Tag Archives: European Union

Victory! Domains Stripped Out of EU “Trademark Package” by Philip Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

Internet Commerce Association logoBack in January ICA joined with four other trade association in cosigning a letter communicating our joint concerns regarding a “trademark package” being considered by the Council of the European Union. Adoption of the language under consideration could have led to adverse judicial actions being brought against domain registrants of all types by aggressive trademark owners. In particular, the signatories objected to the wording of the Proposal that would have resulted in the addition of “domain names” to the enumerated prohibited uses, for which the proprietor of a registered trade mark has an exclusive right to impose on third parties.

All the signing groups believed that this would have been redundant of Community Trade Mark rights as they already apply to domain names. The also shared concerns that this addition would have generated confusion among judges inexperienced in Internet technology, and predisposed EU member courts to find infringement in cases of legitimate uses of domain names.

We are delighted to report that Jakob Kucharczyk, Director and General Manager of CCIA Europe, has informed us that the letter had its intended effect.  Domain names have been dropped from the scope of substantive trademark protections and will not be included in the final package.

Mr. Kucharcyzk’s email to those who had cosigned the letter of concern concluded with the declaration, “This is a huge win for us and I would like to thank you one more time for your support!” We at ICA in turn thank CCIA Europe for bringing this issue to our attention and are happy to have contributed to halting unnecessary new law that could have created substantial problems for domain registrants residing in the EU.

This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from:

ccTLDs Growth Outstrips Legacy gTLDs: CENTR Report

CENTR small logoThe growth rate for the 248 ccTLDs around the world has been higher than that for the 21 legacy gTLDs in the three months to the end of August according to the latest CENTR DomainWire report.

The number of domains registered across all ccTLDs was 129,388,192, an increase of 1.7 percent over the three months, not including internationalised domain ccTLDs, which themselves grew by the even higher rate of 2.9 percent to 1,244,863.

Meanwhile the 21 legacy gTLDs saw growth of 0.3 percent to 148,807,739. Meanwhile, as would be expected, registrations across all the new gTLDs grew significantly across the three months – growing a total of 139.8 percent to 2,070,244.

In total, according to the ZookNIC statistics used by CENTR, there was a total of 282,526,140 domains registered across all TLDs, an increase of 1.3 percent in three months.

Among the ccTLDs, growth was highest with the largest, .tk (Tokelau) which saw registrations of its free domains grow 8.6 percent to 26.0 million. No other ccTLD saw growth of over two percent, but five saw registrations of 1.0 percent or more. They were .cn (China) with growth of 1.8 percent to 10.8 million registrations, followed by .eu (European Union – 1.5% – 3.8m), .ch (Switzerland – 1.2% – 1.9m), .br (Brazil – 1.2% – 3.5m) and .au (Australia – 1.0% – 2.9m).

The 20 largest ccTLDs accounted for around 82 percent of all ccTLD domains registered globally and 38 percent of all domains.

Within Europe there were almost 66.5 million ccTLD domains registered at the end of August, a growth rate of 0.3 percent for the quarter and 2.8 percent for the year.

The report also notes the countries with the highest domain name penetration. Liechtenstein tops this list with 176 ccTLD domains registered per 100 people, followed by Montenegro with 117, boosted by their .me ccTLD being promoted as a gTLD. The Netherlands and Switzerland followed with 33 and 24 respectively, then Denmark (23), Germany (19) and the United Kingdom (17).

The report also looked at registrar security and authentication. CENTR asked over 100 registrars, web hosting companies, ISPs and other IT related organisations for their thoughts on some specific areas of security management. The aim of the survey was to gather views on how to increase the security level access to their web portals as well as to evaluate the need for a greater emphasis on two-factor authentication and other security features.

The survey found that 90 percent of respondents are not aware of any situation where leaked credentials have led to an attacker modifying DNS or related data. This left 10% who have experienced this type of incident. Almost 70 percent of all respondents stated an attack of this kind would be a major impact on either the entire or part of the organisation.

To download the CENTR report in full, go to:

.EU Continues Solid Growth With Registrations Increasing 2.2% To 3.8m In Q1

EURid logoThe total number of .eu registrations grew by 2.2 percent in Q1 2014 to 3.79 million, according to the latest progress report released last week by the .eu registry EURid.

