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Circa domain hack could cause problems

October 15, 2012.ca domains, cir.ca, cira, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & LawComments Off on Circa domain hack could cause problems

Startup’s domain name may violate .ca rules.

Startup Circa made a big splash today with the release of its news app for the iPhone. The hoopla has a lot to do with the company’s notable co-founders including Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh.

While Circa has a lot going for it, what it doesn’t have is the domain name Circa.com. It settled for the Canadian domain hack Cir.ca.

A .ca domain hack doesn’t come with the political risk that you get with domains such as .ly (Libya). But it is a heavily restricted domain name and has pretty strong presence requirements.

It looks like Circa’s use of the domain name runs afoul of these presence requirements.

While the domain is registered to a Canadian man, .Ca registry CIRA’s forbids registrants to “…lend, lease, license or otherwise grant rights…” to any entity that wouldn’t otherwise qualify to register the domain.

The domain is currently registered to a Circa advisor. That’s not enough to qualify under presence requirements rules.

I suspect Circa could fix the issue fairly quickly with a Canadian subsidiary. But companies should be aware that these “cute domain hacks” come with strings attached — be they political or otherwise.

[Hat tip to .CA Member Forums]


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