eco Association, in cooperation with the law firms Fieldfisher and Rickert.Law, has now published a paper summarising the industry’s obligations.
Since 1 October 2021, the Fair Consumer Contracts Act has been entering into force step-by-step in Germany. The Act has a particular bearing on the drafting of contracts with end consumers within the scope of sales contracts, framework supply agreements, service and work contracts, and general terms and conditions. Consumers are to be protected, for example, from contracts unfairly imposed via telephone calls.
Among other aspects, consumers are given easier termination options and more flexibility in terms of termination periods. However, domain registrations will be primarily charged annually by registries via registrars and ICANN will also also charge an annual fee for domain registrations. Customers have the choice of periods ranging from one to 10 years for their domain registrations.
So, what are the implications of the new regulations for the entire supply chain from the registry to registrars and their resellers to consumers? Who has to implement a button solution for easy terminations? Do annual fees have to be partially refunded to the registrar or reseller in case of a termination during the year, even if they have already paid the registry for a full year? How do things look with bundled offers when services such as hosting or email are added to domain registration?
White paper summarises the obligations of the domain industry
During a joint webinar on 20 December 2021, the effects of the Act on the domain industry were examined in more detail and discussed with association members. The preliminary results have now been published in the paper The German Fair Consumer Contracts Act in the Domain Industry. An overview of the new legal requirements in Germany. In this paper, the eco Association, together with the law firms Fieldfisher in Hamburg and Rickert.Law in Bonn, have compiled a clear overview of the obligations of the industry. It is now available for download to all interested parties free of charge.
The eco Association, together with other German industry associations, had already taken a critical stance on this Act in February 2020, given that the improvements in consumer protection sought by the legislator are already covered by existing regulations and offers. Likewise, in the future, consumer-friendly offers to which the end consumer has already become accustomed can no longer be offered in the same form or at the same price.