Feeds

10,000 .eu names suspended amid cybersquatter allegation

Owner files retaliatory suit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The organisation behind the .eu domain has suspended 10,000 domain names registered by a Chinese woman whom it accuses of being a cybersquatter. The woman, in retaliation, has filed a lawsuit in Belgium.

EURid, the Belgium-based registry for .eu domain names, has blocked the names and has the right to strip the woman, Zheng Qingyin, of the names. EURid legal manager, Herman Sobrie, told OUT-LAW, though, that the organisation wanted to have a court strip Qingyin of the addresses. He said that case would take about a year.

Qingyin has filed a separate suit objecting to the blocking of the domains in the Court of First Instance in Brussels. This is a fast-track case whose result should be known in a month, Sobrie said.

"This Chinese woman has registered over 10,000 names, she is without doubt cybersquatting," said Sobrie. "We know she sells these names to people for serious prices. This is a phenomenon we don't like at all, but there is nothing illegal about this."

EURid cannot take action against someone for cybersquatting; that can only be done by someone else who claims rights to a domain name. But Sobrie said that EURid had received complaints about the woman and had investigated further.

"We as register can just stand there and look at it except in one situation, which is that maybe this registrant is not eligible to have a .eu domain," said Sobrie. Only people or organisations that are based in the European Union are entitled to hold .eu addresses.

"We started asking for more information about her domicile. She said she was domiciled in London. At first we took that for granted, but we had indications that that was probably not true," he said. "We have serious doubts about the eligibility of that lady and at a certain point we thought we had enough reason to say that she wasn't eligible. Under the circumstances we preferred to sue in a Belgian court and have the names revoked by the court rather than do it ourselves and be sued."

Sobrie would not detail the basis of EURid's suspicions ahead of the court case. He did say that he was sure that the woman was cybersquatting.

"When we screen our data bank we see that some people have an amazing amount of names. Nobody needs 10,000 names," he said. "We had a lot of complaints from people complaining to us that they were contacted or they contacted the holder, who said 'make an offer and we'll sell it'. We know the prices were between €500 and €1500."

Last year EURid suspended more than 74,000 domain names and sued 400 registrars for registering the names with a view to re-selling them, in breach of the contract between registrars and the registry.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.