1. In connection with the operation of the registry for the TLD, Registry Operator will not, and will not allow any parent, subsidiary, Affiliate, subcontractor or other related entity, to the extent such party is engaged in the provision of Registry Services with respect to the TLD (each, a “Registry Related Party”), to:
a. directly or indirectly show any preference or provide any special consideration to any registrar with respect to operational access to registry systems and related registry services, unless comparable opportunities to qualify for such preferences or considerations are made available to all registrars on substantially similar terms and subject to substantially similar conditions;
b. other than as permitted in this Agreement, register domain names in its own right, except for names registered through an ICANN accredited registrar;
c. register names in the TLD or sub-domains of the TLD based upon proprietary access to information about searches or resolution requests by consumers for domain names not yet registered (commonly known as, “front-running”); or
d. allow any Affiliated registrar to disclose Personal Data about registrants to Registry Operator or any Registry Related Party, except as reasonably necessary for the management and operations of the TLD, unless all unrelated third parties (including other registry operators) are given equivalent access to such user data on substantially similar terms and subject to substantially similar conditions.
2. If Registry Operator or a Registry Related Party also operates as a provider of registrar or registrar-reseller services, Registry Operator will, or will cause such Registry Related Party to, ensure that such services are offered through a legal entity separate from Registry Operator, and maintain separate books of accounts with respect to its registrar or registrar-reseller operations.
3. If Registry Operator or a Registry Related Party also operates as a provider of registrar or registrar-reseller services, Registry Operator will conduct internal reviews at least once per calendar year to ensure compliance with this Code of Conduct. Within twenty (20) calendar days following the end of each calendar year, Registry Operator will provide the results of the internal review, along with a certification executed by an executive officer of Registry Operator certifying as to Registry Operator’s compliance with this Code of Conduct, via email to an address to be provided by ICANN. (ICANN may specify in the future the form and contents of such reports or that the reports be delivered by other reasonable means.) Registry Operator agrees that ICANN may publicly post such results and certification; provided, however, ICANN (the “receiving party”) shall not disclose any information that is, and the Registry Operator (the “disclosing party”) has marked as, or has otherwise designated in writing to the receiving party as, “confidential trade secret,” “confidential commercial information” or “confidential financial information” (collectively, “Confidential Information”) contained in such results except in accordance with the following:
a. The confidentiality obligations under this paragraph 3 shall not apply to any Confidential Information that (i) is or hereafter becomes part of the public domain by public use, publication, general knowledge or the like through no fault of the receiving party in breach of this Agreement, (ii) can be demonstrated by documentation or other competent proof to have been in the receiving party’s possession prior to disclosure by the disclosing party without any obligation of confidentiality with respect to such information, (iii) is subsequently received by the receiving party from a third party who is not bound by any obligation of confidentiality with respect to such information, (iv) has been published by a third party or otherwise enters the public domain through no fault of the receiving party, or (v) can be demonstrated by documentation or other competent evidence to have been independently developed by or for the receiving party without reference to the disclosing party’s Confidential Information.
b. The receiving party shall have the right to disclose Confidential Information to the extent that such disclosure is (i) made in response to a valid order of a court of competent jurisdiction or, if in the reasonable opinion of the receiving party’s legal counsel, such disclosure is otherwise required by applicable law; provided, however, that the receiving party shall first have given notice to the disclosing party and given the disclosing party a reasonable opportunity to quash such order or to obtain a protective order or confidential treatment order requiring that the Confidential Information that is the subject of such order or other applicable law be held in confidence by such court or other third party recipient, unless the receiving party is not permitted to provide such notice under such order or applicable law, or (ii) made by the receiving party or any of its Affiliates to its or their attorneys, auditors, advisors, consultants, contractors or other third parties for use by such person or entity as may be necessary or useful in connection with the performance of the activities under this Agreement, provided that such third party is bound by confidentiality obligations at least as stringent as those set forth herein, either by written agreement or through professional responsibility standards.
4. Nothing set forth herein shall: (i) limit ICANN from conducting investigations of claims of Registry Operator’s non-compliance with this Code of Conduct; or (ii) provide grounds for Registry Operator to refuse to cooperate with ICANN investigations of claims of Registry Operator’s non-compliance with this Code of Conduct.
5. Nothing set forth herein shall limit the ability of Registry Operator or any Registry Related Party, to enter into arms-length transactions in the ordinary course of business with a registrar or reseller with respect to products and services unrelated in all respects to the TLD.
6. Registry Operator may request an exemption to this Code of Conduct, and such exemption may be granted by ICANN in ICANN’s reasonable discretion, if Registry Operator demonstrates to ICANN’s reasonable satisfaction that (i) all domain name registrations in the TLD are registered to, and maintained by, Registry Operator for the exclusive use of Registry Operator or its Affiliates, (ii) Registry Operator does not sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any registrations in the TLD to any third party that is not an Affiliate of Registry Operator, and (iii) application of this Code of Conduct to the TLD is not necessary to protect the public interest.