SENT VIA E-MAIL AND POSTED TO THE MESSAGE BOARD
November 14th, 2000
New TLD Applications Department
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-6601
Report on New TLD Applications (November 9, 2000)
Please accept this
letter as supplemental information to our original submission dated October 2, 2000.
On October 2, 2000, ICM Registry submitted an application to the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) for the creation of a .XXX
and .KIDS top-level domain name. ICM Registry’s proposal introduces the concept of
a next generation ratings system and a strong non-profit program to protect children
on the Internet. This unique combination of solutions will better manage adult-oriented
content and offer a wide variety of enhanced ways of protecting children online.
ICANN’s evaluation team was charged with reviewing ICM Registry’s proposal to
become the registry operator for .XXX and .KIDS, and to evaluate the company’s proposals
under the following considerations:
· The need to maintain the Internet's stability,
particularly in terms of protecting domain-name holders from the effects of registry
or registration-system failure.
· The extent to which the proposal would lead
to an effective "proof of concept" concerning the introduction of top-level domains
in the future. This includes the diversity the proposal would bring to the program,
such as fully open top-level domains; restricted and chartered domains with limited
scope; non-commercial domains; and personal domains; as well as a variety of business
models and geographic locations.
· The enhancement of competition for registration
services at the registry and registrar level.
· The enhancement of the utility
of the DNS.
· An evaluation of delegating policy-formulation functions for special-purpose
TLDs to appropriate organizations.
· The extent to which the proposal would meet
previously unmet needs.
· The importance of appropriate rights protection (including
intellectual-property rights) in connection with the TLD’s operation, especially
during the start-up phases.
ICM Registry is confident
its proposal meets all the criteria set by ICANN, and that ICMR’s unique, non-profit
and for-profit business model is an important first step in protecting minors from
harmful material online, one of the most significant problems on the Internet today.
Features of ICM Registry’s proposal include:
A. Next-generation domain-based
rating system. The enhancement of the DNS’s utility through the creation of a domain-based
rating system for adult-oriented content.
B. The promotion of a code of conduct
for the online adult-content industry. With the support and direction of the ICM
Registry Policy Advisory Board, ICM Registry proposes to work cooperatively toward
the development of a code of conduct for the adult-content industry.
C. A non-profit
company to educate, conduct R&D and protect children online. ICM Registry proposes
to create a non-profit company to fund an online educational campaign, evaluate the
many child-protection technologies and provide reports to the public about the capabilities
of these technologies. In addition, it will invest in the research and development
of technology solutions to the problem of protecting children online. ICM Registry’s
proposed non-profit company has the largest percentage per registration and dollar
non-profit contribution of any registry proposal to ICANN.
D. An industry-led policy
advisory board (PAB). Formed to develop registration policy and respond to legal
and policy-related issues, the PAB will be a broad coalition of the Internet's business,
technical, academic and user communities, and will be chaired by leading industry
adult-content providers. (See also “An Industry-led Policy Advisory Board” under
“Supplementary Information” below.)
E. An effective "proof of concept.”
ICM Registry’s proposal will lead to an effective "proof of concept" concerning the
introduction of the next generation ratings system on the Internet. The many benefits
of having a .XXX registration will motivate adult-content providers to voluntarily
host their content from the .XXX domain.
F. A strong technical and financially
complete proposal. ICM Registry’s proposal demonstrates realistic business, financial,
technical and operational plans.
G. A strong IP protection and sunrise strategy.
ICM Registry has submitted the strongest and most detailed proposal in terms of addressing
the question of rights protection, including both common-law and trademark intellectual-property
rights, especially during the start-up phases.
H. Enhanced competition for registration
services. ICM Registry’s senior management is recognized for its technical and political
expertise. As trusted and responsible representatives within the ICANN process, the
team members have been actively involved in the consensus-building process since
I. Enhanced competition for registration services. ICM Registry’s
proposal offers enhanced competition for registration services at the registry and
registrar level through the expansion of new, adult-oriented domain registration
In developing our proposal, ICM Registry consulted with: established
Internet businesses and service providers; industry-leading adult-content providers;
intellectual-property organizations; prominent academic representatives; child protection
advocacy groups; many of the COPA commissioners; First Amendment rights organizations;
law-enforcement agencies; and a variety of Internet user communities. ICM Registry’s
model to become the next-generation system for rating and identifying Internet content
was developed by responsively analyzing the concerns and needs expressed by this
broad coalition of representatives. ICM Registry continues to cooperatively enhance
our proposal and to coordinate the development of policy through private-sector,
bottom-up, consensus-based measures.
