Feeds

EU solicits anti-cybersquatter advice

Good faith, bad faith

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

The European Union is looking for suggestions about how to deal with cybersquatting as it prepares to launch the .eu domain, Matthew Clark writes.

The European Commission's Internal Market Directorate-General is looking for help from businesses or individuals that have faced cybersquatting in the past. In this vein, the Commission has launched an on-line questionnaire for interested contributors wishing to provide information. The deadline for submission is 31 October 2002.

According to the EU, the survey is part of the Commission's Interactive Policy Making Initiative and its results will feed into the consideration of public policy rules for the European Union top-level domain (TLD), .eu. "We want to prevent abuses by 'cybersquatters' of the future .eu top-level domain, without hindering legitimate Internet users. This consultation will help us do that," said Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein.

The EU is expected to put plenty of emphasis on .eu when it launches, and any corruption of that TLD could damage the suffix as a brand. "The future .eu top-level domain will be a good tool to increase Europe's visibility on the Internet," Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen said. "Clearly, we must ensure that as many Europeans, businesses and organisations located in Europe as possible can benefit from it. Cybersquatting could prejudice our efforts to make .eu one of the engines to boost Internet use and e-commerce in Europe."

Announcing the consultation, the European Commission admitted, "There are many situations in which different parties will want to use the same domain name to promote themselves or their businesses on the Internet." But the EC also said it was concerned about individuals with no connection to a name and no legitimate interest who try to register names in "bad faith" in the hope that they will be able to make a profit.

Before it passes laws to deal with cybersquatters, the Commission said it wants to know how those who may be affected think these rules should operate, and the organisation is seeking the views of governments, public authorities, businesses of all sizes and individual citizens.

Last year, Dublin-based Afilias launched one of the newest TLDs, .info, and fell victim to thousands of cybersquatters. Hoping to avoid this problem, Afilias had introduced what is known as a "Sunrise Period", whereby organisations with legitimate claims to a name could capture new .info address first. But users simply provided bogus information on their applications and circumvented these measures.

By January 2002 Afilias was forced to submit thousands of challenges to many of these registrations in a process that was managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). By July the company had re-released around 17,000 domain names to the public, which were re-possessed in the Sunrise Challenge Process in a program called Land-Rush 2.

"It would be possible for the EU to prevent this kind of thing," explained Roland LaPlante, chief marketing officer at Afilias. "They could do it if they required trademark documentation in their own sunrise period. But the more documentation they require, the longer it will take to process applications," he said. These actions would also cause the cost of new registrations to increase and would seriously delay the launch of .eu to the general public, LaPlante explained.

© ENN. All rights reserved.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.