“This relatively high growth rate is thanks, in part, to our high renewal rate of above 80% and the higher than expected level of new registrations,” commented EURid General Manager Marc Van Wesemael.

“The latter is especially comforting as it shows that the popularity of.eu is further growing in a crowded market place, even as the many new gTLDs jostle for position.”

The report also found .eu registrations increased in 27 of the 28 EU member states with Croatia and Portugal both seeing growth of more than 10 percent.

According to the report, the number of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) in the .eu portfolio at the end of Q1 2014 was 52 683, or 1.4 percent of all registrations. The number of IDNs as a percentage of new registrations is at the same level as that of other registries. As well, the number of DNSSEC-signed names was 261 304 or 6.9 percent of all registrations.

The .eu TLD is the seventh largest ccTLD and eleventh largest TLD overall according to the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief for the last quarter of 2013. The largest TLD is .com with 113.7 million registrations, followed by .tk (Tokelau) with 24.5 million, then .de (Germany – 15.7m), .net (15.1m), .uk (United Kingdom – 10.5m), .org (10.4m), .cn (China – 10.6m), .info (5.7m), .nl (Netherlands – 5.4m), .ru (Russia – 4.9m) and then .eu.

In addition to the growth, EURid also announced during the second quarter, on 12 April to be precise, the European Commission officially re-confirmed EURid as the registry manager for the .eu top-level domain for the next five years.

The full report is available for download at link.eurid.eu/reports.

ICANN Grants Two More European Registrars Data Retention Waivers

ICANN logoICANN has granted another two European registrars data retention waivers following concerns over how the Registrar Accreditation Agreement conflicts with European data retention laws.

One waiver was granted to Blacknight Internet Solutions who submitted to ICANN a Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request on the basis of Registrar’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA violates applicable law in Ireland.

The second waiver was granted to Nameweb BVBA on the basis of the Registrar’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA violates applicable law in Belgium.

The waivers shall remain in effect for the duration of the term of the 2013 RAA signed by the registrars.

The issue has come about as some registrars, particularly in Europe, have expressed concerns that local data protection and other privacy laws make it difficult for them to comply with these new requirements. ICANN has noted these concerns and that laws vary from country to country and that some of the new data retention requirements in the 2013 RAA may conflict with certain European data protection and privacy regulations. In a posting on the ICANN blog, ICANN’s Cyrus Namazi said, “to be clear, governing laws take precedence over the terms of the RAA.”

The issue from a European perspective was made clear in a letter from the European Commission’s Article 29 Working Party in June 2013 who said “the Working Party wishes to provide a single statement for all relevant registrars targeting individual domain name holders in Europe.” Obviously this hasn’t happened and ICANN is issuing waivers on a registrar-by-registrar basis on the specific laws that are being violated in the country the registrar is located.

The Working Party also reiterated “its strong objection to the introduction of data retention by means of a contract issued by a private corporation in order to facilitate (public) law enforcement. If there is a pressing social need for specific collections of personal data to be available for law enforcement, and the proposed data retention is proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued, it is up to national governments to introduce legislation that meets the demands of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.”

“The fact that these personal data can be useful for law enforcement does not legitimise the retention of these personal data after termination of the contract. Because there is no legal ground for the data processing, the propose d data retention requirement violates data protection law in Europe.”

