Domain name policy models among CENTR members Hilde Thunem
Categorizing policies • Two central aspects shapes the domain name policy: • Requirements for the applicant • Provide documentation that he has a right to the name • Have a local presence in the area of the ccTLD • Be an organization • Number of domain names allowed per applicant • Limited/Unlimited
The upper categories • Priority placed on preventing domain name registrations by applicants who have no rights to the name • Requires the applicant to provide documentation that he has a right to the word he wants to register • Results in lower potential for conflicts, but at the same time restricts the applicants' ability to freely choose their domain names
The lower categories • Freedom of choice for the applicant is given a higher priority than the prevention of illicit registration of domain names • No “prescreening” of applicants by requiring documentation; whoever applies first gets the name • Potential for conflict is higher, but there is greater flexibility for the applicant • Domain name warehousing may be a problem in the unregulated area
Changing categories • All categories have their advantages and disadvantages, and which model is chosen for a specific top-level domain depends on what the LIC judges to be the most important criteria: • Strict or weak requirements: Desire to stop illicit registrations vs. freedom of choice for applicant • Limit on the number of domains: Desire to restrict warehousing vs. flexibility for applicant • One-way change: Liberalizing a restrictive policy is easy, going back again and restricting a liberal policy is very hard
Handling of conflicts • Conflicts regarding the right to a domain name may arise under all domain name policy models • Irrespective of the extent of the pre-registration evaluation performed by the registry, the final responsibility for the choice of domain name resides with the applicant • Usual conflict procedure of most registries is to inform the parties how to get in touch with one another, but otherwise refrain from any involvement in the conflict • Court system • Alternative dispute resolution
A summary of the ”mapping” • While many once started here, none of the respondents are currently in the strictly regulated category. This reflects the general move towards more liberalized domain name policies that has taken place within Europe • Most respondents prefer a domain name policy with no limits on the number of names an applicant may hold • While the majority of the respondents allows an unlimited number of domains per applicant, the degree of requirements for the applicant varies. • A few requires the applicant to document rights to the domain name (bureaucracy category) • Majority in the unregulated category – does not require any documentation of rights. Some require either a local presence, or that the applicant is an organization (or both), hence the spreading within the category.
More information • A description of domain name policy models: • www.norid.no/bakgrunn/navnepolitikkmodell.en.html • www.norid.no/ • Hilde.Thunem@uninett.no