Tag Archives: Russia

Russian .РФ Rockets Past 800,000

RU Coordination Center logoThe .РФ internationalised top level domain, the Russian Cyrillic IDN, rocketed past 800,000 active registrations on 4 April 2011, less than five months after it became available for general registration.

At the time registration became open to all, there were 18,391 domains registered, and then in its first month, starting 11 November 2010, there were another 596,294 domain names registered. Since then monthly registration figures have dropped dramatically with 85,742 domains registered in month two, then 35,872, 31,824 and 28,686 registrations in subsequent months.

The .РФ IDN appears to have been easily the most successful IDN launch since ICANN began approving the IDN ccTLDs. It has also become the 15th largest European TLD, recently passing the Czech ccTLD .CZ.

What makes .РФ even more impressive is that it is only available for Russian individuals and businesses for the first 12 months.

It has also been much more successful than the widely publicised .CO that hit 500,000 active registrations in September 2010, the last time the registry made statistics publicly available.

The .РФ registry also announced the share of already delegated domains, the domains in operation, hit almost 57 per cent, or 453, 395, domains. Thus, each day the number of Russian companies, which use IDN TLD .РФ for their websites, has been growing.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .РФ domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

.CN Domain Registrations Plummet 10 Million in 14 Months To Under 4 Million

Registrations of .CN (China) domain names have plummeted to 3,379,441 active domain names as of 28 February, a decline of over ten million registrations in 14 months, according to statistics published by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in the past week.The total number of registered domain names has declined from a peak of 13,459,133 as of 31 December 2009 when .CN was the number one country code Top Level Domain (CNNIC publishes registration statistics dated the end of each month).The decline has meant .CN, which was easily the number one ccTLD at its peak is now at best fifth and probably sixth in terms of total registrations.The dramatic reductions are the result of the end of promotions that lasted for much of 2008 and 2009 where domain names could be registered for a few cents and the introduction of restrictions on registrants.The restrictions on registrants were monitored by 600 temporary workers that were hired in February 2011 to check all .CN domain names for pornographic content and inaccurate records according to an IDG report at the time.In terms of total registrations, Germany’s ccTLD (.DE) is still the number one registry with 14,304,857 registrations after it regained the position from .CN. Following is:

  • .UK (United Kingdom) with 9,194,231 registrations
  • .NL (Netherlands) with 4,370,120 registrations
  • .EU (European Union) with 3,383,275 registrations.

Russia’s ccTLD, .RU, is steadily increasing and has 3,250,627 active registrations meaning given the trends has probably overtaken .CN.All registrations are as of 2 April.Among the gTLDs, .COM remains number one with around 92 million registrations and .NET with around 13 million as of the end of December 2010, according to VeriSign’s Domain Name Industry Brief. There are approximately nine million .ORG domain names (March 2011) and 6.5 million .INFO domains (September 2010).

RU-CENTER Domain Names Magazine – first time in English!

Domain Names Magazine DigestFor the ICANN Meeting in San Francisco RU-CENTER has published English-language Domain Names Magazine Digest.

The digest is composed of the materials that were included in Russian Domain Names Magazine, which has been published by RU-CENTER for several years. Being the only local printed edition on the domain theme, the magazine has a reputation of well-known, professional and competent product.

The English digest provides detailed review of domain name industry in Russia. It is composed of articles about .RU, .РФ, .SU TLDs, the local domain name dispute resolution procedures as well as situation with cybercrime prevention. Also the edition contains materials about global Internet addressing technologies and plenty of expert comments, including interview with Rod Beckstrom, ICANN President and CEO.

“We hope the digest will be positively appreciated by the attendees of the ICANN meeting in San Francisco. That will help us to develop the edition further to turn it in some time into full-fledged English version of Domain Names Magazine, published by RU-CENTER”, – says Alexander Venedioukhin, the executive editor of Domain names magazine.

More information about Domain Names Magazine can be found here.

