The ever insightful owner of Godaddy, Bob Parsons, has summed up excellently the events of the past week or so in the normally peaceful world of domain names. As many readers will be aware, a new domain .eu was launched by the European Union, allowing "normal" people to register names. Prior to this period, there had been a closed period whereby companies with trademarks were able to register their names.
The EU had come up with a seemingly sensible system whereby registrars would form a queue. Registrar A got to go first, then went to the back of the queue, letting B and C have a go. Once B had a go, and C had their turn, A had another go. A fair enough plan, until some crafty folks got on board. Malicious persons, thought to be backed by some very rich Americans, set up their own sham registrars, allowing them to jump to the front of the queue over and over again, making the system distinctly un-even. Indeed, it would appear the requirements for becoming a registrar made this process even easier - simply offer some business credentials and a down payment of a few thousand euros - not bad if you"re going to pluck some ripe domain names and auction them off for a lot of money.
Europeans wanting a domain name found the process difficult and in-efficient; this writer tried to register a number of domain names last Saturday, but with little joy. After being told by the registrar he was successful, he later found out (via the WHOIS service) that the names had long been taken. This website, as another example, lost out to domain name squatters who pinched the name.
All in all, it"s a bit of a joke, except the only people laughing are some (supposedly) American businessmen. Godaddy reckon it"s not too late - they think the EU should freeze the process and review applications from dodgy registrars. But we Europeans know just how stubborn the organization can be, and think this is highly unlikely. Your best bet is to try again, and write to your MEP.