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European weekend!!!

Over the past few months, hopefully you will have noticed that we have been offering you an increasing number of European extensions. This is our current mission, and I can assure you that it sometimes borders on epic proportions! :)

This is so that we do not forget that are are part of a larger union, Europe, and that all of us have an important role to play this weekend: vote!


How the domain name industry works - part 1

Registry, Registrar, Registrant, (Registratum, Registrata, Registrunt). Ok, so the last 3 are made up words, and the domain name industry wasn't really founded in ancient Rome nor part of your everyday Latin dialect, but what do the first three words actually mean and how does the domain name industry work? We've been working in the industry for years, so we have a pretty good idea. But we can also understand why all this really can just sound like ancient Greek to many people and not mean a thing. So in the spirit of lifting the lid and keeping things honest (as Gandi likes to do), we thought we'd give you a quick overview of what it all means.


10 things I bet you didn't know about domain names

A pulling back of the domain business curtain to reveal a few shady practices undertaken by unnamed sources…


1) Transfer Out Fee. It is essential to read the small print when signing up to a domain registrar. There are all kinds of pitfalls waiting for those who couldn’t be bothered to go through the terms and conditions with sufficient care and attention. For instance, hidden deep in there might be an agreement for a charge to be made to your account as a ‘transfer out’ fee if you want to switch your domain to a different registrar. What’s worse is this fee might be several times the price of your original registration.[|/post/2008/12/04/Dodgy-domain-practices-the-story-contines#comments|en]


Launching of .TEL - Full opening on March 24th at 4 PM (Paris time)

After the Sunrise and Landrush phases (underway until March 23rd), .TEL domains will finally be available to everyone as of March 24th.

Online pre-reservation for this final phase is available at Gandi. Registration will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration requests that failed will be fully refunded. The price for a .TEL domain has been set at 14 euros per year excl. VAT under A rates.


One domain name, one certificate

Since trust is the basis of all relationships, and since Gandi has been working each and every day for nearly ten years to earn yours, we have the pleasure of announcing a new and important step: as of today, Gandi is a Certification Authority.

The principle is simple: you visit a website, and in the address bar of your web browser, you see a little padlock or a green color (or colour ;-) ) that means, "go ahead, you are on a secure website".

Gandi, true to its core value of "Internet For All", wants to provide this technology to as many people as possible so that they can establish a real and secure online presence. As part of this mission, Gandi will now include a 1 year certificate for free, with each domain name that is registered, transferred or renewed at Gandi.

When you confide your company name, your trademark, your shop, your domain names to us to manage, trust is hugely important.

It is also important when you extend that trust to a company that hosts your resources, a company that allows you to be online and to own a little piece of the web.

Visitors to your site will have that same need for trust and security when they decide to visit your website, whether to order products, services, or just to contact you.

For these everyday choices internet certificates are there to reassure your customers, and to guide them towards those sites that have chosen to have a more "professional" presence.

Gandi, by the quality of its services and products, is a world-renowned domain name registrar and web host that benefits from a capital of confidence that many envy. It was therefore logical (and requested by many of our customers) that we provide these internet certificates.

For those that would like to go further, an entire range of services will be made available on our website www.gandi.net, to meet the needs of our varying customers: individuals, SME, corporate customers, institutions, or resellers, everyone may find a plan that will meet their specific needs.

Have a look at our full offer at http://www.gandi.net/ssl

8 Things a Domain Thief Loves

We all put a lot of effort into securing the domain names we purchase. It may be creative energy finding the perfect name for your blog in an increasingly crowded landscape; or waiting patiently for your company name to be released back into the wild by someone who's owned it for 5 years but never used it.

Regardless, your domains can be stolen or sniped from right under your nose. We thought we'd take a light hearted look at how to keep your domains safe from potential domain thieves:



Dodgy domain practices, the story contines...

