.eu launched, .asia proposed, .xxx delayed.
.eu domains have been released today (7th December) with demand expected to be high. The first sunrise period is for registrations of registered trademarks and public bodies within the 25 EU member states. The second sunrise period, beginning 7th February, is for registrations of company names, unregistered trademarks and titles of artistic works. Open season, so called 'landrush', begins April 7th.
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the body who administer internet domain system and those resposible for ratifying the set-up of the first non-country affiliated domain, .eu, tentatively agreed to the creation of the .asia domain suffix at its annual meeting lat weekend. What begins now is a period of negotiation between ICANN and the proposed .asia registry, The Dot Asia Group. The group are also investigating allowing sites with addresses in Asian languages. For this to take place ICANN will need to make several changes to the domain addressing system, changes which are somewhat complicated but which ICANN hope to be able to test soon allowing addresses not just in Asian languages but also those using Arabian and Cyrillic alphabets.
At the same meeting ICANN delayed any descisions on the .xxx domain suffix and took the opportunity to introduce the Multigovernmental Commitee. The commitee was recently set up in the face of criticism that ICANN, a US based body, was able to be influenced by the US government and as the internet is global the body administering it should be under the umbrella of international government - the UN. A report will now be submitted by the commitee on the viability of a .xxx domain, a domain which will be optional for porn distributors and require registrants to agree not to use the domains to send spam and distribute malicious programs. Is it not just obvious that it will just open up new channels for porn to be distributed through while the limitations will ensure that existing domains are not closed down?