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Eligibility Requirements, Naming Conventions and Acceptable Use Policy for the .museum Top-Level Domain

Eligibility and Acceptable Use

1. Subdomain names in the .museum Top-Level Domain must be used or intended to be used by genuine museums, their professional associations, or individual members of the museum profession as defined in the .museum Charter, and subject to all conditions specified there.

2. Name holders may use their subdomain names solely for genuine museum purposes. A genuine museum purpose is the use or intent to use the .museum Top-Level Domain to permit Internet users to access host computers through the Domain Name System (DNS) in connection with any museum activity as listed or referenced in the Charter, or any clarification or extension thereof by MuseDoma.

3. Name holders may delegate subdomains and designate host computers within their domains but may not delegate subdomains to external organizations, institutions, or individuals, or use such subdomains for purposes external to the basis for their entitlement to registration in .museum.

4. Registering a domain name solely for the purposes of selling, trading or leasing the domain name for compensation; or the unsolicited offering to sell, trade or lease the domain name for compensation; or permitting the domain name to be used on any terms whatsoever by any organization, institution or individual other than the one to which it is registered, shall not constitute genuine museum use of that domain name even if one or more parties in any of these cases is a genuine museum.

Naming Conventions

1. Every name in .museum must be clearly and recognizably derived from the name by which the entity to which it is assigned is otherwise widely known. No entity will be permitted to register the name of any other entity at its own initiative. A name holder may, however, designate an external agency as being responsible for administrative or technical aspects of a domain.

2. A .museum name used by an individual museum must contain at least three labels. The second-level label must indicate the disciplinary affiliation, the location, or an equivalent generic attribute of the requesting entity. Prospective name holders may request any second-level labels that they deem useful. All such second-level labels will be available to other name holders and will not be reserved for exclusive use by the initial proposer.

3. An individual museum may freely register multiple domain names using different second-level labels to indicate both discipline and location, as well as labels from further generic second-level categories. A second-level label need not be a dictionary word but adapted and concenatated terms such as mediacenter or scienceeducation may require particular warrant. No more than two terms may be compounded in this manner.

4. An individual museum will be uniquely identified by a full sequence of at least three labels. There are no restrictions on the maximum number of labels that may be included in a name but there are restrictions on what may be used as an individual label. These restrictions may vary with the position of the label in the name.

5. All names registered in .museum are subject to the provisions of a contractually mandated Schedule of Reserved Names. This prohibits the use of all one-character and two-character labels on the second level, and lists additional labels that may not be used on that level. There is an additional list of names subject to special treatment.

6. The label museum occurs on the top-level in all .museum names and may not be repeated on any lower level. Names such as museum.furniture.museum or city.museum.museum are not permissible.

7. Punctuation such as hyphens or similar separating characters will not be accepted as distinguishing between names for different name holders. If a syntax preference is indicated by a majority of users of a shared label, for example, between the forms naturalhistory and natural-history, the preferred form may be made obligatory in all occurrences. If no consensus is apparent in situations where a normalized form would significantly reduce confusion, corresponding syntax rules may be included in subsequent revisions of the naming conventions.

8. Entities that conduct qualifying activity in born-digital contexts but do not operate physical museums, register in the generic second-level domain virtual.museum or in an unambiguous equivalent, such as digital.museum, online.museum or cyber.museum. Physical museums that also operate digital museums may also register in these second-level domains.

9. Many domain names include a designation for a well-known service, such as WWW, FTP, SMTP, POP, or NS, as the leftmost label. This normally indicates a host computer for the named service and, for the purposes of registration in .museum, is considered a prefix to the domain name. No such designation may be counted as one of the three labels in the general model underlying these naming conventions. A two-label domain ourname.museum that would not be delegated in that form would not be available as www.ourname.museum.

10. Requests may be made for names resembling, for example, the.art.and.science.museum. Although smaller parts of speech may be included in this manner, their ability to serve as specific identifiers will vary in context. It may be possible to create a unique three-label domain name for a museum without any single label being specific. The name location.discipline.museum might easily be unique, as could be the.locationname.museum. In other situations, such as the.disciplinename.museum, it will likely be necessary to use an additional label (or a different form) to provide adequate differentiation.

11. It may be necessary to restrict the area covered by a location designator. A name in the form countryname.science.museum could indicate any number of museums. A given one of them would likely be specifically identified by the name cityname.science.museum.

12. A name containing the label national without any location designator, will normally need some specific indication of the country to which it refers. A name in the form national.art.museum could indicate any number of museums. A given one of them would likely be specifically identified by ccnational.art.museum or cc.national.art.museum where cc is an abbreviation for the name of a country. The label international will similarly be restricted to names which otherwise indicate a more specific location.

13. A university museum may use the name of its campus as a second-level designation of location. Museums or other eligible organizations that consist of separately housed subentities, each of which is known by its own name and which are physically situated on a campus, may also use the name of that campus as a second-level designation.

14. Formally established professional organizations with constituencies of genuine museums and which provide regional or other support services to the administration of .museum, may request dispensation from the requirement for the use of a generic label on the second-level.

15. A museum, or group of museums, wishing to register a domain name for a temporary or traveling exhibition or similar event, may do so if the domain name is clearly derived from the name of that exhibition or event and is placed in an appropriate generic second-level domain. Restrictions may be placed on the duration of such a domain.

16. Individual members of the museum profession may register personal domains in a suitably labeled second-level domain. This would allow for a construct resembling somefirstname.somelastname.professional.museum. Second-level designations such as conservator.museum and curator.museum would also be acceptable.

This document was posted on 4 September 2002 and replaces a previous version that was substantively unchanged from 1 November 2001. Significant modifications are contained in items 3, 6, and 11 through 14, above.

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