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dotFree to allow pre-registrations October 1

Kevin Murphy, September 8, 2010, 16:47:27 (UTC), Domain Registries

The dotFree Group, which plans to apply for the top-level domain .free, plans to start allowing pre-registrations from October 1, this year.
While .xxx has had an open pre-registration period for years, I believe .free is the first of the next round of new TLD applicants to offer a similar pre-launch phase.
It would be well over a year from now before .free would be able to actually start taking live registrations, assuming its application was even successful.
The Czech company has just relaunched its web site with a new look and new information. It appears to be closely modelled on the .CO Internet site, even copying big chunks of text in some cases.
It also includes a page targeting registrars, containing this text:

How much do I earn for every free registered .FREE domain?
We plan to pay each reseller $0.05 for every .FREE domain name which was referred to us. The definitive reseller commission is still under review.

Now there’s a way to get Go Daddy beating down your door.
It’s not much of an incentive, and it suggests that dotFree isn’t planning on targeting a traditional registrar channel, at least as far as the free .free domains go.
If you can make a recurring $10 mark-up (my estimate) on a .co domain, or a one-off $0.05 on a .free, which TLD would get your store-front real estate?
However, as I’ve previously reported, not all .free domains will be free, so there may yet be opportunities for the ICANN-accredited registrar market.

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Comments (4)

  1. Interesting. They seem to have their nomenclature confused in some places saying that they will be selling Top Level domains, whereas in reality they will be selling second and third level domains.
    I wish them luck but do feel the pre-reservation service is a little premature. We opened ours in May 2006, some eleven months after we had been selected by ICANN as having met the selection criteria. We plastered our terms and conditions with warnings that at that stage we hadnt got contract approval.
    Couldn’t see any such warning here.
    With 200,000 names reserved as premium a successful pre-reservation period would , at least IMHO only prove to be an incentive for a competitor to make a competing bid (incidentally , in a process that hasn’t even started and the final terms and conditions arent yet clear).
    Such an event may lead to a lot of confusion in the marketplace (and this goes for other would be bidders) and I have a feeling this may cause ICANN some consternation.
    I have also noted elsewhere that other would be bidders are making charges for advance enquiries such as .MLS , Multiple Listing Service (although one never knows whether Major League Soccer may want the same string) and this may lead to trouble in the future and perhaps some intervention from ICANN .

  2. Duly noted Kevin. Thank you!

  3. […] Domain Incite has pointed out, however, the .Free guys went on a copying spree, freely lifting entire chunks of […]

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