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ICANN says no to Bulgarian ccTLD

Kevin Murphy, May 19, 2010, 12:33:42 (UTC), Domain Registries

Bulgaria can not have a localized-script version of its country-code domain .bg, because it looks too much like Brazil’s current ccTLD.

Bulgarian business daily Dnevnik is reporting that ICANN has turned down Bulgaria’s request for .бг, the Cyrillic translation of .bg, because it looks very much like .br.

Part of ICANN’s internationalized domain name fast-track process checks whether applied-for strings could be visually confusing. Clearly, this is one of them.

Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have already passed the test and have active IDN ccTLDs.

The Bulgarians are not giving up, however. Dnevnik reports that the country will most likely apply for .бгр instead.

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Comments (13)

  1. Pick up rifle .. aim at foot .. fire!

    ICANN’s rules about similarity of strings are one example where the Article 10 rights of the Applicant are engaged.

    That is the say, the right of Bulgarians to freely express themselves, with a string of their choice to identify their country and/or culture.

    Of course the right is not absolute, but qualified, but ICANN rules appear to embed an assumption of cultural superiority that implies that the Latin alphabet is somehow superior to the Cyrllic.

    Where a public authority from a Member State is involved in such a decision (and most of the Council of Europe governments do participate in ICANN), they should consider carefully the balance that the Convention requires public authorities to draw between Article 10 and the other Convention rights.

    Let’s hope the Council of Europe can educate ICANN once it joins the GAC this month!

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Thanks for your comments Nigel.

      I’m not sure I’d agree about the implicit cultural superiority of the Latin script.

      I think ICANN’s call is simply a case of “first, do no harm”.

      The ASCII ccTLDs were around long before ICANN. If the DNS were being designed today, I’d expect it would look very different.

  2. Николай Филипов/Nikolay Filipov says:

    You are referring to Dnevnik… Dnevnik is referring to a spokesman of the IT department of the Bulgarian government… The IT dept has not published that document in their web site.

    Everyone is referring, but no one has seen it. No link. No fac-simile. Nothing.

    I would like to see some explicit link to the official icann’s resolution. Please, help me to find it, if their is such document produced.

  3. Николай Филипов/Nikolay Filipov says:

    Thank you for the reply, Kevin. So far there is nothing. So I believe this Dnevnik saga is sort of anticipated manipulation.

  4. […] first choice, .бг, was rejected by ICANN/IANA in May due to its visual similarity to another ccTLD, believed to be Brazil’s […]

  5. […] rejected the string earlier this year due to its confusing similarity to Brazil’s ccTLD, […]

  6. […] this year, Bulgaria had its request for .бг (.bg) declined on the grounds that it looks too much like Brazil’s Latin ccTLD, .br and said it planned to […]

  7. […] string was rejected in May due to its what ICANN determined was its confusing visual similarity with Brazil’s ccTLD, […]

  8. […] domain, which had the backing of the Bulgarian government and people, was rejected in May on the grounds that it is “confusingly similar to an existing TLD”, believed to be […]

  9. […] readers will be familiar with the story of how Bulgaria’s request for .бг was rejected due to its similar to Brazil’s .br, but to my knowledge the Greeks had not revealed their […]

  10. […] country’s application for the Cyrillic label was rejected by ICANN’s IDN ccTLD Fast Track program last year because it was found to look too similar to […]

  11. […] country’s application for the Cyrillic label was rejected by ICANN’s IDN ccTLD Fast Track program last year because it was found to look too similar to […]

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