Brands expected to protect domain names on their own in Azerbaijan
By Nigar Orujova
Well-known brands have to secure their domain names from cyber squatting on their own, Faig Farmanov, Electronic Security Center's head, and executive director of the Intrans company, which registers web-pages on the national domain, said on Wednesday.
Cyber or domain squatting is registering, trafficking or using a domain name with intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. After registering, cyber squatters offer to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.
According to Farmanov, at present, this issue is already on the agenda and will be topical after implementing the system of the .az domain online registration.
"We already try not to register widely known brands' domains at present. We can only give our recommendations on this issue not to use these names. However, at some stages a liberal approach is required, which we will implement. This problem should be vested in the brands, which should themselves ensure the security of their domain names, like microsoft.az, to prevent their being registered by whoever," Farmanov said.
However, according to Farmanov, some restrictions will remain, including registration of geographical names and famous names.
Farmanov noted that citing a date of this practice's implementation is not possible. However, the issue will gain actuality after launching the .az domain online registration system, which is expected in the near future.
Some countries have specific laws against cybersquatting beyond the normal rules of trademark law like the Anticyberquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999 in the US.
.az domain registration
Intrans was expected to start the online registration on .az in January. However, legal regulations have apparently slowed down the procedure.
Currently, domains are not provided to foreigners or foreign companies' representations based in Azerbaijan.
"In the initial stage online registration on .az domain will be possible only for Azerbaijani citizens living in the country. However, that does not mean that registration will not be possible for foreigners at all. Their applications will be considered, we are ready to liberalize this issue step by step," Farmanov stressed.
He also said AzeriCard processing center's platform will be used for online payment of the domain cost. However, talks with other electronic payment systems are in progress.
Online registration will have a positive effect on the domestic market, will be more convenient for Internet users in the country's regions and thus will enlarge the national segment of the network.
17,705 domains were registered on .az by March 2013. Most of the domain names (15,902) are websites of the first level; the most popular domain of the second level is .com.az with 686 websites, and the third most popular domain is .edu.az with 160 Internet resources.
The number of domains registered this year has made up 1,060, while 298 domains were declined registration.
Intrans, the first Internet service provider in Azerbaijan, was established in 1991 and is the first company in the country which started rendering high-quality services of Internet access. The company's website, www.az, was the first site on the national segment of the Web.
The .az domain began operation in August 1993. The cost of registration on the domain is 20 manats ($25). Annual cost of technical support is of the same amount.