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NameJet to auction three-letter .pro domains

Kevin Murphy, October 25, 2010, Domain Sales

NameJet has inked a deal with RegistryPro to auction off eleven “premium” three-letter .pro domain names next month.

The domains themselves have not yet been revealed, but the auction is scheduled to kick off November 19, according to a press release today.

RegistryPro, a subsidiary of HostWay, received the the right to start selling previously-restricted one-, two- and three-character .pro domains from ICANN in May 2009.

This June, it allocated nine such domains, including top.pro and 411.pro, via an RFP process.

After it has finished auctioning off its selected short domains, the company plans to put the remainder back into the pool for first-come, first-served registrations.

Sex.com to sell for $13m

Kevin Murphy, October 20, 2010, Domain Sales

Sex.com is set to be sold for $13 million, after Sedo managed to find a buyer from among about a dozen bidders.

I reported the story for The Register today.

The buyer is Clover Holdings Ltd, based in St Vincent. The deal is subject to approval by the California bankruptcy court that is overseeing the assets of Escom, the current owner.

Go read the story. Or, if you’re interested in more detail, here’s the motion Escom filed this week, which includes the sales contract as Exhibit A (pdf).

DiscountVouchers.com sells for $158k

Kevin Murphy, October 12, 2010, Domain Sales

DiscountVouchers.co.uk has acquired the equivalent .com domain for £100,000 ($158,000).

The private sale, apparently sealed after owner Barry Garner offered it for sale in a forum post at Affiliates4U.com last week, does not appear to have closed yet, judging by Whois records.

The buyer, who claims the .co.uk site will handle £50 million to £100 million of sales to merchants in its first year, reportedly said the primary motivation behind the deal was brand protection.

1,500 premium domains available at reg fee

Kevin Murphy, October 6, 2010, Domain Sales

Earlier today I blogged about how dotMobi had published a list of over 5,000 “premium” domain names that are still registry-reserved.

I thought it might be interesting to see how many of these strings were still available in other top-level domains. If they’re “premium” you’d expect them to have been snapped up long ago in TLDs such as .com and .net.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case.

I ran all 5,108 strings on the dotMobi list through Go Daddy’s bulk registration tool, to see how many were still available in other TLDs, and the results were a little surprising.

More than 80 are still available in .com, although none appear to be English. I suspect some may even be typos of non-English words (pornigrifia.com, for example).

About 375 of .mobi’s premiums are currently unregistered in .org and/or .net. Most are non-English, but there are a handful of exceptions, such as wildparties.org, tooshort.org, and gas-propane.org.

(I’ve no idea why these are considered “premium” domains under .mobi or any other TLD)

Perhaps most usefully, there are well over 800 strings on the .mobi list that have yet to be registered in the new .co namespace, hundreds of which are in English and (I think) Spanish.

The English domains include two-word combos such as banquetrooms.co, bostonterriers.co, carpeltunnel.co, scarletfever.co and raplyrics.co, as well as the odd dictionary word, such as rejected.co and monologues.co.

A great many of these available .co names are adult-oriented, such as adultpics.co, celebritynudes.co, footworship.co and gayhunks.co.

As far as I can tell, Go Daddy’s tool only spits back domains that are available at the standard registration fee. I registered half a dozen .co names this afternoon at reg fee using this method.

The list’s too big to post here, but if anybody’s interested in my spreadsheet, I’d be happy to share. Drop me a line: kevin at domainincite.com

Muslim.co auction won by a Christian ministry?

Kevin Murphy, September 13, 2010, Domain Sales

Whois data for the domain muslim.co, which recently sold for $2,650 during the .co landrush auction, suggests it was won by a US-based Christian ministry.

The organization listed as the registrant and administrative contact is Theandric Ministry, the address a postbox at a strip-mall in Reno, Nevada.

While Google sheds no light on this purported organization, the term “theandric” refers to the notion that Christ was both god and man, not a theory you’d expect the typical Muslim to promote.

The domain is currently pointing to Go Daddy’s default parking page. I’ll be interested to see what content, if any, it eventually contains. The equivalent .com domain is also parked.

(UPDATE: the registrant tells me he’s not a ministry and that the Whois data is out of date. He plans to resell or develop the domain.)

The alternate English spelling, moslem.co, appears to have been registered on the first day of .co general availability by a Canadian with a Muslim-sounding name.

Islam.co is on .CO Internet’s reserved list, with the Whois suggesting it is considered a “premium” domain to be auctioned at a later date. Christian.co is also on this list.

That’s not the case for catholic.co and christianity.co, however. Those domains sold for $3,700 and $725 respectively during the landrush auctions.

Hindu.co, hinduism.co, buddhist.co and buddhism.co all appear to have been registered on or around July 20, the first day of general availability.

The three main English spellings of the name of the prophet Mohammed are registered to Dubai or Saudi-based individuals.

Jesus.co is on the premium list. Christ.co appears to have been won at auction last week, but the registry has not yet disclosed the sale price.