dotster's ad

To be filed in the bin of continuing abuses of the net by companies that should know better: today, I got an email from the domain registrar Dotster (who I have patiently asked about a dozen times to stop sending me their ads) claiming that now’s the perfect time to register my .DE domain name for use with my Delaware business. What’s the problem with this? The .DE domain is the national top-level domain for Germany! To me, it seems a bit, you know, presumptuous to advertise another nation’s top-level domain as perfect for registrants in a measly U.S. state. (And according to the official German registrar, it’s also a mandatory condition of .DE domain registration that the administrative contact maintain a German postal address that can receive any and all legal and court documents that might be filed against the owner of the domain; I wonder how Dotster is dealing with this little stipulation.)

The city of Wilmington, Delaware has already started squatting in the domain space, but using a domain name that I’m certain causes them more trouble than it’s worth (“no, no, no, that’s the word ‘wilmington’, then a dot, then the letters D-O-T, then another dot, and then the letters D-E!”). With the jackassery of Dotster, though, I’m sure that’ll change.


Actually, if you do a lookup for the top-level domain, it’s registered to someone in Germany:

And going to the domain in a browser gives you a site that says “ - free subdomains”.

The city of Wilmington might have registered the subdomain, but it doesn’t seem likely. Maybe a patriotic citizen?

• Posted by: Neil Lee on Jun 9, 2005, 9:00 AM

But then parts of Germany are doing the same:

You can find the German state of Bayern (that’s Bavaria for non-Germans) can be found at Last time I checked .by belonged to Byelorussia (hm, is that how you spell it?).

• Posted by: Armin [TypeKey Profile Page] on Jun 9, 2005, 2:34 PM

That’s pretty funny, Armin! In reality, the TLD system has been broken for a while — with the meaningless of .org, .com, and .net being the prime examples, and the fact that small island nations frequently sell their TLDs to registrars for boutique usage (.tv, anyone?). But .de is a pretty hefty TLD that’s clearly a resource being used by Germany, so it’s still a bit odd to me that Dotster is acting so strange about it.

• Posted by: Jason on Jun 9, 2005, 2:44 PM
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