The recent decision by the Norwegian Court over a dispute where Elineweb allowed registrations of .NO domain names at the third level has not pleased the registry, even if they acknowledge they won on several points.
There are restrictive registration requirements on .NO domains meaning that only companies registered in Norway can register a .NO domain name.
Norid notes in an announcement on 17 July that the judgement found in their favour on several principal issues and their right to add the domain name co.no to a list of domain names that cannot be registered or transferred.
Elineweb legitimately registered the domain name in 2001. In 2010 the private company CoDNS launched and marketed co.no in such a way that the usage could, in Norid’s opinion, cause regular internet users to confuse co.no with .NO. Norid then contacted the holder, Elineweb, to learn if the domain had been transferred in conflict with the .NO domain name policy. Elineweb responded by taking Norid to court.
Elineweb refused to provide the information Norid asked for until the Court ordered them to. In the Court’s opinion, Elineweb must therefore carry the responsibility that the case proceeded as it did. The Court’s conclusion is thus that Norid is not liable to pay compensation.
The relationship between Elineweb and CoDNS was considered by the Court and whether the agreement between the two parties is in breach with the current system of agreements. The conclusion is that the agreement is not in contravention of the domain name policy, and that due to this, there is no basis for confiscating co.no.
Norid’s interpretation of the judgement is that the Court finds that the agreement(s) between Elineweb and CoDNS do not contravene the domain transfer ban. The Court finds that the agreement does not by its nature suggest a circumvention of the current domain name policy, but is rather an adjustment to the regulations in force.
Norid disputes some of the findings saying that in their opinion the Court has not considered the usage or marketing of co.no on CoDNS’s homepage. There is therefore no basis for claiming that the Court has ruled that CoDNS’s business model is in full compliance with the domain name policy for .NO.
Of course, one might argue that should Norid have less restrictive registration policies for .NO domain names then there might not be demand for co.no domain names!