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DotAsia Partners with ICANNWiki to Harness
Online Community Participation for
Pioneer Domains Program
Extends Pioneer Domains Program Deadline to 10 September 2007

Hong Kong, 27 August 2007 — DotAsia Organisation, the registry operator of the “.Asia” Internet domain, today announced a landmark partnership with ICANNWiki, a grassroots domain collaborative website and industry resource for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) stakeholders, that will leverage the Web 2.0 web-based communities to expand online community participation for DotAsia’s .Asia Pioneer Domains Program.

This initiative marks the first time in the history of the Internet that the online public, including ICANN stakeholders from both inside and outside of ICANN, will play a major role in deciding who will be awarded the best cyber real estate in a domain, in this case, the new .Asia domain name. ICANN is responsible for managing the assignment of Internet domain names and addresses, including the introduction of new generic top-level domains.

At the same time, DotAsia said it will extend the application period for the Pioneer Domains Program to September 10, 2007.

“The partnership between the team at ICANNWiki and DotAsia enables greater participation from the overall community in the launch of .Asia. With this, DotAsia is again setting a new benchmark for community participation by managing the entire process in a more Web 2.0 way then a typical new domain registry,” said Dan Mendell, the Executive Director of ICANNwiki and the CEO of Neutral Space, Inc., the organization that maintains the Wiki for the ICANN community.

“A great promise of the Internet is the enablement of mass participation.  The partnership with ICANNwiki enables us to engage the community to express their thoughts on voting for the best creative ideas for the best .Asia domains,” said Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia.

“This sort of democratization has never been done before when there has been so much still on the table.” said Dan Mendell CEO of Neutral Space, Inc. “Edmon and his team are true believers in the .Asia domains and this sort of balanced commitment to the process shows that they really mean it.”

The online polling will be global through the ICANNWiki website [www.ICANNWiki.org]. Results will be maintained online and will provide input to the Pioneers Commission — the evaluation committee — in the consideration of Pioneer applications.

The posting of the Pioneer applications on the ICANNWiki website will also assist in the challenge process, enhancing the procedures for the allocation of domain names. In an announcement earlier, DotAsia has partnered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to the maintenance of a balanced and effective international intellectual property system, to be the Challenge Resolution Provider for the Pioneer Domains Program.

The .Asia Pioneer Domains Program offers the ultimate first-mover advantage for brand development and e-commerce in Asia. Applicants are invited to submit a brief proposal for the domain of their choice and measures are in place to protect the rights of others and curb abusive registrations. This concept marks a departure from the conventional first-come-first-served allocation model to directly motivate the adoption and positive usage of the domain names. The best ideas win the right to operate the best .Asia domains. “This is the overall key to any rollout in business,” said Dan Mendell. “Anything you can do to kick off usage, verses encourage long term holding of the domain, is good for the registrar’s branding and good for it’s supporting community.”

After the deadline for the Pioneer Domains’ Program, the DotAsia organisation will launch the Sunrise (i.e. priority registration period for prior rights holders) registration of names for the .Asia domain on October 9, 2007.

To summarize some of the advantages of the Pioneer Domains Program over the Sunrise:

  1. Before the Sunrise begins, Pioneer applicants may propose the best .Asia domain names
  2. The Sunrise process requires evidential proof of rights in the form of Trademark registrations.  The Domain name applied for must match with the trademark. For the Pioneer Domains Program, applicants can apply for additional domain names such as common typos of a brand or variants that are commonly used but not trademarked. Brand owners can apply to use an abbreviation or variation of their brand as the chosen domain name, and the name thus applied for is not required to have a registered trademark.
  3. The .Asia sunrise process requires for a trademark to be applied for before certain cut-off dates.  For the Pioneer Domains Program, there is no such requirement, especially for common words and phrases.
  4. Applying for .Asia domains under the Pioneer Domains Program is free of charge. Trademark verification fees, which are required for Sunrise applications, will be waived by the DotAsia Organisation for the Pioneer Domains Program. Applicants under the Pioner Domains Program are however required to place a Marketing Commitment Deposit of US$10,000, and will be promptly refunded for marketing of the proposed businesses upon documented proof.
  5. DotAsia will work with Pioneers on co-marketing and other joint promotional activities, highlighting the commitment to the Asia community.

About DotAsia

The DotAsia Organisation is a not-for-profit community-based organisation incorporated in Hong Kong with a focused mission to operate the .Asia Registry. It is the sponsoring organization and registry operator for the .Asia sponsored generic top level domain. The DotAsia Organisation has a purposeful mandate to direct surplus proceeds to initiatives that benefit the community in the region, such as projects to bridge the digital divide and regional research development projects.

All DotAsia media queries please contact:

Amanda de Silva or Cherry Velarde at Upstream Asia, Tel: +(852) 2973 0222. Email: amanda.desilva@upstreamasia.com / cherry.velarde@upstreamasia.com

All ICANNWiki.org media queries please contact:

Chuck Kisselburg (ICANNwiki Director) Tel: +1 (503)- 869-9025
Email: Chuck@ICANNwiki.org



Submission Deadline: Aug 31, 2007
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