You say Persian. I say Arabian. Let’s call the whole thing off.
The Gulf Cooperation Council has lost a community objection it brought against the applicant for the .persiangulf top level domain name.
This case (pdf) was one of the more interesting ones to be decided to date.
The objectors don’t like the .persiangulf top level domain name because they don’t believe the body of water should be known as the Persian Gulf. Instead, they believe the name should be the Arabian Gulf.
The objector contended that ICANN should not “bring this dispute into the cyber world and by doing so give credence to one side over the other”.
What follows is an interesting attempt by a group that suggests that the Persian Gulf doesn’t really “exist” to prove that it represents the community of the Persian Gulf.
Panelist Stephen Schwebel sided with the objectors on this issue, determining that the Persian Gulf is a community and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) represents much of that community.
But the GCC failed to convince Schwebel that the delegation of .PersianGulf would cause material detriment to the community. In a moment of common sense rarely found in the new TLD process, he wrote:
The dispute between Arab States and supporters, on the one hand, and the Islamic Republic of Iran and its supporters, on the other hand, over the denomination of the Gulf, has subsisted for more than fifty years. It is far from clear that registration of .PERSIANGULF gTLD would resolve, or exacerbate, or significantly affect, that dispute. In any event, the GCC and other Arab interests are and would remain free to seek registration of a domain such as .ARABIANGULF gTLD.
Indeed, the idea that the sky will fall for a particular community upon the delegation of a top level domain name is probably quite amusing to those outside this industry. There are well over 100 .com domain names that include the term “PersianGulf”, and I don’t believe they have led to chaos.