.courses Domain Information
Applicant Full Legal Name
OPEN UNIVERSITIES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
Australian Proprietary Company, Limited By Shares
Level 1, 473 Bourke Street
Applied for gTLD
Mission/Purpose of Domain Extension
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .COURSES gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST, CONVENIENCE AND UTILITY. The .courses gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative internet space where information,... Read more
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .COURSES gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST, CONVENIENCE AND UTILITY.
The .courses gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative internet space where information, services and resources of Open Universities Australia Pty Ltd (OUA) will be closely controlled by it. The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .courses gTLD will be used in the promotion and communication of OUA's open online courses. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used for user engagement purposes and to regulate the education sector from a digital perspective, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
OUA is a not-for-profit company committed to the provision of quality online education. OUA is owned by 7 major public universities in Australia, such as Monash University and University of South Australia, and is the national leader in providing access to quality online higher education for Australian students. Since its establishment in 1993, OUA has helped over 144,000 students, across over 100 countries including Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong, UK and China, who might otherwise not have gained access to quality education to achieve their educational and career goals. OUA aims to extend its national leadership in providing students flexible online access to quality higher education and enhance professional development through distance education. OUA is committed to providing access to the largest choice of quality online tertiary education options and services with over 1400 study topics and 170 qualifications online, all taught by 20 leading Australian universities and tertiary education providers. OUA recognises that one education system does not fit all and seeks to help students find smarter and flexible ways to learn by providing educational opportunities that are in line with their changing needs. For example, OUA offers a unique model which enables its students to study individual study topics and to commence courses, in most cases, without the need for a previous study via open entry. In this regard, the .courses gTLD will cater to OUA's commitment to open its online courses to anyone, anytime and anywhere. These objectives will be further complemented by OUA's separate application for .study to strengthen OUA's profile as a leading online learning services provider in the education sector.
Business activities are increasingly conducted over the internet, allowing for greater levels of interaction between organisations, businesses and customers. As a result, both businesses and end users benefit from ease of interaction and a wider range of choices with lower transaction costs. However, the development in this arena in the current domain name system has exposed the online participants to increased criminal activities over the internet, including data breach, hacking and phishing. These sophisticated criminal activities cause reputational damage to businesses as internet users lose consumer confidence and trust with the businesses targeted by such criminal activities. The .courses domain name will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with OUA online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
OUA's mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest. OUA is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .courses gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to OUA, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .courses domain names are trustworthy. As .courses domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under OUA's control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .courses domain space;
- competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .courses gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
- consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting OUA's marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with OUA. As OUA has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under the .courses domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .courses gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that around 50 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 1000 domain names as OUA develops and implements new online courses services.
As the new .courses gTLD expands and evolves, OUA may at a later date consider offering personalised domains to its students such as studentname.courses to interact with OUA. OUA expects that this will provide an opportunity for students to develop their digital skills and in the building of their own domain property resulting in students innovating in the use of the internet. In this endeavour, OUA will retain control over these spaces and it will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. OUA will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to the .courses gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
OUA is a well-recognised education brand in Australia with an extensive trademark and domain name portfolio relating to the courses it offers. OUA's key domain names are in the .edu.au domain space, which is only available to recognised educational organisations in Australia. OUA's trademarks are registered in categories, such as Electrical and scientific apparatus (Class 9); Paper goods and printed matter (Class 16) and Education and entertainment (Class 41), which are all relating to the multiple disciplines of study that OUA provides.
OUA is owned by Australia's most respected universities, each with a significant global reputation as a provider of education, teaching, research and study. On this note, OUA has a longstanding tradition and relationship with the term "courses". OUA believes that the .courses gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. Although the word "courses" may have several meanings, OUA will use the .courses gTLD only in respect of its studying options and education services. OUA also plans to use the proposed .courses gTLD to bring the whole education sector together in a centric place and to promote the benefits of open online learning to the global stage more effectively.×
18(B)I. WHAT IS THE GOAL OF YOUR PROPOSED gTLD IN TERMS OF AREAS OF SPECIALTY, SERVICE LEVELS OR REPUTATION? The key goals of the proposed new .courses gTLD are in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments: to promote consumer trust, competition and consumer choice. OUA also seeks to foster its... Read more
18(B)I. WHAT IS THE GOAL OF YOUR PROPOSED gTLD IN TERMS OF AREAS OF SPECIALTY, SERVICE LEVELS OR REPUTATION?
