According to Zhang Zi-heng, chief manager of Network Solutions in the Asia Pacific Region, their company provides many styles of Chinese identification services in the world range, which have been approved by ICANN. Users can surf the net without having to download any software. Presently, non-English based domain name registration systems, including Singapore's i-DNS.net and China's CNNIC, are very popular.
Because the system by Network Solutions can be universally operable without the need to download any software, many professionals in the IT industry foresee that there will be a heated competition for the registration of domain names.
Mr. Zhang pointed out that although the registration of domain names follows the 'First come, first serve' basis, his company will ultimately observe the clauses of the dispute policy on the domain name registry published by ICANN. He believes that the cyber-squatter situation will not be very serious.
Presently, users can select their favorite domain name and register on-line by visiting the website of Network Solutions (networksolutions.com). The availability of domain names can be determined at any time on the site. At the same time, users can register domain names of their choice with idNames, a department under Network Solutions. Mr. Zhang hopes that the domain name can be put into use one month after the registration. The fees for registration will be published one month after the service is provided.
Half of the Internet users are non-English speakers
Network Solution has signed an agreement with four Hong Kong companies to provide a local registration service for Chinese domain names. The four companies are Corpmart.com Limited, C-DN, PACfusion and 1stChina.com. Mr. Zhang estimates that after one or two years, the number of registrations for domain names like ??.com will hit 120000, while the figure will be 300000 for Korean domain names. According to a survey, half of the Internet users now are non-English speakers.
Among which, users from Chinese, Japanese and Korean speaking environments total to more than 16% of the worldwide net users.
Domain Name disputes can be arbitrated
Although the registration of Chinese domain names is similar to the operations of its English counterpart (both operating on "First come, first serve" basis) the phenomena of domain names disputes is not expected to be any more serious.
Industry experts pointed out that with the development of technology, people are more aware of the importance of registering domain names for their enterprise or products in advance to reap maximum benefits. Even if the domain name has already been seized, ICANN will assign four organizations, including WIPO, as arbitrators to arbitrate such disputes caused by domain name registration.
Experts also pointed out that, compared to court procedures, the disputes dealt with by arbitration is more cost effective and there is no need to expose confidential commercial information in public since arbitration can be conducted behind closed doors.
Does arbitration tribunal has legal validity? Experts said that domain names cannot be 'owned', they can only be used. Once a conclusion is made from the arbitration, the relevant organizations will deal with it by removing the website of the person guilty of "Cyber-squatting" and return the domain name to the rightful owner. A recent well-known example of such arbitration is the retrieval of a website (Madonna.com) which is under the famous singer's name, Madonna.
-- Translated Article
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