I have a complaint

Under SIDN’s General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants, anyone who believes that a particular domain name is inconsistent with public order or decency may submit a reasoned complaint to the C&AB.

Consideration of complaints by the Complaints and Appeals Board
The Complaints and Appeals Regulations are based on the principle that it is neither desirable nor practicable for SIDN to act as a censor, stipulating in advance which names are and are not suitable for registration. SIDN accordingly dropped its ‘blacklist’ of disallowed names several years ago. When a .nl domain name is registered, SIDN no longer performs any kind of check on the name itself. However, SIDN does provide a complaints system. This low-threshold system enables anyone who is unhappy about a domain name’s registration to have it reviewed by an independent body. If this body concludes that the registration is indeed inconsistent with public order or decency, registration can be retrospectively reversed.

Use of a domain name
Since the complaints system was introduced, SIDN has established that the mere registration of a domain name cannot be deemed inconsistent with public order or decency. Such inconsistency can arise only as a consequence of the domain name’s use. For example, a highly offensive slogan registered as a domain name by a cabaret artist could be acceptable in light of the way the name is used. The C&A Regulations that came into effect on 17 March 2010 therefore make an explicit link between a name and its use.

Complaints about content
SIDN’s complaints system is not a vehicle for complaining about internet content (text and images on websites) associated with .nl domain names. The reason being that content is explicitly outside SIDN’s field of responsibility. A complaint can be accepted only if the combination of a domain name and its use is considered to be inconsistent with public order or decency. In other words, the name itself has to contribute to the inconsistency. SIDN additionally operates a Notice and Take Down Code that can be used if the content on a .nl website is clearly criminal or unlawful.

To ‘Notice and Take Down Code’ on www.sidn.nl

When can you make a complaint to the C&AB?
Article 19.6 of the General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants states that anyone may make a reasoned complaint to the Complaints and Appeals Board if he or she believes that, in view of the way it is used, the registration of a particular domain name is inconsistent with public order or decency.

How do you make a complaint?
A brief summary of the complaints procedure is available here. The full procedure is set out in the Complaints and Appeals Regulations, which can be downloaded using the link below.

Download the Complaints and Appeals Regulations

The valid grounds for complaint are defined in SIDN’s General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants. They are defined quite narrowly, so please think carefully before making a complaint.

The rules mean that only certain types of complaint can be considered by the C&AB. If you have a complaint of any other type, the C&AB cannot help you. For information about other possible ways of resolving your grievance, please see SIDN’s website, under ‘Disputes and complaints’.

To ‘Disputes and complaints’ on www.sidn.nl

Please note that a fee of € 50 is charged for processing a complaint.