The key goals of the proposed new .courses gTLD are in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments: to promote consumer trust, competition and consumer choice. OUA also seeks to foster its reputation as the leading provider for its online learning services and provide an authoritative internet space through which OUA and its affiliates are able to communicate with its users directly and effectively. Acknowledged within the Australian market for its online innovation, OUA aims to use the proposed .courses gTLD to leverage its market leadership position as an online learning space and drive traffic business growth for OUA by using .courses as a trusted centre of targeted content and information about available courses for its prospective students. The .courses gTLD will allow its users to identify courses more quickly and easily by matching their learning interest, career aspirations and lifestyles. OUA also plans to provide second or third level domain names such as open.courses and university.courses to assist in generating search-derived traffic for itself and its partner universities. Further, the ability to create personalised domain names on demand and domain names related to the courses OUA provides will support these goals. Strengthened security measures, service levels and more effective functionality will provide a trusted and positive user experience.
18(B)II. WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE YOUR PROPOSED gTLD WILL ADD TO THE CURRENT SPACE, IN TERMS OF COMPETITION, DIFFERENTIATION, OR INNOVATION?
It is anticipated that the proposed .courses gTLD will make positive contributions to the wider internet community, particularly in the online learning space, by providing:
DIFFERENTIATION (INCREASED TRUST):
The .courses gTLD will simplify how internet users interact with OUA by providing a distinctive domain space specifically for open online learning. OUA anticipates that the .courses gTLD will generate more search-derived traffic from users searching for study options. Such internet users will be able to directly navigate to the .courses gTLD site to find the most relevant study option for their courses. By centralising accredited and certified courses, .courses will facilitate its users' decision-making process when investing in their education, saving them time and resources searching for the appropriate course tailored to their needs. Further, OUA plans to increase its partnership with other educational institutions in Australia and overseas. The use of the .courses gTLD may ultimately be adopted to regulate the education sector from a digital perspective. OUA seeks to establish a global standard in education by developing the .courses gTLD to differentiate its offer in online learning among multiple providers. OUA already offers a unique model which enables students to study individual study topics and to commence courses without the need for previous study, in most cases, via open entry. The current domain name system has shown that it is vulnerable to malicious abuses due to registration of domain names which seek to exploit consumer confusion. OUA can address some of these vulnerabilities by maintaining complete control over the domain names registered under the .courses domain space. OUA intends to use .courses to ensure that users are able to distinguish OUA's selected network of education providers and the individual study topics they offer from counterfeiters. Together with consumer trust, internet users will be able to rely on the authoritativeness of the domain names under the .courses domain space, which will differentiate interaction between internet users and OUA's websites.
The differentiation of .courses gTLD as a trusted online learning site for OUA will drive existing and new TLD registry operators and other education providers to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs. The ability to market OUA's offer of individual study topics with the use of the .courses gTLD will provide OUA a significant competitive edge as students wishing to find appropriate courses tailored to their needs will be encouraged to interact with domain names under the .courses domain space. With a dedicated .courses domain space, educational institutions and services providers in the education sector may have increased choices in the registration of domain names. As a result, .courses will have a flow on effect to enable increased competition. Therefore, the benefits of the proposed .courses gTLD will be distributed not only to its direct customers, but to the internet community at large forcing improved services in the market place.
