The .ie ccTLD, which is the country code domain name for Ireland has long had very restrictive policies governing registration. Even if you were Irish or had a business based in Ireland registering a domain name in the local country code extension wasn’t straightforward – at least not compared to the ease with which you can register domains in .com, .eu or .co.uk.
As I mentioned recently, the rules are finally changing and liberalisation is coming to the .ie ccTLD:
Up until a few days ago the actual date of the policy change hadn’t been decided or announced. At the most recent IEDR Policy Advisory Committee meeting last week in Dublin the date was finalised and this was shared with all .ie registrars this afternoon.
The rules will change on March 21st 2018.
What does that mean?
If you have a trademark, registered business name or other “right” to a particular name you’ll need to exercise it before the 21st March cutoff.
From March 21st onwards the “claim” aspect of the IE policy will be removed and you’ll simply need to show your “connection” to Ireland.
That “connection” process could involve providing proof of trade, utility bills, photo ID and other paperwork, but you’ll no longer have to “jump through hoops” to show why you are entitled to register a specific domain name.
Of course there’s still plenty of protection for trademark holders and it’s not as if the namespace is going to lose all regulation overnight.
Will there be hiccups? Possibly.
But making it easier for people and companies to register domain names is not a bad thing. If they aren’t going to get a .ie domain name to show they’re Irish they’ll simply choose a domain extension that suits their needs without the hassle factor.
Disclosure: I sit on the IEDR’s Policy Advisory Committee and am founder of a .ie accredited registrar.