I pre-registered the drupal.eu domain name but unfortunately it was awarded to an earlier applicant. As the pre-registered .eu domain names were awarded on a first come, first served basis this sounds fair ... until you find out that the system might have been gamed.

The European Registry of Internet Domain Names (EURid) operates the .eu domain. However, you had to pre-register the domain name using one of the official domain name registrars. A domain name registrar is a company accredited by the EURid to sell .eu domain names. To setup an accredited registrar, you pay 10.000 EUR and sign an agreement with EURid.

To award the .eu domains to each of the domain name registrars, the EURid laid out a system to provide each domain name registrar an equal chance at getting domain names for their customers. Supposedly, the system EURid used was to repeatedly iterate over the list of domain name registrars, and on their turn, each domain name registrar got to make one request for a domain name on behalf of their customers.

Now, if you look at the domain name registrar that obtained the drupal.eu domain, and if you investigate the list of official .eu registrars, you'll see that there are (at least) 7 other domain name registrars that share the exact same postal address and phone number as the domain registrar that obtained drupal.eu.

Legitimate? I don't know. However, it is fair to believe that by creating multiple phantom registrars, a single person or company could increase the likelihood of obtaining more and better .eu domain names than other companies. If not, companies wouldn't have spend 80.000 EUR (or more) to setup phantom registrars ...

The EURid should have known better.

Comments

Ballie (not verified):

You could have increased your chances on getting the domain name by:

  1. claiming the address via multiple registrars
  2. selecting a small registrar: because all registrars could only claim 1 domain name a second, your chances are much bigger with a smaller registrar (with a small queue of waiting domain names) compared to a big one (with a huge queue).

That's a lesson for the future; one I learned just after I missing 'my' domain names too.

Next time better luck; maybe when there is a landrush on the .xxx domains. :-)

Gerhard Killesreiter (not verified):

Don't worry. Why would you want to have that domain in the first place? Drupal as a project is doing fine with the .org domain. Bert has pointed out that most people use google to find websites anyway and drupal.org is top of the pops for anybody who is looking for Drupal.

I also don't get the point about the idea of introducing one TLD after another. People who have foo.com will proply try to get foo.new_tld too. Not really an improvement. Only more money for registrars.

Heine (not verified):

I also don't get the point about the idea of introducing one TLD after another. Not really an improvement. Only more money for registrars.

I think you got the point. ;-)

It's a surprise it's going so well with .eu though. I remember the .info times where you nearly got a free .info domain with every beer.

Dries:

Whether I want the domain or not is not the point. Whether I should use it as an alias for drupal.org is not the point either. I never said I would, yet it is your main argument. The point is that the introduction of the .eu domain names was suspicious and unfair.

Frank (not verified):

We are an EU registrar ourselves and have written the software that is used by several other registrars as well (note that they just use our software, they are completely independent from us, and some include well known government organisations). So we have some knowledge about the whole .eu landrush thing.

The post you are refering to (by the GoDaddy CEO) is not correct, nor technical, nor administrative. Eurid themselves specificly allowed one entity to start up multiple agencies to register .eu domains. This has large advantages (more attempts per second allowed by the firewall, higher success rates etc). If Bob Parson is sulking about his lousy success rates, it means he had very bad software!

On all the agencies we managed, the success-rate was between 50 and 90%. None of them used two or more agencies to accomplish this. A lot of the success depends on two factors:

  • How well written is the software?
  • How long is the queue of that agent/registrar?

Eurid imposed some very specific limitations: no more than 5 SYN-packets per agent, and you can only have one active session at a certain time. Either you tune your application for these circumstance and you'll have a good success-rate, or you don't tune and you have a lousy success-rate.

The second factor is very important as an end-user. If you preregistered drupal.eu with an agent that has more than 5000 domain names in his queue, you can forget any hope of success! It took about 3 seconds per successfull registration (if I recall correctly). This means your drupal.eu application would have been sent after the system has been open for more than 4 hours! You don't even need fancy tricks to beat that :) If however you went to a smaller agency that has only 1000 names, your application would have been sent in the first hour!

