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11/09/2021 https://www.esin.av.tr/wp-content/themes/esin/images/esin.jpg

Proposed Amendment to the Legislation on Dispute Resolution Concerning Internet Domain Names

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New Development

The Draft Communiqué (“Draft Communiqué“) Amending the Communiqué on Dispute Resolution Mechanism concerning Internet Domain Names (“Communiqué“) was published through decision No. 2021/İK-BTD/220 of the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (ITCA) on 10 August 2021. The Draft Communiqué will be open to public consultation on ITCA’s website for 15 days. The Draft Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).

What’s New?

The Draft Communiqué foresees certain novelties of the activities of service providers for dispute resolution (tr. UÇHS). Accordingly, a UÇHS that meets the necessary requirements will be granted an activity certificate. Additionally, in order to be eligible as an arbitrator of a UÇHS, instead of the requirement to have graduated from certain specific faculties or higher education institutions or their equivalents abroad, it is foreseen that the criterion of graduating from any higher education institution that provides at least four years of undergraduate education or from institutions abroad whose equivalence has been accepted, will be considered sufficient.

As for the fees for the operation of the dispute resolution mechanism, the provision stating that the refund of the UÇHS’s fee is at the discretion of the UÇHS will be removed. In addition, it is envisaged that the provision stating that the wrongful party determined at the end of the dispute resolution process will have to pay the expenses of the other party regarding the UÇHS, and arbitrator fees will be removed from the Communiqué.

Moreover, in the event that the ITCA detects a violation of the provisions of the Communiqué during its inspection of the UÇHS’s activities, the ITCA will be authorized to directly terminate the activities of the relevant UÇHS without any warning. The dispute resolution processes carried out by the UÇHS whose activities have been terminated (i) may be resolved by the same UÇHS, (ii) may be transferred to another UÇHS or (iii) may be terminated by refunding the paid arbitrator’s fees at the discretion of the ITCA. A UÇHS may also terminate its activities by notifying the ITCA at least one month in advance and resolving the pending disputes. It is envisaged that a UÇHS will be responsible for compensation of damages caused by its own termination of its activities or its activities having to be terminated by the ITCA.

In the case of a lack of an appropriate UÇHS, the party determined by the ITCA is anticipated to operate the alternative dispute resolution mechanism regulated in the Internet Domain Names Regulation. Such party will be responsible for all liabilities anticipated for a UÇHS. Our legal alert on the Internet Domain Name Regulation is available here.

The alternative dispute resolution will only be applied to the domain names that have been renewed from the domain names allocated before TRABİS started operating.

The UÇHS application form has been updated to reflect all amendments planned in the field.

Conclusion

The Draft Communiqué sets forth essential changes in terms of the actions of a UÇHS. Companies working in this field will be able to review the Draft Communiqué through ITCA’s website until 25 August 2021 and submit their opinions from a commercial perspective.