18(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?
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Creating .gay as a vibrant community-based TLD requires an innovative approach to registration that ensures names are distributed in a fair and orderly manner during launch, and redistribution after expiration, in order to create the maximized benefits for the intended registrants and Internet users. This includes rights protection offered during Sunrise A and B, as well as a level of protection based on domain names that community members have built their organizations and businesses around on other IANA-recognized TLDs. In all cases described below each .gay domain name registration requires community authentication, which is manifested through a unique Community Identifier Code (CIC) per registrant and domain. The exception is the Sunrise B period, which does not require community authentication.
dotgay LLC will create an extensive reserved names list consisting of potential index directory domain names, sensitive names and a wide array of common generic names in several languages. The Registry and the Internet users will later determine which words may be released as premium auction names. The Registry reserved names noted above will be excluded from all registration periods prior to General Availability.
The Founders period is tied to the Founders Program created by dotgay LLC, a pre-launch opportunity for members of the Gay Community to contribute financially, while reinforcing their commitment to building the .gay TLD. As is common practice in the Gay Community with new emerging organizations, Founders become stewards because of their commitment, setting the tone to build trust for future membership. Founders with and without trademarks will have the opportunity to submit requests for .gay names prior to the Sunrise Period. Requests during the Founders period are submitted directly to dotgay LLC.
Resolution: Applications for domain names during the Founders Period will be distributed on a first-come⁄first serve basis and placed on the Registry reserved list of Founders Names.
The Sunrise period will consist of Sunrise A (Community Trademark) and Sunrise B (Non-Community Trademark), as described below. Both periods run simultaneously and last for a minimum of 30 days. Sunrise A applications will be submitted to approved Registrars and Sunrise B requests will be submitted directly to dotgay LLC through the provided online process, or another process outlined at a later date when details about how the Trademark Clearinghouse will operate are revealed.
• Sunrise A – Community Trademark – The opportunity for authenticated community members (who have obtained a CIC) registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse to submit Registration Requests for .gay names corresponding to their registered trademarks.
• Sunrise B – Non-Community Trademark – The opportunity for those who are not members of the Gay Community to submit requests for names corresponding to their trademarks, as registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse, to be added to the Registry Sunrise B Reserved names list. A nominal fee will be charged for successful Sunrise B requests, to cover the cost of the Trademark Clearinghouse inquiry (amount TBD) and Registry administration fee (TBD). Registry will publish a complete list of names from Sunrise B that have been reserved. Reserved names will not result in a Registration in the .gay TLD, and will convey no other rights to successful Sunrise B applicants. Community authentication is not required for Sunrise B.
Resolution: Multiple applications for a particular domain name during Sunrise A will be resolved with an auction in the Sunrise Auction period. Sunrise A applications will trump all Sunrise B applications, meaning that if there is a viable Sunrise A and B applicant then the Sunrise A applicant will be awarded the name. Multiple Sunrise B applications do not require any prioritization.
NOTE: dotgay LLC reserves the right to release Sunrise B reserved domain names for registration if an authenticated community member with a trademark (corresponding to the name) included in the Trademark Clearinghouse requests so in writing to dotgay LLC.
The Sunshine period is designed to give community members with registrations obtained before May 1, 2012 on other IANA-recognized TLDs, an opportunity to become part of the .gay domain prior to General Availability. This period follows the conclusion of the Sunrise period and is designed to provide a protection for existing community domain names. Applications received during Sunshine require a CIC and are treated as received at the same time.
Resolution: Multiple applications for the same name during Sunshine will be resolved by an auction in the Sunshine Auction period.
Premium Name Auction
Premium Name Auction periods will take place periodically as scheduled by dotgay LLC, as early as the conclusion of the Sunshine Period. Premium Name auctions include domains reserved by dotgay LLC specifically for sale during Premium Name Auctions to those who have obtained a CIC.
Resolution: All premium name auctions will be awarded to the highest bidder.
The Land Rush period opens following the conclusion of the Sunshine period and will serve as an opportunity for community members who have obtained a CIC to apply for any available name they are entitled to apply for. Applications received during Land Rush are treated as received at the same time.
Resolution: Multiple applications received during Land Rush for a particular domain will be resolved by an auction in the Land Rush Auction period.
The General Availability Period will follow the conclusion of the Land Rush Period and will serve as an opportunity for community members who have obtained a CIC to apply for any available name.