This RU-CENTER announcement was sourced from:

Europe Registry logoTo register your .RU or .РФ domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Russian Cyrillic TLD Launch Tainted By Scandal

The recent launch of Russia’s Cyrillic top level domain, where over 600,000 domain names have been registered in less than three weeks since its launch, has been touched by scandal. According to the registry, tens of thousands of domain names have been registered by the biggest registrar in .РФ, RU-CENTER, allegedly with the aim of auctioning them off at higher prices among its clients at a later date. The auctioned domain names have now been blocked until their rightful holders have been determined, the Russian registry the Coordination Center for TLD RU, the registry for .RU and .РФ (.RF), has said.But the scandal is denied by RU-CENTER, who says they have acted within global best practice by auctioning off the domain names in demand. And it becomes more complicated with allegations of collusion between the registry’s website designer, CETIS, and a prominent registrar REG.RU, who are affiliated.The auctions came about following the RU-CENTER rules where when there was more than one request for a domain name, an auction would take place with the domain name going to the highest bidder. This is what was to happen with around 24,700 domain names that were registered through RU-CENTER. During the auctions, approximately 200 domains were withdrawn on the basis of item 4.1.3., the Domains Preorder Registration Schedule in РФ TLD. Domain names withdrawn from the auction have been given to governmental and municipal authorities, trademark owners and other individuals.Auctions on the first day, 23 November, conducted by the registrar RU-CENTER, resulted in 1446 domains being sold with an average price of approximately $100. The most expensive domain was “лото.рф” (lotto.rf), sold for $1,000.However domain names auctioned were blocked by the .РФ registry late on the afternoon of 22 November with requirements to cancel all remaining auctions over allegations of cybersquatting and inflating the prices of domain names.The registry has ordered RU-CENTER, who put up 25,000 domains with several pre-orders on the auction, to return the domains to those who were the first to apply for the domains.RU-CENTER though claims that global best practice where the auctioning off of domain names in demand to its clients was followed, something the Coordination Center for TLD RU supported RU-CENTER, the registrar claims. To resolve the situation with the auctioned domains a special commission has been organised.But the general availability launch on 11 November was not so simple. The registry imposed a limit of 4,800 .РФ domain names per hour, which was fine for smaller registrars, but for larger ones such as RU-CENTER caused problems as they could in no way meet the demand of their clients. A way around this was for the largest registrars to take advantage of standard reseller agreements with smaller registrars so they could meet the requests from their clients. Using such agreements helped RU-CENTER to meet the requests of its clients, and also to registrar a larger than anticipated number of domain names. After several days of open registration the registrar was accused by the Russian anti-monopoly service in illegal collusion. Currently the investigation is in process.However there are other problems. It has been noticed that CETIS, the website designer for the registry, managed to register domain names such as Секс.рф (Sex.rf), quite possibly the most valuable .РФ domain name going by the recent record sale of sex.com, during the sunrise period. When this was noticed the sunrise period was temporarily suspended. It is alleged that CETIS obtained trademarks similar to keywords and then applied for the same domains. Formally everything was done correctly, so the company’s application was approved.CETIS has also registered other valuable domain names via REG.RU, one of the registrars in .РФ, who, further investigation shows, are affiliated with CETIS. And it becomes more complicated with allegations of collusion between the registry’s website designer, CETIS, and a prominent registrar REG.RU, who are affiliated.

Russian Cyrillic Domain Rockets Past Half Million

It took close to two months for .CO to reach the significant half million active registrations when it became available for general registration following its relaunch in July of this year, but it only took eight days for the Russian Cyrillic domain .РФ (.RF – Russian Federation or Российская Федерация in Cyrillic) to pass the same mark.While registrations have predictably eased off the Russian Cyrillic domain is still growing by at least several thousand per day and now stands at over 556,000 registrations.The huge interest in .РФ domains has surprised everyone including Andrey Kolesnikov, the director of the Coordination Center for TLD RU. Kolesnikov believed there could be 100,000 .РФ by the end of 2010.There are a few restrictions on registering .РФ domains for the first 12 months including that registrants must be a Russian citizen or business and the changing of the domain administrator in the first 12 months is not allowed. There is also a list of obscenities that are not allowed to be registered, a list only accredited registrars have access to.”We have compiled this stop-list in order to prevent the first registered word after the launch of the open registration period to be some ‘f@&*.рф,'” said Kolesnikov.There are many benefits in having domain names in Cyrillic. “It’s great that it will be possible now not to invent the way how to represent in Latin script many unique Russian letters: Щ, Ц, and my favorite letter Ё. Incidentally, I usually use Ё in writing and don’t replace it with Е. Letter Ё is what we missed over the years of English-speaking Internet’s reign and now it is going to revive. All patriots should register domain names with letter Ё,” Kolesnikov joked.There are no limitations on the number of domain names registered on a given individual.”I don’t think the launch of ccTLD .РФ will lead to an upsurge of cybersquatting – to this end we have banned the change of the domain administrator during one year. Basically, there is the professional domain business engaged in registering and subsequent reselling “nice” domain names. Cybersquatting means raiding of somebody’s name for the sake of blackmail and extortion. The rightholders will deal with such cases by themselves. There is a great deal of precedents in ccTLD .RU in this regard.”Andrey Kolesnikov clarified to the journalists that the registry does not set neither fixed, nor recommended prices for domain names, and this matter has been left to registrars to decide.”I don’t think that pricing in zone .РФ will differ significantly from the one in zone .RU, which at present accounts for about 500-600 Rb.”To register your .РФ domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

