Donuts Inc. is the parent applicant for this and multiple other TLDs. The company intends to increase competition and consumer choice at the top level. It will operate these carefully selected TLDs safely and securely in a shared resources business model. To achieve its objectives, Donuts has recruited seasoned executive management with proven track records of excellence in the industry. In addition to this business and operational experience, the Donuts team also has contributed broadly to industry policymaking and regulation, successfully launched TLDs, built industry-leading companies from the ground up, and brought innovation, value and choice to the domain name marketplace.
DONUTS’ PLACE WITHIN ICANN’S MISSION
ICANN and the new TLD program share the following purposes:
1. to make sure that the Internet remains as safe, stable and secure as possible, while
2. helping to ensure there is a vibrant competitive marketplace to efficiently bring the benefits of the namespace to registrants and users alike.
ICANN harnesses the power of private enterprise to bring forth these public benefits. While pursuing its interests, Donuts helps ICANN accomplish its objectives by:
1. Significantly widening competition and choice in Internet identities with hundreds of new top-level domain choices;
2. Providing innovative, robust, and easy-to-use new services, names and tools for users, registrants, registrars, and registries while at the same time safeguarding the rights of others;
3. Designing, launching, and securely operating carefully selected TLDs in multiple languages and character sets; and
4. Providing a financially robust corporate umbrella under which its new TLDs will be protected and can thrive.
ABOUT DONUTS’ RESOURCES
Donuts’ financial resources are extensive. The company has raised more than US$100 million from a number of capital sources including multiple multi-billion dollar venture capital and private equity funds, a top-tier bank, and other well-capitalized investors. Should circumstances warrant, Donuts is prepared to raise additional funding from current or new investors. Donuts also has in place pre-funded, Continued Operations Instruments to protect future registrants. These resource commitments mean Donuts has the capability and intent to launch, expand and operate its TLDs in a secure manner, and to properly protect Internet users and rights-holders from potential abuse.
Donuts firmly believes a capable and skilled organization will operate multiple TLDs and benefit Internet users by:
1. Providing the operational and financial stability necessary for TLDs of all sizes, but particularly for those with smaller volume (which are more likely to succeed within a shared resources and shared services model);
2. Competing more powerfully against incumbent gTLDs; and
3. More thoroughly and uniformly executing consumer and rights holder protections.
This TLD is attractive and useful to end-users as it better facilitates search, self-expression, information sharing and the provision of legitimate goods and services. Along with the other TLDs in the Donuts family, this TLD will provide Internet users with opportunities for online identities and expression that do not currently exist. In doing so, the TLD will introduce significant consumer choice and competition to the Internet namespace – the very purpose of ICANN’s new TLD program.
This TLD is a generic term and its second level names will be attractive to a variety of Internet users. Making this TLD available to a broad audience of registrants is consistent with the competition goals of the New TLD expansion program, and consistent with ICANN’s objective of maximizing Internet participation. Donuts believes in an open Internet and, accordingly, we will encourage inclusiveness in the registration policies for this TLD. In order to avoid harm to legitimate registrants, Donuts will not artificially deny access, on the basis of identity alone (without legal cause), to a TLD that represents a generic form of activity and expression.
DONUTS’ APPROACH TO PROTECTIONS
No entity, or group of entities, has exclusive rights to own or register second level names in this TLD. There are superior ways to minimize the potential abuse of second level names, and in this application Donuts will describe and commit to an extensive array of protections against abuse, including protections against the abuse of trademark rights.
We recognize some applicants seek to address harms by constraining access to the registration of second level names. However, we believe attempts to limit abuse by limiting registrant eligibility is unnecessarily restrictive and harms users by denying access to many legitimate registrants. Restrictions on second level domain eligibility would prevent law-abiding individuals and organizations from participating in a space to which they are legitimately connected, and would inhibit the sort of positive innovation we intend to see in this TLD. As detailed throughout this application, we have struck the correct balance between consumer and business safety, and open access to second level names.
By applying our array of protection mechanisms, Donuts will make this TLD a place for Internet users that is far safer than existing TLDs. Donuts will strive to operate this TLD with fewer incidences of fraud and abuse than occur in incumbent TLDs. In addition, Donuts commits to work toward a downward trend in such incidents.
Donuts has consulted with and evaluated the ideas of international law enforcement, consumer privacy advocacy organizations, intellectual property interests and other Internet industry groups to create a set of protections that far exceed those in existing TLDs, and bring to the Internet namespace nearly two dozen new rights and protection mechanisms to raise user safety and protection to a new level.
These include eight, innovative and forceful mechanisms and resources that far exceed the already powerful protections in the applicant guidebook. These are:
1. Periodic audit of WhoIs data for accuracy;
2. Remediation of inaccurate Whois data, including takedown, if warranted;
3. A new Domain Protected Marks List (DPML) product for trademark protection;
4. A new Claims Plus product for trademark protection;
6. Limitations on domain proxy and privacy service;
7. Published policies and procedures that define abusive activity; and
8. Proper resourcing for all of the functions above.
They also include fourteen new measures that were developed specifically by ICANN for the new TLD process. These are:
1. Controls to ensure proper access to domain management functions;
2. 24⁄7⁄365 abuse point of contact at registry;
3. Procedures for handling complaints of illegal or abusive activity, including remediation and takedown processes;
4. Thick WhoIs;
5. Use of the Trademark Clearinghouse;
6. A Sunrise process;
7. A Trademark Claims process;
8. Adherence to the Uniform Rapid Suspension system;
9. Adherence to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy;
10. Adherence to the Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Policy;
11. Detailed security policies and procedures;
12. Strong security controls for access, threat analysis and audit;
13. Implementation DNSSEC; and
14. Measures for the prevention of orphan glue records.
DONUTS’ INTENTION FOR THIS TLD
As a senior government authority has recently said, “a successful applicant is entrusted with operating a critical piece of global Internet infrastructure.” Donuts’ plan and intent is for this TLD to serve the international community by bringing new users online through opportunities for economic growth, increased productivity, the exchange of ideas and information and greater self-expression.