Resolution: Applications for domain names during the General Availability will be distributed on a first-come⁄first serve basis.
dotgay LLC does not intend to implement any cost benefits for registrants, such as discounts or bulk rates. All pricing will stem from standardized wholesale rates. As a community-based initiative, the .gay TLD is designed to address the needs of the Gay Community by using a ‘pay it back to the community’ strategy around achieving cost benefits for its registrants. Registrations in the .gay TLD contribute to a community resource from which registrants can ultimately benefit in ways that extend beyond a financial saving on the domain name itself, including progress in the areas of social services and social change. The benefits for registrants will also be realized over the long-term.
dotgay LLC views a certain monetary “entry barrier” into the second level as a healthy instrument to prevent unnecessary drain of the available namespace and in order to preserve availability for future years to come. Registrants in financial strain will be able to obtain less expensive third level registrations on index domain names.
An indirect cost benefit for registrants will be realized through the incentive program designed as a commission for the essential community support organizations serving as dotgay LLC’s Authentication Partners. This is an exclusive offering to Authentication Partners as described below and based on the uniqueness of the Gay Community, and their needs.
Uniqueness of the .gay TLD
Unique to the .gay TLD is the challenge of identifying eligible community members and garnering their trust to participate. Because the Gay Community is not always visible and because the Gay Community is still healing (and in some cases still suffering) from prejudice and injustice, the task of outreach and engagement remains difficult, except when initiated from within the community. Understanding the landscape of the Gay Community and approaching registrants from a trusted source is mandatory to the registration process. dotgay LLC does not believe that standard practice used in marketing existing TLDs can be applied to the .gay TLD. Establishing entry points that are linked into the Gay Community and seen as trusted sources remains critical to the .gay community-based model.
Through the use of established membership organizations in the Gay Community as Authentication Partners, dotgay LLC not only complies with the most restrictive community registration requirements, but also provides the best solution for connecting with potential registrants. Authentication Partners are the community membership organizations used by dotgay LLC to confirm eligibility. Authentication Partners become advocates for the .gay TLD and provide a trusted entry point for members of the community. Authentication Partners are also the advocates for their registrants within the .gay community-model.
Eligibility is required of all registrants of the .gay TLD, so the first step of registration begins with the acquisition of a Community Identifier Code (CIC) through one of the Authentication Partners. As dotgay LLC will utilize a uniquely innovative and targeted marketing plan via the Authentication Partners, it will create a more strategic and cost effective approach to seeking out registrants. The majority of potential registrants will ultimately be driven by dotgay LLC and the Authentication Partners to the registrars.
No pricing discounts for registrars will be offered initially. The registrars that meet dotgay LLC requirement for handling name registrations for .gay will not need to put the same necessary efforts into marketing .gay as with other TLDs, but will benefit from the Authentication Partner network created by dotgay LLC to drive registrations. Registrars will also benefit greatly from the level of trust that dotgay LLC bestows upon them as an approved registrar for the .gay TLD.
Because Authentication Partners offer the direct link to eligible registrants through their membership base, dotgay LLC will focus on incentive programs that reward the Authentication Partners for each confirmed registration. Committed to an overall community-based approach to the .gay TLD, dotgay LLC feels it is essential to integrate and channel financial support back into the Gay Community wherever possible.
Authentication Partner Incentive Program
dotgay LLC’s Authentication Partner Incentive Program is intended to catapult growth in the early years of operation and fulfill the intended mission. Authentication Partners will be compensated for engaging their membership base with registrations in the .gay TLD while assisting in building out the index directory that will become a vital resource for the Gay Community globally.
By providing an opportunity to strengthen and financially support the Authentication Partners who have served as the foundation of the Gay Community in their regions, dotgay LLC will provide a separate and distinct way of funding the Gay Community beyond the dotgay Foundation discussed in the mission outlined in 18(a) above. Registrants who are members of multiple Authentication Partners will also have the option to choose which Authentication Partner receives credit for their registration by using them to acquire their CIC, giving registrants a choice of which organizations receive the credit.
With the understanding that names on the .gay TLD will be sold at an initial premium wholesale price, it will be the goal of dotgay LLC to avoid any price escalation in the foreseeable future.
It is dotgay LLC’s commitment that the wholesale cost of second and third level names will not increase during the five years that follow the beginning of the Sunrise period. At the conclusion of the initial five year period, dotgay LLC reserves the right to, but is not required to, introduce a wholesale price increase at both second and third level on an annual basis with prior written notice as required by ICANN. The price escalation –if ever required- will not exceed 5% per year.
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