Follow our recent article "Why domain name services are not all equal" we thought we'd keep you up-to-date on some other industry articles along the same lines. Techcrunch has published this great summary about top registrars using "domain warehousing" to profit from their customers expired domains. The article cites an original article by Andrew Allemann at Domain Name Wire who gathered the information. Interesting stuff.


UK government theatens domain name industry, 'Get your house in order or we'll step in and take over'!


This was my first Nominet conference and to be honest I thought it would be quite a dry, corporate affair however I was in for a surprise!

Much like the Internet as a whole, governance of TLD's (top level domains) and ccTLD's(country specific) has grown organically and varies from country to country. To-date the UK and the US governments have taken a non-interventionist approach to governance. The US have taken a totally freemarket approach and gave the right to manage .com to Verisign who run the registry as a profitable and commercial business. Nominet run the .UK registry theoretically as a not for profit business however the fact they made £25 million profit this year has raised questions among it's membership and the government.


ICANN - domain name extension liberalisation: who benefits?

Some of you may have seen earlier in the year that ICANN (the body in charge of regulating the domain name space) announced that it was going to liberalise the market for domain name extensions, e.g. the bit that follows the last '.' in a name, .com, .net., .co.uk, .eu, etc.

What this means is that in theory anyone can apply to become a registry in their own right, and get .theirname so that you can buy domain names from them and get yourname.theirname. ICANN have now announced that the 'evaluation' process for new extensions will be costly, $185,000. Well costly for you and me, but perhaps not for funds or speculators.

But what is point in all this? Does it matter? Should we care?

The justification for doing it is that the internet is growing, more people are coming online, it allows more choice, blah, blah, blah. Which has some truth to it. But in some ways there is already an infinite number of domain names available across each of the roughly 280 existing TLDs (from .ac -> .zw - there should be a catchy alphabet song for them!).

But what does it mean for you, the customer? Well, it does mean you can get more choice. You will be able to buy yourdomain.something. Whether this helps is a different matter. Many of these new extensions will be quite specific, which may help, e.g. myplace.restaurant, or myhouse.london, but it may just create more and more confusion that your chosen name can have so many different extensions, which one is really you?

One result of this will probably be that more and more people will want to authenticate that their domain name, whatever unusual form it takes, can be explicitly linked to them. The most common way to do this at the moment it through SSL certificates, where a third party will guarantee that the domain is owned by a particular individual/company, and that you are browsing on that site in a secure way. So this is something to think about and watch out for...

There is one group of people that will undoubtedly benefit from this liberalisation and that is the spammers, advertisers and squatters.

In the old days if you wanted to protect your brand you could buy all 280 extensions. No longer. With a potentially limitless number of extensions, there is no way that you can get yourbrand.allofthem, so even the most well protected global brands may find a few more lawsuits on the horizon. The beneficiaries of this will be the squatters and advertisers who will use establishedbrand.newtld as an advertising site, or domain auction target (buy this one back, for $xxx).

And then there will be the increased volume of ad sites, just showing endless streams of ad feeds on domain names with no real purpose except to make money for their owner. I always think about this in terms of domain names as property: if the best properties in your town (domains on your tld) were closed down and became advertising bill boards, would you stand for this as a resident? This is exactly what is happening online. Most of the best names/words are turning into bill boards, and it will only continue unless there is a regulatory change to stop or limit it.

So there you have it, the change is coming, the benefits are unclear. But one thing that is clear is that unless ICANN take more of a role in setting and enforcing codes of content for domain ownership/usage, we may find as customers we are browsing in a larger and more polluted domain space.

What do you think?


Domain name services are not all equal


We believe in domain ethics – your domain is more than just a name, it’s your online presence, your company, profile or project. It should be protected and you should get what you want and what you expect with no tricks. But, you say, surely all domain names are the same? Why should it matter who you buy a domain from as they all come from the same place anyway, right? Well no, unfortunately that’s not true. There are many reasons why different domain providers offer better or worse deals, and it's not just price.



Gandi has arrived in the UK!


