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GoDaddy reviews : Great idea to sign up for GoDaddy?? Do countries have exclusive rights to state names?

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I registered the domain zentralafrikanischerepublik.de with Go Daddy yesterday. I just got an email from the required local contact Go Daddy assigned to my name, a lawyer in Germany. He claims that since my domain is the name of a country (Central African Republic), I am infringing on third-party rights. He claims that countries have an exclusive right to their state names and that private individuals cannot register country names on any TLD.

I now have two days to find a new administrative contact. I've never heard of this stipulation about registering state names before. Are you really not allowed to register country names as domains?..

Comments (8)

I read this one time, this is to give countries their sovereignty so that squatters couldn't just take them and hold to ransom.

I just don't know where I read it, but I would find out from others who might know of this whole "contact" thing.....

Comment #1

I think the lawyer is full of BS. Not sure about German law though. Here is US it would be laughed at.

Who was this lawyer representing? And did they make some demand from you? Was he just contacting you from the goodness of his heart? lol...

Comment #2

He's the administrative contact Go Daddy assigned to my domain. All .de registrations require you to either live in Germany or have a representative outside of Germany. Most registrars provide this free of charge.

I checked the DENIC guidelines and there is just a clause stating that the domain can't infringe on third-party rights. I took that to mean no trademark violations, my contact seems to think differently.

I think I might just transfer the domain to EuroDNS to get a new contact. But that requires my current contact's approval.....

Comment #3

.de has different rules from .com in quite a few areas...

Comment #4

Ahh..I see. He's not claiming law violation. He's pointing out to you .de TOS apparently...

Comment #5

Country names are reserved in some extensions as well as country abbreviations. For example, I inquired about Georgia.info and Afilias told me it is reserved for the country by that name. Then I was looking to buy CA.biz as a companion abbreviation for California.biz, and Neustar informed me that since "CA" is also the abbreviation for Cananda, that the domain is unavailable for public registration and is reserved at the registry level...

Comment #6

The admin C lawyer is there to protect Godaddy from any claims.

German law holds the Admin C responsible if the owner of the domain cannot be held accountable.

What you need to find out is what exactly the issue is and who has an issue with the domain name.

Do not take this lighthearted and just try to get another Admin C. These things can get really ugly real fast in Germany (Law wise)...

Comment #7

You're right, they do. The Admin C just sent me a link to a German court case where someone was held liable for owning "Tschechische-Republik" (Czech Republic) on the .com, .ch and .at extensions.

Reading through the four-page document (it's all in German), the gist of it seems to be that under German law, registering a country name as a TLD or ccTLD confuses users and infringes on the right of sovereign nations to conduct business. I think it also says that it may be permissible on certain TLDs like .biz, however. I think the deciding factor is that it can't be confusing to everyday people. Something like "Tschechische-Republik.info" or "Tschechische-Republik.biz" are obviously unaffiliated with the Czech Republic, but "Tschechische-Republik.com" and "Tschechische-Republik.ch" could confuse people...

Comment #8


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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