A. NEXT-GENERATION DOMAIN-BASED RATING SYSTEM
In light of the proprietary
nature of the technology developed, ICM Registry, in Section D13.2.1 of our Registry
Operators Proposal, formally proposed to present ICANN with detailed information
describing this advanced new service. In light of ICANN’s decision not to allow applicants
to present their proposals, please find enclosed a summary providing additional information
about our advanced new content-rating service.
ICM Registry proposes to create
a next generation rating service. ICM Registry’s rating system will significantly
expand the effectiveness of traditional rating services by both expanding their ability
to secure use by adult content webmasters and by enhancing the effectiveness of traditional
rating and filtering technologies. ICM Registry’s rating service continues
to be a consensus-based, industry-led strategy.
Upon registration of a .XXX domain,
registrants will voluntarily select those ratings that best describe the content
on their website. Policy for this new system will be led by the ICM Registry Policy
Advisory Board, which will represent and the support the recommendations of both
prominent adult-content representatives and the broader Internet community. Registrants
will have the opportunity to make modifications to their rating simply by making
changes to the relevant new fields within their .XXX domain-name record.
following is an example of the data fields that ICM Registry proposes be added to
.XXX domain-name records at the root level:
Example of Proposed New Domain Record
Field Name Domain Field Description
Violence Rating Identifier
Nud_Rating Nudity Rating Identifier
Sex Rating Identifier
Lan_Rating Language Rating Identifier
Theme_Rating Thematic Rating Identifier
Registrants will have the option
to select the identifier best representing the content which appears on their website.
Descriptions and structure to be further developed by the PAB.
ICM Registry’s proposed
rating system will be responsive to other popular rating systems, and will work to
enable them to take advantage of ICM Registry’s domain rating system. ICM Registry
will also be responsive to recommendations from individuals, companies and organizations.
The Policy Advisory Board, with the leadership of the adult-content community, will
work cooperatively to develop the next-generation system for rating and identifying
Internet content. (See also “The Development of a Code of Conduct” below.) ICM Registry
will audit Websites from time to time to ensure .XXX registrants are properly educated
on the ICM Registry rating process.
ICM Registry commits that this service will
be free to the end-user. ICM Registry also commits that this service will restrict
First Amendment rights.
C. THE PROMOTION OF A CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE ONLINE ADULT-CONTENT
In addition to ICM Registry’s goal of developing a next-generation rating
system, the company has begun discussions with industry leaders in the adult-content
industry to develop an industry-led code of conduct. This code of conduct would discuss:
Voluntary efforts to provide a standard format for front pages of commercial adult-content
o Voluntary efforts to adopt the most effective technologies for verifying
age, and to enhance the effectiveness of these technologies.
o Voluntary efforts
to comply with federal and state laws applicable to unsolicited commercial email,
and not to use mass unsolicited emails likely to include addresses available to children
to promote adult content. Efforts should be made to explore ways to direct commercial
email to adults with standards of disclosure that the email is promoting explicit
o Voluntary efforts to develop an acceptable-use policy. This will disclose
to parents what safeguards and technology are available to protect them and their
o Voluntary efforts to avoid the use of metatags that result in adult
Websites being selected by search engines in response to searches seeking information
of a nonsexual nature, and to avoid the posting of search-engine responses containing
sexually explicit text or graphics.
o Voluntary cooperation with Internet service
providers to develop “best practices” to protect minors and to ensure First Amendment
rights concerns are addressed. ICM Registry will also work to ensure legal adult
content is unrestricted.
o Voluntary cooperation with international law-enforcement
agencies to support their efforts to prosecute violations.
C. A NON-PROFIT COMPANY
TO EDUCATE, PERFORM R&D AND PROTECT CHILDREN ONLINE.
