Is it illegal to speculate domain names?

VietNamNet Bridge – Domain names are the national resources which need to be protected and not to be wasted. However, with the existing law loopholes, the national resources have been traded by individuals to seek profit.


Vietnam, domain name, laws, international practice


At present, Vietnamese domain names (.vn) and international domain names (.com) have been granted under the principle “first comes first served” with no limitation in quantity. One only has to follow very simple procedures to register domain names. The only legal documents required are identity cards and residential registration book. Meanwhile, VNNIC, the Vietnam Internet Network Information Center, only grants domain names, while it does not take care about how the domain names are used.

Flexible regulations lend a hand to speculators

The easy conditions on the domain name registration have helped individuals and institutions make big money by speculating domain names. They register domain names at VNNIC and then resell the registered domain names to the enterprises or organizations whose names coincide with the domain names their registered before.

In general, they register the domain names which coincide with the names of celebrities or well-known businesses. After making a registration, the speculators would offer to sell the domain names at sky high prices. While they only spend some hundreds of thousands of dong in the registration fee, they would demand billions of dong from the buyers.

Domain name speculation has become a profitable business. With simple procedures and low registration fee (free of charge in some cases), one can register hundreds or thousands of domain names.

Meanwhile, analysts have pointed out that one individual cannot use more than 10 domain names, because developing more than 10 websites would go beyond the capability of an individual.

Especially, while the national resources are limited, domain names have been granted with no limitation. Therefore, scientists have warned that the national resources may get exhausted soon

Is it illegal to speculate domain names?

The story that Nguyen Trong Khoa, known as the domain name baron in Vietnam has offered to sell some domain names relating to Eurowindow company, has become a hot topic on local newspapers.

The newspapers have reported that Eurowindow has threatened to sue Khoa as a blackmailer.

Nguoi lao dong has quoted some experts as saying that Khoa has violated the current laws in this case, and that the domain name must be given back to Eurowindow.

However, Le Thuy Hanh, General Director of Digital Marketing, who is also a domain name expert, said on Tin tuc Vietnam, that Khoa just wants to warn Vietnamese enterprises about the importance of domain names and hopes that the two sides would not “go too far” in this case.

Hanh went on to say that Vietnamese enterprises have not paid appropriate attention to the domain name registration, and that they “lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.”

Domain names are not the brands, but domain names play a very important identification role in the global Internet environment.

Regarding the principle “first comes first served” which analysts believe is unreasonable, Hanh said that this is the international practice and Vietnam should not refuse to follow the rule.

This explains why the domain names aodai.vn (ao dai is the Vietnamese traditional dress) and aodai.com.vn have belonged to a South Korean domain name investor.

Compiled by C. V

Vietnam, domain name, laws, international practice
 
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