ZA NiC
free domain names
From 31 October 2012 ZA NiC will no longer be accepting new registrations for za.net or za.org domains. Please see our 14 April 2012 Announcement for more information.
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ZA NiC is responsible for the registration of subdomains in the second-level .za.net and .za.org domains. The second level domain names .za.net and .za.org are paid for by ZA NiC and are operated by ZA NiC for non-profit making purposes.

The purpose of this document is to describe the rules for the allocation of names within the .za.net and .za.org domains and their sub-domains.

The following applies to all subdomains of .za.net and .za.org:

  1. Where a dispute over the interpretation of the rules exists, the Council of Management of ZA NiC shall rule on the interpretation. The decision of the Council of Management if ZA NiC is final.

  2. All NEW domain requests will conform to RFCs 1034, 1035, 1122, 1123 and any subsequent replacements. In addition, ZA NiC will apply a further set of restrictions on names, as described below.

  3. Some existing names would be rejected under the current rules. Similarly, if the rules are changed in the future, some names approved under one set of rules might be rejected under the changed rules. No rule change will ever affect the status of a name which has been approved before the change unless sound technical or legal reasons require this.

  4. Domain names are registered on a first come, first served basis.

  5. ZA NiC may cancel a registration or suspend delegation of a name
    • if the name is administered in a way likely to endanger operation of the DNS
    • if the basis on which the name was registered has changed (e.g. the organisation making the application no longer exists.)
    • if it is drawn to ZA NiC's attention that the name is being used in a manner likely to cause confusion to internet users
    • where ZA NiC has been informed that legal action has been commenced regarding use of the name
    • where ZA NiC is of the opinion that one of the above events is likely to occur


  6. Syntax rules for domain name requests. [These rules apply at the top level delegation only: e.g. the (xxx) in xxx.za.net, xxx.za.org, and so on, but not within a delegated domain.]

    • Two letter names are not allowed, reserved for ISO country codes.
    • All second level names of .za are banned from being used as third level names. e.g. gov.za.net would be banned as it is a second level name.
    • All top level domains are banned from being used as third level names. e.g. net.za.net and org.za.net are not allowed.
    • All one character domain names (ie [a-z0-9].za.net) are reserved for possible future sub-domain usage.
    • Acceptance of names is at the discretion of ZA NiC. ZA NiC will not accept a name for delegation if it is on our list of reserved words (This list is not available for public scrutiny) or if it is obscene or otherwise deemed to be unsuitable.


  7. There shall be at least two nameservers for the domain (with addresses specified in the request) operating at the time the request is submitted. There is no restriction on the physical location or IP address of these nameservers.

  8. A record will be created in ZA NiC's database where management of the zone is delegated to ZA NiC from which NS records will be generated and loaded into the primary nameservers for the zone.

  9. It is important to be aware that a registrant does not own a Domain Name. Rather, the Domain Name is registered to the registrant until such time as the registrant exercises the right to cancel the registration or the name is revoked under ZA NIC's rules.

  10. Registration of a subdomain of .za.net and .za.org is restricted to individuals and organisations with a presence in South Africa. Valid South African contact details are required to support the registration. This will not affect any existing domains registered to parties outside South Africa.

  11. Domain name warehousing will not be supported and if you are found to be registering domains without the intention of using them in the spirit that they are provided by ZA NiC, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate the registration. For the avoidance of doubt, link farming and many websites with little or no original content with the express purpose of generating traffic (for advertising revenue or otherwise) will be considered to be domain name warehousing.


Subdomains

Subdomain managers willing to provide registration to third parties in their domain have an obligation to abide by the following rules:
  • Registration must be provided for free or for a minimal fee
  • The registration fee, if any, must be minimal and must only cover costs in direct relation with the registration and management of the zone file(s) and server(s). Using registration fees to fund any of the following is explicitly excluded :
    • software development work (even DNS-related);
    • wages;
    • paperwork.
  • Registration in a given subdomain can be reserved to the members of an organisation with a subscription fee, but the subdomain registration should not be the primary service provided by the organisation to its paying members.
  • Be equitable to all groups in the domain that request domain names
Failure to abide by these rules my result in the subdomain being suspended or re-delegated by ZA NiC to a different subdomain manager.


Third Party Infringement

By registering a name you confirm that you have the right to use that name. Your use of the name must not infringe upon the rights of any third party.

All .za.net and .za.org Domain Name registrations are made under ZA NiC's Policies for Domain Name registration. These stipulate that care must be taken to avoid infringing the rights that a third party might have in the name, intentionally or otherwise. This term applies to businesses and individuals alike. Although a company may have traded with a similar name for many years - and, in the case of sole traders and partnerships, with exactly the same name - only one can use it as a Domain Name.

If a party believes that the registration of their company name, brand names or registered trademarks as a Domain Name by a third party constitutes an infringement of trademark or an act of passing off, ZA NiC advises that they seek qualified legal opinion.

ZA NiC cannot offer legal advice.


Other Rules

ZA NiC reserves the right to terminate the service at any time

Your contact details as entered into the whois database will be publicly viewable via the whois database interface.

By registering a name you agree to keep ZA NiC and its employees and contributors fully and effectively indemnified at all times and indemnify ZA NiC and its employees and contributors accordingly against all costs, claims, liabilities, legal actions and expenses arising directly or indirectly through your choice and use of the domain name or by any breach by you of your obligations contained herein.

You may register a domain name through ZA NiC on behalf of somebody else (if you are an internet service provider for example). No fee may be charged for the use of the domain name. Charging of a nominal administration fee is acceptable. You may not however register a name without the permission and knowledge of its final user and then sell it to him. Breach of this Term will result in the cancellation of the registration.

ZA NiC is actively opposed to Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) or SPAM. We do not condone UCE in any way, shape or form. All substantiated reports of UCE to abuse@za.net will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken. If UCE persists from a ZA NiC registered subdomain, we reserve the right to terminate use of such subdomain without warning.

Though the service is mostly geared towards non-profit and not-for-profit organisations and individuals, commercial sites are accepted, but they are urged to do so only as a last resort.

Modifications


The registrant acknowledges and agrees that ZA NiC may modify or amend this Policy from time to time, and that such changes are binding upon the registrant. ZA NiC will post the revised Policy at http://www.za.net/policy.html


Disclaimer

THE REGISTRANT AGREES THAT ZA NiC WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF REGISTRATION AND USE OF REGISTRANT'S DOMAIN NAME, OR FOR INTERRUPTION OF BUSINESS, OR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF ACTION WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF ZA NiC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

©1998-2012 ZA NiC