Domain Name Registration Related News
AFNIC sees problems with internationalised domain names
AFNIC (Association Franaise pour le Nommage Internet en Coopration), the French Internet Naming Association, has published some initial comments on the forthcoming introduction of internationalised domain names (IDNs), forecasting issues of importance to intellectual property guardians or domain name portfolio managers.
Domain names are currently limited to the "ASCII" (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) letters and numbers together with the hyphen symbol. However, domain watchers will know that much work has been carried out among the Internet standards community towards making the domain name system interoperable with local character sets such as Japanese, Chinese or Korean scripts. Naturally, AFNIC is interested in the fact that such IDNs would allow the registration of domain names including characters from the French alphabet such as "caf.fr" or "nol.fr".
In making its recent comments AFNIC concentrates on the opportunities for those who have, to date, required to transliterate, translate or truncate their domain names to fit into the restrictive mould of the current standards. However, AFNIC also raises points of general importance described as "Legal and economic problems".
Essentially, AFNIC predicts that the introduction of IDNs could give rise to a flood of domain name registrations that might be harmful to trademark holders. AFNIC points out that even ASCII/non-ASCII conflicts could cause harm, such as, for example, the registration of "caf.fr"diverting traffic from a pre-existing domain name "cafe.fr".
Details at: http://www.demys.net/news/2003/02/20_af.htm