After consulting with the
other submissions for a green-space, top-level domain for children, ICM Registry
has decided to withdraw its proposal to develop a non-profit .KIDS registry. As per
Section E2, Volume – Description of TLD Policies, ICM Registry has decided to donate
the money allocated for this initiative toward the creation of the Child Online Protection
Organization (COPO), a non-profit organization.
COPO is proposed as a nonprofit,
private-sector, global corporation formed by ICM Registry and a broad coalition of
the Internet's business, technical, academic and user communities. COPO is dedicated
to protecting children online from harmful content, and to coordinating policy through
private-sector, bottom-up, consensus-based measures.
COPO will coordinate a major
educational campaign to promote public awareness of technologies and methods currently
available to protect children online. It will also independently evaluate child-protection
technologies and provide reports to the public, and will work with adult-content
providers, filtering, blocking, monitoring companies and search engines to develop
technologies that protect children without restricting the First Amendment rights
of Internet users.
COPO will receive funding from ICM Registry and the private
sector, including industry foundations and public-interest foundations. It will provide
international Internet users with:
o An online educational campaign. COPO will
fund a Website and an educational campaign to promote public awareness of technologies
and methods available to protect children online. Public education will be done in
a sustainable manner that effectively reaches families both online and offline. This
campaign will include:
>The importance of caregivers’ involvement
in a child’s online activities.
>The availability of both
online and offline resources to assist both caregivers and children.
>The range of available technologies that can protect children online, and the testing
and assessment of these technologies.
>Access to child-friendly
sites and .KIDS domains, subject to ICANN approval.
educational site where families can obtain detailed information, report any problems,
and find links to technologies and resources.
>Access to resources,
including information about law-enforcement and child-advocacy organizations.
An independent evaluation of child-protection technologies. COPO will allocate resources
for the independent evaluation of child-protection technologies and will report to
the public on the capabilities of these technologies. These reports will also provide
consumers with objective, well-researched information on the features, effectiveness,
prices, search criteria, transparency, flexibility and ease of use of child-protection
o Research and development of technology solutions. COPO will work
with adult-content providers, filtering, blocking, monitoring companies and search
engines to develop technology that does not restrict Internet users’ First Amendment
ICM Registry has allocated significant funding to enable COPO to perform
these services, as can be seen in the chart below.
Gross contributions to COPO,
ICM Registry’s non-profit organization
Time Period (Left to Right)
@ 10% Confidence
@ 50% Confidence
@ 90% Confidence
(2001) $660,000 $1,020,000 $1,530,000
Year 2 (2002) $1,440,000 $1,890,000 $3,150,000
3 (2003) $1,584,000 $2,520,000 $3,780,000
Year 4 (2004) $1,584,000 $3,072,000
ICM Registry proposes that COPO contributions over the four-year term
of accreditation should initially be allocated as follows (subject to change from
time to time by the representatives of COPO):
Initial COPO allocations for 2000-2004
% (left to right)
@ 10% Confidence
@ 50% Confidence
@ 90% Confidence
Major education campaign
of child-protection technologies
of technology solutions
In its final report,
the COPA Commission expressed concern that its lack of funding and short timetable
limited its inquiry. The Commission suggested that, with additional resources, it
would have provided Congress with a more in-depth and detailed evaluation of individual
ICM Registry proposes to both fund and perform some of the functions
recommended in the COPA Commission’s final report. ICM Registry has developed relationships
with industry-leading domain-technology partners to assist with both for-profit and
non-profit technology-development initiatives. Some of these relationships include:
I-DNS International, Inc.; Neteka; and Verisign Global Registry Services. No
formal arrangements have been made, but subject to ICANN’s accreditation of ICM Registry’s
proposal, the company is confident that contracts can be developed and presented
to ICANN in short order.
