected registry services provider, Neustar, have given extensive thought and consideration to the launch of the .nyc gTLD and currently anticipate launching the nyc gTLD through a three-phased process as described below:

Phase 1
The City anticipates commencing Phase 1 within sixty (60) days after delegation of the .nyc domain by IANA. Phase 1, which shall last approximately forty-five (45) days, shall be open to the following types of registrants:
* Government (City, State and Federal offices providing services in the City);
* City-based non-profits (entities that provide services within the City and that are registered with the State of New York as not-for-profit corporations);
* City concessionaires (private entities using City-owned property under contract with a City agency);
* City franchisees (private entities using inalienable City-owned property to provide a public service under contract with a City agency);
* retail service licensees (private retail establishments licensed by a City agency to conduct such business);
* food service licensees (private establishments licensed by the Cityʹs Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide food service);
* NYC & Co. Members (members of NYC & Company (a not-for-profit membership organization that serves as the Cityʹs promotional arm and which operates under a concession agreement with the City));
* Business Improvement Districts (entities formed by local property owners and tenants to promote business development and quality of life and which operate pursuant to the New York State General Municipal Law and local laws authorizing private not-for-profit corporations to provide supplemental services to particular geographic areas of the City and which operate under contract with the Cityʹs Department of Small Business Services for such purpose);
* City digital startups (private entities satisfying the following criteria: (a) their primary business objective is to bring to market products or services that are built from or whose functionalities are fulfilled using digital technology; (b) they have a physical presence in the City; and (c) they have registered with NYC Digital as a New York City digital company); and
* City vendors (private entities from whom the City procures goods and⁄or services and are registered with the City’s Mayorʹs Office of Contract Services).

All registrations during Phase 1 will be conducted on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition, each registrant during Phase 1 shall be authenticated to ensure that it meets the eligibility criteria.

Phase 2
Shortly after the end of Phase 1, the City shall commence the acceptance of Phase 2 domain name registrations. Phase 2 shall be limited to businesses, organizations or legal entities that: (a) have a physical address in the City; and (b) have paid City taxes within its most recent fiscal year. Registrants during this phase will be required to self-certify as to their eligibility to meeting the Phase 2 as well as nexus requirements (described in the City’s response to Questions 18(b) and 28).

Phase 2 will begin with a sunrise period for Phase 2 entities that hold a qualifying trademark registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final ICANN Applicant Guidebook (“Sunrise Period”). The Sunrise Period will last a minimum of thirty (30) days and will be limited to second-level .nyc domain names that exactly match applicable trademark registrations. In the event that there are multiple applicants for the same domain name during the Sunrise Period, the City may conduct directly, or through a third party, an auction to determine the registrant of such domain name.

Following the Sunrise Period, the City will accept domain name registrations from any City-based businesses, organizations or legal entities through a ʺLandrush Process.” During the Landrush Process, the City reserves the right to charge higher wholesale fees to accredited registrars than it will during Phase 3 (general availability, described below). It is currently anticipated that the City shall administer the Landrush Process in the manner set forth below; provided that such process may be amended by the City.

If only one application is received for a specific domain name, at the conclusion of the Landrush Process, such name shall be allocated to the associated registrant through their designated registrar. If more than one application is received for a specific domain name, an auction shall be conducted, and the highest qualified bidder shall be allocated the domain name upon payment of the applicable fees. Such names shall be allocated to the associated registrant through their designated registrar.

Phase 3
Phase 3 will be the final launch phase that commences normal first-come, first-serve operations for all prospective registrants who fulfill the applicable nexus policy. All registrations during Phase 3 will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Premium Names
In addition to the phased launch process described above, the City shall implement a “premium name” program that may commence during Phase 3. The premium name program will consist of: (a) live or online domain name auctions; and⁄or (b) business development activities that result in the allocation of premium names to registrants in exchange for a negotiated payment, or in exchange for use of the premium names in a manner that that raises awareness of the .nyc gTLD such as advertising- and marketing-related activities. Similar programs have been launched in .biz, .co, .tel, .info, .pro, .asia, .name, .xxx and a number of other gTLDs and ccTLDs. Each registrant of a premium name must comply with the nexus requirements.

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

Promotional programs involving discounting or co-marketing dollars will be implemented in order to drive increased volumes of registrations. Promotions typically involve registrars and may be in exchange for volume commitments or promotional consideration. Promotional activities and associated discounts may also involve third party partnerships. In each case, domain name registration will take place through ICANN-accredited registrars. Bulk discounting of domain registrations is also likely to be implemented.

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.

The City is committed to providing domain name registrations in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Registry Agreement. This means that the City will offer domain name registrations for periods of one to ten years at the discretion of the registrar selected by the domain name registrant.  In addition, the City, through its selected registry services provider, shall provide a minimum of thirty (30) days notice prior to increasing the price of a new domain name registration and no less than 180 days notice prior to changing the price of a domain name renewal in accordance with Section 2.9 of the Registry Agreement. The City’s registry services provider, Neustar, has been operating top level domain name registries for well over a decade and fully understands the market dynamics associated with both increases as well as decreases of domain name registration and renewal pricing. Although no additional contractual commitments will be made to registrants regarding the magnitude of price increases or decreases, all pricing changes are controlled to a large extent by market conditions. The City is also aware of the negative impact that would be associated with very large increases that would impact renewals for registrants who may invested in website development and branding since the initial registration, and will not engage in what might be construed as price gauging.

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