CORE-MoU

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CORE-MOU is the Internet Council of Registrars-Memorandum of Understanding, consisting of terms and policies to be followed by each CORE member. When an applicant’s form is accepted for consideration by CORE, the applicant must read the CORE-MoU and affirm to follow its provisions.[1]

General

Article 1 consists of definitions of the terms used in the MoU, such as DNS, Registry, Registrar, gTLD, the CORE-gTLD, gTLD–MoU, POC, iPOC, IAHC and so on.

Article 2 contains the principles, adopted from the gTLD-MoU, that need to be followed by each Registrar. They are as follows:

  • The TLD is a public resource and any evolution and/or administration should be in the interest and service of the public.
  • Public policies should represent the interests of current and future stakeholders of the internet namespace.
  • The registration services of gTLD namespace should provide for global distribution of Registrars.
  • According to section 2(f) of the gTLD-MoU, if the Second Level Domain (SLD) in any CORE-gTLD is identical to an alphanumeric string for which intellectual property rights exist, it shall be made available to only the rights-holder or to the one authority assigned by the rights-holder.

Article 3 speaks about the gTLDs and CORE-gTLDs

  • CORE gTLDs will be the first gTLDs created by iPOC as per Section 9(a) of the gTLD-MoU, and thereafter be an additional gTLD as per Section 9(b) of gTLD-MoU.
  • “.com”, “.org” and “.net” gTLDs shall not be subject to the provisions of the CORE-MoU, and Registrars who administers those gTLDs shall not be considered gTLD Registrars for the purposes of CORE-MoU.
  • Two character TLD namespace shall not be subject to the provisions of the CORE-MoU.[2]

Selection of Registrars

Article 4 specifies the qualifications required and the application requirements. The first round of applications is processed by the iPOC. Associated entities are required to submit only one form. Problems that arise due to the association between the associated entities are solved by iPOC for first round and thereafter by CORE. There is also a provision against transferring the rights or responsibilities to another entity without the consent of the POC; failing this provision may lead to disqualification.[3]

Structure and Responsibilities of CORE

Article 5 states the structure and the responsibilities of CORE in managing its Registrars, gTLDs, and SLDs. Some of the responsibilities are as follows:

  1. An entity selected under article 4 qualifies to sign the CORE-MoU and become a CORE member. If the member satisfies the technical and operational requirements, it may become a Registrar.
  2. CORE enforces requirements that each Registrar must operate in with the provisions of the CORE-MoU.
  3. It establishes policies and technical protocols to ensure that SLDs are assigned on a first come, first serve basis with respect to a Registrar’s interaction with the CORE repository.
  4. CORE maintains repositories of all SLDs registered by its Registrars and provides reliable repository services. A separate repository is maintained for each gTLD and enforces each Registrar to submit a data set for each SLD registered. The repositories are updated daily by CORE.
  5. CORE provides financial support for POC (and its predecessors, IAHC and iPOC) as a reimbursement of expenses for carrying out their responsibilities.
  6. CORE ensures that Registrars are not involved in the trafficking of SLDs for sale, resale or transfer to applicants for their own usage.
  7. CORE establishes and enforces procedures for payment of fees by Registrars as mentioned in Article 6(d)(ii) of the MoU.

Article 6 specifies the registration policies for SLDs. This article contains general procedures applied by Registrars and CORE in the assignment of an SLD to an applicant. It contains the details for an applicant’s responsibilities after being assigned a SLD such as the annual maintenance fees, regulations of handling and transferring an SLD, etc.

Article 7 deals with disputes that may arise between domain name holders and any third party. It mentions that all disputes will be handled by the Administrative Domain Name Challenge Panel (ACP) in accordance with the WIPO ACP Rules and that the applicant must abide by the decision of the ACP. It also mentions the arbitration procedure that is to be followed in case of such a dispute, in accordance with the WIPO On-Line Expedited Arbitration Rules. ACPs are established as per Section 8 of gTLD-MoU and follow rules set by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.[4]

Administrative provisions

Article 8 of the CORE-MoU speaks about the general provisions of the MoU. The MoU comes into action once it is signed on behalf of the iPOC. The signatories also periodically review the results and consequences of their cooperation. When they feel any need for improvement, a proposal is made to the POC and the PAB to modify and update the terms and scope of the MoU. The POC can initiate amendments to the MoU only after consultations with the CORE and PAB and can be added once it is signed on behalf of the POC. Any dispute relating to the CORE-MoU such as invalidity, termination or breach is settled by arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in front of the Secretary General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Article 9 deals with the legal terms and conditions related to the CORE-MoU that each Registrar agrees to follow. Some of the terms are as follows:

  1. Registrar affirms that it has full power and authority to operate as a Registrar.
  2. A Registrar's activities under CORE should not
  • conflict with any of its governing documents.
  • conflict with or result in breach or termination under any legal agreement to which the Registrar is a party.
  • result in violation of an applicable law or regulation by the Registrar.
  1. Registrar should not to be associated with any legal recourse against the “Administrative Parties” of or related to CORE activities, to the extent permitted by law.
  2. Registrar agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the “Administrative Parties” from and against any expenses incurred in the investigation arising from any misinterpretation or breach of any term of the CORE-MoU by the Registrar.
  3. Registrar agrees that claims arising from or relating to the CORE-MoU are settled by arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.
  4. The Registrar should not have any interest in any gTLD or SLD in CORE-gTLDs other than those registered by its own account.[5]

References

  1. CORE membership application form
  2. corenic.orgGeneral
  3. corenic.orgSelection of Registrars
  4. corenic.orgStructure and Responsibilities
  5. corenic.orgAdministrative provisions