EURid relaunched its website on February 5th and screwed it up. The www.eurid.eu website was previously readable. Now it is just another entry in EURid’s catalogue of failures.
You’d think that a registry would employ proper web designers. But EURid is supporting the Open Source to such an extent that its web developers (who use black text on a dark blue background) didn’t even bother to change the meta data in the Joomla implementation:
In the Meta data the following lines are present:
meta name=“description” content=“Joomla - the dynamic portal engine and content management system”
meta name=“keywords” content=“Joomla, joomla”
meta name=“Generator” content=“Joomla! - Copyright (C) 2005 - 2006 Open Source Matters. All rights reserved.”
With all the millions of Euros they had extracted from Irish and UK companies for failed Sunrise 2 registrations, you’d think that EURid could employ web developers who were competent enough to change the default settings on the CMS used for the registry website.
As for the colour scheme - black text on a dark blue background? What are these guys using for a monitor? I suppose that the management of EURid know even less about web design than they do about legitimate registrars and the domain business. The sooner the European Commission strips EURid of the contract to run .eu ccTLD, the better it will be for the EU.
Tags: Irishblogs,.eu, Domains, Joomla, Web design, Eurid, Cyberwarehousing, domainnames
Written by John McCormac on February 7th, 2007 with comments disabled.
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The Communications Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2007 published on Friday may potentially be a death warrant for the IEDR. It contains enough provisions to effectively remove the administration of .ie ccTLD from IEDR should the Communications Regulator (ComReg) so wish. It also allows Comreg to levy IEDR and if necessary, fine it for non-compliance.
The first interesting amendment is this:
32.—(1) The purpose of this Part is to facilitate easy comprehension, fairness, transparency, avoidance of deception, promotion of fair competition and public confidence with respect to the use of ‘.ie’ domain names.
While it looks harmless it is rather powerful. Domainwarehosing and cybersquatting operations are effectively covered by this. The main domain warehousing/cybersquatting operation in .ie ccTLD is EUBROWSER.COM. It has over 500 .ie domains registered and has registered a number of high profile trademarks such as ADIDAS, NIKE, BEBO, ONECARE, WINDOWS-ONECARE as .ie domains using Registered Business Name certificates. It has also registered IRISHINDEPENDENT.ie, the name of one of the largest daily Irish newspapers using an RBN. This certainly falls under the “avoidance of deception” aspect of the above.
32.—(3) The Commission may make regulations for
the purposes of this section, but only after consul-
tation with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and
Employment and such other persons and public
bodies (if any) as the Commission thinks
That subsection is where IEDR is effectively stripped of deciding the registration policy for .ie domains. Under this subsection, it is now the province of Comreg though it has to consult with the Minister and others. This is a big win for the industry. The members of the board of IEDR are just there because of who they know rather than for their industry expertise. This contention that the board of IEDR was a dumping ground for UCD and former Telecom Eireann staff and their friends was a commonly held one during the IEDR’s Fagan years and it was a source of irritation for the Irish internet industry. None of the board of IEDR has any known operational experience of the domain name and hosting industry.
Subsection 4 effectively gives Comreg complete power over .ie ccTLD: designating the authority to register .ie domains; setting renewal periods and conditions; revoking registrations, registration conditions; pricing of .ie domains and appeals against revocation of registrations.
Timetravel, it appears has been discovered. According to subsection 5, this law is retroactive:
32.—(5) The regulations shall provide that persons who have registered ‘.ie’ domain names before the regulations came into operation are taken to have
registered those names under the regulations.
Breaking the rules will be expensive. The new legislation allows for a fine of up to 5000 Euro on summary conviction.
Section 33 allows Comreg to impose a levy on IEDR for funding its activities. Maybe the management of IEDR might have to take a pay cut if this is ever used. Section 34 allows Comreg to access all .ie data including, apparently, the accounts of IEDR.
Section 35 gives Comreg the power to designate an interim registration authority and defines the term of such an appointment as being 12 months. This appointment can be renewed subsequently with the consent of the Minister. That’s basically the power to strip IEDR completely of the administration of .ie ccTLD.
Had this legislation been in force when IEDR was spun off from UCD and during the Fagan years, there is no doubt that the current IEDR would not be administering .ie ccTLD. However IEDR has changed considerably since 2000. The board of IEDR is still a bunch of talking heads who are there because of who they know rather than because of their industry expertise. They are even more irrelevant now.
The most important part of this legislation is that it strips IEDR of the policy making function for .ie ccTLD. This could be a mixed blessing for the industry. The provisions to revoke IEDR’s control of .ie ccTLD are there. If this is indeed IEDR’s death warrant, then it just hasn’t been signed and dated yet. It might have the effect of making IEDR somewhat more responsive to industry concerns. But changing policy and perhaps the introduction of personal .ie domains might become a bit more complex.
Tags: Irishblogs , IEDR , Domains , .ie , Internet Statistics , Comreg , Cyberwarehousing , domainnames
Written by John McCormac on February 3rd, 2007 with 10 comments.
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Cork City council won its ADR against cybersquatter Traffic Web Holding BV and has recovered cork.eu domain.
The panel found that Traffic Web Holding BV had registered the domain with an expedited Benelux trademark. The panel stated that:
“The ADR Panel is of the opinion that it is sufficiently demonstrated that the Respondent used Respondent’s Prior Right with the intention and the purpose to obstruct the registration by Complainant during the Sunrise period as a eu-domain name.”
The decision is a damning indictment of the way that the .eu Sunrise phases were exploited by cybersquatters with expedited Benelux trademarks. Of course EURid won’t take any action against such obvious commercial cybersquatting operations - that is up to the rights holders who have had their .eu domains grabbed. The European Commission really should reconsider the decision to award the contract to run .eu ccTLD to EURid. But then how can the citizens of the EU have any confidence in the European Commission or EURid when such obvious and blatent abuses have taken place?
Was the process by which EURid won the contract even fair?
Were the people advising the European Commission competent in the ways of the domain industry?
Why hasn’t the European Commission taken action against EURid?
Tags: Irishblogs,EURid, Domains, Cork, ADR, Eurid, Cyberwarehousing, domainnames
Written by John McCormac on February 1st, 2007 with 8 comments.
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