Germany Leads With Most .EU Registrations

Germany has by far the most registrations of .eu domain names with close to 1.127 million followed by the Netherlands with around 489,000 and then France and the United Kingdom with 344,000 and 328,000 respectively according to the latest EURid Quarterly Progress Report for the third quarter of 2013.The report also shows that during the third quarter, the total number of .eu registrations increased in 16 of the 28 EU Member States. Ireland, Portugal, Estonia, Malta and Latvia all saw growth of more than two percent. Renewal rates stayed strong during Q3 at an average of 80 percent.The quarter also saw the number of .eu registrations decrease by 3,051 domain names, a net decrease of 0.1 percent, to 3.7 million. The total number of .eu domain name registered at the end of Q3 represented an increase of 0.9 percent, or 34,749 registrations, when compared with the total number at the end of Q3 2012.Among the world’s TLDs, .eu was the eleventh largest at the end of the quarter. The largest was .com with 110.6 million registrations followed by .tk (Tokelau – 19.8m), .de (Germany – 15.6m), .net (15.1m), .uk (United Kingdom – 10.6m), .org (10.4m), .cn (China – 7.8m), .info (6.1m), .nl (Netherlands – 5.3m), .ru (Russia – 4.8m) and then .eu followed by .br (Brazil – 3.3m).In terms of density it is a different story with the Netherlands leading with 29.3 .eu domains registered per thousand people. The Netherlands also has one of the highest ccTLD domains registered per thousand people with 317.4. On .eu density, the only other countries with more than 20 .eu domains registered per thousand were Luxembourg (27.8) and Malta (25.7) while Cyprus, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia and Belgium all have more than ten.There were also a number of developments in the quarter, the most significant being the certification for the ISO 27001 security standard following an audit by the British Standards Institution on 24 September 2013ISO 27001 is a standard designed and developed to help businesses manage their security. It provides requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continuously improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS) in the framework of general company risks. It includes people, processes and IT systems by applying a risk management process.”EURid decided to adopt this standard to show our registrars, registrants and the world that information security is a key asset to us,” commented EURid General Manager Marc Van Wesemael. “Achieving certification is also another way in which we can improve the quality of the .eu brand.”The EURid Quarterly Progress Report for the third quarter of 2013 is available for download from www.eurid.eu/en/about-us/publications.

European Commission report: .eu TLD model is operating effectively

EURid logo[news release] The European Commission has published the fourth, bi-annual report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the .eu top-level domain.

The report underlines the achievement of the .eu and its registry manager, EURid, over the past two years, including an overview on the .eu growth in 2011 and 2012, the progress in the implementation of the .eu string in Greek and Cyrillic, the changes at operational level, including the introduction of the new transfer procedure in November 2012, the registry’s efforts in Business Continuity and its actions to secure the .eu environment and fight possible abuse on .eu domain names, and the Environmental and Management Scheme (EMAS) registration obtained in May 2012.

The report concludes that “Over the past two years, the .eu TLD has strengthened its position as one of the biggest and most popular Top-Level Domains in Europe and the world. […] Given the dynamic nature of the TLD environment, the Registry should continue to maintain and expand its dialogue and exchanges with the European and international Internet community.”

The EURid team appreciates being acknowledged the work done in the past two years and look forward to continuing a constructive and long-term dialogue with all its stakeholders.

This news release was sourced from:

EURid Reports Fall In .EU Registrations in Second Quarter

EURid logoDuring the second quarter of 2013, the total number of .eu domain names under management fell, a trend that has been common in previous years as the anniversary of the TLD comes around and a small percentage of domain registrations are not renewed.

However while quarter on quarter there was a slight fall of 0.5 percent, or 18,837 registrations, to 3.70 million as of the end of June, there was a year-on-year increase of 2.8 percent or 101,964 registrations when compared to the end of quarter two, 2012.

In other statistics included in the latest quarterly progress report, EURid reports the number of .eu internationalised domain names grew to 57,190 or 1.6 percent of all registrations, a similar proportion as with other TLDs while the number of DNSSEC-signed domains grew to 171,274 registrations, or 4.6 percent.

There are also now 774 .eu accredited registrars with the top ten of these accounting for 37 percent of all registrations.

During the second quarter, the total number of .eu registrations increased in 13 of the 28 EU Member States. Slovenia, Bulgaria and Austria all saw growth of more than 5 percent.

The national ccTLD market in EU countries increased by 0.8 percent during Q2 2013, and by 4.4 percent from Q2 2012. Within the EU, the market for gTLD domain names such as .com, .net, .org, .info and .biz grew by 1.7 percent during Q2 2013 and by 3.4 percent from Q2 2012, according to statistics from Zooknic.

The country with the most .eu registrations was Germany with 1,335,468 while the Netherlands was second (397,268) and the USA was third with 222,340.

In other news, the report notes the EURid board expanded to include five new members from European organisations and Croatian was added as a language for the EURid website due to the anticipation of Croatia joining the European Union on 1 July 2013.

