Featured Domains

TrueName by donuts. Make a name for yourself

Uniregistry Whois tells you why a domain isn’t available

Whois explains if domain is on name collision list.

UniregistryOne of the most frustrating challenges of pre-registering new top level domain names is having the registrar return a search “not available”.

You end up asking yourself “why isn’t it available?” The first instinct is to blame the registry for holding back what appears to be a good domain name.

Odds are that’s not the case. Instead, the domain name is temporarily blocked due to name collisions. These domains should be available later, but not at launch.

Finding out why a name is blocked is a bit of a chore. Most of the time if you look up the domain in Whois you’ll get a message that it’s reserved by the registry. That doesn’t tell you if it was reserved because it’s a premium name or if it’s on the name collision list.

For most TLDs, the only way to find out if it’s on the name collision list is to view the name collision file for the domain. Find the registry agreement, click on “List of SLDs to Block”, then do a search for the name.

I was pleasantly surprised when looking up .link domains this week to see that Uniregistry has made it easier to find out why a domain is blocked. This is what you see when you do a Whois on a name collision domain:


This is a smart move. Lots of people unfamiliar with the fine print of the new TLD program assume registries are holding back tens of thousands of the best names. They’re actually being forced to do this. The name collision message in Whois is good for PR.

DomainAgents. What should you sell your domain for? Read our Domain Market Report Now. Sponsored.

Get Our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest analysis and news about the domain name industry by joining our mailing list.

No spam, unsubscribe anytime.

Reader Interactions


    Leave a Comment

  1. Bret Fausett says

    We are listening. We heard the frustrations that people had, and we tried to find a way of addressing them.

  2. Robbie says

    To bad What Box? Erik Ludwick has already helped himself to many top unregistry names which were not on collision, nor reserved.

    How can one person have a gauntlet of travel.photos to holiday.gift and about 200 other gtld’s

    Erik Ludwick

    Chief Executive Officer at What Box?

    Greater Los Angeles Area

    Anyone have any info on this? What the heck is What Box is this a joke?

  3. Rubens Kuhl says

    It is very useful, but the text is wrong… ICANN does not prohibit the registration, but the activation. It takes a registry decision to avoid such registrations, and even I agreeing is a good one in limited registration periods and general availability, it’s not what is mandated.

    • John Berryhill says

      “ICANN does not prohibit the registration, but the activation.”

      That’s true. A registry *can* take money from people for something that doesn’t work. But what would be the point?

      • Rubens Kuhl says

        There are people, like domain investors, who would be interested in capturing the rights for a domain name even as a long-term perspective, as in the short-term the name would not be of much interest. And due to the way the list was built, all interesting names are on those lists.

        The accuracy issue is not only about the word that’s used, but changing the word implied that the decision to not allow reserving of a name that is currently on the block list also came from ICANN, when it was exactly the opposite. I wouldn’t be surprised if ICANN sends an C&D regarding such WHOIS message.

  4. Frank says

    We tried to consumerize it Activating is registering from the consumer’s perspective. We are getting to the point here were technical accuracy collides with consumer expectation. It’s a tightrope walk 😉

  5. Jim Heron says

    That is a LOAD OF BS One company ( that looks very much connected to Uniregisry ) has been able to get domains ( all the main names of things ) just to sell at 1000’s and a lot of these were reserved by the registry. A BIG scam in order to get 1000’s for the domains as a heap are now for sale by North Sound Names ( their domain REG only a few days ago with every name REG with uniregistry SO YES the registry is keeping all of the best domains in order to SELL THEM for as much as they can. WHAT A BLOODY JOKE

Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News
%d bloggers like this: