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.me is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Montenegromarker.

This follows Montenegro's 3 June 2006 declaration of independence from Serbia and Montenegro, which used the code .yu.

The dot-ME top level domain replaced the dot-YU (Yugoslavia) domain previously used by Serbia and Montenegro. In addition to declaring .me independent of .yu, a new .rs domain is to be deployed for Serbianmarker use.

The .me domain names must be at least 3 characters and at most 63 characters in length, excluding the extension.An exception to this rule was granted to WordPress for its url shortener WP.meAn other exception to this rule was granted to Facebook and their short url fb.me

The .me registry is operated by doMEn, which won a contract to do so after a bid process conducted by the government of Montenegro.

Introducing .me

On 21 May 2006 a majority of Montenegrins supported independence in a national referendum. On 3 June 2006, Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia and Montenegro. As a constituent part of that country, the Republic of Montenegro had been unofficially been using the cg.yu SLD whilst the .cs TLD had been assigned to Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 following the breakup of Yugoslavia, but remained unused by that country. The .cg (Crna Gora) TLD could not be assigned to Montenegro on the basis of the new country's Montenegrin name, because it had been the TLD of the Republic of the Congomarker since 1997. This left the newly independent state without an obvious TLD based on its Montenegrin name.

On 23 May 2006, Ilan Shavit, a Tel Avivmarker lawyer active in the field of internet domains, made a written application to ICANN requesting that the .me TLD be assigned to Montenegro, stating that "The country is known worldwide as Montenegro and calls itself by that name internationally. The only appropriate free TLD commencing with .m is .me (.mo, .mn, .mt, .mg and .mr are all taken). [This would parallel the similarly odd use of "MO" for Missourimarker.) It would appear to be fair and logical for this TLD to be granted to Montenegro - which would be a wonderful gift to the country by ICANN on the occasion of its historical declaration of independence, and allow it a clean start". In September 2007, this position was accepted and ICANN resolved that .me be delegated to the Government of Montenegro, with the former .yu domain to be operated temporarily by the .rs domain registry, Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names, until its eventual abolition on or before 30 September 2009.

On 11 September 2007, delegation of root name servers was approved by IANA, establishing .me. The .me domain became active on 24 September 2007 and a "Public Invitation for selection of the Agent for domain registration under the national Internet domain of Montenegro" was posted on 14 November. doMEn d.o.o. was selected as the new registry operator.

doMEn, d.o.o. is a Montenegro based joint venture (doing business as .ME Registry) whose partners are Afilias Limited, GoDaddy.com, Inc., and ME-net d.o.o.

6 May 2008 - .me Registry - General Sunrise began for all eligible Trademark holders anywhere in the world.

On 16 July 2008, registration was made available for all .me domains at various registrars.

.ME registry
www.domen.me .ME registry in Montenegrin
www.domain.me .ME registry in English
www.nic.me Former .ME registry
Government of Montenegro
www.me Montenegro general information
www.gov.me Government of Montenegro
www.szr.gov.me Secretariat for Economic Development
University of Montenegro
www.ucg.ac.me University of Montenegro main site
www.cis.ac.me Centre for Information Systems
www.etf.ac.me Faculty of Electrical Engineering
www.ef.ac.me
www.ekonomija.ac.me
Faculty of Economics
www.pmf.ac.me Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics


Domain structure for .me

The .me extension was assigned to Montenegro as a country code after it became an independent nation in June 2006. However, the Montenegro government decided .ME would be operated as a generic name after considering the potential worldwide appeal for the extension.

Third-level registrations are available to Montenegrin citizens and companies in the following zones:
  • .co.me - unlimited registration, but appropriate for corporations
  • .net.me - unlimited registration, but appropriate for providers of Internet services
  • .org.me - unlimited registration, but appropriate for civil organizations and associations
  • .edu.me - Educational institutions, such as primary and high schools
  • .ac.me - Academic and post-secondary organizations such as universities; University of Montenegro has ucg.ac.me as its primary domain
  • .gov.me - State and Government authorities
  • .its.me or .priv.me - unlimited registration, but appropriate for personal use


Sun Rise, Land Rush & Open Reg

On 6 May 2008 .me Registry opened Sunrise period for all eligible Trademark holders anywhere in the world. Five domain names had multiple applications and were sold through the auctions. During the .ME Land rush auction period, more than two-million dollars was generated with names like Insure.Me and Sync.Me going to the highest bidder.

