.ZA is the internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for South Africa; it is an online identity that provides South African businesses and brands with a platform to showcase skills and products.
When using .ZA everybody recognises that you are South African, unlike a non-South African domain name that cannot readily tell the world where you are in the online world.
What are the key benefits of a country code extension like .za?
A name online gives you a unique identity, such as web ID and email e.g. www.mydomain.co.za, email@example.com.
Online presence is essential for businesses’ marketing and branding efforts. It also creates easy worldwide access, making it easy for businesses to attract clients online and to enhance their online identity, brand visibility and exposure. With a dedicated website, businesses also get dedicated email addresses, depending on the chosen hosting package.
Furthermore, .ZA domain name registrations contribute to the South African economy and enable the authority to drive SME development initiatives such as the .ZA Registrar-Reseller training programme. Our .ZA Registrar-Reseller programme aims to unlock the economic potential of local SMEs in the domain name registration business, and accelerate the creation of new players within the Internet Service Provider (ISP) industry.
When should brands and businesses secure their online presence?
A domain name registration should be part of a business’s trademark protection process and it is for that reason the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has partnered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to enable businesses to register their domain name and business name simultaneously. This domain name registration method is not only limited to new business registration but is an option that is available to all CIPC registered businesses/account holders.
We have over 500 .ZA-accredited registrars which can be contacted for .ZA domain name registration inquiries.
How does the .ZA Domain name Authority ensure that domain name holders are protected?
.ZA has a proven alternative dispute resolution (ADR) against cybersquatting and intellectual property abuse in co.za, net.za, org.za and web.za domains.
The .ZA ADR Regulations provide for an alternative domain resolution process in respect of co.za, net.za, org.za and web.za. In terms of the regulations, a complainant can lodge a complaint against a domain name registrant if the complainant believes that the domain name is abusive or offensive. Such a dispute may be lodged through a ZADNA accredited ADR service provider.
The ADR process was established with the intention of creating an alternative to the courts at a potential lesser fee. The parties also have an option between a single adjudicator and three adjudicators at a cost of R10 000 for a single adjudicator and R24 000 for three adjudicators.
The ADR process has been found to be expeditious and cost-effective. The amended ADR regulations also provide for mediation which is facilitated by ZADNA.
The ADR provider is required to refer the matter to ZADNA once both parties have responded in an attempt to resolve the matter prior to adjudication. Whilst the mediation process is still relatively new, it has been found to yield fruit in terms of engagements and possible resolution.
What do you define as domain name abuse?
It is a domain name registration that is registered to take unfair advantage of another person’s/brand’s rights; or to be detrimental to; or infringing another person’s/brand’s rights.
What are the steps to be taken by brands and businesses when somebody is using a domain name pretending to be a brand or business that they are not?
If your company has an online presence (www.joescompany.co.za) and you discover that someone has registered a very similar domain name (www.joecompany.co.za), with the intention of pretending to be you, then you can pursue a domain dispute with the relevant domain name authority.
For a South African domain name (one ending in .za), the .ZA Domain Name Authority administers an Alternative Dispute Resolution Process: https://www.zadna.org.za/content/ page/%20za-adr-process/ designed to resolve domain disputes. There is a cost associated with this process, as an accredited dispute resolution provider will need to review the matter. However, ZADNA runs a financial assistance programme for those unable to pay these fees.
Where and how do you report .ZA domain name abuse?
.ZA Take-Down Notice: If you have discovered a South African website that appears to be fraudulent, you may be able to lodge a Take- Down Notice to have that site removed from the Internet. A Take-Down Notice can be lodged on Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) website: https://ispa.org.za/tdn/
.ZA Domain Name Complaint: The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) is the custodian of the largest South African subdomains (those ending in .co.za, .org.za, .web.za and .net.za). If you are aware of one of those domains being used for malicious or fraudulent purposes, then you can report that to the ZACR using this complaints form: https://www.registry.net.za/downloads/u/ COMPLAINTS_FORM.pdf which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org