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I'm still not entirely clear what "self-certification" implies about a registrant's qualifications of "professionalim" when registering a 2nd-level domain. I've tried asking and in the past, but it has always left me confused. I keep sensing there is a big hole in the registry's logic, even after the re-launch.

My questions are:.

1. Is there any relationship between the professional license (or field-specific qualifications) a .PRO registrant has that is pertinent their career, and the 2nd-level .PRO domain(s) they register that might pertain to a vastly different profession or even a non-profession.

For example: Let's say I'm a licensed medical doctor, and I register, or, do I meet the self-certfication requirements for those registrations? Who decides? How do they decide ultimately?.

2. Is there any generic approach that a .PRO registrant can take to establish sufficient credentials to be qualified register any 2nd-level .pro domain name with impunity? For example, is there a way to bypass years of schooling or licensing to meet the criteria in generic way?.

What about incorporating? Does that make one a professional? Is there some government certification one can get, for example, for a minimum amount of effort that automatically qualifies them to register any 2nd-level .PRO name without risk of challenge by the registry? In other words, is there a loophole that one can gain qualification fairly easily through?.

3) Is there any legal basis for someone who as achieved a senior-level position in a well-established profession, yet has no degree nor license, to legally claim from the standpoint of registering 2nd-level domain names that they meet the .PRO registry's qualifications of professionalism? Some professions don't require degrees or licenses to get to the senior levels, so does on-the-job experience count? (For example, like honorary degrees or equivalancy for on-the-job training).


The .PRO registry's notion of professionalism seems very subjective, and I have to wonder, if someone is a career professional but doesn't have a degree, and the .PRO registry tries to disqualify their self-certification ex post facto, for a given .PRO domain, let's say in their proposed random 10% verification sweep, if the registrant would have any legal basis to sue the registry for discrimination?.

Has the registry thought about all of this? I has never been clear to me from the .PRO registry rules that their guidelines make a lot of sense..

The qualifications for 2nd-level .PRO names still seems vague, subjective and ambiguous if no discriminatory.

Information, thoughts, suggestions or experience with this would be great to get from NamePros members...

Comments (8)

This is what I work on;.

"Businesses may register industry keywords, search engine terms, company names, trademarks or personal names. There is also no limit to how many dot-pro domain names an individual or company can register.".

"Examples of businesses and professions that will be eligible for dot-pro include: Lawyers, Accountants, Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, Doctors, Dentists, Chiropractors, Nurses, Opticians, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Psychologists, Therapists, Social Workers, Veterinarians, Plumbers, Inspectors, Building Contractors, Electricians, Investment Advisors, Real Estate Brokers, Insurance Brokers, Educators, Patent and Trademark Examiners, Court Reporters, Police and Fire Safety Officers and any other profession where an official credential is required for a business or individual to offer services.".

My understanding is that if you fall into the profession categories above you can register any keyword you like. MJS is AV checked as a lawyer and has held for 3-4 years in his own name without any problems.

The point about suing for discrimination is interesting but I dont think it would work. Im a Chartered Accountant in the UK, could I sue the the Institute of Actuaries if they didnt grant me membership? I dont think suing for discrimination would work but it's an interesting point.

The point you make about achieving a senior position within a particular professional without a license or professional qualification is a valid point. I did a course in Plastering at a builder training centre, I got a certificate, am I a professional plasterer? Probably not, because the certificate was issued by the build training centre and not a government approved authority.

Its gets trickier for people like web developers and designers. I went to night school to learn HTML and PHP, I didnt get a certificate at the end of it or join any professional body but I could make a living out of developing websites if I wanted to.

My view is that policing professional qualifications isnt workable and RegistryPro should go back to ICANN and change the .pro rules so thats it the site that has to meet certain requirements and not the registrant. Then it should specify exactly what is and what isnt acceptable for the site...

Comment #1

Here is where it gets tricky... but incorporating a company is not "required for a business or individual to offer services".

But a company which hires a professional who meets the criterion required would be ok? I assume a professional certificate from a country's local govt is fine. So a govt diploma in web dev should work too. As usual, spot on. Who owns the site should honestly be less relevant than what they put on it. That sets the .pro trustmark in the correct perspective...

Comment #2

I've been concerned about this myself, as I own and don't have any sort of certification in anything. Makes me wish I would have taken the bar after law school...

In the meantime, though, my girlfriend is a stripper here in Vegas and they have to apply for a license and have a little stripper ID card. Do you think that would be a valid certification? She wants to start getting into domain names, and I'm thinking if that would work it might not be such a bad idea for her to start investing heavily in .pro names...

Comment #3

Much better than investing in a Vegas a patron anyway...

Comment #4

I think that is valid certification. It meets all the requirements that RegistryPro set out; 1) She has a license number, 2) She has to be in good standing to go about her business, and 3) Some kind of government approved Las Vegas local authority issued the card and license number. She is a professional stripper.

Don't take this the wrong way, I got married in Vegas and love the whole show, but the fact a certified Las Vegas stripper would meet the registration requirements for a .pro but Bill Gates, a Harvard dropout, presumably qualified by experience and not exams, wouldn't be eligible, undermines everything .pro is setting out to achieve.

