Frequently Asked Questions- last update June 1, 1998
In developing policies, the gTLD-MoU policy framework attempts to balance the many and often disparate interests of current and future stake holders in the Internet DNS. Toward that goal, the MoU is intentionally designed to be open-ended and will be adapted and amended to evolving requirements. The MoU was developed as part of a DNS administration plan from the now dissolved International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC). The MoU is an explicit recognition of a need to formalize the consultative policy framework for continued evolution of the Internet DNS.
1.2 How is policy developed in the gTLD-MoU framework?
How can we participate in gTLD-MoU activities?
The key participants in the DNS governance and consultative framework are the signatories to the MoU reflecting a wide range of Internet DNS stake holder interests - their common ground is that they have rough consensus on a core set of principles embodied in the gTLD-MoU and wish to participate in improving it and constructively advising on DNS policy decisions. If your organization also wishes to take part, please see Information on becoming a Signatory to the gTLD-MoU. Signatories to the gTLD-MoU can optionally participate in the gTLD-MoU Policy Advisory Body (PAB).
Who are the members of the Policy Oversight Committee? How is it established?
The gTLD-MoU now provides that the POC consists of twelve members appointed as follows:
The terms of the above appointments are for three years, except that the organizations appointing two members initially appoint one for a one year term, and the other for a three year term. The gTLD-MoU directs each appointing group to endeavour to achieve equitable geographic distribution. In addition, the POC has agreed to an amendment to the gTLD-MoU to provide for the appointment of two additional members to be appointed by the gTLD-MoU Policy Advisory Body (“PAB”), made up from signatories to the gTLD-MoU. Pending this formal amendment, which requires action by IANA and ISOC, PAB has appointed two observers to POC.
I've heard that there are planned modifications in the structure of the
Policy Oversight Committee. What are they?
From the inception of the International Ad Hoc Committee (“IAHC”) in October 1996, the IAHC and its successors, the interim Policy Oversight Committee (POC), and now the POC have explicitly and publicly recognized the need for evolutionary growth and development of the entire program for expansion of the generic Top Level Domain name system, including the composition of the POC.
The IAHC was formed and chartered by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (“IANA”) and the Internet Society (“ISOC”) to develop this expansion program. The original eleven members of the IAHC were chosen to represent as broad as possible a range of interests in the Internet community, as to be geographically distributed. The selection of members succeeded in bringing together a diversity of views and a geographically well-distributed group, but the limitation to eleven members, and the selection process, directed initially by IANA and ISOC, has been criticized as not giving explicit recognition to some interest groups.
Recognizing this, POC issued a first request for comments Notice-97-01: Review of Representation of Constituencies in the gTLD-MoU Policy Oversight Committee soliciting suggestions on how to improve the representation of stake holder constituencies in the gTLD-MoU Policy Oversight Committee. The responses to this request for comments can be found here. Consequently, POC issued a second request for comments Notice-97-04: Proposed Modification/Expansion of the gTLD-MoU Policy Oversight Committee (POC) and Amendment Process of the gTLD-MoU. The responses to this request for comments can be found here. In response to these two request for comments, the POC plans to make an announcement on restructuring of the POC.
I've heard the Policy Oversight Committee (POC) is "based" in Switzerland?
Is this true?
No. Although some administrative activities for the gTLD-MoU are supported by ITU and the gTLD-MoU domain name dispute resolution process would be administered through the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (both located in Switzerland), the Policy Oversight Committee is legally established in Delaware, USA.
Note that in accordance with Section 6 (h) of the gTLD-MoU, the POC is to be made up of representatives geographically distributed around the world. In the Internet tradition, the POC does most of its work over the Internet or through conference calls and rarely meets in one physical location.
It is also important to note that the gTLD-MoU dispute resolution process administered through the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center can be performed on-line from any location in the world with Internet connectivity.
How do you pronounce gTLD-MoU?
"gee tee el dee em o you" And yes, this wins the Internet's worst acronym contest.
2.1 What are the new generic Top Level Domains?
The new gTLDs are:
|.firm||for businesses, or firms|
|.shop||for businesses offering goods to purchase|
|.web||for entities emphasizing activities related to the World Wide Web|
|.arts||for entities emphasizing cultural and entertainment activities|
|.rec||for entities emphasizing recreation/entertainment activities|
|.info||for entities providing information services|
|.nom||for those wishing individual or personal nomenclature, i.e., a personal nom de plume|
Why did you choose these names and why only seven?
Broad categories were chosen, possible candidates were listed and then we drilled down to a set that represented a synthesis of public comments, previous proposals, contributions (e.g., see http://www.iahc.org/contrib/informal.html) and discussions during the International Ad Hoc Committee's activities.