To download the 30 page report for the second quarter, go to:

.TK Rockets To Largest ccTLD, Second Largest TLD

The .TK ccTLD, one of the three TLDs with the most malicious domain registrations and whose domains are mostly given away for free, has rocketed into first place among ccTLDs with 16.7 million active registrations according to the latest CENTR DomainWire report.The tiny Pacific island of Tokelau, with a population of 1353 according to the CIA Factbook, is, along with .COM and .INFO, responsible for 82 percent of malicious domain registrations, says a phishing survey released by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) released in April.With the mostly free domains, at the end of April 2013 the CENTR DomainWire reports there were 1.3 million more .TK registrations than .DE (Germany) with 15.4m then .UK (United Kingdom) with 10.5m.Following this was .CN (China) with 7.5m, then .NL (Netherlands – 5.2m), .RU (Russian Federation – 4.5m), .EU (European Union – 3.7m), .BR (Brazil – 3.2m), .AR (Argentina – 2.9m) and.AU and .FR (Australia and France – 2.6m).Of course, they are all dwarfed by .COM with 108.8 million registrations according to Registrar Stats.Of the top ccTLDs by registration numbers, .CN had the highest growth rate in the last six months, growing by 82.7 percent, followed by .TK that grew by 54.7 percent, .IN (India – 14.3%), .RU (12.5%) and .FR (6.4%).Other highlights of the DomainWire report were:

  • there were 64.2 million ccTLD registrations in Europe
  • the average renewal rate across European ccTLDs was 79 percent
  • the Portuguese ccTLD .PT had the highest 12 month net growth of 27 percent
  • the most common use of a domain name was for commercial reasons for 61 percent of European ccTLD registrations
  • the average number of characters in a European domain name was 10.7 characters
  • 28 out of 42 ccTLDs (67 %) in the region offer IDNs in their zone with a further 3 planning to implement ( Cyprus, Belgium and Slovakia)
  • high numbers of IDNs can be found in the Russian .IDN TLD (.PФ ) with just under 800,000 followed by .de with over 600,000.

To download the CENTR DomainWire report in full, go to:

EURid Quarterly Report Shows 80% Of .EU Domains Renewed In 2012

EURid logoOn average, 80% of .eu domain names were renewed in 2012, according to the latest progress report from the .eu registry EURid as registrations grew at 5.4 percent year-on-year to 3.7 million active registrations. This is the sixth year running that .eu has maintained such a high renewal rate, which EURid says indicates .eu domain name holders are a loyal group.

The TLD finished the quarter, and the year, with 3.7 million registrations.

“I consider a growth rate that is comparable to 2011 (5.5%) to be a notable achievement, particularly in light of the on-going global economic crisis,” commented EURid General Manager, Marc Van Wesemael.

During Q4 2012, there were 230,752 new .eu registrations. Of these, 7 184, or 3 percent, were multiyear registrations (registrations for two years or more). Compared with Q3 2012, the number of multiyear registrations increased by 46 percent, signifying that a growing number domain name holders plan to hold onto their .eu domains for the foreseeable future.

The total number of .eu registrations increased in 22 of the 27 EU Member States. Bulgaria, Belgium, Slovenia, Lithuania and Finland all saw growth of more than 5 percent.

The growth rate compares to the total base of domain names that increased by 12 percent in the year to the end of the third quarter in 2012, while the number of ccTLD registrations increased by 20.7 percent, according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Brief, while combined .com and .net domains increased by 7.1 percent.

Overall, .eu ranks as the eleventh largest TLD. The largest is .com with 107.6 million registrations followed by .de (Germany) with 15.4 million, .net (15m) and then probably .tk (Tokelau), which gives away its domains for free and probably over 13 million registrations and .cn (China) which is growing rapidly again with 13.4 million.

Following is .uk (United Kingdom) and .org, both with 10.2 million, .info (6.9m), .nl (Netherlands – 5.2m), .ru (Russian Federation – 4.4m) and then .eu.

The report also outlines a new EURid-UNESCO Insights report titled, “The EURid-UNESCO world report on Internationalised Domain Names deployment 2012″ that analyses the growth of multilingualism on the Internet and the factors that contribute towards that growth, including the use of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs).

Also, EURid tested its crisis management capabilities and successfully ran an unannounced Business Continuity Plan (BCP) exercise in December 2012. The exercise focused on switching the EPP, Registrar Extranet, Registrar DAS and Registrar WHOIS services from one data centre to another and back again. The impact on the registrar infrastructure was minimal – a temporary interruption of approximately 15 minutes.

The full EURid Quarterly Progress Report for the fourth quarter 2012 is available for download at www.eurid.eu/en/about-us/publications/quarterly-progress-reports.

Domain registration statistics were sourced from: