NETCOM, the registry responsible for Cameroon's country-code top-level domain (ccTLD), has introduced third-level ‘.cm’ domain names.
The extensions ‘.co.cm’, ‘.com.cm’ and ‘.net.cm’ opened for registrations during the sunrise period, which lasted from October 15 2008 to October 31. Following the sunrise period, there was a sunrise challenge period from November 1 2008 to November 14, during which applications made during the sunrise period could be challenged by rights holders.
Registrations under the three new ‘.cm’ sub-levels are now open to the general public and are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. A local presence is required to register domain names directly under ‘.cm’, but not under the new third-level domain names ‘.co.cm’, ‘.com.cm’ and ‘.net.cm’.
Cameroon's ccTLD is very similar to the most popular internet TLD, ‘.com’, and also resembles China's ‘.cn’ ccTLD. Because of its resemblance with ‘.com’ and ‘.cn’, ‘.cm’ is sometimes said to be more vulnerable to cybersquatting than many other ccTLDs. According to the Complaint Resolution Service: Policy & Procedures
posted on NETCOM's website, Cameroon has adopted an alternative dispute resolution policy administered by the Council of Country Code Administrators Limited
, a member-owned Christmas Island company.
According to NETCOM, complaints concerning ‘.cm’ domain names can be brought if the Acceptable Use Policy
has been breached. The Acceptable Use Policy, which is posted on NETCOM's website, lists a number of uses which are prohibited. Although not identical, the alternative dispute resolution policy appears to have some similarities with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
David Taylor and Brechtje Lindeboom, Lovells LLP, Paris