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Registrant complains to ICANN over Uniregistry’s premium names

Kevin Murphy, April 22, 2014, Domain Registries

A would-be new gTLD registrant has appealed to ICANN over the domain name moviestar.photo, which she was unable to register because Uniregistry had reserved it as a premium name.

Danielle Watson filed a formal Request for Reconsideration (pdf) with ICANN last week, in the mistaken belief that ICANN had placed the domain she wanted on one of its block-lists.

She described her predicament thus:

a. Website Name Registration: I purchased one of the new gTLD domain names ending in .photo from 101domain.com on April 2, 2014. Moviestar.photo

b. I received an email on April 14, 2014 stating that ICANN kept this name from being registered in my name, and I would receive a refund in which I did.

c. I cannot understand why this name is being withheld, and being put into your reserve list.

d. I take very old Movie Stars photos and colorize them and put old fashioned frames around them and sell them at craft fairs locally. This name would have been a perfect fit for my use and sales. Please reconsider my request to be reconsidered and the name moviestar.photo reinstated/registered in my name with 101domain.com

Correspondence from 101domain provided by Watson (pdf) does not mention ICANN, so I’m not sure how she came to the conclusion that ICANN was to blame.

I fear she has targeted ICANN incorrectly.

The DI PRO name collisions database shows that the string “moviestar” has been blocked by ICANN’s policy on collisions in 15 new gTLDs, but Uniregistry’s .photo is not one of them.

Whois records show that moviestar.photo is in fact registered to North Sound Names. That’s the name of the Uniregistry affiliate currently in control of tens of thousands of Uniregistry premium names.

The RfR is not the venue for this kind of complaint and it’s likely to be dismissed for that reason. There’s not much ICANN can do about it.

Perhaps Watson would have better luck writing a begging letter to Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling, who has indicated his willingness to allocate premium names to deserving users.

.photography beating .camera

Kevin Murphy, February 10, 2014, Domain Registries

Who said shorter domains are more popular?

Donuts’ new .photography and .camera gTLDs, which both come out of their Early Access Period premium pricing phases this week, have seen .photography get more than twice as many registrations so far.

During their EAP and sunrise periods, where retail prices can range from $150 to $13,000, .camera has racked up 146 names to .photography’s 383.

There’s a difference of meaning here of course, which is reflected in the types of domains being registered; .camera names tend to be hardware-related, while .photography is heavy with personal names.

Donuts’ strategy of picking strings that already feature heavily at the end of the second level of .com seems to be reflecting the reality of registration patterns in new gTLDs too.

The photography-related gTLD space is going to an interesting one to watch.

We’re also waiting for the launch of .photo and .photos (.photos in two weeks, .photo in April), which will crowd the space further. These two are also likely to be the first plural/singular competitors.