.РФ Open Registration Commenced 11 November With More Than 200,000 Registrations On Day One

More than 200,000 .РФ domain names were registered on day one of open registration for the Russian national Cyrillic domain. Open registration commenced on 11 November with any Russian citizen now entitled to register a .РФ domain.For the first year of the general availability period (open registration) certain restrictions apply including a restriction on registration by the foreign citizens and organisations.However as is often the case, registrars are offering registrants from abroad the opportunity to provide contact details. One such registrar is the Russian registrar REG.RU.According to the Terms and Conditions of domain names registration under domain .РФ, for the first year of the general availability period registrations are only allowed for Russian Federation citizens, legal entities registered under the Russian Federation law and foreign legal entities that have a subsidiary accredited in Russia.’Undoubtedly, a lot of foreign companies will encounter the problem of domain registration in the .РФ zone. Our goal is to help them avoid all the obstacles and in the end bring their products and services to the Russian customers’, said Alexey Korolyuk, member of Cyrillic ccTLD Implementation working group and chief executive of REG.RU.At the time of open registration going live, Russian government departments and businesses had registered more than 18,000 domains during the sunrise period, the majority by trademark holders.As many as 100,000 .РФ domains are expected to be registered by the of 2010, the director of the Coordination Centre for TLD .RU, Andrei Kolesnikov, told the ITAR-TASS newsagency..РФ was well supported at a government level with both President Dimitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin both enthusiastic supporters. So it was no surprise that the IDN would be warmly welcomed by Russian people and businesses.”Cyrillic domain names will be widely used within Russia within five years, especially within emails, and during this time Russian internet users will become used to Cyrillic domains,” Alexey Lesnikov, Director General of RU-CENTER, another leading .РФ registrar, told DomainPulse during the Brussels ICANN meeting.

.RU Reaches 3 Million Registrations Mark

RU Coordination Center logoThere are now more than three million active .RU domain names, according to statistics on the Coordination Center for TLD .RU, the .RU registry website.

The growth in .RU registrations in recent years has been particularly impressive. Active registrations have increased by 271,506 (2006), 439,499 (2007), 702,042 (2008) and 687,679 (2009). In 2010, registrations have increased by 468,350 to 3,015,806 as of 4 October, 2010.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .RU domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Cyrillic Domains Gives Russian Internet Users Greater Confidence Online

Internationalised Domain Names that enable internet users whose language is a non-Latin-based script, which in effect are all non-English languages, are becoming more common. ICANN, who has been gradually approving more IDNs through ICANN’s IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process has now approved IDNs in Arabic, Cyrillic and Chinese.

Their introduction has been warmly welcomed by ICANN’s CEO and President Rod Beckstrom who spoke enthusiastically about this at the ICANN meeting in Brussels last week, while also noting that the support for IDNs at events he has attended in Egypt and Russia had been fantastic.

To date ICANN has received 31 Fast Track requests for IDNs representing 19 languages. One of the first to be approved was the Cyrillic domain .РФ for the Russian Federation.

.РФ was well supported at a government level with both President Dimitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin both enthusiastic supporters. So it was no surprise that the IDN would be warmly welcomed by Russian people and businesses.

Currently the sunrise period for .РФ is underway with over 14,000 domain names registered by Russian businesses. It is expected that there will be over 50,000 domain names registered by the end of the sunrise period in mid-September.

Currently around ten per cent of Russian trademark holders have registered their domain to date. This uptake has been pleasantly surprising with Alexey Lesnikov, Director General of RU-CENTER, the leading .РФ registrar, telling DomainPulse during the Brussels ICANN meeting this has been in part due to the community consultation that included building awareness with registrars, internet users, government and other interested parties.

To boost this awareness RU-CENTER is also running seminars to inform trademark holders of IDNs through a public relations campaign that includes a series of seminars in Moscow and the regions.

“Cyrillic domain names will be widely used within Russia within five years, especially within emails, and during this time Russian internet users will become used to Cyrillic domains,” Lesnikov said during the Brussels ICANN meeting.

