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Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) Update


Safenames recently spoke with a representative from ICANN to get answers to the many questions that have arisen within the domain community from the announcement after the Seoul meeting that IDN.IDN had been approved and the subsequent start of the IDN application period on Novermber 16th, 2009.

 ICANN stated that it has not approved of any ccTLD registry for IDN.IDN delegation at this time.  There are presently 12 applicants that are going through “string evaluation” stage which is the initial ICANN approval process for a registry.  ICANN stated that registry approvals could come as early as the end of December, but it could take longer.  Each applicant is reviewed by the DNS Stability Panel.  If a registry meets the evalutation criteria and receives a string approval, there is also a string delegation process that must take place at IANA similar to the launch of any new ccTLD.  This means that it could take months for these new IDNs to be entered into the root.  There are presently no IDN.IDNs in the IANA root.

 The ICANN approval process has not prevented unapproved ccTLD registries from taking pre-orders and announcing sunrise dates.  ICANN has been advising registrars to be very cautious in working with companies who claim that they are the approved registries for a country’s IDN string since no company has been approved or authorized as an IDN.IDN registry by ICANN at this time. 

 In order to best serve our customers, Safenames is making the Russian IDN available for pre-order and any other IDN than we believe to be legitimate so that we can enable trademark holders to reserve their place in the sunrise queue.  However, we cannot make any guarantees on the success of a pre-order at this time.  Since ICANN has not yet approved of any specific IDN, we will proceed with great caution and be prepared for changes if the registry that we are working with is not approved or force to change their rules. 

 We will continue to communicate with our customers via the Safenames blog and our newsletter as we know more.