Registrants whose domains were deleted by Donuts this week could get their names back, should ICANN release them from its reserved lists in future, the company said today.
In an email to affected registrants, believed to number a few dozen, Donuts said:
We are actively lobbying ICANN to make the domain names you registered available to you. We hope to be successful and, though you are under no obligation to do so, we think it would be helpful if you voiced your opinion to ICANN about it directly.
To get these domain names to you as soon as possible, we are maintaining a record of your details in the event ICANN releases these names for registration. If and when ICANN does, we will contact you and have these names registered to you for free.
The only names affected by the screw-up were “eco” and “00” at the second level in any of Donuts new gTLDs.
The company had accidentally removed both strings from its list of reserved names, making the domains available for registration.
The string “eco” is reserved because it matches the acronym of the Economic Cooperation Organization, an intergovernmental organization, while “00” is reserved along with all two-character strings.
Whether “eco” is released will rather depend on whether the ICANN board of directors sides with the Generic Names Supporting Organization, which wants acronyms removed from the reserved list, or the Governmental Advisory Committee, which wants the protection to remain.
For “00”, it’s a slightly different story. There’s no move I’m aware of to relax the two-character rule, which is designed to protect current and future ccTLDs.
But it does seem a bit strange for numeric domains to be reserved in this way, given that there’s virtually no chance of a future nation being assigned a numeric country code by the UN.
It may not be impossible for “00” to be released, but I think it might take a bit longer.