The regulation of abusive activity and content: a study of registries’ terms of service

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternet Policy Review
Issue number1
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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