Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Domain Registration for 100 years! Registering Domains for your great grandchildren but will they need it?

Two years ago, a Japanese Domain Registrar offered a 100 year domain name registration package for .com .net etc and the web went abuzz with chit chat of how the company had either violated ICANN rules or was conning clients. I have grappled with this question for sometime in my day dreams but never taken time to Google. It can actually be done and has been done!

Some clever registrars know how to make money. Of course in 100 year you will be long dead, the registrar businesses will have probably folded up or sold off and will the new owners still honor the "100 year" contract?

In most TLDs, the maximum number of years in which you can register a domain is 10 years. But some registrars have done their math and realized a "loophole", within these 10 year limits, they can actually offer registrants a 100 year registration package! How does this work? Simple. For a pre-agreed sum of cash, the domain registrar will register your domain name for the maximum term available at the underlying domain registry and then, as long as your domain is still registered with that registrar, they'll add additional years to that registration on an annual basis, ensuring that your registration is always renewed until it has been registered to you for a total of 100 years of registration service from the date of your purchase.

Simply, they register your domain for say 10 years, and every year they "top up" the years. Just the stuff that you would do  but the difference is that they will continue doing this even when you are dead. It's obvious you will not live to see the full 100 year lifetime of your domain name. But what if the "topping up" stops when you are dead? What if the registrar collapses? Many "risks" abound.

But why would I need a domain registered for 100 years anyway?
In my opinion, this service would be useful for those who would like to preserve a legacy, family legacy or community legacy of some sort, especially for endangered communities. Perhaps you would like to document history and daily life in this century for your great great grandchildren but will domain names still be as useful and valuable on the "web" of 2111?

Will "we"(they) even have a web in 2111 or it will be something much more sophisticated? I would need a futurist to tell me all that but back to practical realities, this will also mean you have to pay for webhosting for 100 years to host the content over the next century. Most webhosting companies, greedy as they are, will have few qualms negotiating a 100 year webhosting package for you, believe me! But will that webhosting company still be available in 2111? Not worth an investment but could be a good deal for big corporations.

Some big families might apply for .familyname in this new gTLD round. I would suggest instead registering a familyname.com or  familyname.org for $1000  or less with guarantees from the registrar that your family name will be active for 100 years. Maybe your descendants in 2111 might  renew it for another 100 years.
Email Us africadomainnames@gmail.com