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Code of Conduct
 
Code of Conduct




 
This code contains a number of principles designed to protect the interests of the end user.

Belgates who endorse the code will be required to adhere to these principles.

Breaches of the code will be dealt with under a specific complaints procedure (only *.be).

Explication :
          Code of Conduct for *.be in 10 points
          What are my rights as licensee (*.be) ?
          How can I file a complaint ?
          Code of conduct for DNS BE registrars (full version)
          Further questions ?
 
Code of Conduct for *.be in 10 points
Belgates who have subscribed to the DNS BE code of conduct guarantee that he will observe the following principles :
 
  1. When an agent registers a domain name he will always specify the contact details and e-mail address of the customer as "licensee" data.
  2. The agent will always confirm receipt and acceptance of an order.
  3. The agent will not build up a "stock" of domain names in order to put the customer under pressure to obtain the domain name of his choice at a possibly exorbitant price.
  4. The agent guarantees that he will only participate in operations that envisage the change of the licence holder of a domain name by making use of the specific transactions that DNS BE will develop for this.
  5. The agent guarantees that he has the necessary technical skills.
  6. The agent will provide accurate and unambiguous information (description of services offered, prices, agent contact details, applicable conditions, payment method, etc.) on his website for the end user.
  7. The agent will only start up a domain name transfer on the express request of the owner. The agent will not take any action to impede a transfer procedure started on the request of the owner.
  8. The agent will maintain a clearly developed privacy policy. The personal details of customers will not be passed on to third parties and the agent will refrain from 'spam' practices.
  9. The agent will always inform the customer of the general conditions of DNS BE and any updates of this document.
  10. The agent will endeavour to resolve the complaints of his customers as efficiently as possible. In all cases he will give his customers the contact details of his customer service or the personnel responsible for customer relations.
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What are my rights as licensee (*.be) ?
In order to ensure that the domain name holder can count on reliable information and a quality, principled service from the .be agents, DNS BE has proposed a code of conduct to them.

Agents who have subscribed to the DNS BE code of conduct guarantee that they will observe the following principles :

see the Code de Conduite in 10 points

You can easily recognise the agents who have agreed to abide by this charter from the special logo that they may use as a result.

If you encounter an agent who does not respect the above principles, you can report him to a complaints committee specifically formed for this purpose. If your complaint is found to be grounded, it may lead to the temporary or permanent withdrawal of the logo for the agent in question.

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How can I file a complaint ?
If you are of the opinion that an agent doesn't comply with the provisions of the code than you can submit a complaint to the secretariat of the complaints commission.

The secretariat will investigate whether the submitted complaint is complete, admissible and sufficiently funded. The secretariat will then transmit an advice to the complaints commission. The final decision however will be made by the commission itself as well as the assessment of possible sanctions.

Complaints are to be addressed to DNS BE vzw, Secretariat COC, Koning Leopold I straat 1, Bus 2, 3000 Leuven, or sent to the e-mail address coc@dns.be.

The complaint is only complete if the dossier contains the following elements:
  • name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the submitter of the complaint;
  • identification of the registrar that has committed the alleged violation(s);
  • indication of the domain name(s) that may constitute the object of the complaint;
  • indication of the specific stipulations of the code of conduct that have presumably been violated;
  • description of the circumstances that led to the alleged violation of the indicated stipulations of the code of conduct;
  • all relevant documents and information that can provide proof of the alleged violation(s).
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Code of conduct for DNS BE registrars (full version)
Preambule

Organizations, companies, and individuals whose professional activities are linked to the Internet or the Domain Name System (DNS) are aware of the technological complexity, the growing economical importance, and the rapid evolution of these media.

In such an environment, it is of extreme importance for end-users as well as other parties to have access to reliable information and high-quality services. Under all circumstances, users are entitled to equitable, just, non-discriminatory, and fair treatment.

DNS BE, the registry for the dotBE country code top-level domain (ccTLD), wants to give special attention to these matters. Moreover, both the bylaws of the organization as well as important documents accepted by the international Internet community (such as RFC 1591) specify a number of responsibilities in this area.

Since requests for the registration of domain names can no longer be introduced directly to DNS BE, our registrars have become our privileged partners and, in general, share the same type of responsibilities that are borne by DNS BE.

In order to ensure that the users benefit from the aforesaid rights, DNS BE would like to create guidelines for its registrars given their position with respect to, and their relation with, the end-customer. As the Internet community has the distinctive custom of settling matters by way of self-regulation rather than by way of governmental regulation or legal enactment, DNS BE proposes that its registrars accept a code of conduct that sets out the basic principles and procedures of their commercial activities as regards the .BE ccTLD.