D. AN INDUSTRY-LED POLICY ADVISORY BOARD (PAB)
our letter of November 3, 2000, to Lisa Polanski, ICM Registry has proposed to contribute
US$4.00 per .XXX domain registration exclusively to supplement legal fees and support
costs associated with its Policy Advisory Board. ICM Registry anticipates the following
legal and policy contributions over the term of the company’s accreditation:
.XXX Domain Name Registrations
% (left to right)
Year 1 (2001) 110,000 170,000 255,000
2 (2002) 240,000 315,000 525,000
Year 3 (2003) 264,000 420,000 630,000
4 (2004) 264,000 512,000 717,000
Gross new contributions to legal fees and the
Time Period (left to right)
@ 10% Confidence
@ 50% Confidence
@ 90% Confidence
Year 1 (2001) $440,000 $680,000 $1,020,000
Year 2 (2002)
$960,000 $1,260,000 $2,100,000
Year 3 (2003) $1,056,000 $1,680,000 $2,520,000
4 (2004) $1,056,000 $2,048,000 $2,868,000
ICM Registry proposes that contributions
to legal fees over the four-year term of accreditation should be allocated as follows:
legal fee and PAB allocations for 2000-2004
@ 10% Confidence
@ 50% Confidence
@ 90% Confidence
PAB general & administrative
Indemnification and mark-protection related legal fees
First Amendment rights-protection related fees
E. AN EFFECTIVE "PROOF OF CONCEPT”
ICM Registry’s .XXX will
become an effective proof of concept because the company will continue to work to
develop consensus between the diverse representatives involved in this process.
Registry is also exploring ways to provide not only additional legal protection but
also additional advantages to becoming a .XXX registrant. These advantages include:
· The availability of new domain names. New names offer new opportunities to generate
traffic and revenue.
· Enhanced search-engine capabilities. It is likely that
search engines will modify existing search algorithms, allowing priority placement
in connection with adult-content-related searches.
· Potential for litigation
and disputes is minimized. ICM Registry will actively lobby for affirmative defenses
on behalf of all .XXX registrants. This affirmative-defense strategy is intended
to give .XXX registrants added protection from legal action for the distribution
of adult-oriented content. By securing a .XXX registration and abiding by a mutually
agreed-upon code of conduct, adult-content Webmasters can argue that they have taken
reasonable steps to inform and protect minors from accessing adult content online.
Brand promotion & development. .XXX domains are easier to brand and remember, since
there is universal recognition of the goods and services associated with this letter
· Adult content will be categorized, not segregated. .XXX will be a voluntary
· Consensus policy-development. Registrants will have an
opportunity to participate in the development of registration policy and procedures
to best represent their needs.
· Recognition for their non-profit contribution.
A significant portion of registration fees will go to fund COPO.
F. A STRONG TECHNICAL
AND FINANCIALLY COMPLETE PROPOSAL
ICM Registry’s senior management is recognized
for its technical and political expertise. As trusted and responsible representatives
within the ICANN process, the team members have been actively involved in the consensus-building
process since 1997. ICM Registry has secured industry-leading registry-service
providers, supporting-application service-provider and a variety of value-added sub-contractors
which include industry-leading domain-name research and development partners. These
companies include: .TV Corporation International; Exodus; Verisign Gobal Registry
Services; DMR Consulting; i-dns Corporation; and Neteka.
G. A STRONG IP PROTECTION
AND SUNRISE STRATEGY
According to ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency
(IPC) report on proposed TLDs, ICM Registry’s .XXX proposal tied with three other
proposals as having the strongest strategy to protect the rights of others, including
both common-law and trademark intellectual-property rights, especially during the
H. ENHANCED COMPETITION FOR REGISTRATION SERVICES
proposal will enhance competition for registration services at the registry and registrar
levels through the expansion of our new adult-oriented domain-registration services.
Registry continues to cooperatively enhance our proposal and to coordinate the development
of policy through private-sector, bottom-up, consensus-based measures.
was the only proposal that seriously addresses one of the most serious problems on
the Internet today-the protection of children from adult-oriented content.
ICM Registry continues to work with the broader Internet community to generate
ICM Registry, Inc.
Louis Touton, Esq., ICANN
Lisa Polanski, ICANN
Charles J. Neuhauser, Ph.D.
Dr. Peter Reiher
David Nolte, Arthur Andersen LLP
Tengberg, Arthur Andersen LLP
Tom MacKinney, Arthur Andersen LLP
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue
Paul Goldean, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue
D. Palage, Vice President Policy, ICM Registry, Inc.
Jose I. Rojas, Holland &
Derek A. Newman, Newman & Newman, LLP