18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
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The goal of the .gay TLD is to create a unique name space that showcases the Gay Community in a positive light and that impacts the community in a positive way. As the world continues to understand the Gay Community and embrace its members into civil society, .gay will play an active role in helping the community share their stories, enhance their lives and celebrate their achievements. The .gay TLD will be the springboard of change for the community to document its cultural identity and tackle challenges it is confronted with.
Some of the specific goals that .gay aims to achieve include:
1. Community Trust
2. Economic and Social Visibility
3. Community Resource Information Base
The goal of .gay will be to build a reputation as a trusted platform and resource for the Gay Community. Trust is a very important issue for the community because of the long history of persecution and discrimination that has plagued the community and fostered inequalities. dotgay LLC will focus on garnering the trust of the community by serving the public interest of the community in a safe space on the Internet, while maintaining the highest standard of integrity and transparency in Registry operations.
Economic and Social Visibility
A goal of .gay is to specialize in building economic and social visibility for the Gay Community so as to promote commerce and demonstrate metrics in order to garner local and global equality. Visibility will enable the community to transform from a community of independent islands, to a thriving inter-connected global community. The .gay TLD will provide the foundation and infrastructure for enhancing the resources and solidarity of the community to share organizational excellence, build business and shed light and clarity on the demographics of the Gay Community.
Community Resource Information Base
A goal of .gay is to assemble the most extensive and accessible collection of resources and information of and for the global Gay Community. The community currently has no single resource that connects and aggregates across all dimensions of the community, such as geography, language, culture or stakeholders. The .gay TLD will enable the global community to come together for the first time through a single source and share a common platform as peers, while contributing to the overall resources and capacity building of individuals, organizations and businesses.
As a community-based TLD, a goal of .gay will be to also realize tangible and sustainable financial benefits for the Gay Community. This will be accomplished by dotgay LLC operating with a non-profit mentality and transparency, under a business model that intentionally and directly drives revenue and profits into the community. dotgay LLC commits to designating funds from registration fees to support gay organizations and other initiatives in the community.
dotgay LLC anticipates that the community-based .gay TLD will add invaluable service assets to the current Internet space, specifically designed to improve and grow the way the Gay Community interacts and communicates with each other and the rest of the world. The service assets are part of a creative model for .gay that focuses on the mission of addressing needs around safety, visibility and support for the community.
.gay will differentiate itself as the only TLD on the Internet to serve the Gay Community exclusively, adding opportunity to address unique community concerns around safety. It is no secret that the community and its members face innumerable acts of prejudice, hatred and discrimination around the globe, even in locations where legal protections for the community exist. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently addressed this global concern for the Gay Community at the Summit of the African Union (January 29, 2012), stating “one form of discrimination that has been ignored or even sanctioned by many States for far too long... discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
.gay will add a dimension of safety on the Internet because of registration policies that ensure registrants are legitimate members of the Gay Community and are open to interaction within the Gay Community.
dotgay LLC policies will address specific concerns related to eligibility, name selection, content & use and enforcement on .gay, creating a conducive environment and catalyst for identity expression by the Gay Community. By establishing the .gay TLD as a safe place it adds a competitive edge and desirable option for community members. Kenya’s Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga declared “gay rights are human rights” at a ceremony hosted in Uganda (September 8, 2011) and the statement was echoed by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her speech to the United Nations (December 6, 2011) specifically addressing the need to eliminate law that criminalizes or marginalizes the Gay Community, making it clear that the Gay Community lacks protection. dotgay LLC will be vigilant in protecting the .gay name space through enforcing compliance to Registry policies.
a. Protect community participation
As part of dotgay LLC’s innovative approach, and in order to insure that .gay is restricted to qualified registrants, Authentication Partners will be responsible for approving all registrations to the name space. The registry will provide an online authentication tool that will provide the registry with the information necessary to insure that only bona fide members of the community are allowed to register. This mechanism, complimented by “community watch” of the name space, will help to insure that .gay becomes the envisioned safe place for the community.
2. Index Directory
.gay will also differentiate itself with community-resource portals —ʺindex directories”— based on community relevant keyword domain names. Key community domain names (like health.gay, lesbian.gay and travel.gay) will not be sold off to the highest bidder, but instead be operated by dotgay LLC as innovative, vibrant hubs to help organize the global community and drive networking, ecommerce and interactions within the community.
.gay registrants will have the opportunity to tag their domain name by choosing from a set of predefined relevant keywords to attach their domain name to the .gay index. An example of this would be a gay rights organization being listed on the index domain “rights.gay.” dotgay LLC will be offering the index directory as a free service for all registrants on .gay.