We only selected seven as an initial number since given that the DNS is critical to the operation of the Internet, we thought it prudent to define initial changes on a relatively modest scale, with later evaluation and modification as appropriate. In addition, the trademark community has repeatedly expressed the opinion of its reticence that new gTLDs should be created because it increases their need to police for domain name registrations for trademark violations. Seven represented a compromise between different viewpoints within the IAHC and public comments on the number of gTLDs to introduce in a first phase. The intellectual property community was especially adamant that the viability of the dispute resolution processes being implemented under the gTLD-MoU be demonstrated before further expansion of the top level domain space.
Because of some criticism on the choice of names, the POC issued a public request for comments on the new names in Notice-97-02: Review of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). The partial results of this request for comments are available here. In consideration of these results, and after consultation with the Council of Registrars (CORE) and the gTLD-MoU Policy Advisory Body, all new gTLD names in the IAHC final report were confirmed except .store which has now been replaced by .shop.
With whom and when can I register a domain name in one of the new Top Level
Registrations can be performed through registrars who are members of CORE (Council of Registrars), some of whom are taking "pre-applications" for new names registered under the new 7 gTLDs (see 2.4 below). The launch of the actual registrations was planned for March 1998 but this has been delayed by the publication of the United States Government's Green Paper on January 30, 1998. While the Green Paper incorporates many of the ideas developed in
the gTLD-MoU framework, it also contains views divergent with the gTLD-MoU (e.g., the concept of profit-making registries which the POC believes is flawed). We hope for CORE to be able to begin full operations as soon as possible but no firm date can be given because of the intervention of the US government into this process.
Comments on the Green Paper are accepted until March 23, 1998, and should be sent to email@example.com. All comments received are posted at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/130dftmail/.
I've heard that some companies are offering "pre-registration" in the new
gTLDs. Is this true?
Yes, but there is considerable misunderstanding about this. What these companies are offering is that when registration activities commence for the new gTLDs, they will submit your application for the registration of a specific domain name in one of the new gTLDs. No CORE registrar can guarantee that your name will be registered since there will be many registrars from around the world submitting applications and they are delegated on a first-come, first-served round-robin basis (see 2.5 below).
There have been some suggestions that POC ban registrars from taking "pre-registrations". After carefully considering this, POC decided not to ban pre-registrations as it could not prevent other third parties (non-CORE members) from queuing registrations and submitting them through a CORE registrar. And indeed, there are many companies doing exactly this.
How does the "round-robin" approach work for the allocation of new domain
The principles for allocating domain names from all CORE registrars are based on fairness to users and registrars and "non-starvation" of the Shared Registry System (SRS). For a more detailed technical presentation on fairness issues during SRS startup, see the presentation by Jeff Silberman from Emergent Corporation: Playing Fair - The SRS Retirement Engine (HTML and PowerPoint 95 or 97). Generally, this is how it works:
Fairness among Registrar Submissions
The "window" closes (i.e., at the end of the hour).
Each registrar's queue is held intact. Consistent with the first-come, first-served policy the order in which the registrar presented his/her requests is preserved.
Next, the SRS system will generate a random order of processing among the registrars, thus "x","y","z" could possibly remain "x","y","z" or become "y","z","x" or "x","z","y", or "y","x","z".
Now processing is able to begin.
The first registrar in the randomized order has the first request from his/her queue submitted. The SRS checks that "name" with the database to see if it has already been assigned.
Four possible outcomes are possible (I, II, III, IV below).
Each outcome counts as a "turn" for the submitting registrar and the system
moves on to the next registrar in the randomized list.
|1. If the "name" has not been already registered, then the "back end" of the system continues to process the request.|
I. If everything is proper in the request record, the new "name" is placed in the database. Notice of the acceptance is then sent to the registrar. That action would be treated as that registrar's "turn." The SRS would then go to the next registrar in the randomized list to process the next request.
II. If there are errors in the request record, the request is handled properly as a rejection. Notice of the rejection and the error is then sent to the registrar. That action would be treated as that registrar's "turn." The SRS would then go to the next registrar in the randomized list to process the next request.
|2) If the "name" has already been registered, then the request is handled properly as a rejection|
III. Notice of the rejection is then sent to the registrar. That action would be treated as that registrar's "turn." The SRS would then go to the next registrar in the randomized list to process the next request.
|3) If the next registrar in the randomized list has no more requests in his/her queue, that check will be treated as that registrar's "turn".|
IV. No notice to the registrar is required. The SRS would then go to the next registrar in the randomized list to process the next request.
Some registrars are offering a fee-based preferred entry in their internal
queues. What is your opinion on this?
