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Domain name registry

Domaining Guide

Domain name registry

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A domain name registry, also called Network Information Centre (NIC), is part of the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet which converts domain names to IP addresses. It is an organisation that manages the registration of Domain names within the top-level domains for which it is responsible, controls the policies of domain name allocation, and technically operates its top-level domain.

Domain names are managed under a hierarchy headed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the top of the DNS tree by administrating the data in the root nameservers.

IANA also operates the .int registry for intergovernmental organisations, the .arpa zone for protocol administration purposes, and other critical zones such as

IANA delegates all other domain name authority to other domain name registries such as VeriSign.

Country code top-level domains (ccTLD) are delegated by IANA to national registries such as DENIC in Germany, or Nominet in the United Kingdom.


Some name registries are government departments (e.g., the registry for the Vatican ). Some are co-operatives of internet service providers (such as DENIC) or not-for profit companies (such as Nominet UK). Others operate as commercial organizations, such as the US registry (

The allocated and assigned domain names are made available by registries by use of the Whois system and via their Domain name servers.

Some registries sell the names directly (like SWITCH in Switzerland) and others rely solely on registrars to sell them.


Allocation policies

Generally, domain name registries operate a first-come-first-served system of allocation but may reject the allocation of specific domains on the basis of political, religious, historical, legal or cultural reasons.

For example, in the United States, between 1996 and 1998, InterNIC automatically rejected domain name applications based on a list of perceived obscenities.

Registries may also control matters of interest to their local communities: for example, the German, Japanese and Polish registries have introduced internationalized domain names to allow use of local non-ASCII characters.

Dispute policies

Domains which are registered with ICANN generally have to use the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), however, DENIC requires people to use the German civil courts, and Nominet UK deals with Intellectual Property and other disputes through its own dispute resolution service.

Cost of registration

The cost of domain registration is set by each individual registry.

Second-level domains

Domain name registries may also impose a system of second-level domains on users. DENIC, the registry for Germany (.de), does not impose second level domains. AFNIC, the registry for France (.fr), has some second level domains, but not all registrants have to use them, and Nominet UK, the registry for the United Kingdom (.uk), requires all names to have a second level domain.

Registrants of second-level domains sometimes act as a registry by offering sub-registrations to their registration. For example, registrations to are offered by the registrant of and not by GPTC, the registry for Libya (.ly).

See also

External links

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.