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Domain hijackers forced to return numeric names

007.nl is taken

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Two Dutch companies must return thousands of numeric domain names they got on a first-come-first-served basis from SIDN, the Dutch .nl registry.

Numeric domain names are names made up entirely of numbers (eg 1234.nl), or numbers separated by hyphens (eg 12-34.nl). SIDN expected a landrush when it made these domains available late February, but wasn't prepared for domain hijackers, who initially claimed that "we were just being smart".

During the landrush 14,409 unique numeric domains were registered by 298 companies. The most requested domain was 007.nl.

Photo sharing company MyAlbum.nl registered 2,579 numeric domains by setting up 35 different mailservers. It got one sixth of the numbers available after two months of preparation and an investment of €35,000. BliXEM Internet Services acquired 2,341 numeric names.

SIDN has now made an agreement with the two companies to return a substantial part of the numbers they registered.

The organisation says it will have to dictate "more regulating and limiting measures" against domain name brokers, and that it will monitor the process more closely in future. ®

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