German Registrar Bans Web Site

from the so-many-points-of-failure dept

These days, it seems that banning websites based on content can come from so many different choke points. There’s the national level, where certain countries completely ban websites. There’s the ISP level, where companies hosting a website are asked to take down objectionable material. There was even the odd case where the RIAA asked the internet backbone providers to block all access to a site they felt was violating its copyrights. Now we can add another one to the list. A German domain name registrar has shut down a website, saying that the content was objectionable. Note that the registrar’s job is simply to handle domain name registration and keeping its database up-to-date. They should have no say in the content of the sites, or whether or not it’s “appropriate”. How long until the RIAA is asking Verisign/Network Solutions to shut down the domains of anyone they think might be sharing music? The bigger question here, though, might be around who really owns the actual domain name? The owner of the site that has been taken down is trying to transfer it to another registrar – but might not be allowed to. Does the registrar own the domain name, or is it the property of the person who registered it?

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Comments on “German Registrar Bans Web Site”

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1 Comment
Chris Wiltshire says:

Registrar taking down a site...

Yes, and no. – Your comment regarding a registrars role may not be 100% accurate. They too have published AUPs and user agreements. Sometimes they adopt policies of their registry other times they can add additional terms.
Either way, if their AUP states something which a registrant violates, then why would it seem out of place for them to act with a cancellation?

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