What exactly is a domain name?

A domain name is a name or combination of words used to identify a website. Each domain name is unique and cannot be copied. Example: welcome.museum

What is the .museum gTLD?

The .museum is a domain name TLD suffix launched in 2001 by the Muse Doma Association created by the ICOM (International Council of Museums), with the support of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The .museum gTLD is managed by Afnic, as exclusive delegate.

On the Internet, the address of a website ends with a suffix. The best known are the .fr, the .org, or the .net.

What is ICOM?

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a worldwide non-governmental organization of museums and museum professionals. With more than 37,000 members in 141 countries, ICOM represents a unique network of museum professionals and experts. Committed to the promotion and protection of the world’s current and future tangible and intangible cultural and natural heritage, ICOM sets norms and standards of excellence and develops tools and programs for the benefit of the World Heritage community.

The Muse Doma Association created by ICOM, launched in 2001 the .museum domain name suffix.

Who can obtain a .museum domain name? What are the terms and conditions?

The .museum TLD suffix is open to any individuals or corporate bodies, anywhere in the world, that can substantiate their link with a museum activity.

No particular proof is required, but a check may be made to avoid exploitation of the domain name that is not permitted by the .museum registry policies: .museum registration policy

I represent a French or foreign association; what are my rights with regard to filing a domain name with the .museum TLD suffix?

Individuals and corporate bodies are entitled to register a .museum domain name.

Any registrant of a .museum domain name undertakes to comply with the .museum registry policy which sets the criteria for the eligibility and use of a .museum domain name.

The .museum registry policy is available here.

How can I check that a .museum domain name is available?

You can check the availability of your domain name here.

What criteria must I meet before filing my domain name?

You agree that the use of your .museum domain name is:

  • of a nature to serve the interests of the world museum community, and
  • is based on good faith at the time of registration and thereafter.

Names that infringe these conditions include, but are not limited to, those whose use is likely to deceive or mislead the public.

Furthermore, you undertake not to:

  • use your .museum domain name in such a way as to infringe the rights of third-parties, including intellectual property rights.
  • use your domain name contrary to the ICOM Code of Ethics
  • use your .museum domain name to offer third-level domain name registrations to third parties as a commercial Registry Operator type service.
  • use your .museum domain name to send unsolicited commercial advertisements in contradiction with the applicable legislation.
  • undertake the following practices: distribute malware, abusively operate botnets, resort to phishing, hacking, infringe intellectual property rights, use fraudulent or deceptive practices, counterfeit, or otherwise engage in any activity contrary to any applicable law.
  • use your .museum domain name for the sole purpose of selling it, reselling it or transferring it in some manner to applicants.
  • use your .museum domain name in a way that could damage or jeopardize the name, image or reputation of MDI or ICOM, their partners and/or the World Museum Community

For more information on registration policies, click here.

How much does a .museum domain name cost?

We do not directly market .museum domain names but sell them to registrars at the single base price of 35 euros before tax. The prices of the registrars depend on the associated services. For this reason, rates may vary from one registrar to another.

Who sells domain names under the .museum gTLD?

It is possible to obtain a domain name under the .museum gTLD from an accredited registrar, the list of which is available here.

Muse Doma, with Afnic, acts as the registry of the .museum, i.e. it maintains the list of registered domain names and defines the naming policy and the basic tariffs on which the registrars build their offers.

What steps are required to file a domain name?

Domain names are filed direct with one of the registrars accredited for the .museum gTLD.

Most of them have an online form that allows you to provide all the information needed to register your application.
This service is fee-paying and registrars are free to set their rates.

The list of accredited registrars for the .museum gTLD is available here.

What is the .museum registration policy?

This Registration Policy sets forth the terms and conditions which govern the registration of domain names under the .museum gTLD. It defines in particular the user eligibility rules, as well as the rules for registering and using a .museum domain name.

For more information, click here.

Why Muse Doma does not sell domain names direct?

The world organization of the management system of domain names makes a distinction between the technical and administrative management of registries, which has been delegated to Muse Doma for the .museum namespace, and the marketing function, attributed to private companies, i.e. the registrars. The latter (i.e. the Registrars) are the exclusive intermediaries between the Registries and the public.

