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Will IDN Top Level Domains Kill Existing IDN Domain Names?

October 2, 2009Domaining, Domainnamewire, idn, internationalized domain names, Policy & LawComments Off on Will IDN Top Level Domains Kill Existing IDN Domain Names?

Top level IDNs may create problems for existing second level IDN domains.

ICANN is moving full steam ahead with top level country code internationalized domain names. This means that countries that use scripts other than Latin will have the opportunity to get a country code domain name using non-latin characters.

To understand how powerful this is, consider if you had to type in the second level of a domain using one character set and the top level — such as .com — using a different one. Although work-arounds have been created, having only Latin top level domains has been downright insulting to much of the world.

People have been able to register second level internationalized domain names for a while. But these still had to end with something like .com.

So here’s the big question: When IDN ccTLDs come out, what will that mean for all of the domains registered in IDNs for existing top level domain names? It’s possible that a country will map to IDN.IDN, but there’s no guarantee for this that I’ve uncovered in the IDN ccTLD process at ICANN. And that does little for owners of domains. Will internet users in these countries suddenly flock to something in their own script instead of .cn?

I’m curious for everyone’s thoughts, especially those who have invested in IDNs already.

© 2009.

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