Poor policing results in illegal '.name' registrations


An independent internet-policing body has noted that a significant proportion of '.name' registrations do not comply with the requirements of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANNWatch points to a study which found that nearly 6,000 registrations are illegal. Examples include '666.antichrist.name' and 'almighty.god.name'.

In November 2000 ICANN approved seven new generic top-level domains including '.name'. A significant reason for creating the new suffix was to allow users to create email and web addresses featuring their own name.

The eligibility requirements for '.name' registrations state that registrations must comply with a simple 'firstname.lastname.name' pattern, for example 'john.smith.name'. The only names that may be registered are "a person's legal name or a name by which the person is commonly known."

While the study shows that currently only about 8% of '.name' registrations fail to comply with these requirements, this figure seems to be on the rise. This is because the '.name' registrar, Global Name Registry, is not required to review, monitor or otherwise verify the legality of registrations. This begs the question: if the system is not to be adequately policed, is there any point in having it?

Patrick Walshe, Matheson Ormsby Prentice Solicitors, Dublin

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