As a Registry, Muse Doma is not entitled to receive applications direct from individuals or organizations.

I have to choose a registrar; can Muse Doma advise me?

No, because Muse Doma has a duty of neutrality with respect to accredited registrars. To help you in your search, the list of accredited registrars is available here.

What is the difference between the registration and the activation of a domain name?

Registration is the administrative procedure of filing of a domain name with the Registry manager, via a Registrar. Activation is a technical procedure which consists in informing the Internet name servers (DNS) so they can translate the domain name into the IP address of an Internet resource (web server, electronic post office, file server, etc.).

How long does it take to register and activate a domain name, respectively?

Subject to validity, registering a domain name under the .museum gTLD is done 24/7 through an automated service provided for the registrars by Afnic. It takes only a few minutes to register, protect and publish a domain name in the Whois directory. If immediate activation has been requested, on average it is done within the hour following the validation of domain name registration. This process involves a technical check.

How to report an abuse?

To report an abuse that contravenes the policies of the registry, you can use our contact form in the “Contact Us” section or write to us directly at: support@afnic.fr, indicating your family name, first name, email address and the domain name concerned.

I want to become a registrar for the .museum gTLD. How should I proceed?

Given the applicable rules, as defined by ICANN, two conditions are required to become a registrar for the .museum gTLD:

1) Be an ICANN accredited registrar (see http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/accreditation) and integrate its registration systems with those of .museum as operated by our technical partner (Afnic)

2) Sign the .museum Registry-Registrar contract.

To become a registrar for the .museum, please request your accreditation by e-mail to: accreditation-gtld@afnic.fr

What is Whois?

Whois is the contraction of  “who is?”.

It is a service for searching registry databases for information on a domain name or IP address. These public reference databases publish the names of the physical contacts associated with a domain name or an IP address (administrative contact, technical contact, and billing contact where applicable). This administrative “Whois” base is not absolutely necessary for the Internet to function, but it is available for almost all of TLD suffixes used by the Internet. Its management method and the data formats proposed differ considerably depending on the case. It can be used to find and contact the person(s) responsible for a domain name or IP address, including for litigation purposes if necessary.

What is a reserved term?

A reserved term is a domain name whose registration and/or attribution is prohibited, either by decision of the registry or by decision of the World Domain Name Authority (ICANN).

What is a holder?

A holder, or registrant, is an entity (association, company, individual, etc.) behind an application to register a domain name. To obtain a domain name, a registrant usually applies to a registrar (or ISP) which in turn applies to a registry (database manager) such as Muse Doma .

What is a registrar?

A registrar is an organisation (ISP, website host, internet service provider, etc.) which registers and hosts domain names as a fee-paying service for the resource managers (referred to as registries) by which the registrar has been accredited.

  • French Acronym: BE – for “Bureau d’Enregistrement”
  • Not to be confused with: Registry

What is a registry?

A registry is a body (association, company, etc.) in charge of managing the database of the domain names under a TLD, or of the IP addresses for a specified region.

For example: Muse Doma is the registry for the .museum gTLD.

How can I migrate my website to a domain name under the .museum gTLD?

It is easy to change a domain name to another under the .museum suffix:

  1. Register your domain name with an accredited registrar
  2. Configure your new .museum domain name as the primary address

How this switchover is implemented may vary depending on your web service provider or content management system (CMS).

We invite you to contact your web service provider to find out more about the procedure to follow.

Are .museum domain names less well referenced by search engines?

Whatever the TLD suffix of the domain name (.fr, .com, .museum, etc.), they all are treated with same fairness by the search engines.

Your .museum domain name will therefore be optimally referenced by all search engines, including Google.

How to access the protected domain name holder's data in Whois?

The application form for disclosure of personal data allows you to ask Afnic on behalf of MuseDoma to proceed with the waiver of anonymity of a individual registrant whose name and contact details are hidden and do not appear in the Whois directory. Link to the form

Afnic will analyze your request in light of the reasons given and will inform you of the follow-up given to your request.
In case of refusal, you will have to resort to the other procedures provided for by the registration policy.