Q18a, Char 3415
The term “ninja” is a generic and broadly used word with a particular affinity in popular culture as a term that describes a person with special expertise or skills (e.g. HTML Ninja) or people with special interest in different forms of martial arts. Global in scope, today a passionate group of millions of consumers identify with this word. The mission and purpose of the .ninja TLD is to establish an easily recognized and accessible namespace for this large and dynamic group.
The .ninja TLD is proposed by United TLD Holdco Ltd. (“United TLD”), a well-funded company established by highly experienced domain industry executives for the express purpose of securing the rights to operate a portfolio of TLDs that increase choice, expression, affinity and relevance for millions of consumers, businesses and other organizations on the web.
As outlined in our response to Qs. 46, 47 and 48, United TLD has a large capital base available to fund start-up costs, acquire the rights to operate multiple TLDs and operate the registries in a world-class manner. Additionally, United TLD has prefunded a Continued Operations Instrument (COI) to protect future registrants.
PROTECTING CONSUMERS AND RIGHTS HOLDERS
United TLD team has a wealth of experience in the domain industry and has been a dedicated contributor to ICANN’s new TLD program for many years as an active participant to internet policy development and implementation, working on topics like rights protection mechanisms and trademark clearing house. United TLD is committed to operating .ninja in a manner that promotes inclusiveness, while creating a safe environment for consumers and rights holders.
United TLD is implementing a broad array of protection mechanisms that we believe will make this TLD a safer place than existing TLDs, with fewer instances of abuse. These protections include eight innovative mechanisms that substantially exceed the protections specified in the TLD applicant guidebook. These mechanisms 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.
Our protection mechanisms 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;
14. Measures for the prevention of orphan glue records.
Q18b, Char 5576
i. what is the goal of proposed TLD in terms of specialty, service levels or reputation.
The .ninja TLD seeks to establish a widely recognized and desirable address. Creating a distinct sense of identity, interest and belonging not achievable with existing TLDs, .ninja will provide a well-regarded address for the sharing of information, ideas, experiences, entertainment and the sale of relevant goods and services.
The desired reputation of .ninja is that of an open namespace where everyone is welcomed as engaged participants. As such, we expect that participants will create innovative and specialized products and services that connect with their audience. For example, suppliers of martial arts equipment and services may promote their offerings to interested consumers. A self-proclaimed expert in homebrew techniques may share information about making beer at home.
As the registry of an open namespace like .ninja, United TLD believes that the role of the registry is to educate the marketplace about the benefits of the namespace, facilitate the broadest levels of participation, expeditiously operate within the ICANN framework for managing all manners of dispute and provide the highest levels of responsiveness to registrants and registrars. When the registry does these things well, the namespace thrives and consumers benefit from the innovation and trust that follows.
ii. What do you anticipate your proposed TLD will add to the current space in terms of competition, differentiation or innovation.
This new TLD is highly differentiated from existing generic and community-sponsored TLDs in terms of the affinity, context and accessibility that it affords to registrants. As such, it presents a credible and desirable competitor to existing TLDs and ultimately benefits registrants, their audience, and the supporting ecosystem of registrars and value-added service providers that engage this group with new products and services.
The .ninja TLD will also incorporate the innovative consumer and rights protections measures outlined earlier in this question, further adding value above and beyond the current namespace.
Prospective registrants will encounter an easily understood and openly accessible registration process. Whether they are rights holders protecting their trademarks in the sunrise period or acquirers of domains during the period of general availability, each registrant will encounter a clear, responsive, dependable and consistent approach to the provision of registry services through United TLD’s network of domain name registrars.
Consumers, registrants and rights holders will also experience a safer namespace due to the implementation and enforcement of numerous innovative protection mechanisms.
iv. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.
United TLD will be inclusive in its registration policies for this broad and generic TLD. We will not limit registrant eligibility for second-level registrations and will provide registration services to all legitimate registrants. However, we may elect to reserve and hold back certain strings from second-level registration at the time we launch the TLD.
We will not tolerate illegal activity in this TLD and will have strict policies and enforcement that provide for takedown or other appropriate forms of remedy. United TLD will adhere to and uphold all ICANN-required registration policies and comply with the requirements of the registration policy portion of the Registry Agreement.
v. Will the TLD impose measures for protecting privacy of confidential information of registrants or users? If so, describe.
As described in our response to Q. 30, United TLD will provide a safe and secure environment for protecting confidential registration and user data.
United TLD will cooperate with government authorities to the extent required to comply with all applicable laws regarding privacy and data protection.
We anticipate permitting the use of proxy and privacy services for registrations in this TLD in a manner consistent with the limitations provided in our response to Qs. 28 and 29 in the technical portion of the application. We believe these proxy and privacy services provide a valuable option to potentially protect registrants from identity theft, spam and other online perils.
vi. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will achieve your projected benefits.
United TLD intends to publicly promote .ninja in order to educate prospective registrants and registrars about the existence, marketplace value and availability of the TLD.
Awareness will be created through the appropriate mix of media relations, social media outreach, advertising, educational tools and the amplification of key messages by key influencers and distribution partners.
Innovation will be fostered by actively participating in industry level conversations and encouraging ecosystem participants to pursue the development of uniquely valuable goods and services.
Expanded choice will be achieved as the TLD is made available through an active network of registrars and resellers of registrars that are engaged to distribute second-level domains to a broad audience.
Value and trust will be reinforced by the frequent and visible promotion of positive and noteworthy examples of the .ninja TLD being used in practice by registrants.