EURid claims domains owned by Chinese woman.
EURid, the registry that manages .eu domain names, has suspended 10,000 registrations because it believes the registrant does not meet residency requirements.
According to various news reports, a Chinese woman Zheng Qingyin registered 10,000 domain names and is trying to resell many of them. Reselling domain names is, of course, not illegal. However, registrants of .eu domain names must meet domicile requirements including having a business or presence in Europe.
I’m surprised that EURid legal manager Herman Sobrie told the press that the woman is “cybersquatting”, given that many of the domains she registered are apparently generic domain names.
“This Chinese woman has registered over 10,000 names, she is without doubt cybersquatting,” Sobrie told Out-Law magazine. “We know she sells these names to people for serious prices. This is a phenomenon we don’t like at all, but there is nothing illegal about this.”
Many people in the industry blame .eu for its poor handling of the .eu sunrise period and initial launch. Because .eu is a country code domain, EURid wasn’t subject to the same restrictions and rules that top level domains face through ICANN. For example, registrars did not have to be ICANN-accredited. This led to a number of accusations that registrants were setting up numerous shell registrars and warehousing domain names. Indeed, many of .eu’s biggest registrants are actually U.S. and Canadian citizens. In October EURid suspended 74,000 registrations that it said were registered by registrars on their own behalf; not that of clients. That is forbidden by .eu’s rules. However, a court ruled that EURid would have to pay â‚¬25,000 per hour for each domain if it didn’t reactivate the domains.
.Eu’s poor oversight may have crippled .eu’s future. The domain has yet to take off as almost all of the domains are in the hands of investors, not end users. Thus, it’s not in the minds of end-uers in Europe.