In responding to the issues indicated in Question 22, The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has considered GAC advice set forth at https:⁄⁄gacweb.icann.org⁄display⁄gacweb⁄New+gTLDs and https:⁄⁄gacweb.icann.org⁄download⁄attachments⁄1540128⁄gTLD_principles_0.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1312358178000. CREA has also considered the methodology developed for the reservation and release of country names in the .INFO tld, and specifically the information relating to .INFO at Resolution 01-92 at http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄en⁄minutes⁄minutes-10sep01.htm and ICANN’s proposed action plan at http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄en⁄meetings⁄montevideo⁄action-plan-country-names-09oct01.htm . CREA has also reviewed the Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process – The Recognition and Rights and the Use of Names in the Internet Domain Name System, Section 6, Geographical Identifiers, at http:⁄⁄www.wipo.int⁄amc⁄en⁄processes⁄process2⁄report⁄html⁄report.html and ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization Reserved Names Working Group – Final Report at http:⁄⁄gnso.icann.org⁄issues⁄new-gtlds⁄final-report-rn-wg-23may07.htm.
Initial Reservation of Country and Territory Names
CREA is committed to initially reserving, at no cost to governments, public authorities or inter-governmental organizations, the country and territory names contained in the internationally recognized lists described in Article 5 of Specification 5 attached to the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook Draft New gTLD Registry Agreement at the second level and at all other levels within the .MLS generic top-level domain (gTLD) at which CREA will provide for registrations. Specifically, CREA will reserve:
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;
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
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.
To the extent Article 5 of Specification 5 of the final version of the New gTLD Registry Agreement is amended to include additional country, territory or other geographic identifiers, CREA will similarly initially reserve all such names.
It is CREA’s intent to initially reserve the names mentioned above by blocking them from registration at the registry level (for example, CREA’s back end provider, Verisign, would block the names from registration), but CREA may use any other method for initially reserving the names as not prohibited by the final version of the New gTLD Registry Agreement, such as, for example, registering such names in its own name in order to withhold them from delegation or use.
Use of Non-Reserved Geographical Identifiers
As stated in response to Question 18, the mission⁄purpose of the .MLS gTLD is to allow registration of .MLS domain names by CREA’s member Boards and Foreign Affiliate members. The .MLS TLD will initially be made available to CREA’s member Boards and Foreign Affiliate members. After undertaking any required assessments, CREA may enter into a second phase where the TLD would be made available to broker and salespeople members of CREA.
In Canada, boards and associations will only be allowed to use the TLD with their business name or an acronym of their business name. All the domain names that Foreign Affiliates apply for must contain a geographical modifier that relates to the area of the country that the Foreign Affiliate services or clearly indicate the geographical area served by their system on any site page. Under these rules, it is highly likely that non-reserved geographical identifiers will be used.
Such use, however, is consistent with the mission⁄purpose of the .MLS gTLD. As many Boards in Canada incorporate non-reserved geographical identifiers in their entity names, use of such identifiers in second level domains in the .MLS gTLD maintains the mission⁄purpose of the .MLS gTLD. Furthermore, potential Board members currently provide real estate information which is by its nature geographic in origin, such as real estate purchase⁄sale information for real estate within a certain geographic area. CREA believes that it is a logical and intuitive use of the .MLS namespace for such Board and Foreign Affiliate members to use geographic identifiers, which identify the geographic area in which such Board or Foreign Affiliate members already provide geographically-related information, in second level domains in .MLS.
CREA recognizes that there is concern regarding misuse of geographical identifiers in the international, regional and national levels. However, CREA provides several mechanisms to counter misuse concerns. As set forth in the answer to Question 18, CREA will manually review all domain requests. Registration is limited, in phase one, to Board members and Foreign Affiliate members, who are legitimate providers of professional real estate related information. In phase two, registration is limited to brokers and salespeople who are members of CREA. Further, CREA’s interest in the MLS® brand as a trademark provides CREA with incentive to vet out any potential misuse. As such, CREA is confident that concerns regarding misuse of non-reserved geographical identifiers are being appropriately addressed.
CREA, acting as a responsible business, generally seeks to avoid business practices that could potentially mislead consumers and misuse geographical identifiers. CREA believes that it is important, pursuant to the mission⁄purpose of the .MLS gTLD, to be able to use geographical identifiers in a fair, non-misleading manner and consistent with the use and registration guidelines set forth herein, as such use can benefit Internet users, Board members, Foreign Affiliate members and consumers as proposed in .MLS’s business model. CREA is committed to operating the .MLS namespace in a manner that minimizes potential consumer confusion, and will actively work with others in the ICANN community regarding any future policy development in this area.
Alleged Abuses of Geographic Names
CREA does not anticipate any disputes with governments or public authorities arising in connection with the registration and use of geographic names within the .MLS gTLD based upon its proposed use set forth in Answer 18 of this application and the statements made herein. Nevertheless, CREA is committed to working with governments, public authorities, or IGOs to quickly resolve any such potential disputes, and as such ensure that such governments, public authorities and IGO’s will at minimum have access to .MLS’s abuse prevention procedure(s) and rights protection mechanisms set forth in answers to Questions 28 and 29 of this Application in order to ensure an ability to address alleged abuses of names with national or geographic significance at the second level of .MLS.
Potential Future Release of Initially Reserved Names
CREA looks forward to collaborating with other new gTLD Registry Operators in potentially working with the GAC and ICANN to explore processes that could permit the release of initially reserved country names, such as Registry Service Evaluation Processes (RSEP) requests that have been filed by existing gTLD Registry Operators in releasing previously reserved domain names.
Creation and Updating the Policies
Should the need arise in the future for the creation or updating of the policies regarding this class of domain names, CREA will act in an open and transparent manner to develop such a policy and⁄or recommendation.
CREA is also committed to the ongoing review and updating of these lists to prevent the misleading use of geographical identifiers. Consistent with this commitment, CREA intends to participate in any ongoing ICANN policy discussion regarding the protection of geographic names within the DNS.