First, it is clear that this represents a phenomenon unique to the start-up conditions for CORE. Second, it also reflects a tremendous pent-up demand for new and interesting domain names. The POC take the position that each registrar member of CORE is subject to local law, including local law regarding competition, consumer protection, etc. As described above, no registrar will have a favored position in the initial application process (see 2.5 above).
The position of POC is that in a transition to a competitive environment, it is clear that consumers need to have a choice. This validates the concept of a shared registry system where consumers can choose among or change registrars based on price and service. If all CORE registrars were proposing only a tiered price registration scheme, then POC would be concerned. However, there are clearly choices available to users and it is up to the consumer whether they wish to pay additional monies to registrars in order to improve their chances vis-à-vis each registrar's internal queues. Consumers should be aware though that because of the round-robin approach described in 2.5 above, this may present absolutely no advantage to users.
What is to prevent CORE registrars from speculating in names themselves?
In a competitive and open registrar market, this is clearly a possibility. However, this activity is forbidden in Article 5 (i) of the CORE-MoU where it says "(i) CORE shall establish and enforce requirements that Registrars shall not register SLDs in the CORE-gTLDs for their own account or for accounts of an Affiliate for the purpose of trafficking in SLDs for sale, resale or transfer to applicants." Abuses of this rule should be brought to the attention of CORE or POC.
I don't like the name .firm for businesses. Why didn't you choose typical
business terms like .inc, .corp, .ltd, .plc, .gmbh, .sarl?
These terms have legal significance and it is typically illegal to use them unless the registering entity actually is "incorporated", a "limited liability company", a "public listed company", etc. Verifying this would require pre-screening activities by domain name registrars (as is the case in the UK with plc.uk and ltd.uk). It was thought preferable to avoid gTLDs with specific pre-screening requirements at this time.
2.10 I don't like the name .nom for a "personal" Top Level Domain. Why didn't you choose .id, .me, .ind, or .per?
Can any new gTLD Registrar register a domain name for me in any of the
new Top Level Domains?
How much will I be charged for a registration in one of the new Top Level
I've got a great idea for a new Top Level Domain, how can I suggest it?
The gTLD-MoU Policy Oversight Committee plans to formally solicit public comments on new gTLDs to be added, if any, in next phases. These Request for Comments Proceedings will be announced on both gTLD-MoU related mailing lists (see http://www.gtld-mou.org/docs/maillist.htm).
Will holders of identical second-level domain names under one TLD (e.g.
foobar.com) be able to assert some right to the identical second-level
domain under another TLD (e.g. foobar.firm)?
Not from the mere fact that they already have a domain name in .com or in another gTLD. In fact, one reason for adopting additional gTLDs is to allow others to use some of the "good" names in the new gTLDs. If you are the first in line, you can obtain the domain names that you want in the new gTLDs, even if they are already registered by someone else in .com (just as there are many identical names registered in .com and .net which belong to different entities).
However, your domain name registrations could be challenged by
others if in fact they embody existing trademark or other intellectual
property rights. Second level domains in the new gTLDs that embody exiting
trademark rights may normally be held only by the owner of the trademark
rights. If you register a domain name in any of the new gTLDs that embodies
trademark rights owned by another person, the registration will be subject
to cancellation if the trademark owner brings a challenge under the dispute
settlement regime (see more details on the gTLD-MoU
dispute resolution activities).
gTLD REGISTRAR SELECTION
I heard that the new gTLD Registrar would be allocated by lottery and geographical
region. Is this true?
Do potential new registrars need to sign the gTLD-MoU in order to apply?
When will the selection process for new gTLD Registrars open again?
I wish to apply to be a registrar but can you give more information on
the insurance requirements?
Legal issues involving registrar liability may be treated differently
in different countries. Your decision on what type of insurance to buy
will depend on advice from your legal counsel and insurance provider.
There is no obligation to include intellectual property insurance
in the commercial general liability policy.
OTHER GENERAL QUESTIONS
Specifically, from RFC 1612:
Theoretically a domain can be registered without any authoritative servers, but that domain will not be accessible from the rest of the Internet.
What's the advantage of the optional 60-day waiting period at registration
In the registration form, there is a field "Applicant declines mandatory
submission to arbitration in the case of Claims...". What does this mean?
The ACP procedure will consider only the issue of which party has a superior right to the domain name itself. The mediation and arbitration procedures will also allow the decision-maker and the parties to consider any monetary damages issues, if one of the parties has raised such issues.
Thus, if you tick the arbitration paragraph, you will bind yourself
to that procedure, should a third-party challenge your domain name. But
both parties would gain the benefits of an efficient, inexpensive and quick
dispute resolution procedure (especially when compared to the litigation
Comments on content? firstname.lastname@example.org
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