With the expansion of the internet community to all corners of the world, the existing TLD structure presents limitations, not only in the availability of domain names for registrants, but also to businesses and organisations establishing a coherent global online brand presence to meet their evolving business needs. It is often difficult to register a domain name in existing domain space due to unavailability of the desired name. This problem is amplified for organisations such as OUA who work across many different jurisdictions and geographical markets. Even when the desired domain name is available, it may come with a high price tag associated with a purchase of such desired name from a third party or be ambiguous and fail to explain the nature of the organisation's business. With .courses, OUA has the ability to create second or third level domain names including the use of geographic names on demand which are relevant to its student base and the courses that OUA offers. By building its website and future websites with clear domain names such as accounting.courses and country.courses, OUA will be able to convey a clear message that it provides studying options from its partner universities and other accredited education providers. OUA will be able to combine its use of the domain space with innovative user focused marketing and services to address the currently unmet needs in the existing domain name system providing greater consumer choice.
The proposed .courses gTLD will provide a positive user experience, which meets the changing and growing needs of the global internet community. OUA will maintain control in the registration and use of domain names and will ensure that the new gTLD will only be used for purposes authorised by OUA. Therefore, the .courses gTLD will:
- provide an easy and intuitive reference and access point for internet users searching for courses matching their learning interest or career aspirations;
- represent authenticity thus promoting user confidence;
- direct internet users to relevant information in a timely manner by creating domain names such as university.courses on demand;
- allow the use of IDNs at a later stage to enable OUA's current and prospective students to interact directly in their native language;
- use geographic names to localise OUA's websites to connect with internet users in the relevant regions and to comply with local laws;
- enhance security and minimise security risks by implementing necessary technical and policy measures;
- strengthen brand reputation and user confidence by eliminating user confusion; and
- prevent potential abuses in the registration process reducing overall costs to businesses and users.
OUA intends to create relevant domain names for use including product, services or geographic names in the second or third level domain names. In accordance with the registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, OUA will use geographic names to localise its websites in the Australia and its main territories initially where OUA offers its online courses. OUA plans to expand the use of geographic names to other countries in the Asia Pacific and US regions at a later stage where OUA plans to expand its operations. The use of geographic names is intended to:
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the relevant territory.
At this stage, OUA does not intend to utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level. However, as the use of the .courses gTLD evolves, OUA may wish to utilise IDNs to allow internet users to engage with .courses in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity.
The .courses gTLD should address the concerns that the current domain name system is open to potential malicious abuse and user confusion in the registration processes. Although the current system allows an eligible party to lodge a claim through existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or other dispute resolution processes, the .courses gTLD will reduce potential abuses in the registration processes and overall costs to internet users. User confidence in the domain name system will be strengthened, which will ultimately contribute towards promoting ICANN's core values in benefiting the public interest.
18(B)IV. PROVIDE A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THE APPLICANTʹS INTENDED REGISTRATION POLICIES IN SUPPORT OF THE GOALS LISTED ABOVE.
The proposed registration policy is attached in response to Question 28.
Only OUA will be eligible to register domain names in .courses at this stage. The domain name registration processes will address the requirements mandated by ICANN, including rights abuse prevention measures.
18(B)V. WILL YOUR PROPOSED gTLD IMPOSE ANY MEASURES FOR PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION OF REGISTRANTS OR USERS? IF SO, PLEASE DESCRIBE ANY SUCH MEASURES.
OUA is committed to protection of privacy and confidential information in accordance with its objective of increasing consumer trust and providing a safe and legitimate internet space for internet users. Privacy and confidential information will be protected in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations relating to internet security, privacy and user's confidential information including the Privacy Act 1988 (Australia).
1. Collection of personal information (NPP 1 & 10): OUA will not collect any personal information unless it is necessary for its functions. OUA will inform a user of the purpose of such a collection when the information is needed.
2. Use and disclosure of personal information (NPP 2): OUA will only use the personal information collected for the purpose informed to the user or otherwise permitted by law.
3. Security and quality of personal information (NPP 3 & 4): OUA takes reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information in its collection is accurate, complete and up-to-date and protects the personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
4. Access to and correction of personal information (NPP 5 & 6): OUA allows its users to access their personal information and request for any correction of such information to be made.