The rules are a mess, they are badly defined, and this will continue to hold back the growth of .pro until it is addressed. You cannot have a situation where a certified Las Vegas stripper meets the .pro requirements but the most successful businessman in history doesn't.

RegistryPro must go back to ICANN and change the rules so that .pro is about professional use and not professional certification...

Comment #5

This is purely my own understanding of the issue, not official registry pro statement. No, there is no relation. If you're a registered plumber you can get or even You could take a technical exam as an electrician or plumber. It might work, but you really need to clear it with registrypro. I don't think they'll allow loopholes... but then Encirca was working on the loophole principle earlier too, why not just stick with them? An honorary degree recognised by the country might actually work, again, you need to contact the registry.

You agree to terms when signing up, no one forced you to, so how can you claim discrimination? Here's what they say about it:

Exhibit H: Terms of Use Agreement.

2. Professional Use. The Service is made available to you for your professional use only. As such, you agree that you are a person or entity who provides professional services and has been admitted to or licensed by, and is in good standing with, a government certification body or jurisdictional licensing entity recognized by a governmental body, which body requires that it's members be licensed or admitted to a certifying or licensing entity and regularly verifies the accuracy of it's data.

3. Verification. You must provide current, accurate identification, contact, profession specific and other information that may be required as part of the registration process and continued use of the Service. You must notify the Registrar of any change to your contact, profession specific and other information. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your Service password and account.

4. Proper Use. You agree that you are responsible for your own use of the Service including all communications made using the Service and any consequences thereof. Your use of the Service is subject to your acceptance of and ompliance with this Agreement, as well as the regulations.

Applicable to you as a licensed professional. You agree that you will use the Service in compliance with all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules and regulations, including any laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from your country of residence. You shall not, shall not agree to, and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to: (a) use the Service to upload, transmit or otherwise distribute any content that is unlawful, defamatory, harassing, abusive, fraudulent, obscene, contains viruses, or is otherwise objectionable as reasonably determined by Registrar; (b) upload, transmit or otherwise distribute content that infringes upon another party's intellectual property rights or other proprietary,.

Contractual or fiduciary rights or obligations; (c) prevent others from using the Service; (d) use the Service for any fraudulent or inappropriate purpose; (e) act in any way that violates these Terms of Use, as may be revised from time to time; or (f) facilitate use of the Service by any person or entity not a party to this Agreement. Violation of any of the foregoing may result in immediate termination of this Agreement, and may subject you to state and federal penalties and other legal consequences. Registrar reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to investigate your use of the Service and in order to determine whether a violation of the Agreement has occurred. Registrar reserves the right to provide information to third parties pursuant to a contractual or legal obligation.

Encirca Details.

Effective September 8, 2008 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time, licensed professionals from anywhere in the world will be eligible to register dot-pro domain names on a first-come, first-served basis for just $24.99 for the first year. Subsequent years will be priced at $49/year. Renewals are priced at $59/year.

Types of businesses and professions now eligible for dot-pro include: Lawyers, Accountants, Engineers, Doctors, Architects, Dentists, Educators, Chiropractors, Veterinarians, Surveyors, Plumbers, Inspectors, Investment Advisors, Real Estate Brokers, Insurance Brokers, Nurses, Opticians, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Psychologists, Therapists, Social Workers, Building Contractors, Electricians, Patent and Trademark Examiners, Court Reporters, Police and Fire Safety Officers and any other profession where an official credential is required for a business or individual to offer services.

As part of the change, upon each new registration and renewal, the registry will be collecting license information from second-level registrants. However, the Registry will not be verifying the data. Instead, it will require all applicants to agree to a new .pro Terms of Service (TOS) whereby applicants self-certify they possess a professional license and are securing the name for their own use. The .pro Registry will then conduct random audits of 1% of all new registrations and renewals (at least 100 names monthly) to ensure compliance with the new TOS...

Comment #6

This is from RegistryPro when I asked about the current requirements.


Hi, Ben.

There has been some confusion about eligibility, which is actually quite.

Surprising. I hope people are actually reading the TOU, since their.

Credentials will be subject to review! I think section 2 is what most.

People are missing.

"2. Professional Use. The Service is made available to you for your.

Professional use only. As such, you agree that you are a person or entity.

Who provides professional services and has been admitted to or licensed by,.

And is in good standing with, a government certification body or.

Jurisdictional licensing entity recognized by a governmental body, which.

Body requires that it's members be licensed or admitted to a certifying or.

Licensing entity and regularly verifies the accuracy of it's data.".

Also, to naming conventions, with the exception of certain restricted or.

Reserved domains, domain length and character type and pacement, we have no.

Restrictions on what name a registrant can register...

Comment #7

Rep added Ben, that's very useful. The last part about no restrictions on keyword is one of the most common .pro misconceptions.

I still think it would be difficult for RegistryPro not to accept a driving license number from a professional chauffeur or an ID number from a licensed professional stripper...

Comment #8

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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