From an end-user perspective, there is a simple lesson to learn: apply with more than one agency, and prefer smaller ones over the large well-known ones. A lot of registrars (including us) had a full refund policy for non-successfull domains, some charge a minimal fee of 1-5 eur.

Frank

PS: if you really wanted drupal.eu, you should have formed a Belgian VZW and applied for the domain name in Sunrise 2!

Itkovian (not verified):

Well, I think such a system is just crappy. And it validates Dries' claim, i.e. that the whole thing was rigged. If you allow purchase of additional agencies to register domain names, then basically you are selling out to the people willing to spend the most money. Essentially, this means that people would not seek out the registrar they know and trust, but the money spenders and small registrars.

Additionally, the whole 'use good software' thing just sounds as dumb as the rest of the scheme. Come on. Where is the fairness in that?

And appliying with multiple agencies? That will cost you extra, no? Sounds like a real moneymaker.

Dries:

Thanks for the detailed explanation, Frank. It doesn't change the facts though. The system they used ressembled that of an "auction" and was inherently unfair. The more money you paid to the EURid, the more and better .eu domains you could obtain.

As a registrar, do you think these companies can earn back their 80.000 EUR investment by selling individual .eu domains at 15 or 20 EUR/year? What do they make from a single .eu domain name? I think it is fair to believe that some of them are domain name squatters with deep pockets.

We (uneducated applicants) are the big losers, while the EURid and domain name squatters are the big winners.

Frank (not verified):

Dries, the fact that all 5 registrars that used our software, managed to get very high success-rates without using multiple agencies, proves that good software is as important (if not more important) than having multiple queues! Regarding the investment costs: the minimum is 10k "prepay". This means 1000 domains, as they cost us 10 eur/year. If you can't sell 1000 domains, you shouldn't be an .eu agent :) So even if that .NL company has 8 registrars, they "only" need to sell 8000 domains to regain costs. That's not that much if you ask me. Of course, in this case, they *are* known domain-speculants, no doubt about that.

@Iktovian: "Additionally, the whole 'use good software' thing just sounds as dumb as the rest of the scheme. Come on. Where is the fairness in that?" Hmm? Eurid has strange firewall policies and XML transactions, they *are* documented. There are still some bugs and errors in the documentation, but most of it is pretty well documented. Furthermore, there was a complete test-environment that was exactly the same as the production environment. All agents/registrars had access to both the documentation and the test-environment. They all had a fair chance of writing good software. We are just a small company, not a big mastodont with 50 code-monkeys, and yet we manage to write good software (judging by our success-rates). If a big thing like GoDaddy goes sulking, they should hire new programmers!

@Ramdak: WIPO is the arbitration organisation for a few tlds, including the .com tld. However, they are not the arbitration organisation for .eu domains. Have a look at https://www.eurid.eu/en/general/document.2006-02-20.1018584040 for more info about the ADR procedures. Alternatively, there is a specific law in some countries (including Belgium) regulating domain name speculation.

Don't get me wrong: ofcourse there are "domain squatters" or "speculants". However, there aren't "hijackers" (hijackers take something away from you) there is a big differance in the domain-world). If the EU/Eurid didn't want speculation, they should have forbidden procedures where a domain name is transfered from one "owner" (licensee) to another.

Having seen a lot of landrushes, this has been one of the best organised ones!

Mr Nunn (not verified):

Well.....I'm the idiot that tried to get .eu domains through Godaddy.

nunn.eu went after 36 minutes, and onecar.eu sold after 6 hours and 13 minutes. And so my domains were sitting there all day gathering dust while Godaddy applied for one domain at a time every few seconds. Then, Godaddy staff told me both names had been sold in the sunrise period (they lied!) not realising I could whois the names myself. When I complained they said send an email to Bob Parsons...like if I have a problem with my Ipod email Steve Jobs!!
Thanks Bob Parsons....you should have been upfront and told people there chances were slim because you were appying for more names than any other registrar. I wont be buying anymore names from the Godaddy cowboys...and I'll be telling my story to many more. Wanna answer that Bob? Email me at [email protected]
Also, how did a guy in Washington register nunn.eu witha fake address in Europe? Where do you complain? Should I pay cause he broke the rules and no-ones checking?
Stupid domain anyway.
Mr Nunn