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The Applicant, Vistaprint Limited, is the Intellectual Property holding company of the publicly traded company, Vistaprint NV, a large online supplier of printed and promotional material as well as marketing services to micro businesses and consumers. It offers business and consumer marketing and identity products and services worldwide. Vistaprint Limited and its subsidiaries also operate the WEBS and VISTAPRINT websites (webs.com, vistaprint.com and others) and benefits from online transactions with customers. Through its subsidiaries, the Applicant also provides hosting and other Internet related services. This is done in particular through the WEBS website, accessible through webs.com
According to the Applicant, the purpose of the TLD is manifold, as will be further explained below:
i. Securing, protecting and operating one of the Applicant’s business lines (“WEBS”) to the benefit of its stakeholders, referred to below and in particular, members of the WEBS community;
ii. Reflect and operate Applicantʹs ʺWEBSʺ business at the top level of the DNS’ hierarchy;
iii. Provide stakeholders of the Applicant, including subsidiaries, and their respective suppliers, customers, sponsorships, and their respective directors, officers, employees, with a recognizable and trusted location on the Internet;
iv. Provide such stakeholders with a secure and safe Internet environment that is mainly or even fully under the control of the Applicant and its stakeholders.
Given the Applicant’s activity as an innovative web hosting provider at a limited cost, the Applicant intends to make the .WEBS top-level domain available to qualifying domain name registrants at a limited cost or at no cost as part of a web hosting or other service package. As the Applicant will be less dependent on the service offerings of existing registries, the pricing of the Applicant’s services will depend less on the pricing of the service offerings from those registries. The per domain name price to be paid by the Applicant for a web hosting service, inclusive of a domain name, is likely to be lower. This may result in a better price offering to Internet users for the Applicant’s value added services. The Internet user and the Internet community would benefit from the Applicant being able to reduce costs, as this may results in better pricing and⁄or more room for investing in customer service, in innovative Internet solutions, etc. It must be noted that this does not preclude the Applicant ⁄ Registry Operator to charge higher fees for the registration of domain names under the .WEBS TLD at its discretion, e.g., as part of premium packages or for certain categories of clients and customers. The fact that some may be willing to pay more for the registration of particular domain names would again be beneficial for other potential domain name registrants in the .WEBS TLD.
The Applicant is committing to serve the ‘WEBS’ community. The ‘WEBS’ community was created in late 2005 by Freewebs, now called Webs, Inc. Webs, Inc. presently is a subsidiary of the Applicant.
In August 2006, Business Wire reported on this stating that “new Freewebs tools and features put the ‘We’ in Web for world’s largest Web Publisher; import tools, profile pages and ratings & comments help enhance online experience, engage website fvistors and create a single web presence for millions of users” (Document 20.a.1). Since 2006, the Applicant started by giving its users the option to publish their myWebs profile as a page on their website, making it accessible and searchable to all Freewebs – and later on Webs – visitors. The Applicant invested in creating the tools necessary for its members to simply create their Web presence and share their passions with the world.
Since its inception, the name of the community was ‘WEBS’. This is shown by the mention of ‘myWebs’ and the mention of the name ‘Webs’ as such to refer to the blog that was used by the community to communicate with each other to share Webs experiences (see Document 20.a.2 – additional examples of community-engaging entries are available upon request). In 2008 this resulted in the rebranding of the company name from Freewebs into Webs. The community only became stronger and the aim was to have visitors to become active participants. The Applicant, through the Webs platform lets site owners create community-driven sites that visitors can join as members. By giving site members the ability to comment on photos, post to a blog, add to a site calendar, and more, a site becomes more of a living, breathing entity and a reflection of the Webs community.
The myWebs service had 223,039 different members with 488,064 memberships to 84,226 groups. Every month more than 3.9 million of websites from the Webs community are visited by over 25 million unique visitors. Between late 2005 and early 2010, the Webs blog was branched between a blog for free users and a blog for paid users. Both blogs wer actively used. Today Webs, Inc. provides community-powered support for Webs through http:⁄⁄support.webs.com⁄webs. Members of the Webs community support each other and share experiences through this portal. Furthermore, the Webs community members also communicate with each other on Twitter and Facebook. Webs on Facebook has 85,990 people expressing that they like Webs (see Document 20.a.3).
The Webs community has members worldwide, with active websites in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world. More information about the geographic diversity of the Webs Community is provided in Document 20.a.4. The Applicant is prepared to provide more information on the size and geographic extent of the community in the event of a community priority evaluation, insofar this information is kept confidential.