A community relevant domain name like “hotel.gay” in the hands of one registrant (e.g. a hotel chain) is of great value to that registrant, but doesn’t really create added value for the community of Internet users or any other .gay registrant. dotgay LLC does not exploit the financial value of the most important community relevant keyword domain names by auctioning them to registrants. Our solution is more sustainable, making the community relevant name space “inclusive,” instead of leaving it “exclusively” to singular owners.
a. Easier to Identify
dotgay LLC anticipates that .gay will add a competitive edge for registrants and Internet users by making it easier to identify those members of the community who are comfortable being identified. In the clutter of the existing marketplace, membership in the community and the openness and willingness to engage with the Gay Community is not always obvious from a web address. The challenge for the community is to more easily identify where they are welcome and even celebrated, in a trusted and safe environment.
For example, a brand using brand.tld⁄gay as a targeted entry point to their business for the Gay Community provides no assurance to the gay consumer that the brand is part of the community, or just a business looking for revenue from the community. If the brand is an authenticated community member, using brand.gay is a much more intuitive way for the brand to identify and a quicker and easier way to communicate that fact to Internet users.
The .gay name space will provide a means by which a registrant can declare their community membership in a simple and direct manner, easily understood by Internet users. A .gay domain name will serve as a conventional web address as well as a trusted label, similar to organic food labels that help consumers identify grower information. By ownership of a .gay name it is understood that you are a member of the Gay Community and have been declared as such because of the Registry’s registration policy.
b. Easier to Find
dotgay LLC anticipates that .gay will add a competitive edge in the area of searchability, aggregating large segments of the community to allow Internet users the ability to query more easily in the narrower pool of the Gay Community. The .gay index directory of domain names based on community relevant key word domains (eg., lawyer.gay, doctor.gay) will become a valuable tool to assist in directing Internet users to relevant domain names within the community, based on their key word searches. Through the participation and use of the index directory, the .gay TLD will drive business-to-business and business-to-consumer interaction within the community. This will be accomplished when index directories reveal and heighten visibility of community domain names that may not have been identified otherwise, creating opportunities for the community to enlist the services of its own members.
Among the specific goals of .gay for Internet users:
A goal of .gay is to provide a simple identifier for users that indicate a member of the Gay Community is the owner of a domain name. Unlike sports teams who have uniforms to identify them, or airlines that use branding to differentiate themselves from the competition, the Gay Community does not have such a common or consistent method of identification. The .gay TLD offers the solution to creating a single, universal method of identification for the community. Internet users will no longer need to look beyond the domain name itself to confirm status in the community.
A goal of .gay is to provide users with a level of security around their experience. This is achieved through registration policies that restrict eligibility on the .gay TLD. Users will have the advantage of knowing that the owners of websites they visit in the .gay domain space have been authorized based on qualifiers established to safeguard and protect the community. Additionally, a community-watch reporting mechanism will help to ensure that the .gay TLD remains a secure space on the Internet for the community.
A goal of .gay is to provide an organized resource for users to improve navigation and interaction with or within the Gay Community. With the development of the index directory, users will have easier and faster access to information. Although the community has an acknowledged presence globally, there have always been challenges to organizing the community in ways consistent with other communities that share a common geography or a common language. Being able to organize on the Internet in a clearly defined space will be a huge step forward to building visibility and accessibility of the community.
A goal of .gay is to offer a competitive edge to registrants. Gay consumers are more likely to support their own community members when given the choice and when the information of their community membership is visible. The .gay TLD will help to surface this qualifying information faster for the user by the domain name itself (because it ends with .gay) and via queries in the index directory.
A goal of .gay is to enhance user interaction through ease of use, driving networking and transactions through the community index domains, essentially become hubs for community interaction. Disseminating relevant information to the community becomes a powerful tool to mobilization and could include advisories or breaking news that is relevant to indices (ie. gay travel advisories on travel.gay).
The following are dotgay LLC’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above. Other policies related to Registry governance as a community-based TLD are covered in section 20. dotgay LLC is committed to adhering to all ICANN policy requirements including trademark protection, malicious use, auctions, etc.
• dotgay LLC will register and maintain a series of community relevant key word based domain names that will be established and managed as community resource websites, referred to as the “index directory.”
• All .gay domain registrations must abide by all applicable ICANN and dotgay LLC policies.
• dotgay LLC will use Authentication Partners (AP) to authenticate eligible registrants according to criteria defined in the Registry agreement.
• dotgay LLC, with the advice of its Registry Advisory Board (RAB), will be solely responsible for accrediting and disaccrediting all APs.
