I’ve never seen anything like this before.
.tickets gTLD registry Accent Media has launched an anti-cybersquatting measure that lets the world know who is trying to register what domain name a whole month before the domain is allowed to go live.
The service, at domains.watch, is currently only being used by .tickets, but it seems to be geared up to accept other TLDs too.
A spokesperson said the site soft-launched a couple months ago.
Today, if you want to register a .tickets domain name, you have a choice of two processes — “fast-track” or “standard”.
Fast-track is for organizations with trademarks matching their names. It take five days for the trademark to be verified and the domain to go live.
Standard-track applications, however, are published on domains.watch for 30 days before the the registration is fully processed (under the registry hood, the domain are kept in “Pending Create” status).
During that 30 days, anyone with a trademark they believe would be infringed by the domain may file a challenge against the registration. They have to pay a fee to do so.
The would-be registrant can counter by showing their own rights. If they have no documented rights, the challenger gets the name instead.
“Rights” in the case of .tickets means a trademark or evidence of use of a mark in a ticketing-related context.
While it’s certainly not unusual in the industry for restricted TLDs to manually vet their registrants before processing a registration, I’ve never before come across a registry that does it all in public, allowing basically anyone — or, at least, anyone who is willing to pay the challenge fee — to challenge any registration.
Can you imagine what the domain world would be like if this kind of system were commonplace across a range of TLDs?
A lot of people outside the industry — particularly in security, I fancy — would love it.