The Gandi UK team has opened the doors to business! Jolly good show. The first thing you'll notice is the new 'US flag' on the gandi website (I thought Gandi UK was launching?!?). Well that's because the Union Jack (or is it the Union Flag?) now points to the UK English version of the Gandi site and the proud Stars and Stripes points to the international English version. Why not take a look.

But what does it all mean to me? Well here's a summary for you.



Activating your .pro

Thank you for requesting to register your .pro domain name through us.

The Terms and Conditions of the .pro Registry state that only licensed and credentialed professionals and professional entities are able to register domain names with this extension. In order to accept your registration for this domain name, the Registry requests the following information :

  • your Name
  • your Profession
  • your Jurisdiction Country
  • your Licensing Authority
  • your License Number
  • a link to your Licensing Authority's website.

You can supply this information by filling out the Registry's form which is available on their website. We have sent you a link to this form in our last email to you.

If you do not complete this necessary step, the Registry will not activate the domain name and we will be unable to provide it to you.

Sorry to make you go to this additional trouble, but let's just say that the Registry is not currently living up to its name...


.PRO Launch at 6PM (CEST)

Following the pre-registration period in August where domains were offered at "preferential" rates, and the stand-by period last week, the full launch of the .PRO gtld finally starts today, September 8th, at 4 pm GMT.

The TLD will be sold for 16€/$24/£12 excl. VAT as an A rate. The full Gandi price grid is available here:

https://www.gandi.net/domain/price/info

.PRO domain names cannot be registered by private individuals without an accredited professional qualification. The registrant must be a qualified professional licensed by the appropriate government body.

Registrations are on a "first-come first-served" basis starting at 4pm onwards. However, you can place your order now, which will then enter the queue at 4pm.

As the registry's search interface is not yet available for us to use, please check the domain's availability first yourself, as it will prevent you from placing an invalid order.

To do so, please use the .PRO Registry's Whois search engine, which you can find in the top right corner of their homepage :

http://www.registrypro.pro

If you have pre-registered your domain during August, it should be activated today at 7 pm UTC (9 pm CEST).


.PRO Pre-reservations

The .PRO registry will open a pre-reservation system for companies on July 21st, 2008, at 4:00 PM GMT , before the general opening next September 8, 2008.

There will be no auction process : we will simply apply the usual "first-come first-served" rule. Please note that domain names thus pre-reserved, will become available only from September 8th on. Also, a "Premium" will need to be paid in order to benefit from this pre-registration.

This Gtld is quite expensive due to the fact that it is sold with an SSL Certificate (non separable). In this light, we only recommend the reservation for customers who wish to protect sensitive trademarks.

The Registry has already informed us that during the launch phase (on September 8, 2008), registrants will benefit from a special 75% discount on .PRO registrations for the first year. We therefore recommend to professional customers who are not in a hurry, that they only place their order after September 8, 2008, as this discount will be applied to our rates.

As a reminder, .PRO domain names are not registrable by private persons.


WARNING! "Domain Registry of America" (DROA) - "Domain Registry Services"

We have already spoken of this, though it is still happenning with DROA, and others are joining in as well. Just like "Domain Registry Services", which is in no way affiliated with Gandi.net.

If you receive a mail claiming to be a renewal form from Domain Registry of America do not act on it!. We are not in any way affiliated with these companies. Your domain cannot be registered with them as they are not a ICANN-accredited registrars, nor Gandi resellers.

If you have not transferred it already, your domain name is safely at Gandi. You may verify this by looking it up in our whois search engine. Look at the "Registrar" and "Expires" lines.

All that concerns renewal and/or contact information updates will be conducted exclusively by Gandi.

If you have received such a letter, and would like for us to archive it, and so that we can add it to a possible future action against the practices of these companies, please feel free to fax us a copy of it at +33.1.43.73.18.51.

Please note that permanent security of your general top level domain is available by locking it against transfers, and that our customer service department is available to help you if you have the slightest question.


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