Prior to applying for the Cyrillic domain, RU-CENTER conducted opinion polling and of more than 10,000 internet users who participated, about 60 per cent said “yes” to the idea of a Cyrillic domain.

One of the goals of the introduction of IDNs, according to Lesnikov, is to broaden the appeal of domain names and encourage internet use. Indeed, one of the most pleasing things, and a guide to how successful the Cyrillic domain would be, was that his grandmother was impressed with the idea. Breaking down language barriers for Russian users is important as internet users not familiar with Latin characters found it difficult to understand domain names.

Among internet users familiar with Cyrillic languages, it is anticipated that the greater familiarity with the language will lead to lower levels of cybercrime such as phishing as the users will be more aware of the web addresses they are going to.

.РФ domain names will be available to the general public from Russia and anyone else throughout the world who wishes to register one from late 2010 for around US$20. However the sunrise and then landrush sunrise periods see those wanting to ensure they snare their preferred domain name paying a premium.

The first part of Sunrise – 25 November – 11 May – Russian-language trademark owners can register .РФ. Second part of Sunrise – 12 May – 14 July – Any trademark owners can register .РФ. The third period of Sunrise – 15 July – 15 September – Owners of names of goods’ and services’ origin, Mass-media, non-profit organisations and companies, which names are not officially registered as trademarks. Cost per registration during all parts of Sunrise is $40. Price during Landrush (starts from 16 September) is now being discussed.

Alexey said that at first there were a discussion that prices for Landrush should start from $300,000 but now the costs proposed are much lower. More information about Sunrise is available here: za-rf.ru/node/103. For those trademark holders taking part in the first part of the sunrise, it was costing 1,200 roubles (approximately $40), From of July for those eligible to apply for domains during the second part of the sunrise period, including organisations involved in mass media and not-for-profit organisations as well as company names not officially registered as trademarks in the Russian territory. The sunrise period officially ends on 16 September.

On other current topical domain name issues, IPv4 and IPv6 along with DNSSEC, Lesnikov said these are not overly important but both will be introduced in the medium term over coming years.

For more information on .РФ, check out the RU-CENTER website at za-rf.ru/en.

Almost 500 Cyrillic .РФ Domain Names Registered

As of Tuesday 25 May there were 476 .РФ domain names registered, Yulia Ovchinnikova of Russia’s Coordination Center for the National Internet Domain said in a report on RIA Novosti. .РФ is the Cyrillic Top Level Domain for Russia.Websites for the Russian president and government were the first to go public following the launch of the new TLD on 13 May.As of 25 May, domain names registered during the .РФ sunrise period were able to go into use.A second sunrise registration period commenced on 12 May with owners of trademarks that do not use Cyrillic scripts were able to be registered.From 15 July, .РФ domain registrations under the sunrise procedure will be available for the exclusive owners of trade names, owners of geographical indications of goods origin, mass media and non-profit organisations.Public registration of .РФ domains is scheduled for 1 October, 2010.

Cyrillic Internationalised Domain Names Launched

Following on from last week’s report on the introduction of internationalised domain names (IDNs) in Arabic languages, Russia has introduced the first Cyrillic country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) IDN.The announcement of the launch of the Cyrillic IDN occurred at an Internet Governance Forum meeting last week in Moscow when Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO and President, handed over the administration certificate.The new IDN ccTLD is “РФ” and means that Russians and other users of Cyrillic languages will now have complete domain names available to them in their own language. The introduction of . РФ was lobbied for by both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, both self-confessed keen internet users.”I have just checked, the website президент.рф is up and running. The Cyrillic website of the government downloads too. The websites of other state departments will have Cyrillic domains ready this month. Commercial companies will be able to use Cyrillic domain names a bit later. Russia has become the first country in the world which obtained the national domain of the top level,” Medvedev told the Russian newspaper Pravda.The first two .РФ domains launched were for the websites of the Russian president and government. Domain names using the .РФ ccTLD will be available for registration by eligible registrants as of October 1.The introduction of IDNs was also the subject of three short essays from prominent writers in India and China and an assistant professor of Arabic literature at New York University. What the introduction of IDNs means to Hindu, Chinese and Arabic internet users is discussed. While all three welcome their introduction, two of the three say the claimed benefit of IDNs is overstated while the Chinese writer suggests that for Chinese internet users, domain names in Chinese will give more meaning and depth. The three short essays are available from www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/opinion/16domain.html.This article was originally written for eBrand Services.