1. Notice-and-Take-Down Code
The Notice-and-Take-Down Code is the internet industry's voluntary code of conduct for dealing with unlawful and criminal website content. It describes the responsibilities of everyone connected with offending content. That includes us, if the content is linked to a .nl domain name. Primary responsibility lies with the content provider. That's the person or organisation that put the content on line. (By 'content', we mean video, photos, text, etc on the internet.) If the content provider doesn't respond to a request to take down the content, you move on to the next person or organisation in the responsibility 'ladder'.
It's important to approach each person or organisation in turn:
- The person who put the content on the internet (the uploader or writer)
- The website manager
- The registrant
- The registrar (the hosting service provider)
- The registry (e.g. SIDN for .nl)
If we receive a request to take down content, we follow our Notice-and-Take-Down Procedure. Fortunately, we don't receive many requests, because most issues are dealt with by people on lower rungs of the ladder.
2. Mediation and dispute resolution
The WIPO dispute resolution scheme is a low-threshold mechanism for getting something done if you think that a domain name makes unauthorised use of your brand name or trading name. WIPO can intervene if all three of these conditions are met:
- A domain name infringes your rights (e.g. to a brand name or trading name)
- The registrant has no legitimate interest in the name
- The domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith
Although you could take the case to court, dispute resolution is usually a cheaper, easier and faster option. It involves getting an independent expert in this field of law to rule on the case, instead of a judge. However, before the case goes to WIPO, we see whether a mediator can help. A mediator can get involved only if the registrant responds to your complaint. The mediator's role is to liaise between you and the registrant and to look for a solution you can both accept. For details, download the Dispute Resolution Regulations and read the explanatory notes.
3. Reporting inaccurate Whois data to SIDN
We maintain a database called the Whois, with details of every .nl domain name's registrant. Those details have to be accurate. If a domain name's registrar (domain name service provider) can't validate the details of that name, we can ultimately cancel its registration. If you think that something in the Whois is wrong, please tell us by mailing email@example.com or calling +31 26 352 5555. We'll investigate and see whether anything needs to be done. If you come across a similar issue with a domain name ending in .com or one of the other generic extensions, contact ICANN.
Brand abuse on the internet is a real nuisance. It creates problems for your customers and staff, and it tarnishes your company's image. So it's important to act quickly in order to minimise the damage.