Registration and use of domains at ccTLD registry

Registry

Which entity is responsible for registration of domain names in the country code top-level domain (ccTLD)?

The administration authority (registry) for the ccTLD .ru (and for the Cyrillic .ρφ) is a non-profit organisation called the ANO Coordination Center for TLD RU (the Coordinator). It ensures the reliable and stable domain name system infrastructure operation of the Russian internet sector. The Coordinator accredits domain registrars (private companies), which provide commercial services – the registration and maintenance of domain names – to registrants. In this role, the Coordinator performs targeted functions controlling the activities of local registrars. Similar functions have been given to the Russian Fund of Internet Development, which is both a watchdog and another registry of the .su domain and related registration proceedings.

Method

How are domain names registered?

To register a domain name, a prospective registrant files a registration application and enters into a contract with a registrar. Any person, either domestic or foreign, can apply for and own a domain name in the .ru, .ρφ and .su digital zones. There is no need for trademark registration to file for domain name registration in Russia, although trademark registration before domain name registration may provide certain additional benefits.

Duration

For how long is registration effective?

Registration is generally effective for one year. Unlimited registration renewals are possible if the registrant sends renewal applications in due course. Failure to renew a domain name registration will result in the loss of rights related to the domain name at issue.

Cost

What is the cost of registration?

The cost of registration varies from one registration to another. Usually, it ranges from approximately US$5 to US$30. Registrars sometimes provide rewards, bonuses or discounts associated with domain name registrations.

Transfer

Are registered domain names transferable? If so, how? Can the use of a domain name be licensed?

Domain names are transferable. For transfer purposes, the current registrant must send the relevant application to the registrar, while the new registrant must enter into a contract with the registrar and consent to the transfer. Once the application is filed, the contract is entered into by the parties and consent is given – the registrar has three days to complete the domain name transfer process.

Transfer of the .ru domain name is not allowed under the following conditions:

  • upon expiry of a one-year registration term;
  • within 30 days of the moment the new registrant acquired the right to the domain name from the previous registrant;
  • if the domain name is the same as one included in the blacklist;
  • if the registrant fails to provide the registrar with the requested documents or information in the course of the registrar’s monitoring process; and
  • if there are certain restrictions imposed on the domain name (eg, a preliminary injunction granted by a court).

 

Strictly speaking, a domain name licence is not possible according to Russian law, since this particular legal tool applies to transactions involving intellectual property (IP) assets under the provisions of the Civil Code, while domain names are not within the list of protected IP rights. That does not mean, however, that the registrant cannot commercialise the domain name by allowing third parties to use it on the agreed terms.

Owing to the freedom-of-contract principle, the registrant may lease the domain name in favour of a third party. At the same time, in the case of an IP infringement dispute, the registrant will be engaged as the first defendant, while the actual user of the domain name (lessee) may stand as the co-defendant. In any event, the imposition of liability on a registrant that has leased the domain name to a third party, associated with the occurrence of an IP infringement, will depend on various factors and the facts of the case.

According to a ruling of the Russian IP Court, the registrant of the domain name cannot escape liability for IP infringement, or shift this liability to another person, by entering into a contract (including a domain name lease contract) (case reference A40-206553/2015). This position may be applied to all related domain name disputes where the registrant registers an infringing domain name and then, in the case of a dispute, argues in court that another person in fact uses the domain.

Importantly, if it has been proven that the registrant in no way contributed to the IP infringement committed by the lessee of the domain name (eg, if the lessee publishes an offer for sale of counterfeit products without the registrant’s knowledge), the court may dismiss the claim against the registrant by holding liable only the lessee (the actual user of the domain name) (case reference A40-136427/2012).

ccTLD versus gTLD registration

What are the differences, if any, with registration in the ccTLD as compared with a generic top-level domain (gTLD)?

The rules for the .ru ccTLD do not contain specific eligibility requirements for registrants. However, since domain name registration is exercised based on a contract between a registrar and a registrant, the registrant must have legal capacity and be in good standing.

As for the selection of specific domain names, the rules for the .ru ccTLD do not allow the registration or use of domains that are contrary to the public interest and humane and moral principles (such as abusive words).

WHOIS records do not describe specific eligibility requirements.

Registrants’ privacy

Is the registrant’s contact information freely available? Can the registrant use a privacy service to hide its contact information?

The registrant is obliged to provide the registrar with correct and up-to-date personal data (ie, full name, date of birth, residential address, passport details and contact information). Submission of fake or false information is not allowed under the rules for the .ru ccTLD. Owing to personal data legal restrictions, registrars will not publicly display this (personal) information. Therefore, the actual personally identifiable information is not always available for public access, including in WHOIS records.

Law stated date

Correct on

Give the date on which the information above is accurate.

09 March 2021.