Press release of 27 September 2001:
Conclusions from the legal inquiry
Per Harder, lawyer, has now concluded the legal inquiry that DIFO (Danish Internet Forum) initiated earlier this year into the opening of the Danish namespace on the Internet in January 1997. Among other things, Per Harder concludes the following:
- It is conspicuous that very few members of the Association of Internet Suppliers (FIL) were responsible for the registration of approximately 88 per cent of the registrations in the period just after the liberalisation and that it is therefore reasonable to conclude that individual members of the Board of Directors used their prior knowledge for the benefit of their own enterprise.
- The rules applying until 15 January 1997 were not complied with in connection with the transition to the new and more liberal rules.
- DIFO does not have special sanction options towards members of the then Board of Directors or FIL's members or customers, as DIFO does not have a special authority or the required legal interest.
- Today, DIFO is the primary source of rules relating to domain names/DNS in Denmark, and the use of domain names/DNS is subject to the conditions that follow from DIFO's rules at all times which will in time be supplemented via the usual sources of law.
- DIFO may consider changing its rules so that domain names that are deemed to have been obtained or reported under circumstances that are contrary to public policy can be included. Per Harder finds that the acceptance of such a rule in the Danish legal system will require prompt and consistent administration.
- The inquiry is generally based on statements from very few key persons.
DIFO's Board of Directors and members have not yet had the opportunity to consider the report. DIFO's members have been consulted about the inquiry and the Board of Directors will discuss the inquiry at its next meeting in November 2001.
As from 15 January 1997, everyone could get a domain name on the Internet under the Danish top level domain .dk. When this opportunity opened up, a few registrants registered many domain names. This was characterised as cybersquatting and at best objectionable. On 14 January 1997, a total of 8,099 domain names had been registered but this figure rose to 15,164 domain names on 1 February and 21,244 on 1 March the same year. On 19 September 2001, the number of registered domain names had risen to 328,953. Danish Internet Forum, which had been responsible for registering domain names in Denmark under .dk since 1999, decided to let Per Harder, lawyer, carry out a legal inquiry. The purpose of this inquiry was to uncover the process and account for possible measures available to DIFO in connection with the transition to the new registration possibilities in 1997.
The full inquiry is available here (in Danish).