.financial

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Status: Delegated
Registry Provider: Demand Media
Registry: Donuts
Registry Backend: Donuts
Type: Generic
Category: Commerce
PIC Submitted: Download Here
Priority #: 1126 - Donuts (Just Cover, LLC)
nTLDStats
Registrations: 4,776
Parked Domains: 3,433
Parked Domain %: 71.88 %
Important Dates
Delegation: 23 April 2014
General Availability: 06 August 2014

More Information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.financial is a gTLD that was proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant and now Registry Operator is Donuts (Just Cover, LLC).[1] Their application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 23 April 2014.[2]

Background

The application was issued a GAC Early Warning from the representative of Australia and GAC Chair, Heather Dryden. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[3] The warning notes that the TLD refers to a regulated market but that the applicant has not provided for adequate measures to protect from consumer harm.[4]

European Commission Communiqué

The European Commission flagged the application for .financial outside of ICANN's defined remediation processes.

Just after ICANN's GAC issued its Early Warnings, which are advice given from one GAC member country to an applicant warning it of potential issues within its application, the European Commission issued a letter to all applicants within the New gTLD Program. The letter highlights 58 applications that "could raise issues of compatibility with the existing legislation .. and/or with policy positions and objectives of the European Union." It notes a desire to open a dialogue with each offending applicant.

The Commission specifically notes that this objection is not a part of the GAC Early Warning process, and goes on to note that "the Commission does not consider itself legally bound to ICANN processes," given that there is not legal agreement between the two bodies.[5][6]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"ABOUT DONUTS Donuts Inc. is the parent applicant for this and multiple other TLDs. The company intends to increase competition and consumer choice at the top level. It will operate these carefully selected TLDs safely and securely in a shared resources business model. To achieve its objectives, Donuts has recruited seasoned executive management with proven track records of excellence in the industry. In addition to this business and operational experience, the Donuts team also has contributed broadly to industry policymaking and regulation, successfully launched TLDs, built industry-leading companies from the ground up, and brought innovation, value and choice to the domain name marketplace.

ABOUT DONUTS’ RESOURCES Donuts’ has raised more than US$100 million from a number of capital sources for TLDs. Our well-resourced, capable and skilled organization will operate these TLDs and benefit Internet users by:

1. Providing the operational and financial stability necessary for TLDs of all sizes, but particularly for those with smaller volume (which are more likely to succeed within a shared resources model); 2. Competing more powerfully against incumbent gTLDs; and 3. More thoroughly and uniformly executing consumer and rights holder protections.

THE .FINANCIAL TLD This TLD is attractive and useful to end-users as it better facilitates search, self-expression, information sharing and the provision of legitimate goods and services. Along with the other TLDs in the Donuts family, this TLD will provide Internet users with opportunities for online identities and expression that do not currently exist. In doing so, the TLD will introduce significant consumer choice and competition to the Internet namespace – the very purpose of ICANN’s new TLD program.

This TLD is a generic term and its second level names will be attractive to a variety of Internet users. Making this TLD available to a broad audience of registrants is consistent with the competition goals of the New TLD expansion program, and consistent with ICANN’s objective of maximizing Internet participation. Donuts believes in an open Internet and, accordingly, we will encourage inclusiveness in the registration policies for this TLD. In order to avoid harm to legitimate registrants, Donuts will not artificially deny access, on the basis of identity alone (without legal cause), to a TLD that represents a generic form of activity and expression.

The .FINANCIAL TLD will be attractive to registrants with a connection to financial management and the use and provision of financial services. This is a broad and diverse worldwide group and may include, but isn’t limited to, those participating in, offering, and analyzing financial markets, securities, mutual funds, insurance products, equities, bonds, or other financial instruments. The .FINANCIAL TLD also will be a place of expression for those who follow, study and discuss financial matters, including consumers, academics, business journalists and others. We would operate the .FINANCIAL TLD in a legitimate and secure manner, and in the best interests of registrants in all jurisdictions who approach the TLD from a variety of perspectives.

DONUTS’ APPROACH TO PROTECTIONS No entity, or group of entities, has exclusive rights to own or register second level names in this TLD. There are superior ways to minimize the potential abuse of second level names, and in this application Donuts will describe and commit to an extensive array of protections against abuse, including protections against the abuse of trademark rights.

We recognize some applicants seek to address harms by constraining access to the registration of second level names. However, we believe attempts to limit abuse by limiting registrant eligibility is unnecessarily restrictive and harms users by denying access to many legitimate registrants. Restrictions on second level domain eligibility would prevent law-abiding individuals and organizations from participating in a space to which they are legitimately connected, and would inhibit the sort of positive innovation we intend to see in this TLD. As detailed throughout this application, we have struck the correct balance between consumer and business safety, and open access to second level names.

By applying our array of protection mechanisms, Donuts will make this TLD a place for Internet users that is far safer than existing TLDs. Donuts will strive to operate this TLD with fewer incidences of fraud and abuse than occur in incumbent TLDs. In addition, Donuts commits to work toward a downward trend in such incidents.

OUR PROTECTIONS Donuts has consulted with and evaluated the ideas of international law enforcement, consumer privacy advocacy organizations, intellectual property interests and other Internet industry groups to create a set of protections that far exceed those in existing TLDs, and bring to the Internet namespace nearly two dozen new rights and protection mechanisms to raise user safety and protection to a new level."[7]

Contract Signed

On 6 March 2014 Donuts received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .financial after passing all the required processes needed to become a Registry Operator for the string.[8]

Delegation and Availability

.financial was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on 23 April, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[2]

References