5. Commonwealth Government Identifiers (NPP 7): OUA will issue its own identification numbers instead of using Commonwealth government identifiers (such as health insurance numbers) as its own identifier of individuals to protect the privacy of information provided by its users.
6. Anonymity (NPP 8): OUA allows users not to identify themselves when it is lawful and practicable to do so.
7. Transborder Data Flows (NPP 9): OUA complies with the requirements under law relating to transborder data flows.
8. Sensitive information (NPP 10): OUA will not collect sensitive information about its users without their consent unless permitted by law.
OUA will deploy Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which is intended to benefit both OUA and its users interacting with OUA online. DNSSEC provides additional security by validating information in the transmission, therefore it is intended to benefit those who publish information in the domain name system (DNS) and the users who retrieve information from the new .courses gTLD. OUA already implements measures to protect privacy or confidential information of its users against misuse, loss, alteration and unauthorised access. Such measures include the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) data encryption.
OUA will continue to apply all security measures currently implemented and will comply with all other policies and practices required by ICANN in the Registry Agreement and any relevant Consensus Policy for protecting the privacy and confidential information of registrants and users in the new .courses domain space.
18(B)VI. DESCRIBE WHETHER AND IN WHAT WAYS OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS WILL HELP TO ACHIEVE YOUR PROJECTED BENEFITS.
The proposed new gTLD will be publicised by a media plan to promote recognition of the new gTLD within the internet community to be a trusted site and as a sign of authenticity.
During the initial stage of the operation of the proposed new gTLD, it is anticipated that internet users may be re-directed to current websites. However, over time, it is foreseen that communication to the internet community of the existence of the proposed new gTLD and encouragement to utilise the trusted site will contribute towards minimising malicious abuses and protecting internet users.×
Operational Rules and Cost Benefits
As a restricted gTLD, registration will only be open to OUA at this stage and no third parties will be able to register domain names under the .courses domain space. Therefore, it is not anticipated that third party trademark owners will incur costs in relation to the .courses gTLD. The affiliate... Read more
As a restricted gTLD, registration will only be open to OUA at this stage and no third parties will be able to register domain names under the .courses domain space. Therefore, it is not anticipated that third party trademark owners will incur costs in relation to the .courses gTLD. The affiliate entities wishing to register domain names must ensure that all the policy requirements for registration are satisfied. OUA will utilise the services of the proposed Trademark Clearinghouse to ensure that domain names registered and the use of those domain names, do not infringe any registered third party intellectual property rights.
No unaffiliated third party will be permitted to register domain names at this stage. It is estimated that time and money spent by consumers who have been targeted by malicious abuse in utilising services on the internet will reduce over time as a result of the new, trusted .courses gTLD.
18(C)I. HOW WILL MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS FOR A PARTICULAR DOMAIN NAME BE RESOLVED, FOR EXAMPLE, BY AUCTION OR ON A FIRST-COME/FIRST-SERVE BASIS?
The initial use of the proposed new gTLD will be restricted to internal business use and OUA is intended to be the only registrant under the .courses gTLD. Therefore conflicts between multiple applications are not anticipated to occur.
18(C)II. EXPLAIN ANY COST BENEFITS FOR REGISTRANTS YOU INTEND TO IMPLEMENT (E.G., ADVANTAGEOUS PRICING, INTRODUCTORY DISCOUNTS, BULK REGISTRATION DISCOUNTS).
This gTLD will be used for internal purposes only, at this stage, so pricing incentives are not applicable or relevant.
18(C)III. NOTE THAT THE REGISTRY AGREEMENT REQUIRES THAT REGISTRARS BE OFFERED THE OPTION TO OBTAIN INITIAL DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATIONS FOR PERIODS OF ONE TO TEN YEARS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE REGISTRAR, BUT NO GREATER THAN TEN YEARS. ADDITIONALLY, THE REGISTRY AGREEMENT REQUIRES ADVANCE WRITTEN NOTICE OF PRICE INCREASES. DO YOU INTEND TO MAKE CONTRACTUAL COMMITMENTS TO REGISTRANTS REGARDING THE MAGNITUDE OF PRICE ESCALATION? IF SO, PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR PLAN.
