Code of conduct introduced for domain registrars

Belgium

DNS Belgium, the non-profit organization responsible for registering '.be' country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) has drafted a Code of Conduct to govern the relationships between its agents (ie, registrar agents) and their customers. The final draft is available at www.dns.be. Interested parties were able to submit their comments on the draft until October 15 2001. The code will now be formally adopted and presented to DNS's registrar agents for signature.

The code lays down the following principles, among others:

  • Registrar agents may not register ccTLDs that they suspect infringe other parties' trademark or other intellectual property rights.

  • Registrar agents may register domain names for their own use but they may not 'warehouse' ccTLDs.

  • Registrar agents must have the technological means to perform their duties, including the automated system used by DNS.

  • Registrar agents must perform their duties in such a way as to comply with the Belgian Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

  • Registrar agents must notify the federal Computer Crime Unit when they become aware of illegal activities related to the Internet.

Registrar agents that sign and observe DNS's Code of Conduct will be issued a quality seal. Agents that violate the code will be sanctioned by a committee composed of representatives of DNS. Among other things, the committee may temporarily or permanently revoke a quality seal or terminate the agent's contract with DNS.

Tanguy Van Overstraeten, Linklaters De Bandt, Brussels

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