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European domain names

What you should know in order to obtain a “European” domain name By Elena Spiropoulou, Attorney at law The European domain names ending in .eu are close to becoming real. Starting from the last trimester of 2005 one can obtain a .eu domain name, while the legislation regarding the registration procedure is gradually being published. EURid, the European Registry of Internet Domain Names, is a non-for-profit organization based in Brussels which manages the .eu top-level Internet domain under contract with the European Commission. EURid operates the registry under terms set by EU regulations 733/2002, 874/2004, 1654/2005. On the 27th of May 2005 a meeting was held between the members of EuRid and prospective Registrars, aiming at their informing on the registration procedure, as well as to ask questions and to set the foundations for the beginning of registrations. At this meeting the managing policy was announced and the registration process for the .eu top level domains was thoroughly discussed. The procedure in order to register an .eu domain will be similar to the procedure to register a .gr domain name, which is under the 268/73 regulation of the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission, with a few small but substantial differences. So: • The whole registration procedure will be undertaken by accredited Registrars, private companies and entities, which will put through the applications (registration, renewal, deletion, etc) to EuRid, which will operate as a Registry (similar to FORTH in Crete). • Registrars can originate from any, European or not, country as long as they are accredited by EuRid, provide the European Law protection regarding personal data, and contracts regarding .eu domain names are governed by European Legislation. • There will be a two-month period of domain name registration which will be exclusively for Public Organizations and Agencies of each country, as well as for distinctive marks of the Public Sector. • This period will be followed by another two-month period, in which registrations will concern beneficiaries with previous rights on the domain names, therefore those who own rights on distinctive marks, trademarks and other kinds of rights of the registered words. • Filing supporting documentation will be mandatory, regarding the identity of the user requesting the registration and the nature of his relationship to the domain name. • During the final phase and after the two initial two-month periods, the first come first served rule will stand unlimitedly and exclusively. The procedure: 1. The user who desires to obtain a .eu domain name will have to contact an accredited Registrar. Registrars will file the application for registration to EuRid, which will at the same time notify the Registrar and the applicant on the receipt and priority of the application regarding other applications on the same domain name. 2. Users in a forty-day period must send any documentation needed at PriceWaterHouseCoopers, which will act as an auditor for the supporting documents. 3. When the necessary supporting documentation is filled and there are no other objections, EuRid will validate the registration of the .eu domain name to the applicant. Registration fees will be set at its minimum, and Registrars will have to prepay 10.000 euros at EuRid for their accreditation, while the registration fees for any new registration on their behalf will be deducted from their prepaid amount. Bureaucracy regarding the registration of European domain names is substantial – at least in the beginning – as it provides for the filing of supporting documents for domain names which are under previous rights of a distinctive title, and there will also be a complicated system for filing objections regarding domain names which have not been registered under their rightful owners. EuRid states that the goal is the protection and credibility of the institution of European domain names and the avoidance of those violations that have been noted concerning other top level domains. Published at Financial RAM