Limei Liu: Suggestions on IDN Variant Management

To some applicants, ICANN’s variant management policy in DAG4 has become a big obstacle to the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) application. The policy is to delegate the string while reserving the variants, and these variants will not be delegated until a sound mechanism is developed and the desired variants are evaluated. But for some languages, Chinese for example, the so called string and its variant, namely simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese, are equivalent and must be simultaneously delegated.

The simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese are the two written form of Chinese language with the same meaning, which are simultaneously used by the Chinese language community. If only simplified Chinese TLD is delegated, while the traditional one is reserved,or vice versa, it means that while the internet is accessible to some people, it shuts down to some others. To address the concerns, we propose the following suggestions.

Firstly, for those ready-for-go IDN TLDs, their variants shall be configured as an equivalency to the primary TLD, i.e. one record in the root fits all.

Secondly, for those not readily prepared IDN TLDs, if the delegation of one single string is not acceptable by the applicant and the user community, one additional variant TLD is allowed to be registered in the root and resolved separately, other variants shall be reserved and blocked. The mapping of these TLDs is managed by the registry. It is the registry’s duty to configure all the domain names and their relative alias or variant names registered (in TLD and SLDs) to be same or identical.

Thirdly, for those reserved variants, all desired strings shall be exclusive to the applicant, and those undesired strings shall be blocked.

We hope the suggestions will be helpful to the community facing the same variant issue and to the ongoing variant working group discussion.


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