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Quebec loses dispute over Quebec.com

Fri, 25th April 2014, 17:20

In an interesting bit of hosting-related case law, the government of Quebec has lost a naming dispute over the relatively easy to remember Quebec.com, failing to convince the court that the squatters currently parked on the domain (they’ve turned it into an unspectacular sponsored search list) nabbed it from them in ‘bad faith’, meaning with the intent to deceive users into thinking they represented the government, or that it constitutes ‘reverse domain hijacking’, citing an earlier case which established that merely typing the name of a place into one’s browser does not constitute an expectation that what they’ll find will be official.

It’s pretty embarrassing for the government of Quebec, of course, but it sounds like the right decision. Top level domains like .coms are increasingly barren for newcomers of all kinds. The crowding of the most popular TLDs impacts more than just provincial governments, and many of these competing interests have been around for a long, long time- the decision cited a failure on the part of Quebec’s government to raise a complaint in the last 15 years.

But never fear, digital Quebecois! On the heels of this decision comes the launch of a whole lot of new top level domains!You can find a list of what’s now available right here. There are some interesting extensions available.

Of course, one of the more interesting aspects of new TLDs is their ability to be appended into phrases that are appealingly easy to think of. There are very few notable websites from Libya, but .ly is such an effective domain extension that just about every word you can string together with the extension has been snapped up already. There’s nothing quite that compact in the new offerings, but there’s more than a few interesting options.

There’s quite a few trade-specific options: .education, .florist, .builders, that sort of thing. Trademark owners might want to take these options seriously: there’s currently a grace period where you can get in before the public if this applies to you. .guru and .cheap sound like the future of a lot of advertisement portals. No doubt an enterprising summer host will take the opportunity to create the ultimate doppleganger by registering name.cheap. We’re taking bets on how long until we’ve got that one in a deadpool article.

Some of the options are a little off kilter… we’re not sure what to do with .sexy, but we can imagine people will figure out something. Some lucky travel site is going to claim bon.voyage, which seems like the only reason that TLD even exists. .ninja doesn’t seem very practical, but at least it’s more interesting than .lighting.

Anyway, hopefully these new options will soften the blow for the good people of Quebec. After all, Quebec.today sounds like a pretty upbeat address for a website. Or Quebec.buzz.

One thing is for sure: the provincial government of Quebec, and anyone else who wants to take advantage of all these new TLDs, should probably not wait 15 years to try to claim one.

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