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Legal issues

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What can be done in case of legal disputes regarding .at-domains?

If the dispute cannot be solved between the parties, you can always choose legal action at a court.

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Is there a arbitration procedure for .at Domains?

No. The Arbitration Office for .at Domains was closed on October 31st, 2008.

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What are natural or legal persons?

A natural person (=human being) becomes contractually capable as soon as he reaches the age of consent. A legal person is an entity which bears rights and liabilities and is represented by executive bodies – i.e. natural persons. Examples: limited liability companies, corporations, registered associations, foundations, regional authorities, etc.
Whenever a data modification is requested, nic.at verifies whether a person authorised by the organisation has agreed to this modification. Domains can only be registered by persons who are of age and contractually capable.

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Who is authorised to sign for an organisation?

There are legal regulations concerning the representation of organisations: e.g. the Managing Director of a limited liability company, the Managing Board of a corporation, the chairman of a registered association, etc. Whenever a domain modification is requested, nic.at verifies whether a person authorised by the organisation has agreed to this modification. An ISP is not authorised to sign for the domain holder.

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What rights and liabilities does the domain holder have regarding the domain?

All – he has the sole usage rights and can dispose of the domain, i.e. using, renting or transferring it. Domain data must not be modified without his approval. However, he also has the responsibility to pay for the domain fees (himself or via ISP), and he is liable for possible legal infringements arising from the domain.

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How is the contract closed between nic.at and the domain holder?

When you register a .at-domain, you are asked to accept the nic.at General Terms and Conditions. This agreement is also binding for the holder if the registration was made by an ISP/registrar on behalf of the domain holder. Detailed information is available here PDF Link.

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Is the ISP able to represent the domain holder?

Generally not, except for the domain registration, as the ISP concludes a contract with nic.at on behalf of his customer. Any further domain modifications must be approved by the contractual partner, which is the domain holder.

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When is a domain technically locked or deleted?

nic.at locks and deletes domains either on customer request (in case of a cancellation by the domain holder)

or due to the following possible reasons (also see point 3.8. of the General Terms and Conditions: Revocation of the Delegation):

1. Repeated technical problems regarding this particular domain, despite the admonition of the domain holder (e.g. inoperative nameservers)
2. Non-payment of the domain fee
3. Insufficient specification of the domain holder (see point 1.3. of the General Terms and Conditions)
4. A legally effective court decision or instruction of a competent authority

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What does the withdrawal of a registration mean and what are the possible reasons?

nic.at locks and deletes domains either on customer request (in case of a cancellation by the domain holder)

or due to the following possible reasons (also see point 3.8. of the General Terms and Conditions: Revocation of the Delegation):

1. Repeated technical problems regarding this particular domain, despite the admonition of the domain holder (e.g. inoperative nameservers)
2. Non-payment of the domain fee
3. Insufficient specification of the domain holder (see point 1.3. of the General Terms and Conditions)
4. A legally effective court decision or instruction of a competent authority  

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How do I know if a domain is technically locked?

The domain becomes technically inoperative, which means that the website, e-mail or other internet services are no longer working for this domain.

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When does a technically locked domain become available for delegation again?

The duration of a technical lock is presumably 8 weeks. During this period, the current domain holder is still displayed in the Whois-database. After this technical lock, the domain will be deleted and becomes available for registration again according to the “first come, first served” principle. The query on the nic.at website can be used in order to check whether a domain is still available.

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What indicates that a domain has been deleted?

The Whois-query. The domain is listed as available for registration.

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What happens in case of bankruptcy or settlement of the invoice recipient?

The domain holder will be contacted as soon as nic.at is informed about a bankruptcy or settlement. Hereafter, the domain holder can specify a different invoice recipient for the relevant domain. Any open accounts will be debited to the domain holder – as he is the bearer of all rights and liabilities – unless the new invoice recipient expressly accepts the outstanding account.

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Why is the domain holder’s data published on the nic.at database?

It is internationally usual for registries to make domain data (so-called Whois-data) available to the public. With the registration of a domain the holder expressly accepts the publication of his own data as well as the data of the contact person specified by him (point 1.5. of the General Terms and Conditions). This also applies if the domain was registered by a different party (e.g. ISP) on behalf of the customer.

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How can I prevent my data from being published in the Whois-database?

The display of the phone or fax number as well as the e-mail address can be hidden in the public database – this requires a modification of the person data. If the entire data should be hidden, you will need the services of a trustee (e.g. notary, lawyer, ISP) by transferring the domain to him. Please define the trustee’s competences regarding the domain by concluding a (written) contract, as the trustee is fully authorised to dispose of the domain.