Somalia’s .SO Registry, which hopes to mimic a little of the success of .co when it starts accepting registrations in November, has adopted virtually identical launch policies.
(UPDATE: I’ve reason to believe this is because both documents share an author/editor)
For this reason, you can pretty much expect the same policies regarding the sunrise, landrush and general availability phases of the launch, which kicks off November 1.
It also means that .so domain names will be subject to the UDRP. The registry has evidently partnered with WIPO to administer these proceedings.
There are some differences between .co and .so, however.
Notably, .SO Registry has added a policy of allowing sunrise registrations for trademark typos, provided that the typo under another TLD has been won at UDRP or in court.
This basically appears to open the doors for any company that has won a .com domain in a UDRP case to register the equivalent .so, no matter how lunatic the UDRP decision was.
This is how the document describes the exception to the trademarks-only rule:
the Domain Name must be identical to a domain name which has been recovered by the Applicant or its authorized licensee in the context of a court, UDRP or other alternative dispute resolution procedure relating to that domain name in another top-level domain.
It’s followed by a comment, one of several apparently made by one of the document’s editors, that probably shouldn’t have been published on a public web site:
Comment Bart: we need to look at the allocation model here (rather hypothetical, but you never know): will they also go into auction if there are two applicants for the same domain name: one having the identical mark, and the other having the variant?)
Other differences include the fact that, unlike their Columbian counterparts, Somalians do not appear to get any special privileges, such as grandfathering or a priority sunrise phase.
There also does not to be a provision for a Specially Protected Marks list like the one .CO Internet used.
The registry’s policies will be governed by the laws of Japan, rather than Somalia (which, let’s face it, doesn’t have much in the way of a functional legal infrastructure).
.SO’s back-end is being handled by GMO Registry, the Japanese company that plans to apply for .shop and is working with Canon on its proposed .canon application.
I’ve previously reported on the roll-out time-line and pricing for the .so domain, here.