The code will also serve as a kind of quality label for registrars by publicizing which organizations or companies are able to provide reliable information and services with respect for the basic rights and expectations of the customers.

Registrars who have subscribed to the code are bound by the following principles and have declared that they will enforce them for their customers.

Subscription to the code of conduct in no way replaces the obligations under the agent/registrar contract or the terms and conditions for registration in the .BE ccTLD. All registrars remain fully bound with regard to those documents.

Section 1: Terminology

Domain name: domain name registration within the .BE top-level domain, for example, name-of-your-company.be.

Customer: an individual or legal entity that is the licensee for a specific domain name or any such person or entity that applies for the registration of a domain name.

DNS BE: the non-profit association DNS Belgium located at Koning Leopold I-straat 1, Box 2, 3000 Leuven, that has been assigned as the registry/domain administrator for the .BE top-level domain.

Registrar: an individual or legal entity that has signed an agent/registrar agreement with DNS BE to participate in the registration processes within the .BE top-level domain.

Section 2: Registration policy principles
  1. The registrar will during the registration process always introduce the data of the customer that made the initial request for the registration of the domain name(s) concerned as the licensee contact and not his own data. The e-mail address submitted in the licensee contact information will be that of the licensee alone and not that of the registrar.
  2. Registrars will acknowledge the orders that the customers submit by replying by e-mail or fax (or in any other way if these two methods are not appropriate for the customer). In the confirmation of the order, the registrar will acknowledge the exact time of reception of the order of the customer (time stamp) and state whether the order has been accepted.
  3. Registrars may register domain names for their own use. However, they will refrain from 'warehousing', that is, registering large numbers of domain names without being specifically instructed to do so by customers. In the event of a presumed breach of this article, it is up to the Commission (see Section 6 below) to decide if the total number of domain names registered for the registrar's own use is to be considered a large number.
  4. Registrars will not in any way initiate procedures, or assist in such procedures, that involve the selling of domain names or any other operation that results in the change of the licensee of the particular domain name(s) unless by using the correct transaction that DNS BE provides for such operations.
  5. Registrars must have the technical competence required to introduce successfully the different types of actions (new registration, update domain, transfer domain, etc.) in the automated systems of DNS BE. Moreover, they must be able to implement and operate name servers for the customer if they offer such services directly. If such services are not offered by the registrar himself, then he is obliged to refer the customer who seeks such services to an individual or company that does offers those services or to give him the necessary technical information. At the request of his customer, the registrar will verify whether the name servers are functioning properly.

Section 3: Customer policy principles
  1. Registrars are free to offer the services they see fit and to determine the price for those services. However, they will always clearly indicate what type of services they are offering, the way those services are bundled or are available separately for the customer, and the prices charged for the services or service complement. At all times, they will ensure that the information made available to the customer is reliable and complete.
  2. If registrars offer services other than those connected with the registration and management of domain names (such as web hosting and e-mail forwarding), they may not oblige the customer to transfer the management of his domain names from another registrar as a condition for receiving these complementary services.
  3. In determining prices for their services, registrars will ensure that they are not discounting.below cost (selling at a loss). If different types of services are bundled, the price considered is the one that is charged for the entire package of services.
  4. Registrars will refrain from practices such as initiating transfers for domain names unless requested to do so by the customer.
  5. Registrars will assist in transfers initiated by other registrars upon the request of the customer whenever their assistance is required. They will in any case not attempt to block the pending transfer or obstruct it in any other way. When a transfer procedure has.been finalized and has.been confirmed by DNS BE, the former registrar will remove the domain(s) from his name servers if they are no longer.being used by the customer.
  6. Registrars will allow their customers to use other name servers than the ones the registrar suggests. If this involves an extra fee, they will mention this fee in their service list.
  7. The registrar will provide the customer with the following information through his website:
    • identity, address and legal form of his enterprise
    • VAT nu.ber (if applicable)
    • clear description of the products and services he offers
    • possible guarantees for those products and services
    • terms and conditions for delivery
    • different methods of payment and connected specifications
    • applicable terms and conditions in case of purchase of offered products or services.
Section 4: Privacy policy principles
  1. Registrars will maintain a clear privacy policy and will inform their customers thereof.
  2. Registrars will refrain from spamming existing or potential customers in order to persuade them to make use of their services. However, the invitation to existing customers to renew their domains and the transmission to those customers of additional information about the services offered are not considered spamming.
  3. Registrars will not transmit the personal data of their customers to third parties unless required to by the appropriate authorities. The possibility of verifying certain details of the domain name registration records through the WHOIS function of DNS BE will not.be deemed to.be transmittal of personal data.
Section 5: Cooperation
  1. Registrars will inform their customers of the terms and conditions of DNS BE concerning the use of domain names and of any updated versions of these terms and conditions. They will also inform their customers, at their request, of the dispute-resolution procedures that DNS BE has established to resolve domain-name disputes.
  2. Registrars will endeavor to resolve customer complaints efficiently. They will provide each customer with the contact information of the customer-support personnel (for example, phone nu.ber, fax nu.ber, e-mail, and website).
  3. Registrars will.be responsible for notifying the Federal Computer Crime Unit (FCCU) of the Federal Police when they presume illegal proceedings or activities on the Internet should that they encounter them within the scope of their domain-name registration activities. The FCCU can.be contacted at contact@gpj.be. For more information on the FCCU, see http://www.gpj.be/index2.html. The postal address is DJF - FCCU, Notelaarstraat 211, 1000 Brussels.
  4. All registrars that sign the code of conduct are obliged to work with each other to solve problems their customers encounter. In this context, they will make available a contact e-mail address for internal relations.between registrars that have signed the code. This address can.be used should they need to contact each other for a specific problem relating to one of their customers.
  5. Registrars may invite the resellers they work with to subscr.be to the principles of this code of conduct. However, resellers will not.be eligible for the committees indicated in Sections 6 and 7 and they will not.be allowed to use the logo specified in Section 8.
Section 6: Sanctions and procedures

