Domain name dispute process to be implemented

At its meeting on 16 May, the .nz Oversight Committee of InternetNZ unanimously decided to implement a dispute resolution process for .nz domain names.

Rick Shera, chair of the InternetNZ Working Group set up to look at this issue, said "The growth in the .nz name space has meant that disputes caused by such issues as cybersquatting and reverse domain name hijacking have continued unabated. However resolving such issues in Court is a massive investment in time, cost and people’s patience –the committee established that there was definitely a need for a better route to conflict resolution.

"We looked at a number of well established systems from around the world and eventually decided that we should model ourselves on the UK Nominet process”. Extensively modified to suit the New Zealand environment, the new process will try to solve problems through mediation in the first instance. The process is free to registrants and so means that people will no longer have to spend large sums defending a name they believe they have a right to. Clearly if the dispute remains unresolved the Courts are the next option.

Commenting on the new, more user friendly process, Colin Jackson, Acting Chair of .nz Oversight Committee said, "InternetNZ already has a good name for its stewardship of the .nz domain. This new dispute resolution model will further improve the way the .nz name space is administered, for the benefit of all .nz registrants and the New Zealand local internet community."

It is expected that the dispute resolution process will be in place sometime early next year. This allows time for public consultation to further ensure that the policy and processes implemented are both robust and totally appropriate for the .nz environment.

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