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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.SFRSociete Francaise du Radiotelephone - SFRView


In line with SFR SA’s mission and purpose for the .SFR gTLD, it is first and foremost important for SFR SA to safeguard and protect its SFR trademark at the top level of the DNS’ hierarchy. Such protection does not only extend to the actual registration, delegation and use of the gTLD, but also to the domain names that are registered therein, and how these domain names are used.

Considering the fact that the actual award and delegation of the .SFR gTLD to SFR SA is subject to the successful evaluation of our application, we have not yet defined in detail:

the types of domain names that will be registered;
who will be entitled to select which domain names will be registered;
who will be entitled to register such domain names;
who will be entitled to use such domain names; and
which types of use will be allowed or recommended.

As we believe that the development and implementation of one or more business cases could likely take a couple of months or even years, we have only focused on a number of high-level characteristics of our plans in relation to the operation of the .SFR gTLD.

By all means, it is in SFR SA’s vested interest to, on the one hand, make the most of this initiative, promote its own business interests, and mitigate risks for its brand and brand reputation, whilst also reducing the (social) costs for others.

In this context, we will devise policies that encompass and comprise the following features:

At least during the initial months or even years following the delegation of the .SFR gTLD to SFR SA, this extension is likely going to be a so-called “single registrant TLD” as contemplated by ICANN in Article 4.5 of the template Registry Operator Agreement (“Transition of Registry upon Termination of Agreement”). For the avoidance of doubt, a “single registrant TLD” is a TLD where “(i) all domain name registrations in the TLD are registered to, and maintained by, Registry Operator for its own exclusive use, and (ii) Registry Operator does not sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any registrations in the TLD to any third party that is not an Affiliate of Registry Operator.”

Therefore, parties who are not SFR SA or insofar and to the extent SFR SA deems appropriate an Affiliate will not be entitled to register domain names in the .SFR gTLD.

SFR SA believes this to be in line with two of the main elements in its vision and mission statement, namely:

Protecting and safeguarding the SFR brand and its reputation, by keeping full control over the entire operation of the .SFR registry and every domain name registered therein; and

Guaranteeing to SFR SA’s key stakeholders who are interacting with SFR SA and, as the case may be, its Affiliates, by using domain name registrations in .SFR that they are in fact interacting with the brand owner or its authorized Affiliates.

Consequently, there will be no (social) costs for non-eligible (third) parties, given the fact that they will be unable to register domain names in the .SFR gTLD in the first place.

However, even if only SFR SA (and, as the case may be, SFR SA’s Affiliates) will be entitled to register domain names, this does not exclude the hypothesis that disputes may arise with one or more third parties as regards domain names that are registered in the .SFR gTLD.

In order to avoid these risks, SFR SA intends to implement the following policies and processes:

First, the domain names to be registered by SFR SA and, as the case may be, its Affiliates, will likely relate to the following:

registered trademarks of SFR SA;
names of the Affiliates of SFR SA or its ultimate parent Vivendi; and
names of departments within SFR SA and its Affiliates.

Furthermore, SFR SA envisages registering a fair number of generic words that are directly or indirectly related to the day-to-day business activities and operations of SFR SA, its Affiliates and those of its ultimate parent.

Prior to effectively registering such domain names in the .SFR gTLD, SFR SA will require its legal and intellectual property department to review the list of these domain names on a regular basis in order to satisfy itself that they will not infringe the rights of third parties.

In any case, SFR SA will claim to have a legitimate interest in these domain names, as they are merely descriptive of the activities, products or services of SFR SA and⁄or its Affiliates. So even if one or more of these domain names would be protected by a registered trademark, held by a third party, it is likely that a claim under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy or Uniform Rapid Suspension policy will fail.

As regards the names referred to in Specification 5 to the template Registry Operator Agreement, SFR SA will follow the processes and procedures established by ICANN and the Governmental Advisory Committee.

If SFR SA would determine, at its sole discretion, that it will gradually allow certain categories of stakeholders to register domain names in the .SFR gTLD in their own name, SFR SA will devise policies to that effect.

However, SFR SA will at all times be entitled to restrict, limit or expand:

the category or categories of stakeholders who will be entitled to register one or more domain names in the .SFR gTLD, including their criteria for qualification;
the choice of domain name(s) registered in the .SFR gTLD by and per such eligible stakeholder (category);
the use made by a stakeholder of a domain name registered in the .SFR gTLD; and
the transfer of domain names registered in .SFR.

SFR SA shall reserve the right to subject the registration or use of a domain name to internal approval processes and procedures, at each and every step of the domain name life cycle.

Given the fact that SFR SA may release such available domain names post launch in a highly controlled manner, this also reduces the likelihood that two or more applicants qualify for the registration of the same domain name in the .SFR top-level domain;

As a method of last resort, and subject to the actual domain name registration policy adopted by the Registry Operator and in force at the time of registration, domain names will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

In any event, SFR SA reserves the right to change or restrict any policies, procedures and practices at any point in time if it is of the opinion that there would be a risk that the reputation of the SFR brand would be damaged.

The Applicant intends to make the .SFR top-level domain available to qualifying domain name registrants at no cost to them. If the Applicant Registry Operator would be contemplated or required to charge a fee for the registration of domain names under the .SFR gTLD, the fee will be set at a cost-recovery or arm’s length basis, to be determined at that time by the Registry.

If SFR SA will be required to or would decide to increase the fees for the registration of domain names, such increases will keep pace with the cost-recovery or arm’s length character referred to above, and will announce any increases in accordance with the

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