Are IDN .com owners about to get screwed?

Verisign finds way to sign ICANN contract, but it might come at the expense of IDN investors.

[Update: see comment from Verisign at end.]

It’s been a long, long wait for owners of internationalized domain names under .com.

The idea was that they’d get rights to IDN.IDN-as-transliteration domain names to match their IDN.com names when they came out. So they registered IDN.com domain names and held on to them for a decade, waiting for their investment to pay off.

Given that the IDN-as-transliteration sounds like “com”, it will create a lot of confusion if two different parties owned IDN.com and IDN.IDN-as-transliteration.

Verisign ran into a bit of trouble executing this plan when it came to contracting with ICANN. Registries can’t hold back a bunch of domains in perpetuity, as ICM Registry discovered.

On yesterday’s Q2 conference call, Verisign CEO James Bidzos announced: Click to continue reading…

Four new top level domain name contracts signed

Four IDN top level domains backers sign contracts with ICANN.

Yesterday Domain Name Wire reported about dotShabaka Registry signing the first registry agreement for a new TLD with ICANN for شبكة.

Today ICANN held a signing ceremony during its meeting in Durban, South Africa, with dotShabaka and three additional top level domain names:

Core Association’s онлайн, Russian for “Online”, and сайт, Russian for “Web site”
Donuts’ 游戏, Chinese for “Game”

ICANN will continue to sign contracts based on prioritization numbers for strings that do no have any outstanding items and are not in contention sets. A large number of domains are still subject to Governmental Advisory Committee “advice”, which will hold them up.

A number of requirements remain before any of these new TLDs can go live, including integration of the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Verisign working to fix Hebrew IDN error

Company wants to fix error in one of its new top level domain applications.

Verisign has responded to Domain Name Wire’s inquiry regarding an error in its application for a Hebrew internationalized domain name (IDN) for a transliteration of .com:

Verisign is aware of the administrative error that resulted in the inclusion of a variant character in the Verisign Sàrl application for the Hebrew transliteration of .com and is working with ICANN to address the error.

ICANN is currently working on guidelines for when and how a new TLD applicant can change its final application.

I’m currently working to fix a UTF8 problem on Domain Name Wire. When that’s finished I’ll post thoughts from the IDN community about VeriSign’s selection of .com and .net transliterations.

Google AdWords Now Supports Internationalized Domain Names

Advertisers no longer have to show ASCII URLs in their ads.

A couple weeks ago I missed an announcement from Google AdWords that it now supports internationalized domain names (IDN) for display and destination URLs on Google ads.

This means advertisers will no longer have to show a non-ASCII ad followed by an ASCII domain name.

AdWords clients can enter unicode characters for the URLs and Google will verify that it works correctly in both unicode and punycode.

The display URL will only show up only in cases where the language matches that of the user’s Google interface, otherwise it will render in punycode.

(Hat tip: Patrick C)

India Gets 7 IDN County Code Domain Names

India gets seven IDN ccTLDS and more good news for IDN domain name supporters.

One thing I learned on my trip to India earlier this month is that there are a lot of local languages.

This week ICANN approved delegation of seven (yes, seven) internationalized county code domain names to National Internet Exchange of India. The delegated ccTLDs include भारत (“Bharat”), encoded as “xn--h2brj9c”; بھارت “Bharat”), encoded as “xn--mgbbh1a71e”; భారత్ (“Bharat”), encoded as “xn--fpcrj9c3d”; ભારત (“Bharat”), encoded as “xn--gecrj9c”; ਭਾਰਤ (“Bharat”), encoded as “xn--s9brj9c”; இந்தியா (“Bharat”), encoded as “xn--xkc2dl3a5ee0h”; and ভারত (“Bharat”), encoded as “xn--45brj9c.

Also getting the nod this week: a Korean ccTLD for Republic of Korea, Chinese and Tamil ccTLDs for Singapore, and an Arabic ccTLD for the Syrian Arab Republic.

In other good news for IDN supporters, it looks like new gTLDs may actually move forward at March’s ICANN meeting, opening up the door for internationalized “equivalents” of existing top level domain names.