We have had numerous contacts referring to Sedo’s incorrect description of IDN domains names and how they may be accessed.
One of our contacts has given us permission to post an open letter to Sedo.com.
Here it is:
Dear Sedo team,
I just noticed that you changed your IDN warning on Sedo sales pages to the following:
„Please note that even if the signs in this domain name appear like regular signs, the domain can only be reached by typing in: XN–….com.“
This note is misleading and plain wrong.
Potential buyers must get the impression that all IDN characters were somewhat „irregular“. This is wrong. All IDN characters used in my domain names are „IDNA2008“ compatible and thus perfectly regular according to ICANN. You’re welcome to check and prove me wrong.
Furthermore it is implied that my domain names appear as something different from what they are. My domain names appear exactly as what they are: IDNs in native scripts and languages.
Finally you claim that the domain names can only be reached by typing the punycode (xn--…). Once again this is plain wrong. All my names can be typed directly via native keyboards without the punycode. Actually this is the whole point of IDN: Enabling a non-English speaking audience to access domain names in their own language or script. What do you think where my type-in traffic comes from? People typing-in the punycode? Even domain professionals don’t know what this is. (http://morganlinton.com/xn-iilanlari…-daddy-really/ ) Let alone average internet users.
I know there were a few complaints about (mainly cyrillic names) that look like English / Latin script ones which is probably why you changed the IDN warning. A few notes regarding this issue:
1) Only a fraction off IDNs is actually affected by this.
2) It is almost self-evident that those look-alike name auctions were kicked off by shill bids.
2) Most offer descriptions were highly misleading (selected language: English, ASCII domain names in the description text).
4) Many of those names appeared in Sedo’s „featured domains“ list without any hint of them being IDN.
5) Some scam names even got five to six figure appraisals by Sedo’s appraisal tool.
6) Almost all of those names belong to the same 2 or 3 sellers. It would be easy to ban their accounts after a few complaints. Instead they were even allowed to auction their names again and again after buyers refused to pay.
As you can see there’s plenty of options to prevent scam auctions on Sedo without marking all IDNs as potentially fraudulent. Wouldn’t you need to put up a warning sign on all domain names because SP0RTS.COM looks similar to SPORTS.COM? Why don’t you do it? Because it would be undue? My point exactly.
I don’t mind an IDN warning for those who are not familiar with the concept. What I do mind is a warning which is misleading and wrong at best and damaging business at worst. I dislike that perfectly generic and regular domain names get discredited for no reason. Remember that you are supposed to advertise them (That’s what I’m paying commissions for) not to bash them.
A correct description would be something like this:
„This is an internationalized domain name (IDN) which contains (one or more) non-ASCII characters.“
Mentioning the script involved would be even better, i.e.: „This is an IDN using cyrillic script.“
The current warning is the worst possible one since
* Buyers are not informed correctly
* Sellers may be affected negatively
* Sedo’s expertise in the domain name business appears questionable.
All this should not be in your interest. So please stop spreading misinformation about my domain names.
Note: I will publish this mail and any response in public domain name forums.