THE IMPACT OF THE CZECH NEW CIVIL CODE ON DOMAIN NAMES – LEGAL (DE)TRASHING OF NOT ONLY DOMAIN NAMES

Radka MacGregor Pelikánová

Abstract


The recent Czech re-codification of the Private law is amassive legislative move performed through a set of statutes and other instruments. The flagship of this flotilla, the Act No. 89/2012 Coll., the Czech New Civil Code has significantly re-shaped the Czech private legal framework and reached even the fundamental principles and concepts. For instance, the reinforced mandate of good morals and the reviewed delineation of in rem rights have the potential to change the meaning and regime of virtually all assets, including virtual domain names. The former discussion whether the domain name is an item, aright, something else or noth- ing and whether a domain name can be owned or held or neither is not expressly resolved by the New Civil Code. There are at least two opinion streams – one interpreting the new regulation as an endorsement of the in rem regime of domain names and another interpreting the new regulation as a clear rejection of the in rem regime of domain names. What exactly does the New Civil Code tell us and how should we interpret it? Aconsistent and open-minded approach leads to aset of (semi)conclusions bringing light in this extremely important and confusing arena and advocating for placing domain names, as well as the Roman law own- ership triad, from the shadow to the sunny side. 

Keywords


czech new Civil Code, domain name, item, property

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