Registry blames overwhelming demand and searches for .art domains.
[Update: .Art’s registration process is now back up as of about 2 PM ET Friday.]
The .Art domain name was supposed to launch a qualified launch phase earlier this week, but it has been shut down for technical reasons.
This phase of .art’s launch is for people with a verified connection to the art world. Registrants must get a token from .Art in order to register. It’s akin to a restricted landrush phase. But right now, if you go to art.art, you’ll see this:
“We launched at 2 pm UTC on February 8, and within the first 8 hours or so we saw an overwhelming volume of demand and searches,” said John Matson, CEO of UK Creative Ideas (the registry for .art). “We saw erroneous activity and decided to temporarily shut down the registry.”
Matson added, “We were quite pleased to see that volume of demand.”
Something about this doesn’t quite add up. .Art uses CentralNic for its backend. This is the same registry that handled over a million .xyz domain names within 24 hours, so it has the scale to handle lots of registrations.
Although Matson didn’t say how many registration requests and searches .art received, experience with other top level domain names suggests that it wasn’t all that much unless there was some sort of coordinated activity by a third party. Another explanation might be that the token process for verifying eligibility didn’t work as planned.
I am also reaching out to CentralNic for comment and will update this story if I hear back.