Beware of letters from “Domain renewal group”

We have received several requests for information regarding a letter from “Domain Renewal Group”, which seems to have arrived during the previous days with owners of .com and .net domain names in Belgium and The Netherlands.

Full letter

First of all: this letter tries to mislead you into thinking that you need to pay them to simply renew your domain name. The letter tells you that not doing so may “result in loss of your online identity”.
If you have a closer look at the letter, then in small print you will notice that you’re actually transferring your domain name to them. This probably isn’t what you where expecting. Certainly not if you notice, after the transfer, that your domain name has indeed moved, but it is no longer working since your website and e-mail where configured elsewhere.

If you receive any requests regarding your domain name, we advice you to contact your current domain name registrar since they will be able to tell you what is real and what isn’t.

If you search on the internet for “Domain Renewal Group”, then you won’t find too much information yet. As this seems to be a new name they’ve only recently started using. In the past the same company sent very similar letter but on letter head of “Domain registry of America”. They have become rather notorious with these practices. They must have noticed that too many people knew their old name to still be fooled by them.
When looking into their Whois-information, you will however notice that they have registered their own domain name through “Domain Registry of America” and that they are located at the exact same address.
As a matter of fact, they bothered to change their name, but didn’t bother too much with changing the lay-out of the letter they send.

This company has been working like this for a very long time now. We found a court ordering them to seize their practices, which dates back to 2003. They have since slightly changed the contents of their letters, just enough to stay within the law. But judging from the requests for information we received the previous days, they managed to keep it confusing enough to mislead people.

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This post was written by Bart on December 30, 2008

Scotland wants own extension

‘Scotland will bid for the personal extension .scot,’ tells Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first Minister. ‘As soon as it possible to register your own extension through ICANN, we’ll try to register .scot,’ says Salmond. ‘It’s time that the Scottish people get their own identity on the Internet,’ adjust Salmond.

The Scottish government held several surveys amongst the people and those surveys shows the public agrees with the government. 58% of Scottish companies and institutions would welcome a Scottish personal extension. 48% thought that .scot was the best choice for the Scottish personal extension.

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This post was written by lieve on December 23, 2008

.be registry makes cybersquatters pay

If someone registers your registered trademark or company name, or a name that is confusingly similar, you can start an alternative dispute resolution procedure (ADR). This ADR needs to be introduced with Cepina and the costs for this introduction are €1620. If you win, DNS.be reimburses you 50% of the costs.

From February 15th this will change. If you introduce an ADR with Cepina and you win, you will be reimbursed €1620 by DNS.be. DNS BE will claim this amount back from the previous domain name holder. The fees of a legal adviser are not included in this measure since the procedure does not require a legal advisor. If you want a legal advisor, you’ll have to pay him/her yourself.


To be able to introduce an ADR all 3 of these conditions need to be fulfilled:
1) the domain name in question is identical or similar to a name (e.g. a trademark) to which the complainant has a right
2) the current domain name holder has no rights or legitimate interests with regard to the domain name in question
3) the domain name is registered or used in bad faith by the current domain name holder.

In this way DNS.be wants to point out to cybersquatters that a .BE domain name is not a good target. Now, cybersquatters only run the risk to loose the domain name they registered. From February 15th, they also run the risk that they have to pay back the €1620.

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This post was written by lieve on December 19, 2008

More registrations of .be names

In 2008, over 200,000 new .be names were registered. It’s the first time that the number of new registrations reaches such a high level.

‘Two weeks before the end of the year, already 212,715 new .be names are registered,’ says Hans Seeuws, spokesman of DNS.be. ‘ It’s the first time that the number of new registrations passes 200,000. Last year, 180,000 new names were registered,’ tells Seeuws.

The total number of registered .be names is now 857,000.

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This post was written by lieve on December 16, 2008

Better protection for .be names

DNS be offers the possibility to better protect your .be domain name against unwanted requests for trades and transfers. You can choose to lock your domain name through your current registrar.

‘If a .be name has the status locked requests for trades and transfers will always be refused at first, ‘ says DNS CEO Marc Van Wesemael. ‘Only when the owner of the domain name gives the permission to unlock his or her domain name, the trade or transfer will take place, ‘ explains Van Wesemael.

Locking a domain name may normally only happen when the owner of the domain name wants this. This locking can’t be used by the current registrar to hostage a certain domain. Besides the domain name can be unlocked at any time when the owner wants this.

This way DNS offers you a possibility to better protect your .be name.

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This post was written by lieve on December 15, 2008

Which extensions are doing good?

VeriSign released his rapport about the third quarter of 2008. This rapport shows that, despite the worldwide crisis, the domain name registration business is still doing well. The number of total registrations grew but the number of new registrations declined a little (2% in comparison with the second quarter of 2008).

This rapport shows an overview of the extensions that were registered the most. These extensions are .com, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .info, .nl, .eu and .biz

VeriSign also made a list of the extensions which were growing the fastest during the third quarter. Among these extensions we find .ru, .pl, .eu, .kr and .es

So if we look at the overview and the list closely, we see that especially .eu is doing a great job. Also the secund place of China in the list of extensions that were registered the most, is remarkable.

You can read VeirSign’s full rapport here.

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This post was written by lieve on December 5, 2008

Eurid plans introduction IDN

Eurid expects to introduce IDN in September 2009. There will only be a landrush, no sunrise. This means that there’s no special protection for the owners of a registered trademark or for the owners of a registered .eu name.

Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) are domain names that contain characters such as letters with accents and characters in non-Latin languages such as Greek. For example, with IDN the registration of the domain name www.café.eu becomes possible while you can now only register www.cafe.eu.

The implementation of IDNs under .eu will not only support all characters of all the 23 official EU languages. Also the complete alphabets of all the official EU languages will be supported. This means that characters of these alphabets, which aren’t used in any of the official languages will be possible. This way, Eurid hopes to be prepared for the accession of new countries to the EU.

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This post was written by lieve on December 4, 2008

bNamed reduces the price for .cn

bNamed has reduced the price for a .cn domain name for end users with almost 30%. Through this reduction the price for a Chinese domain name is now the same as the price for a .be or .com name.

With a booming economy in China, a .cn name is always interesting. Up until now, there are almost 13 million Chinese domain names registered.

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This post was written by lieve on December 3, 2008

Sunrise period .tel starts today

The sunrise period for .tel names has started today and runs until Monday, February 2, 2009. During this period, holders of a registered brand name can register this name as a .tel domain name.

During the sunrise, the selection method is first come, first served principle. If you wish to register  a .tel name during the sunrise period, the domain name needs to be registered for at least 3 years.

A .tel name offers companies and individuals an opportunity to bring together their contact information and make it available in an efficient way. Via a .tel domain name all your contact information is grouped under 1 easy to remember name. Your address with directions, your phone and fax number, your e-mail, your mobile phone number,… all this information can be found under this name.

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This post was written by lieve on December 3, 2008

.tv is doing great

.tv is doing a better and better every year. This year an additional 40% .tv names were registered. This extension is mainly used by the media. Television – and production companies often use this extension.

But .tv is also more. This domain is associated with young, interactive and flashy. So you often see this extension for website where videos and movies are showed. Shortly, a .tv extension can be used for anything that has got something to do with media and videos on the Internet.

A nice extra is that .tv is an original extension and everybody knows what it means. So it’s a funny way to be just a little different.

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This post was written by lieve on December 2, 2008