What next if your Indigenous domain name has already been registered ?

For many Indigenous Peoples and any other organisation it is common to prepare to register your domain name only to find that someone has cyber squatted it or perhaps a member is using it for their own use.

Too often groups are confined to thinking that if their name is not available in the .com, .org .net or their local Country Code (CCTLD) then they have no other options other than an expensive legal fight or to not have an online presence.

There are many other domain names that are often more descriptive and informative that are available. Often the alternative domain names are available for the same price or cheaper than your own Country Code domain names and .com, . org and .net domains.

In Aotearoa/New Zealand prior to 2001, Māori were faced with the issue that many generic names were cybersquatted and the the .nz domain space did not adequately reflect the needs of a bi cultural country. Hence the reason we applied for the creation of .maori.nz . Even then, the day of the launch of .maori.nz a company bulk registered copious domain names with the .maori.nz extension including all the tribal names and many generic names including Aotearoa.maori.nz .

At this early stage of the Internet and the Domain Name system, Māori had little choices but to be creative and publicly name and shame the company. The end result was that all the names were eventually released. A tactic that can work well in a small country with a small business. Māori also asked for a bilingual Domain Name System which was largely ignored.

Today groups have much more flexibility with a myriad of international country code extensions, general top level extensions (GTLD), the introduction of new GTLD’s and the recent deployment of Internationalised Domain Names (IDN’s). All of which offer any organisation or individual a sufficient of options as to which domain suffix to use.

If your main language is not English then there is the options of using the non English Characters for your domain name with the option of using punycode or a URL shortener to gain access to your IDN web site for English speakers. This is also relevant in the case of your language using the English characters but with additional characters such as the Māori language who use 5 additional characters with macrons ā, ē, ī, ō, ū .

The other options is to seek a reputable domain seller that offers a whole host of international domain names. A full list of all domain names and their descriptions can be found at the IANA databse http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/

For Māori there are a number of immediate options:


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