Verisign provides some details on how it will allocate top level domain transliterations.
Have you ever invested a lot of money in something without a written contract? It can be a bit nerve racking, and occasionally you can feel like you got burned.
That’s why internationalized domain name (IDN) investors are feeling a better after Verisign provided more details about its plans for transliterations of .net and .com domain names.
At a high level, there’s nothing new to Verisign’s announcement (pdf). It’s the same thing Verisign told Domain Name Wire a couple years ago: If someone owns an IDN.com, they’ll be the only one with rights to register the same IDN.IDN-as-transliteration, and vice versa.
Verisign’s letter includes additional details that will make IDN investors even more comfortable. For example, there’s no requirement that you immediately unlock equivalent transliterations. They’ll be there for you if and when you decide you want them.
The letter also addresses my concern about how these transliterations will be tied to .com. In 2011 I wrote:
I’m not sure what would happen if VeriSign ever lost the .com contract, as it would still technically have the contracts for the IDN equivalents of .com. I doubt anyone has considered that in the new gTLD process. The same goes for other registries to apply for “IDN equivalents”
The letter states that Verisign’s approach to these transliterations means that “should there ever be a need to redelegate one or more of the IDN TLDs, under this approach Verisign would be able to reassign any of the IDN TLDs without impacting the remaining IDN TLDs from a technical perspective.”
IDN.com and IDN.IDN-as-transliteration registrations will have some restrictions. All unlocked transliterations must have the same registrant, registrar, and nameservers. It sounds like you can’t “split” the .com and transliteration into two separate websites.
This makes sense. As some critics have pointed out, someone listening to a radio commercial for cyrillicIDN.com won’t know if it’s .com or .ком. They need to know that either one they type in will go to the same place.
One big question remains for IDN investors: how much will this cost?
Verisign says it’s still evaluating how much it will charge for the additional registration.