Brussels, 31 July 2002
The European Commission is seeking the views of the public on what should be done to counteract speculative and abusive registration of domain names in the future '.eu' top level domain.
Launching the online consultation exercise on 30 July, Commission representatives distinguished between two different kinds of domain dispute. There are, on the one hand, situations in which two different parties are both seeking - in good faith - to use the same domain in order to promote themselves or their businesses on the Internet.
However, there are also cases where individuals with no connection to a name and no legitimate interest, known as 'cybersquatters', register names in bad faith in the hope that they will be able to make a handsome profit by selling them at extortionate prices to individuals, businesses or organisations which do have a connection to the names.
Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen warned, 'Cybersquatting could prejudice our efforts to make '.eu' one of the engines to boost Internet use and e-commerce in Europe.' Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein echoed these comments, but added that the Commission will not be 'hindering legitimate Internet users.'
Following the online consultation process, which ends in October, the Commission will propose public policy rules for the '.eu' domain.
To submit your views on the cybersquatting (deadline for responses, 31 October 2002), please consult the online questionnaire at the following web address: http://europa.eu.int/yourvoice/cybersqu atting_en.htm