The Regulation of Abusive Activity and Content: A Study of Registries’ Terms of Service
Internet Policy Review, 9(1). DOI: 10.14763/2020.1.1448, 2020
22 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 31, 2020
This paper studies the role of domain registries in relation to unlawful or unwanted use of a domain name or the underlying website content. It is an empirical and conceptual contribution to the online content regulation debate, with specific focus on European country code top-level (ccTLD) domain name registries. An analysis of the terms of service of 30 European ccTLD registries shows that one third of the registries contain some use-related provision, which corresponds to approximately 47% of registered domains. The analysis also turns towards examples of notice-and-takedown mechanisms, the emergence of proactive screening and the practice of data validation. Based on the analysis, it calls for more clarity and transparency regarding domain registries’ role in content- or use-related takedowns.
Keywords: Content regulation, Domain names, Terms of Service (ToS), Takedown, Abuse
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