The Applicant is aware of the substantial amount of work and effort that has gone into developing policy to address the issue of the reservation and release of geographic names under new gTLDs, including the valuable input from ICANNʹs Governmental Advisory Committee (ʺGACʺ), the Generic Names Supporting Organisation Reserved Names Working Group, Registry Operators and from elsewhere within the ICANN community.
The Applicant is aware of and understands the requirements set forth in the 11 January 2012 version of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook (New gTLD Applicant Guidebook) and the GAC advice for protection of geographic names and will implement appropriate measures to ensure that it complies in all respects with ICANN policies and rules regarding both the reservation and release of geographic names at the second level (or other levels).
In addition to this, the Applicant proposes to implement an additional mechanism for the protection of capital city names at the second level that exceeds the requirements in the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook. See description of Capital City Claim service described below.
Reservation of Geographic Names
The initial GAC advice on the protection of geographic names is contained in the GAC document “Principles Regarding New gTLDs” which was presented by the GAC on 28 March 2007. Section 2.7(a) of this document states that new gTLD applicants should “adopt, before the new gTLD is introduced, appropriate procedures for blocking, at no cost and upon demand of governments, public authorities or IGOs, names with national or geographic significance at the second level of any new gTLD”.
Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement provides further clarity and details the Schedule of Reserved Names at the Second Level (or other levels) in gTLD Registries, whereby the Registry Operator undertakes to reserve certain domain names and prevent them from being registered, delegated or used.
Section 2 of Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement requires that all two character labels are initially reserved. This is to avoid conflicts and confusion with existing ccTLD extensions.
Section 5 of Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement is more comprehensive and states that:
“5. Country and territory names contained in the following internationally recognized lists shall be initially reserved at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD at which the Registry Operator provides for registrations:
5.1. the short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, as updated from time to time, including the European Union, which is exceptionally reserved on the ISO 3166-1 list, and its scope extended in August 1999 to any application needing to represent the name European Union 〈http:⁄⁄www.iso.org⁄iso⁄support⁄country_codes⁄iso_3166_code_lists⁄iso-3166-1_decoding_table.htm#EU〉;
5.2. the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World; and
5.3. the list of United Nations member states in 6 official United Nations languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names”.
In order to meet these requirements regarding country and territory names, the applicant will maintain and regularly update copies of the aforementioned internationally recognized lists. All labels appearing on those lists, and on any list promulgated or recognized by ICANN for reservation in the future, assuming the corresponding string is unregistered, The Applicant will afford the same protections to new states or cities as they are formed.
The Applicant will reserve all labels appearing on the above referenced lists from time to time, and prevent registration, delegation or use of such names in accordance with ICANN requirements and as described above. In order to ensure that this is implemented correctly, all such labels will be reserved in the name of the applicant in order to prevent their delegation and use.
Release of Reserved Geographic Names
Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement also contains provisions for the release of country and territory names on the basis that agreement is reached with “the applicable government(s), provided, further, that Registry Operator may also propose release of these reservations, subject to review by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and approval by ICANN”.
As such the applicantʹs proposed policy for the release of such reserved terms is cognisant of the review and approval process from the GAC and ICANN.
Based upon a review of the available literature, documentation and guidance, the applicant proposes the following policy to ICANN and the GAC for the potential release of reserved terms under the TLD:
i) Further to the successful evaluation and delegation of the TLD all of the aforementioned labels, as specified under Section 5 of Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement will be reserved and thus unavailable for registration during each stage of the launch process including, but not limited to the Sunrise period, the Landrush period through to General registrations.
ii) At any stage during the launch process through to General registrations and beyond, the aforementioned reserved names may only be assigned to the relevant Government or public authority. In such situation they would be assigned using the following process:
a) The corresponding Government or public authority submits a request to the GAC seeking the assignment of the reserved name to themselves and provides the details of the proposed registrant entity for the domain name registration.
b) The GAC will validate it and authenticate the request to establish that is a genuine bona fide request.
c) Once this has been established by the GAC, the request for delegation will be forwarded to the applicant to request the assignment of the domain name. Simultaneously the GAC will also notify ICANN of the GAC approval of the request for the assignment of the domain name.
d) The applicant will issue a unique authorisation code to the proposed registrant entity.
e) The proposed registrant entity will then be able to request the assignment of the domain name to themselves using the authorisation code with an ICANN accredited registrar for the applicant TLD.
In addition to the above, the applicant will also adhere to and implement ICANN policy with regards to the reservation and release of such terms as and when required.
Additional Mechanism for Further Protection of Capital City Names
In parallel with the Landrush Period defined in the answer to question 18, the applicant will implement a Capital City Claim (“CCC”) service whereby additional protection will be granted to the capital city names of a country or territory listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard. The CCC process is described below:
a) Any prospective domain name registrant applying to register a domain name identical to the capital city name of a country or territory listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard will automatically receive from the Applicant a CCC notification highlighting the fact that the applied-for domain name corresponds to a capital city name of a country or territory listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
b) A potential domain name registrant receiving a CCC notification will have to send a response to the Applicant whereby it will unconditionally comply with the requirements as to representations and warranties required by the Applicant.
c) Unconditional acceptance of the representations and warranties set out in the CCC notification will be a material requirement for a prospective registrant to be eligible to register the domain name in question should said prospective registrant be successful in the Landrush period.
d) Upon registration during the Landrush period of a domain name identical to a capital city name of a country or territory listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard, the Applicant will send a notification listing the names in writing to the GAC Chair.
(see Q28 for more detail)