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Legal Alerts

26/04/2021

Amendments to the Internet Domain Names Regulation

Legal Alerts
Intellectual Property
General

Recent Development

The Regulation Amending the Internet Domain Names Regulation (“Regulation“) prepared by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (“Ministry“) entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette on 20 April 2021. The Regulation introduced arrangements in the domain name allocation system, considering in particular the transition to a new period with TRABIS. Our legal alert considering TRABIS is available here.

What’s New?

The Regulation primarily introduces the following changes:

  • The definition of “Ministry” has been updated to “Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.”
  • The list of unallocated names is defined as a list of domain names that are not allowed to be allocated for reasons such as that they are contrary to legislation, public order and general morality.
  • In the case of waiver of the domain name, the domain name application fee cannot be refunded. The issues regarding the availability of the domain name will be determined by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (“ICTA“).
  • If it is determined that the information and/or documents submitted during the application for the sub-domain names allocated with a certificate are no longer valid, ICTA has the right to cancel the relevant domain name allocation.
  • Domain names used to be open to reallocation at the end of the three-month period after the waiver; this period has been reduced to two months under the Regulation.
  • Arrangements have been made regarding the determination of alternative Dispute Resolution Service Providers (“DRSP“) in disputes regarding domain name allocation, and it has been stipulated that the resolution processes of disputes will be carried out through arbitrators or arbitration committees.
  • ICTA has been given the authority to audit registrars and DRSPs within the framework of the relevant legislation, as well as to impose necessary administrative sanctions, including terminating their activities.
  • Registration organizations should keep their systems integrated with TRABIS and the backups within the borders of the Republic of Turkey.
  • Registration organizations must comply with the court decisions communicated to them regarding domain name disputes, as well as with the arbitrator or arbitral tribunal decisions regarding the domain names that are the subject of the dispute communicated by the DRSPs.
  • ICTA will be able to impose an upper limit on the number of DRSPs to operate, taking into account the market conditions of internet domain names and the number of conflicts.
  • In the absence of a minimum operating DRSP, the alternative dispute resolution mechanism defined in the sixth section of the Internet Domain Names Regulation will be operated by the party determined by ICTA until a DRSP becomes operational.
  • For the domain names allocated before TRABIS became operational, no application can be made to the alternative dispute resolution mechanism. However, it is possible to apply to the dispute resolution mechanism if the renewal process has been carried out after TRABIS has started to operate.
  • The “.kep.tr” extension used by registered electronic mail service providers authorized by ICTA is added to the list of sub-domains and the list of sub-domains is updated accordingly.

Conclusion

The Regulation aims to prepare for the TRABIS period, which will be authorized in the field of domain names in the near future. Innovations have been introduced in areas such as allocation, protection, cancellation and dispute resolution mechanisms for domain names.