The enforcement of the Internet Domain Names Regulation (“Regulation“), published by the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (“ITCA“) in 2010, which regulates the procedures and principles regarding “.tr” domain names, was delayed until the “.tr Network Information System” (“TRABIS“) becomes operational. In accordance with the recent announcement, the Nic.tr platform, where the procedures for the allocation of “.tr” domain names have been carried out since 1991 in Turkey, will be shut down and TRABIS will start operating. The Regulation, which will come into force at the beginning of the TRABIS period, clearly stipulates that “.tr” domain names may be subject to the transactions for sale and transfer, which has not been regulated before. You may read our legal alert on Nic.tr’s aforementioned announcement here.
With the transition from Nic.tr to TRABIS in January 2022, the Regulation will enter into force and, thus, sales and transfer of domain names, which was not previously possible, may be carried out. Both the Regulation and the Internet Domain Names Communiqué (“Communiqué“) contain comprehensive provisions regarding the sale and transfer of “.tr” domain names. Moreover, the conduct of these transactions in the transition process from Nic.tr to TRABIS is regulated separately.
What conditions will be sought for the sale and transfer of “.tr” domain names at the beginning of the TRABIS period?
- One of the most striking changes brought by the Regulation is the sale and transfer of domain names, which was not possible before. Pursuant to Article 13 of the Regulation regarding the sale and transfer of domain names via TRABIS, the relevant form on the website of the Domain Registrar’s (“DR“) from which the service is obtained must be filled in completely and correctly for the sale or transfer to take place. In case the DR completes the required procedures on TRABIS, the domain name owner will be altered in line with the sale or transfer of the domain name.
- Article 13 of the Regulation also regulates that the domain name belonging to real persons can be transferred to their legal heirs in cases such as death, absence or the presumption of absence.
- The term of use of the sold or transferred domain name will not change.
- Article 33 of the Regulation clearly states that Article 13 regarding the sale and transfer of domain names will enter into force three years after TRABIS becomes operational. The sale and transfer of domain names during the transition period form Nic.tr to TRABIS are regulated both in Provisional Article 2 of the Regulation and the second paragraph of Article 22 of the Communiqué. Pursuant to the relevant article, domain names cannot be sold for a period of three years from the effective date of the article, but may be transferred to others in the following cases:
- In cases such as death, absence or the presumption of absence of real persons, the domain name may be transferred to the legal heirs.
- Legal entities may transfer their domain name due to reasons such as a merger or acquisition.
- Real and/or legal persons holding a trademark and/or patent may also transfer the domain names of the trademark and/or patent they own if they transfer their rights arising from this trademark and/or patent.
- Real and/or legal persons who have registered intellectual or artistic works may also transfer their domain names related to their intellectual or artistic works if they transfer their rights arising from these intellectual or artistic works.
With the transfer of domain name management and allocation authority to the ITCA through TRABIS, the Regulation enabling the sale and transfer of domain names will enter into force. Provisions concerning when and under what conditions the sale and transfer of internet domain names will be possible are set forth in the relevant articles of the Regulation and the Communiqué, including separate provisions regarding the transition period to TRABIS. You may read the details of the sale and transfer of domain names, which are regulated for the first time in our law, as well as the legislation regarding the transition process from Nic.tr to TRABIS here.