The General Terms and Conditions for Domain Name Registration under .si TLD stipulate that the user may not register a domain that is contrary to law, public policy or morals (see item 8. 1. 4.). What does this provision mean and what should future domain name holders refrain from when choosing a domain name so that their registration will not be rejected or that an already registered domain will not be deactivated?
The domain is contrary to the law
Different laws may restrict the use of certain words or phrases when choosing a domain name, or they may contain restrictions regarding the meaning of the domain name. This legislation may apply to the use of official names and national symbols, consumer protection, the use of trademarks, the naming of companies and associations, etc.
The Companies Act prohibits a company from using the word Slovenia or its derivatives and abbreviations in its own name without the permission of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. The Societies Act also has a similar prohibition. These prohibitions extend sensibly to the field of domain names as well. Thus e.g. domain name company-for-supply-of-natural-gas-of-republic-of-slovenija.si or society-for-farming-gov-rs.si are prohibited.
The domain is contrary to public policy
The legislation does not define the term “public policy” or whether a certain act is contrary to the public policy. The concept should also not be confused with a breach of “public order”, which is a category of criminal law. According to the international practice, “public policy” is a set of rules and principles (which are not always enshrined in law) that ensure public safety and protect an individual’s physical and mental integrity. An important part of public order is the protection of fundamental human rights. Some domains would therefore not be banned for violating legal rules, but they could violate public safety principles.
John perceives himself as a terrorist, as he agrees with many of the principles of international terrorist organizations, but he has never done anything illegal in his life. His belief that he is a terrorist, is purely subjective, internal. The law does not prohibit him from thinking in such a way. However, John is not allowed to register the domain association-of-terrorists-of-slovenia.si, as such a domain would be contrary to the public policy.
The domain is contrary to morality
The concept of morality is also not defined in the legislation. Morality is a cumulation of fundamental social values, and these change over time. Something that would have been considered immoral in the past (e.g. pornography) is socially acceptable today. Sometimes a domain name is not contrary to the law, nor does it threaten the public safety and integrity of an individual, but it is not permissible for moral reasons.
Lea owns a chain of butcher shops and meat processing plants. She would like to register the animal-friendly- slaughterhouse.si domain name. Such a domain is neither illegal nor a threat to public security, but it is still morally unacceptable.
Illegal domain name and illegal content
The inappropriateness of the domain has nothing to do with the content located on the website under the domain. A domain name that is the “address” of a website may be inadmissible, even though the content of the website is completely legal. Conversely, the content on the website may be illegal for various reasons, but this does not affect the legality or the admissibility of the domain name itself. It should be also clarified that the .si Registry does not exercise any oversight over the legality of the content located on a particular website, as this is not its task.
The domain name holder wants to register the domain name public-forest-service-agency-of-republic-of-slovenia.si The website contains a forum for raising awareness of the effects of pollution on Slovenian forests. The domain is not legal, as the law prohibits the use of the names “public agency” and “Republic of Slovenia”. On the other hand, the content of the website is entirely permissible.
The domain name holder wants to register the domain let-us-preserve-the-forests.si. There is a store on the website that sells counterfeit Adidas sneakers. This time, the domain name is completely legal and permissible, but the content of the website may constitute a violation of consumer protection legislation, industrial property law and other legislation. Violations of this legislation are not ruled upon by the .si Registry, instead, violations related to the content of the website are the responsibility of the relevant supervisory bodies and the court.