What with all the excitement of his trip to Sweden for the copyright conference, the IPKat nearly overlooked another of those fascinating bits of minor EU legislation that speak volumes for the cultural differences of Member States. The law in question is Commission Regulation 1255/2007 of 25 October 2007 amending Commission Regulation 874/2004 laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu Top Level Domain and the principles governing registration.
Right: this charming chappie was found in the course of a Google search of the wildlife of Ruotsi ...
This Regulation is only two Articles in length, but the sting is in the annexed tail. As the Preamble says:
"Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 implements the public policy rules concerning geographical concepts by providing for a procedure to permit Member States, candidate countries and all the members of the European Economic Area to request the registration or the reservation of their name by their national governments. In pursuance of this objective, and with a view to fully guaranteeing the geopolitical and linguistic diversity of the European Union and the interest of both Member States and European citizens, on 10 October 2005 Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 was amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1654/2005 amending Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu Top Level Domain and the principles governing registration".In other words, EEA Member States can stop applicants registering the names of their countries as .eu domain names in lots of different languages. The list has been refreshed, following the recent admission of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU. Some countries have got quite gung-ho about this, listing every national and regional/provincial name they can think of, while others have been quite modest. Top of the list is Germany (141 names), followed by Belgium (131) and Spain (130). Luxembourg comes last with only three, which is a pretty poor show if you consider that even Malta scores 13. The United Kingdom notches up a meagre 14. The reserved names for Sweden include the exotic-sounding Ruotsi -- a name which, Merpel supposes, many ignorant people (but not of course herself) would first look for on a map of Africa.