It's offices are based at 2 Harbour Square, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin https://www.iedr.ie.
IEDR's work includes protecting, supporting and promoting the online presence of all .ie domain names.
The .ie namespace was initially managed in University College Dublin (UCD), however in July 2000, IEDR became a private company and took over the management of the namespace.
IEDR has no shareholders and the company is owned by its members who are the directors.
Its corporate legal structure, being limited by guarantee, is a very common one for domain registries around the world. Surpluses are not distributed and are added to opening reserves.
Directors, as per the company’s constitution, do not have a “beneficial interest“ in the reserves of the company.
IEDR liaises as required with government departments, governing bodies, trade associations and abides by Internet best practice principles while operating as an independent private company.
The regulation of .ie domains and the domain registration authority is provided for in Part 4 Section 31 of the E-Commerce Act.
Policy Development & the Policy Advisory Committee
The Board of the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) established a Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) in July 2014 to consider and provide advice on policy issues concerning Ireland’s Internet top-level domain, .ie.
The PAC held its first meeting in February 2015 and operates in line with the framework of the .ie Policy Development Process (PDP) which is designed to be bottom-up, consensus-driven and multi-stakeholder led.
This means that any stakeholder can submit a policy change request, and where there is consensus among stakeholders, the policy change can be implemented.
The PAC has previously considered policy change proposals, such as those relating to the introduction of:-
- 1 & 2 letter domain names
- Internationalised domain names (IDNs)
- the secondary market (re-sale of the right to use a .ie domain name via the aftermarket)
- an alternative dispute resolution policy
- a modification to the DNS technical check process
It has also considered policy change proposals relating to the removal of the:-
- restriction on registering .ie domains corresponding to geographic place names in the island of Ireland
- restriction on registering .ie domains corresponding to TLD extenstions
- registration requirement to show a "claim to the name" - retaining the need to demonstrate a substantive connection to the island of Ireland
- restriction of the use of the term "university" in .ie domain names
In a number of instances, the PAC has refused a number of policy change requests (where consensus could not be established for the change), including:-
- the proposal to introduce a restriction on the use of the term "architect" in .ie domain registrations
- the proposal to remove the restriction on personal domain names (note: this proposal was overtaken by that to remove the "claim to the name" registration requirement)
The Policy Advisory Committee convenes on an almost quarterly basis, in person, to discuss the various policy change proposals raised for consideration.
Further engagement is facilitated via conference call and mailing list discussions in the interim periods between meetings.
Registration and Naming Policy
The .ie namespace is a national resource, reserved for the Irish, and for those with Irish connections.
Those wishing to register .ie domains must show that the meet the registration requirements of the .ie namespace prior to being granted the right to use the domain name.
These requirements are detailed within the Registration and Naming Policy.
Specifically, future Registrants of .ie domain names must show that they have a substantive connection to the island of Ireland, i.e. all .ie domain holders must be either based in the island of Ireland or have a real connection to the island of Ireland.
- Evidence of this base or connection can be a company’s Irish CRO number, Revenue VAT number, registered business number.
- Evidence from a sole trader/partnership could be an Irish VAT number in their own name(s), or proof of their business or Irish income tax registration.
- Evidence from an Irish trademark holder could be the trademark number or a digital copy of the trademark certificate.
- Evidence from an individual could be a digital copy of the Irish driver’s license or Irish passport. This can be shown by those who are citizens/residents of the island of Ireland (32 counties).
.ie domain names are available on a first come, first served basis to any party that submits their application first, and demonstrates their compliance with this Policy.
Removal of the "Claim to the Name"
In March 2018, the need for future Registrants to show a "claim to the name" when registering a .ie domain was removed following the PAC's recommendation for the implementation of a policy change request, in addition to the approval of the IEDR Board of Directors. A Public Consultation was also held to ensure that the opinions of the wider Irish internet community were taken into consideration, during which it was determined that the Public was favorable to the change.
