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Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007

Substitution of Part 4 of Electronic Commerce Act 2000.

21.— The Electronic Commerce Act 2000 is amended by substituting the following Part for Part 4 (section 31):

“PART 4

Registration of Domain Names

Interpretation: Part 4.

31.— In this Part, ‘ “.ie” domain name’ means the top level of the global domain name system assigned to Ireland according to the two-letter code in the International Standard ISO 3166-1 (Codes for Representation of Names of Countries and their Subdivision) of the International Organisation for Standardisation.

Registration of ‘.ie’ domain names.

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.

(2) A person shall not use an ‘.ie’ domain name unless the name is registered in accordance with regulations made under this section.

(3) The Commission may make regulations for the purposes of this section, but only after consultation with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and such other persons and public bodies (if any) as the Commission thinks appropriate.

(4) In particular, regulations under subsection (3) may do all or any of the following:

(a) specify an entity as the authority authorised to register ‘.ie’ domain names;

(b) prescribe the form and manner in which an application for registration or renewal of registration of an ‘.ie’ domain name is to be made;

(c) prescribe the circumstances and manner in which, the terms on which and the period for which an ‘.ie’ domain name may be registered;

(d) prescribe the circumstances and manner in which, the terms on which and the period for which registration of an ‘.ie’ domain name may be renewed;

(e) prescribe the circumstances and manner in which an application for registration or renewal of registration of an ‘.ie’ domain name can be refused by the registering authority;

(f) empower the registering authority to revoke the registration of an ‘.ie’ domain name in specified circumstances;

(g) confer a right of appeal against—

(i) a refusal of an application for registration or a renewal of registration of an ‘.ie’ domain name, and

(ii) the revocation of the registration of such a name;

(h) provide for the procedure for hearing and determining appeals;

(i) prescribe the fees (if any) to be paid on registering and renewing the registration of an ‘.ie’ domain name and the time within which and the manner in which such fees are to be paid;

(j) provide for such other matters relating to registration as appear to the Commission to be necessary or desirable for the purposes of this section.

(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 in accordance with the regulations.

(6) A person who contravenes subsection (2), or contravenes a regulation made under this section, is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000.

Commission may impose levy.

33.— (1) In order to provide a fund to meet the expenses properly incurred by the Commission in performing its function with respect to the use of ‘.ie’ domain names, the Commission may, by order, impose a levy on the entity authorised to register ‘.ie’ domain names in the State. The order shall specify the deadline for payment of such a levy.

(2) While an order made under subsection (1) remains in force, the entity shall, before the deadline specified in the order, pay to the Commission the amount of levy so specified.

(3) If the entity fails to pay a levy by the deadline fixed for payment, the Commission may, by proceedings brought in a court of competent jurisdiction, recover from the entity the amount of the levy as a debt due to the Commission.

Commission to have access to domain database.

34.— The Commission is at all times entitled to have access to all internet ‘.ie’ domain name databases and any associated records.

Power of Commission to designate interim registration authority.

35.— (1) If the Commission considers it necessary to do so, it may, with the consent of the Minister, designate a person on an interim basis as the registration authority for the purposes of regulations in force under section 32.

(2) A designation under subsection (1) or subsection (3) is to be for a period not exceeding 12 months and is to be on such terms as may be specified in the designation.

(3) A designation under subsection (1) or this subsection may, with the consent of the Minister, be renewed for a further period not exceeding 12 months on such terms as may be specified in the renewal of the designation.

(4) This section has effect despite anything to the contrary in regulations in force under section 32.”.