DENIC will allow the registration of one- and two-letter domain names as part of a reform of registration rules as of 23 October that will see most of the restrictions that currently exist abolished.
Other restrictions to be abolished will see it possible to register domain names composed exclusively of numerals as well registrants being able to register domains identical to combinations of letters that are used for German motor vehicle number plates and for Top Level Domains such as “com” or “org”.
Some rules that will remain in force include the maximum length of a domain will still be 63 characters (not including the .DE part) and that a domain must neither begin nor end with a hyphen nor have hyphens as both its third and fourth characters.
“The amendments will reduce the restrictions imposed on domain registrations to a minimum,” says DENIC’s Executive Board member Sabine Dolderer (CEO).
The changes come about following a German court order where Volkswagen wished to register the VW.DE domain name. The car manufacturer from Wolfsburg complained they were unable to register the domain name and took DENIC to court and was eventually successful.
The changes are likely to see firms such as H&M and C&A desperately attempting to obtain domain names such as HM.DE and CA.DE respectively.
To register a domain name under the new rules, DENIC advises to apply for desired domains with a registrar such as Europe Registry now. The release of domain names under the new rules will occur at 09.00 on 23 October 2009.
To ensure a quick, secure, transparent and above all fair assignment procedure, DENIC will register the new domains applying the “first come, first served” principle. Registrars will collect all customer requests until the launch phase starts and hand them in to DENIC electronically on the first day of registration. DENIC will assign a domain to the first request it receives for it. Assignment in correct order will be guaranteed by an electronic time stamp operating in milliseconds.
As from 23 October 2009 the following rules will apply for domains under the TLD .DE:
- one- and two-digit domains as well as domain names composed exclusively of numerals can now be registered.
- domains identical with combinations of letters that are used for motorvehicle number plates or for TLDs are released for registration.
- a domain may be comprised of the digits 0-9, hyphens, the letters a-z of the Latin alphabet and the other letters listed in the currently valid annex to the Domain Guidelines.
- a domain must neither begin nor end with a hyphen. Neither must it have hyphens as both its third and fourth characters.
- the minimum length of a domain is one character.
- the maximum length of a domain is 63 characters (referred to the ACE-encoded form of the domain) – without .de respectively