The first anniversary of .eu has come and gone and with it many EU domains have ceased to exist.
At the beginning of last month I was wondering how many EU domains would drop off the ‘net completely and it now seems that the number was in excess of 250k.
John speculates that a lot of the domains that were not renewed were purely speculative registrations, however he also notes that some people have taken to hiding their registrations by removing the DNS:
The Jay Westerdal/Ray King operation (using eight UK front companies) removed the nameserver data from at least 40K of their warehoused .eu domains in an effort to hide them. A significant percentage of .eu domains are hidden like this in order to evade detection because many of these warehoused domains would have trademark and intellectual property rights issues.
As the .eu registration rules did not permit registrations from non-EU nationals many of the domainers outside the EU resorted to using European Union agents.
Whether the costs involved were ultimately worth it or not is still open to debate.