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dotHIV: Reaction to the GAC's communiqué on 11 April 2013 in Beijing

  • To: comments-gac-safeguard-advice-23apr13@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: dotHIV: Reaction to the GAC's communiqué on 11 April 2013 in Beijing
  • From: Carolin Silbernagl <cs@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 21:08:04 +0200

Dear members of the ICANN Board,

dotHIV gemeinnuetziger e.V. (“dotHIV”), the applicant for the .hiv TLD, is 
pleased to submit these comments regarding the GAC Communiqué from the Beijing 

dotHIV supports the efforts of ICANN and the Governmental Advisory Committee 
(GAC) to deploy the new TLD’s in a safe, secure and responsible manner, and we 
respect the GAC‘s  desire for additional protections in certain categories of 

With respect to the overall evaluation of the GAC communiqué, we refer to the 
comments of the New TLD Applicant Group (NTAG) posted separately as of  14th of 
May 2013 which we fully support.

Additionally, we are concerned by certain aspects of the advice given in 
While we understand the need for adequate consumer protections upon the 
deployment of new TLD’s, we strongly believe that regulations rightfully 
imposed on TLDs at this point of the process should apply to all TLDs, old and 
new, and be developed through the PDP.
Also, we are afraid that the broad language of the advice implies difficulties 
in effective implementation, and – by this – substantial risk to delay not only 
the delegation of a significant subset of individual strings, but of the 
program as a whole.

With regards to our own application, .hiv has been erroneously included in the 
Communiqué’s “Category 1: Consumer Protection, Sensitive Strings, and Regulated 
Markets”, sub-category “Health and Fitness.” dotHIV has successfully passed 
Initial Evaluation by April 19th, and we are concerned this erroneous inclusion 
in Category 1 might delay the delegation process of the charitable .hiv TLD. We 
kindly request to reconsider this categorization.

As explained in our application, dotHIV will not operate in the Health and 
Fitness subcategory of Regulated Markets. dotHIV will NOT deliver 
medical/fitness services of any kind, nor will we offer advice on 
medical/fitness issues.

Rather, dotHIV is organized as a charity under German law, with a mission to 
raise both awareness of and funding for the global fight against AIDS. dotHIV 
is under the competent jurisdiction of the German government and is required to 
abide by all the regulations and requirements attendant to registered charity 
organizations in Germany. 

Please allow us to provide some explanatory information on the nature of our 
application and the organization behind it:

1.              The .hiv TLD registry is designed to serve the fight against 
AIDS and its related affected communities. Its guiding reference in the offline 
world is the Red AIDS Ribbon, a universal symbol of solidarity that is well 
understood and accessible around the globe.

2.              Therefore, the .hiv TLD will be an open TLD. .hiv domains are 
designed as an inclusive and universal tool for online identity for everyone 
that has affinity for the fight against AIDS. We conceive ourselves as a means 
to raise funds and awareness for the global HIV response. Eligible registrants 
include companies, public and civil society organizations, geographic entities, 
celebrities, activists and others. No nexus or pre-qualification requirements 
apply; registrants will self select. As the network of .hiv websites and users 
grows, dotHIV will have an ever broader and more positive social impact.

3.              A key innovation by dotHIV is our built-in micro-donation 
program, through which dotHIV transfers all economic surplus to HIV project 
work. The promise to the Internet User: Every visit on a .hiv-website will 
trigger a small donation and supports the important social cause.  Through this 
innovative model, .hiv domain names will get charged with social identity and 
directly and tangibly expand awareness and motivation to act, and provide ALL 
Internet users a means to easily and quickly contribute to the solution of one 
of the biggest humanitarian challenges of our time. dotHIV has already 
submitted a Public Interest Commitment (PIC) agreeing to reinvest all excess 
profits into projects serving the mission of the TLD: to support the global HIV 

4.              dotHIV marketing activities will position .hiv domain names as 
an innovative tool for AIDS philanthropy and affinity. Over time, .hiv domains 
will be seen as a key  part of an open, online social movement dedicated to 
eradicating AIDS.

5.              dotHIV is supported by a wide range of experts in the many 
areas needed to ensure the success and social responsibility of the venture.  
Within the TLD-sphere, we have established long term partnerships with 
high-quality service providers (including Afilias, NCC Group, Sedo). To guide 
our charitable activities, we work closely with leading HIV organizations and 
members of the affected communities, including an international expert advisory 
pool and a continuous consultancy relationship with Deutsche AIDS Hilfe e.V., 
Europe’s biggest and leading HIV-related umbrella association.

Given the above, we believe strongly that our application should not be listed 
in “Category 1: Consumer Protection, Sensitive Strings, and Regulated Markets”, 
sub-category “Health and Fitness.” dotHIV is not operating within a regulated 
industry, does not offer or provide medical products or services of any kind, 
and is not associated with fitness products or services.  
Rather, .hiv is an open TLD dedicated to charitable work that contributes to 
winning the fight against AIDS, and we believe that no consumers will associate 
our activities with those of an entity in any regulated space (except charity).

As the GAC advice itself states that Category 1 is not a final list (“not 
exhaustive”) it obviously allows the addition of further strings. Given this 
preliminary aspect the removal of erroneously categorized strings should be 
possible as well. We understand that such an elimination requires a formal 
We therefore suggest to develop such a process for reconsideration and removal 
of strings from Category 1. 
However it is of upmost importance that this does not result in a delay of the 
overall program and, to prevent harm from applications that has been included 
by mistake, the delegation of individual strings.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important topic.

Carolin Silbernagl 
Chair, dotHIV gemeinnuetziger e.V. 

dotHIV gemeinnütziger e. V.
join us: facebook.com/dothiv
follow us: twitter.com/dothiv
dotHIV gemeinnütziger e. V. (Incorporated Charitable Association)
Management Board: Carolin Silbernagl, Tobias Mölder, Philipp Kafkoulas
Commercial Register: Amtsgericht Berlin (Charlottenburg) VR 31092, Registered 
Office: Berlin

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