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Wednesday, 21 February, 2001, 10:09 GMT
Dot.com conflicts scrutinised
Domain BBC
By Imogen Foulkes in Berne

International internet experts are meeting in Geneva to discuss ways of resolving conflicts that arise over registration of internet domain names.

Delegates to a conference, organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), hope to draw up international guidelines to prevent the abuse of country code names, such as .uk.

At present, different systems of regulating country code names are being applied by different nations.

Two years ago, the organisation addressed the problem of the abuse of generic internet names, such as .com and .org.

Settled disputes

Dot.com conflicts, as they are known, are the inevitable result of the rapid growth of the internet.

Since the WIPO published its first report on the management of internet names and addresses two years ago, it has dealt with 2,000 disputes over generic domain names.

The organisation says it has resolved more than 70% of them. Now, the organisation is turning its attention to resolving conflicts over country code domains.

At present, different countries have different regulations. Sweden is one of the strictest. People wanting to register an internet site there must be a resident of Sweden and have a genuine reason for establishing the site.

Voluntary code

But countries like the UK and Germany are completely open. Anyone can register a site from anywhere. So challenging registrations becomes difficult.

The internet is a global space, but the regulations which govern it are territorial.

German law, for example, applies only in Germany and does not extend to a German-registered site operating from a different country.

In an attempt to bridge this gap, the conference plans to publish a voluntary code of best practices aimed at preventing disputes over country code domains.

See also:

28 Nov 00 | Science/Nature
04 Jul 00 | Science/Nature
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07 Mar 00 | Business
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