Belgium-based EURid, the authority overseeing European domain names, has recalled over 74,000 “.eu” domains and is taking legal action against the 400 registrars it claims abused its services by “warehousing” these names – registering the domains in hopes of reselling them at a substantial premium.
According to EURid’s Herman Sobrie, “Since registrars should only register domain names for existing customers and not ‘warehouse’ the names in order to resell them at a higher price, this is clearly in breach of the registrar contract.”
Hundreds of bogus companies were apparently used to try to conceal the warehousing – a strategy which seems to have proven unsuccessful, but EURid intends to pursue its investigation of fraudulent registrars further, as well as investigate and recall domain name registrations by non-European residents.
EURid is taking this action out of a fear that .eu domain name abuses will lower the TLD’s value, stating that “When the system is abused there is a risk that the perceived value of .eu will decrease, not only for the almost 2 million legitimate holders of .eu domain names but also for all honest registrars.”
A Brussels court will hear the cases beginning in October and EURid intends to make the seized names re-available for registration on a first-come, first-served basis by the end of the year; a move that previously shut-out prospective owners will applaud.
Of course, nothing beats a decent “dot com” name!