On 16 July 2008 registration was made available for all .me domain at various registrars.

Throughout June and July 2008 multiple Land rush applications were received, which resulted in more than 2500 Land rush auctions that were held during July and August 2008 after Go Live was opened on 17 July 2008.

At the beginning of August 2008 100,000 .me domain names were registered. Sources say part of the worldwide appeal for the .me domain extension is the marketing aspect.

In 2008 in terms of the number of web pages indexed by Google among all TLDs, .me sites have enjoyed the fastest growth with more than 50% a month. In the same year, .me topped its potential rivals .mobi and .Asia in Alexa Internet top one million websites with 341 .me sites versus 233 .mobi sites and 86 .Asia sites. Extra potential of .me is revealed considering the fact that .mobi was launched two years before .me and .asia four months before .me.

By the middle of February 2009 200,000 .me domain names were registered.

On 15 May 2009 number of registered .me domain names rose to 250,000.

In less than a year .ME became more popular than .Asia, .jobs, .coop, .aero, .int, .mil, .museum, .name, .pro, .tel, .travel, and other 200 country code top-level domains.

Known hacks

Most .me domain names were purchased as domain hacks in English, and few in Dutch languages. .me has seen its greatest interest among English speaking countries including the United States (71%), the United Kingdom (6%), Canada (4%), and Australia (2%).

One of the most expensive domain sold during the Land Rush period was insure.me that went for $68,005. Shortly, it was followed by date.me, which was sold on the premium auction for $70,000 and love.me for $32,500.

In Dutch, only verb combinations were popular, as they made grammatical sense. E.g., reserveer.me, which can be translated as book.me, and repareer.me - repair.me. Most of the Dutch domain were sold outside the auction during the Go Live phase.

.me domains are also used by some companies and individuals to acronym Middle East and the U.S. State of Mainemarker.

WordPress uses a .me domain, wp.me, as an URL shortener. This is so far the only two letter .me domain, for which an exception was granted by doMEn.

.me can also be used as a domain hack in the Montenegrin language because me is the accusative case of the first-person singular personal pronoun ja.

.me was used by the Canadian Conservative Party for the website ignatieff.me, a site attacking Michael Ignatieff, the leader of the opposition Liberal Party .

.me was used for the upcoming 2010 CGI film Despicable Me, where the website for the film is despicable.me

Trademark disputes

In 2008 three trademark cases were filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. All three domain names, namely: creditmutuel.me, Porsche.me, and exxonmobil.me were transferred to the complainants.

.cg.yu

Prior to introduction of .me, most used domain in Montenegro was second-level domain .cg.yu, Internet domain name of Montenegrin ISP T-Crnogorski Telekom. CG was made as an abbreviation of the name of Montenegro, Crna Goramarker. The domain was created as a top-level .yu subdomain, under nic.yu rules which allowed such domains only to Internet providers.

References

  1. General Registration Policies. Domain.ME. Downloaded on 31 May 2009. [1]. Accessed 31 May 2009. Archived 2 June 2009.
  2. WP.me - shorten your links. Downloaded on 15 August 2009 [2]. Accessed 15 August 2009. Archived 17 August 2009.
  3. http://fb.me/
  4. ICANN | Preliminary Report for Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors | 11 September 2007
  5. IANA .me whois information
  6. (http://www.thewhir.com/marketwatch/071408_ME_Opens_Registration_on_July_17.cfm)
  7. .ME DOMAIN CROSSES 100,000 MILESTONE | 5 August 2008
  8. Dot-Me blog: Number of .me pages enjoys the fastest growth in 2008 | 3 January 2009
  9. Global Sensation - .ME Hits 200,000 Registered Domains | 10 February 2009
  10. Dot Me Directory of 100,000+ domains | 13 February 2009
  11. White paper by Brands-and-Jingles - One Year of .ME: 2009 - "ME" branded names for marketeers | 17 July 2009
  12. .ME in the News - .ME Domain Crosses 100,000 Milestone | 05.08.2008
  13. Dot-Me blog: Middle East Ventures | 7 January 2009
  14. Dot-Me blog: The State of Maine | 9 January 2009
  15. [3] WP.me - shorten your links. Accessed 15 August 2009. Archived 17 August 2009.
  16. WIPO UDRP Domain Name Decisions | 2008
  17. Dot-Me blog: Porsche.me and the friends | 24 October 2008
  18. Dot-Me blog: Why .ME is Montenegrin? | 24 March 2009


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