Chief Executive of the IEDR hailed the policy liberalisation for completely transforming the customer’s registration experience, allowing them to get online with an identifiably Irish website and email address in less time and with less hassle.
From March 2018, those already holding existing .ie domain names can avail of a FastPass registration process when registering subsequent .ie domains. This has further sped up the registration process as it ensures that the Registrant will not be required to provide further supporting documentation with their application.
WIPO Dispute Process
Disputes regarding .ie domain names can be addressed via the .ie Dispute Resolution Policy(ieDRP).
A panel of 1-3 Administrative Panelists will review the complaint and make a binding decision, which will be implemented by the IEDR following a 21-day stay to allow for the submission of a legal challenge/appeal.
The decision may result in any of the following outcomes:-
- Confirmation of the registration
- Cancellation of the registration
- Transfer of the registration to the Complainant
To successfully prove its complaint, a Complainant must demonstrate that:-
- the domain name is identical or misleadingly similar to a protected identifier in which the Complainant has rights; and
- the Registrant has no rights in law or legitimate interests in respect of a domain name; and
- the domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy (ADPR)
The .ie Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) first considered the introduction of an ADRP during a review of the policy change request to remove the "claim to the name" registration requirement.
The PAC subsequently found consensus for the submission of the proposal as a distinct policy change request, on the grounds that it was considered a valuable service for the namespace, regardless of the outcome of the "claim to the name" policy change review.
In line with the 10-step Policy Development Process (PDP), the PAC established a dedicated Working Group to further consider the implementation of the policy change request.
As of November 2018, the Working Group is holding a limited consultation with relevant stakeholders on the implementation proposals designed to date.
Initiatives and Publications
The Optimise Programme was launched in 2011. In its 8 year history, the programme has aided over 130 small and micro businesses in enhancing their digital skills and e-commerce potential to grow online sales.
In 2017, it adopted a sector-specific approach, partnering with industry representative organisations to improve digital skills for their members, enabling the program to scale-up, allowing more SMEs to become digitally enabled.
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) was selected as the first partner in 2017, and the programme targeted assistance to Irish design and craft businesses to improve their online presence and e-commerce capabilities.
In 2018, the Irish Hardware Association, the national representative body of hardware/DIY retailers, builders, merchants, manufacturers and distributors in Ireland, was added to the Optimise Programme.
IEDR held its first Internet Day celebrations in 2015, showcasing a free public exhibition, The History and Future of the Internet in Ireland, and two morning discussion panels on e-commerce and the internet in 2030.
In 2016, the .ie Internet Day event highlighted the benefits of e-commerce and how SMEs can overcome various challenges, with a keynote speech from Emma Sinclair, MBE, co-founder of EnterpriseJungle.
2017's Internet Day hosted an evening with Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales. At the event, Mr. Wales discussed the threats to online knowledge-sharing and his mission to combat the rise of ‘fake news’ with evidence-based journalism.
To mark Internet Day 2018, the ‘Digital Town’ initiative was launched to highlight the benefits and possibilities of the internet, celebrating the digital achievements of a local town, Gorey, Co Wexford.
The IEDR releases a number of publications, including:
- Annual Report - IEDR publishes a comprehensive report on its operations annually.
- Domain Profile Report - This examines the makeup of the .ie domain database and is published on a half-yearly basis.
- SME Digital Health Index - This provides an analysis of usage and attitudes towards digital assets by SMEs.
Awards & Recognition
Awards received include:-
- Retail Excellence Award Winner Gold Strategic Partner 2018-2019
- Chartered Accountants Published Accounts Awards Finalists 2016, 2015, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007.
- InBusiness Editor's Choice Award - Best Support to SME's 2015
In August 2018, IEDR announced that it had reached an important milestone in its history, with over a quarter of a million registered .ie domains.
New domain registrations grew by 39% year-on-year to 28,126 in H1 2018, with almost two-thirds (62.5%) of new .ie domains were registered by businesses (including corporate bodies and sole traders).