While it is possible to register a .com for up to 10 years the same is not true of many ccTLDs.
In the case of .ie for example the only registration period currently supported by the registry is one year.
With .eu, which might be better described as a regional TLD, the registration period is one year also.
Nominet, for reasons that I’ve never fully understood, offer a two year registration period.
Is a one year or two year registration period enough?
Is ten years too long?
Should people be allowed to register domains for up to 100 years?
If you consider the importance of a domain name to a business, then you must accept that a domain is property. It’s an asset of some kind. Whether you “own” the domain or not you definitely have some “rights” in it, so protecting it in much the same way as an extended lease agreement would be the norm for property only seems logical.
In the case of .ie multi-year registrations have been “on the table” for quite some time, but nothing concrete seems to have been decided. While there does not seem to be any resistance from the registry to the concept there also isn’t a firm timetable available for their implementation. (The recent introduction of personal domains may have given them some breathing space).
With .eu the situation is slightly more complicated, as any core changes to the registry’s functions may involve agreement and or discussion with the EU itself, as the registry’s mandate is governed by them.
But what of *.uk?
Recent discussions would suggest that the concept of multi-year registrations is in a lot of people’s minds, but the debate seems to be provoking some rather odd reactions.
One such reaction, which could best be described as “knee jerk” is that multi-year registrations would have a negative impact on the aftermarket and dropcatching.
Considering the size of the aftermarket and dropcatching services in the .com realm I find that argument a bit hard to believe.
But what should be the upper limit?
While ten years does not seem to be unreasonable offering a fifty or one hundred year registration brings a whole new set of issues. How many registrars or registries will still be functioning in 100 years time? While it would not be unreasonable to expect that some of the “big boys” would still exist there is an interesting issue to be faced.