Spain Fences Out “.es” Squatters

In a move favoring companies and discouraging URL
speculation, Spain’s Development
wrought radical changes in the way firms register
under the “.es” domain.

The new regulations are a blow to third parties hoping to register a known
company name and sell it off to its “rightful owner” for astronomical sums.
In addition to reserving use its own name, a single company will soon be
able to register several online names without some of the bureaucratic
obstacles of the past.

Under the new regulations, individuals will also have the right to register
their given names, albeit as “subdomains.” This process is expected to
take close to 10 months.

“The point here is to protect the rights of companies and other legally
established public and private organizations to use their own names, as
well as other firm names and legally established trademarks,”
Communications secretary general José Manuel Villar Uribarri told the
business daily Cinco Dias.

The Development Ministry will become the new authority on domain name
registration, coordinating the process with Spain’s Trade Registry and the
Spanish Patent and Trademark Office. The ministry’s Domain Names Advisory
Board will involve Net user representatives, ISP associations,
telecommunications associations, and other agents of Internet development.

In their quest for a local domain name, many Spanish companies have gone
beyond local red tape to establish URLs endowed with the ubiquitous “.com.”
The government has expressed its intent to make new regulations a
balancing force between security and flexibility.

While consumers will reserve the right to solicit domain names by
themselves, they will also have the option of going through newly
authorized “registration agents.” The ministry is still preparing the
educational requirements and guidelines for obtaining an agent license.

The new regulations are expected to be in force within four months.

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