• APs must meet and maintain all requirements outlined by dotgay LLC.
• All registrants will be required to authenticate and obtain a Community Identifier Code (CIC) through an AP in order to register, transfer or renew .gay domain names.
• Data supplied during the authentication process will be protected, not sold and used exclusively by dotgay LLC for the purposes for which it was collected.
• The registrant agreement will contain the following representations from the registrant:
-They have a valid association to the name
-They are not selecting a name in bad faith or for malicious use
-They are not engaging in cybersquatting activity in which the goal is to obtain desirable names for the purpose of generating profit or other advantage.
-They are not engaging in speculative registration activity for the purpose of reselling domains or parking the names for traffic.
• Registry will provide an internal complaint and resolution mechanism for Registry related policy violations, referred to as the Registry Policies Dispute Resolution Procedure (RPDRP).
• Breach of registrant agreement, or representations made in that agreement, will subject the registrant to the RPDRP and may result in dotgay LLC revoking the ineligible names.
• Sub level domain names of .gay registrations must adhere to all applicable dotgay LLC registration policies.
• dotgay LLC will have an established policy regarding adult content.
• Third level name registrations will be made available on select index domain names.
• dotgay LLC reserves the right to review and reject any third level registration requests on index domains.
• dotgay LLC will host an online process to submit recommendations for names that should be reserved prior to Sunrise including:
-Community relevant key word domain names for the index directory
-Domain names for premium auctions
-Sensitive words or phrases that incite or promote discrimination or violent behavior, including anti-gay hate speech
• dotgay LLC will seek advice from its RAB on which names to reserve.
• In addition to ICANN defined trademark rights, trademark owners will have the option to request their name be placed on a reserved list on a cost only basis during Sunrise.
• dotgay LLC will provide a registration period before General Availability for community members with registrations obtained before May 1, 2012 on other IANA TLDs.
• All auction processes will be made public prior to the beginning of any period that includes a potential auction.
In accordance with ICANN requirements, Registry will maintain a thick WHOIS for each domain name that is registered.
In addition, the Registry will collect two further sets of data; Authentication Data and Index Mapping Data. Both sets of data are collected directly from the registrant, without involvement of the registrars or APs. The security and confidentiality of registrant data is extremely important and the Registry will take a number of steps to safeguard any personally identifiable information or credit card information provided. dotgay LLC will follow the US Dept. of Commerce work on establishing codes of conduct for the protection of data.
The authentication data is required to support the authentication process, a key component to establishing the .gay TLD as a safe space for community members. This data will include the name of the AP of which the applicant is a member, as well as other data determined by the Registry from time to time as essential to authentication. Delivery of this data is mandatory and is held by the Registry. The Registry has the right to use all authentication data and to authorize its direct agents to use all authentication data for the purpose of authenticating eligibility of the applicants, including verification and validation with the appropriate AP. Registry will not provide the authentication data to third parties. Recognizing the threat that the Gay Community is under in many parts of the world because of political and cultural climates, this data will be handled by dotgay LLC with the utmost care and attention.
Index Mapping Data
Index mapping data is the data that will be used to create the registrant’s entry in the index directory developed by dotgay LLC, consisting of basic information to identify the nature of use for the .gay domain name (ie. hotel, non-profit). The index mapping data is not mandatory but is a value added service being provided for no additional fee.
Outreach & Communication
dotgay LLC has engaged in an aggressive outreach and communication plan aimed directly at the Gay Community around the world to raise awareness and encourage participation in the development of the .gay TLD. dotgay LLC has itself engaged in the ICANN process, serving as the conduit for the community to fully understand the opportunity for building a community-based .gay TLD. The targeted approach encompasses an effort to affect and empower those who will become future registrants and those who will benefit from the support services and funding. The approach takes into consideration the community’s diversity and long history of working together to create change while protecting and providing for its own members.
The outreach and communication plan includes three segments as outlined below:
Understanding and participating in the ICANN process, while opening a dialogue with the largest aggregated segments of the community to explore and fully consider the implications of the new gTLD program and how it relates to the Gay Community. Discussions centered on determining the usefulness and viability of the .gay TLD.
Upon determination that .gay could bring a great deal of value and benefit to the Gay Community, focus shifted to strategy by way of accessing gay resources and assembling leadership from the largest community hubs, including organizations and businesses. The dotgay Application Advisory Group (dAAG) was established to guide the .gay application and advise dotgay LLC as needed.
Gaining support of the Gay Community for the community-based .gay TLD and building partnerships to move the message into the community through established, trusted and respected distribution channels and communication hubs.
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