Saturday, December 24, 2016

ROTLD moves .ro ccTLD to yearly renewal

Some annoying news from our TLD administrator, ROTLD: they will start to charge for domain names so that Romania “is aligned .. to policies adopted all around the world”.

imageI am quite upset with this, because it’s not necessary and the rationale for it is rather silly.

The news release on their website give July 1 of next year as the starting date for implementation.

Introduction of the registration and annual maintenance fee for ".ro" domains
The registration and annual maintenance fee for ".ro" domain names will enter into effect as of July 1, 2017.

Introduction of the registration and annual maintenance fee is a prerequisite for aligning ".ro" domains to policies adopted all around the world. In Europe, progressively, all countries have implemented the registration on a limited period of time, renewing the country code domain registration in case the applicant wished to continue using the domain name. The last country in Europe that switched to the annual fee system was Slovenia, approx. 4 years ago. Currently, Romania is the only country in Europe that has not introduced an annual maintenance fee for ".ro" domains.

Introduction of the registration and annual maintenance fee is justified by the following requirements and complies with the following regulations:

1. As shown in the document "Speculative and Abusive Registration of Internet Domain Names - Draft Principles of the Code of Conduct", issued by the European Commission in 2000, the registration and yearly maintenance fee is necessary to cover the initial costs of registration and also to cover daily costs of maintaining and operating the record, such as: costs for name-servers system, cost of the registration system, costs of the WHOIS server, "help desk" service costs, hardware and software development costs, costs for maintenance and service, and costs for ensuring better security.

2. Introduction of the registration and annual maintenance fee also presents the advantage that it will lead to unlocking ".ro" domain names that have been registered since 1993 and are no longer in use because, either the companies that have registered them disappeared, or the person who registered it doesn't use it any more.

3. The registration and annual maintenance fee is established as a reference amount for the .ro domains Registry and covers both the registration services and an additional period of safe usage of 5 years. After the expiry of the initial 5 years, an annual reference fee will be paid to the .ro domain Registry, necessary for continuing to use the .ro domain safely.

4. For ".ro" domain names registered before July 1, 2012, holders of the rights of use have the obligation to pay the annual maintenance fee between July 1, 2017 and October 1, 2017. For domains ".ro" registered starting on July 1, 2012 and before July 1.2017, the yearly maintenance fee will be paid when the right of use corresponding to the domain name will equal a period of 5 years since the date of registration.

The Romanian Top Level Domain (roTLD) Registry will provide important information and instructions by e-mail to the holder of the right of use regarding introduction of the registration and annual maintenance fee for ".ro" domains.

RoTLD requests under the Rules of Registration (Art. 20) and the Registration Contract (Art. 4), available at, that holders of .ro domains should update their contact details using the domain administration platform at -> Domain Administration section.

Published on: 2016-12-23

Why is this a bad idea? Because “everybody does it” is not an argument, it’s a fallacy – argumentum ad populum.

Yes, there is a problem with people buying a domain name and not using it, but that can happen with yearly renewals as well. Rules can be developed for an interested party to take over an abandoned domain and it does not have to be about yearly payments.

Some people may choose to use such a domain for self-expression; having to pay yearly causes all sorts of commercial considerations to be taken into account, which tend to restrict non-commercial speech. We’ll see even more “click-bait” news and less principles-based dialogue.

Sources / More info: ro-tld

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