A special complaints-evaluation commission will be established to examine alleged breaches of the code of conduct.

The composition of the commission, the procedures for the election and replacement of its members, the term of office of the members, the frequency and venue of its meetings, and similar topics will be specified in a Rules & Procedures document.

The procedures for the introduction, acknowledgement, and examination of complaints, the language, the rules of procedure, and the rules for appeals will also be specified in the Rules & Procedures document.

In the event of a breach of the code, the commission can issue one of the following sanctions in function of the nature and gravity of the infraction and of whether or not it is repetitive. The commission can :
  • issue a warning or give a reprimand to the registrar;
  • withdraw the logo and features associated with the code for limited time;
  • withdraw the logo and features associated with the code permanently.
If the commission decides that the breach should be sanctioned by withdrawal of the code of conduct logo and its features, the Board of DNS BE must confirm the commission.s decision for the sanction to become effective.

The commission is also competent to formulate opinions concerning the interpretation of the clauses of the code of conduct.

All information concerning the commission and its competence to examine complaints will be published on the website of DNS BE.

Section 7: Revision of the code

The code can be revised at the request of DNS BE or whenever 10% of the signing parties inform DNS BE of their desire to amend the code. (The registrars may use the forum that DNS BE provides in order to reach the 10% threshold.)

A special drafting committee will examine the proposed changes. All proposed changes will be submitted to a formal vote. If a majority of the members of the committee votes in favour, the proposed change will be adopted.

The proposed changes to the code will then be transmitted to the Board of DNS BE. If the Board agrees with the modifications, the code will be amended in the proposed way.

The drafting committee will be convened whenever a request for modification in conformity with Paragraph 1 of this section is received by the DNS BE staff. DNS BE will notify all registrars that have subscribed to the code and invite them to submit their candidacy for membership of the drafting committee. The members of the committee will be selected by DNS BE and will be determined in function of the different types and sizes of the DNS BE registrars. The number of members of the drafting committee will in any case be limited to 11 persons and will be presided over by DNS BE.

Section 8: Logo and features of the code of conduct

This code of conduct is linked with the usage of a specific logo.

This logo (given in Annex 1) has been developed by DNS BE as a 'soft' quality label exclusively for referal to the code of conduct and for usage of the subscribers to the code.

The registrars who sign and uphold this code are entitled to use this logo in their commercial relations with the customer. That is, they may print the logo on their commercial letterhead, put it on their website, and use it in their commercial messaging. In case the logo is put on a website, it needs to contain a link to the website where the code of conduct can be consulted simply by clicking on the logo.

DNS BE will dedicate a special page on its website for the list of the registrars who are entitled to use the logo. DNS BE will also endeavor to call the attention of press, the other media, and user groups to the logo and connected features.

Registrars who have not signed this code or who have been sanctioned with the temporary or permanent withdrawal of the logo are not entitled to make any use whatsoever of the logo. DNS BE will prosecute any unlawful use of the logo by registrars or other parties.

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Further questions ?
Do you have further questions concerning the code of conduct or its usage ?

Please mail your questions to: coc@dns.be

or fax them to number: +32 (0)16 28 49 71

or send them to the address below :

DNS Belgium vzw
COC Secretariat
Koning Leopold I straat 1, bus 2
3000 Leuven.
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