Start-ups now have greater control over their Intellectual Property (IP) following collaboration between the Companies & Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC), the ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) and the ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR) that makes it possible to register a new company and its equivalent co.za domain name at the same time.
According to Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR, this tripartite arrangement enables new enterprises to benefit by protecting their fledgling online identities. “This innovative offering seamlessly combines the offline and online worlds in a way that provides total convenience and protection for start-ups.”
In terms of this model, the CIPC Registrar has limited functionality and simply acts as a conduit to the co.za domain name registration platform. The CIPC Registrar does not enjoy all the capabilities of the normal.ZA-accredited commercial domain name RaR (Reseller and Registrar) and does not derive any financial benefit for facilitating such registrations. “Nor will the CIPC Registrar compete with existing RaRs,” says Mr Masilela. “The initial co.za domain name registration with CIPC is for a limited one-year period only and registrants are expected to pay the same domain name price that is charged to all our other accredited co.za registrars. CIPC-registered co.za domain names will need to be transferred to commercial domain name RaR’s to enable full functionality and renewal,” explains Mr Masilela. Additional support, renewal of domain names and hosting services can only be purchased from the greater community of accredited RaRs.
Established in terms of South Africa’s ECT Act, ZADNA regulates.ZA – South Africa’s country code Top Level Domain names (ccTLD’s). ZACR, for its part, is a pioneer of the local and international domain name space and the administrator of such domains as co.za, the three cities’ geographic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) of .joburg (‘dotJoburg’), .capetown (‘dotCapeTown’) and .durban (‘dotDurban’), as well as the administrator of the .africa (‘dotAfrica’) gTLD, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Registry Africa. CIPC is a 2017 CPSI Innovative Service Delivery Award winner focusing on consumer-driven initiatives aimed at facilitating and promoting the registration and maintenance of companies, co-operatives and protection of intellectual property rights.
“This is a fantastic example of domain name space pioneering coupled with out-the-box thinking in the area of public-private partnerships. We thank our partners and look forward to launching further innovative services for new enterprises, start-ups and other commercial users in the near future,” concluded Mr Masilela.