This gTLD will be used for internal purposes only, at this stage, so pricing incentives or pricing increases are not applicable or relevant as no additional fees are to be charged.×
Is this a Community-based TLD?
Is this a Geographic-based TLD?
Protection of Geographic Names
Open Universities Australia Pty Ltd (OUA) generally respects and abides by the GAC's Principles regarding New gTLDs, dated March 28, 2007. In order to comply with the requirements of the Registry Agreement, Specification 5, all Two-character labels (§2) and Country and Territory Names (§5) will... Read more
Open Universities Australia Pty Ltd (OUA) generally respects and abides by the GAC's Principles regarding New gTLDs, dated March 28, 2007. In order to comply with the requirements of the Registry Agreement, Specification 5, all Two-character labels (§2) and Country and Territory Names (§5) will be initially reserved.
However, OUA believes that the use of geographic terms can provide great benefit and simplicity to internet users because these terms are intuitive ways to resolve to content that may be specifically relevant and targeted to users in the particular geographic region or users with an interest in the particular geographic region. OUA provides open access to study options and online courses to customers in any region, country and city in the world. OUA's owners and providers are also located in many different cities and regions and may, potentially, expand to different countries as well. By representing and promoting its providers and their offers, OUA believes that the geographic locations of its providers will be a relevant consideration for its customers. OUA intends to use any Two-character label and/or Country or Territory Name domains, and to participate in or implement a process by which any Government may reasonably object to that use. OUA envisions a number of possible scenarios for ensuring Government agreement to the use of Country and Territory names. These will be explored in detail with ICANN and the Governmental Advisory Committee to ensure a mutually agreeable solution. Scenarios range from at a minimum; OUA informing the Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to ICANN in writing of its proposed use of geographic terms and provide Governments who wish to do so with an opportunity to block the use of their relevant name in the .courses gTLD. Other plausible scenarios would include;
SCENARIO 1 (LETTER TO GAC):
In advance of any use of geographical names OUA will send a letter to the chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) informing the GAC of its intention to use geographical names in the .courses gTLD. The letter will outline the reasons for using geographical names and provide Governments with the opportunity to contact OUA within 90 days to reserve their respective geographical name from use in the TLD. Should a Government inform OUA that it wishes to reserve the use of their respective geographical name, the name will remain reserved for the duration of OUA's registry agreement with ICANN. The opportunity to reserve a name will be offered to Governments free of charge.
SCENARIO 2 (LETTER INFORMING INDIVIDUAL GOVERNMENTS):
In advance of any use of geographical names OUA will send a letter to the Government concerned and inform it of OUA's intention to use geographical names in the .courses gTLD. The letter will outline the reasons for using geographical names and provide the Government with the opportunity to contact OUA within 90 days to reserve its respective geographical name from use in the .courses gTLD. Should the Government inform OUA that it wishes to reserve the use of its respective geographical name, the name will remain reserved for the duration of OUA's registry agreement with ICANN. The opportunity to reserve a name will be offered to the Government free of charge.
SCENARIO 3 (LETTER REQUESTING PERMISSION FROM INDIVIDUAL GOVERNMENT):
In advance of any use of geographical names OUA will send a letter to the Government concerned and inform it of OUA's intention to use geographical names in the .courses gTLD. The letter will outline the reasons for using geographical names and request the Government's approval or non-objection to the proposed use of the geographical name. Should the Government not respond to the OUA within 90 days, OUA will understand this to mean that the Government does not object to OUA's proposed use of the geographical name. However should the Government at a later stage contact OUA and request that the geographical name no longer be used, OUA will work in good faith with the Government to try to find a mutually agreeable solution.
Alternatively however should the Government at a later stage contact OUA and request that the geographical name no longer be used, OUA will work in good faith with the Government to try to find a mutually agreeable solution. If such a solution cannot be found OUA will respect the Government's wishes and reserve the name from use without cost to the Government concerned. OUA will not use geographic names until ICANN has approved such use.×