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Posted by: | Posted on: October 20, 2017

The dark side of Internet domains with emoticons

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Domain name experts on the Internet point out that similarities between emoticons can lead to uncertainty and lack of legal certainty. Standardization could save this problem.

The evolution of the Internet and its impact on the global market has caused a rapid evolution of domain terminations. The. com,. net or. org flooded the Web for years. Then came the geographical references, such as the. es or. ue. Finally, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Domain Numbers (Icann) decided to make a big leap forward by incorporating hundreds of new names focusing on business sectors, professions or generic terms, such as. bank,. abogado or. auto.

Now, it looks like the next frontier will be domain names that include emojis, the familiar icons commonly used in instant messaging conversations. However, this new possibility, which would radically increase the number of names for web pages on the Internet, does not seem to convince the experts.

In fact, the Icann’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) has issued a negative report specifying that the inclusion of these types of figures could end up creating “problems of legal certainty as factors such as similarities or confusion for users may arise”, which would lower the level of intrinsic security afforded by domain names.

Ignacio TemiƱo, managing partner of Abril Abogados, points out that, although the Icann has always had an expansive policy to avoid the collapse of domain name petitions, in this case, it observes a clear problem of legal security. “The main issue raised by the SSAC report is the lack of standardization, since not all software recognizes emoticons, certain emojis have different skin tones, are not visualized in the same way in operating systems, which causes a clear uncertainty.

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