Why some new gTLD domain names are not available to register?
When a new gTLD enters its general availability phase, anyone around the world could register any unregistered and available string as a domain name with the new gTLD extension. Obviously if a domain name is already registered, then it wouldn’t be available. But some attempts at registering a domain name may result in an unexpected message with wording similar to one of these:
- “Attention! For legal reasons, this domain name can not be requested.”
- “This name is reserved by the Registry in accordance with ICANN Policy.”
- “Sorry, that name is not available for registration.”
Before I share this simplified commentary, a word of disclaimer: the registry operators running top-level domains are contracted through a Registry Agreement signed with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), and that document spells out precisely specific details and naunced policies for how domain names may be reserved or registered.
Why would an unregistered domain name be unavailable for registration? There are 2 types of domain names that aren’t available for registration:
(1) Reserved Names
This list of domain names includes those reserved due to ICANN’s legal requirements as well as those reserved by the registry operator. (Refer to the Base Registry Agreement, Section 2.3 and Specification 5; a specific TLD may have a Registry Agreement that may differ from the default one.)
ICANN requires these categories of names (also known as labels) required to be reserved and unavailable for registration:
- Two-character labels.
- Reservations for registry operations.
- Country and territory names.
- International Olympic Committee; International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
- Intergovernmental Organizations.
(2) Name Collision List
This list of domain names is temporarily unavailable for registration to insure the security and stability of the world connected by the Internet. This “Controlled Interruption” period runs for at least 90 days beginning on August 18, 2014, only for TLDs delegated before that date. Details about this Name Collision Occurrence Management Framework is at icann.org/namecollision and also refer to the Name Collision Occurrence Agreement. When ICANN developed the new gTLD program, a number of requirements were implemented to insure the security and stability of the the world connected by the Internet. This list is part of protecting our networked world.
Okay, so there are domain names that are blocked from registration, some permanently (subject to change) and some temporarily. But…
How can you find out whether a domain name is permanently blocked or temporarily blocked? What are the domain names on the 2 above lists?
Short answer: many of these names are published but not all of them.
Long answer: The name collision lists for all TLDs is posted as “Lists of SLDs to block for all proposed new gTLDs” and the reserved lists for the International entities (lists 1e and 1f) is posted. However, the list of Registry Operator reserved names are typically not published.
One more question logically follows, then. When can you register a domain name that’s temporarily unavailable due to being on the names collision List?
Short answer: I don’t know.
Long answer: What’s known is the 90-day period when domain names on the Names Collision list are blocked from registration. And there’s no way to know when a Registry Operator will release them for registration, unless they were to announce it publicly. And it is possible that some domain names on the name collision lists could get reserved by the Registry Operator, and that means those domains wouldn’t be registrable.
I hope this explanation gives you some understanding of what’s going on here. And there are many other details and caveats on how all of this works but that involves a lot of technical jargon and legal terminology.
Have any other questions that can help clear the fog? Please add a comment and let’s learn together.