As reported earlier the Cyrillic .РФ IDN ccTLD launch had reached a stunning number of 500,000 registrations in the first week. Considering the numbers, it was obvious that speculators were playing the TLD, but apparently six registrars are involved in registering many of the names for resale & auction and are now involved in a legal dispute as reported by TheMoscowNews. Many of the registered names have been frozen by the registry.
The accused registrar, RU-Center said there are no plans to stop sales, with spokesman Andrei Vorobyov saying: “We do not believe we have violated the law or the rules of the co-ordinating centre.”At the end of last week the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) launched legal action against six registrars claiming they had broken competition laws.
Apparently the RU-Center itself bought 38% of the names registered and acquired another 48% of the registered domains through partner companies – a total of 86%.
The new Cyrillic .РФ IDN ccTLD was just opened for registrations a week ago and has already passed the 500,000 registration mark. For the first year registrations are limited to those providing a local address during registration.
New York City event will educate about Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).
Few topics have received greater attention this year than IDNs. So it’s fitting that the first ever “IDN Event and Auction” will take place October 30, 2010 at the Haru Restaurant in New York City at 7 pm. The event is organized by IDNTools and will be sponsored by Register.com, Moniker and SnapNames.
The goal of the event is to educate domain registrants about IDNs, their value proposition, how to register them, the value of developing IDNs, the importance of connecting with local audiences, and we will also hold an IDN auction.
Although the agenda is not yet set, speakers include DotAsia CEO Edmon Chung, Elliot Silver, and Associated Cities Executive Director Patrick Carleton.
Early bird registration through October 1 is $99. After October 1 registration prices increase to $275.
[This article explores the latest with IDN ccTLDs such as .рф and .日本. Aaron Krawitz of IDNBlog and Gary Males of IDNDemystified co-own IDNDroplist, IDNTools and IDNNewsletter. Patrick Carleton is Executive Director of Associated Cities. -Andrew]
Change is afoot in the world of IDN ccTLDs.
Just a few days ago, we learned that the registry, JPRS, was the only one to apply to manage the .日本 IDN ccTLD (meaning “.Japan” in Japanese). JPRS is the current .JP registry and has previously spoke out in favor of aliasing or unlocking .JP in an IDN equivalent. As such, the practical implication of the above application is that we will likely soon see owners of IDN.JP domains owning IDN.日本 names as well.
Hiro Hotta the Director of Corporate Planning at JPRS previously stated: “In my opinion, the registrant of IDN.jp should automatically have the right to register IDN.日本 . . . [i]t is relatively easy for [the] .JP registry (JPRS) to implement this aliasing.”
Meanwhile, the release of .рф IDN ccTLD (meaning “.RF” in Russian) is on track. The sunrise period is currently open to trademark holders, with a number of .рф sites already having gone live, and landrush is to follow this fall.
There are several material implications of the IDN ccTLD progress, the first of which is greater awareness of IDNs in general. As IDNs are in the news on a daily basis, investors, developers and end-users are realizing that IDN.com domains exist now, IDN.IDN-ccTLD names will exist soon and these foreign language domains are great platforms to use in order to engage users in their native languages.
Though the publicity of IDN ccTLDs are having a positive effect on the awareness and value of IDN.com names, such new ccTLDs also pose a competitive threat. In the world of IDNs, to many it seems like buying an IDN.com is the intuitive choice as .COM is already a global brand. However, in many markets, new IDN ccTLDs will be available long before an internationalized IDN.com-in-IDN domain will be available, and such IDN ccTLDs will at times have the advantage of being the first IDN.IDN in a certain region.
Consequently, it is anyone’s guess as to whether the new IDN ccTLDs, ASCII .COM, or the future IDN .COM alias becomes the extension of choice for IDNs in a given country and the prudent investor should buy both.
Lastly, amidst the blockbuster releases of IDN ccTLDs for Japan and Russia, smaller countries tend to get overlooked even though they too are releasing IDN ccTLDs. IDN opportunities will surely abound in these smaller markets as well.
Sri Lanka and Thailand join ranks of countries getting their own ccTLD in their own language.
ICANN has delegated five more internationalized domain names for top level country code domain names.
Yesterday the ICANN board approved a resolution delegating two top level domains for Sri Lanka and one for Thailand:
Delegation of IDN ccTLDs:
1. Sri Lanka
Whereas, Sri Lanka is a country currently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
Whereas, .ලංකා (“Lanka”), encoded as “xn--fzc2c9e2c”; and .இலங்கை (“Ilangai”), encoded as “xn--xkc2al3hye2a”; are both strings that have been deemed to appropriately represent Sri Lanka through the IDN Fast Track process.
Whereas, ICANN has received requests for delegation of .ලංකා and .இலங்கை to LK Domain Registry.
Whereas, ICANN has reviewed the requests, and has determined that the proposed delegations would be in the interests of the local and global Internet communities.
RESOLVED (2010.08.05.03), the proposed delegation of .ලංකා to LK Domain Registry is approved.
RESOLVED (2010.08.05.04), the proposed delegation of .இலங்கை to LK Domain Registry is approved.
Whereas, the Thailand is a country currently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
Whereas, .ไทย (“Thai”), encoded as “xn--o3cw4h”, is a string that has been deemed to appropriately represent Thailand through the IDN Fast Track process.
Whereas, ICANN has received a request for delegation of .ไทย to the Thai Network Information Center Foundation.
Whereas, ICANN has reviewed the request, and has determined that the proposed delegation would be in the interests of the local and global Internet communities.
RESOLVED (2010.08.05.05), the proposed delegation of the .ไทย domain to the Thai Network Information Center Foundation is approved.
A number of Arabic domain names were also delegated:
فلسطين (“Falasteen”), encoded as “xn--ygbi2ammx” to Occupied Palestinian Authority
تونس (“Tunis”), encoded as “xn--pgbs0dh” to Tunisia
الاردن (“al-Ordon”), encoded as “xn--mgbayh7gpa” to Jordan
Jothan has been in the domain name industry since 1994, and has helped launch numerous registries, registrars, TLD consultancies and domain conferences, and is currently a consultant in the New Top Level Domain name field, with deep experience and contacts in the domain industry and ICANN arena.