There has been a four-year battle between the Cayman Islands and Wales, in which both countries were fighting to secure the rights to the internet domain name ‘.cym’.
The United Nations decided to give the island populated by sixty-thousand people the suffix ‘.cym’ on the basis that the tiny island is recognised as a state, while Wales is part of Britain, which made matters worse for Welsh nationalists.
The Welsh fall under the ‘.uk’ suffix, as it is a part of the United Kingdom, though there have also been movements by Scotland and England to create the ‘.sco’ and ‘.eng’ suffixes respectively. Not only that, there have been movements to begin city domains, such as ‘.london’, and ‘.roma’.
The Caymans already have a suffix, ‘.ky’, to use in its web addresses, though that was not enough to prevent the Caribbean state taking the ‘.cym’ suffix.
To date, in attempt to secure the ‘.cym’ suffix, it has cost Wales £113,00 for the bid, which includes a £20,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly Government.
Sion Jobbins, of dotCym, stated that the group will be appealing for suggestions of alternatives to ‘.cym’. Some suggestions have included ‘.gwalia’, in tribute to the “old romantic” name for Wales, and ‘.wales’, but Mr Jobbins admitted it would be “a bit odd” to use an English word to promote Welsh culture and its language.
He added: “We would have liked to get ‘. cym’ … bur I would be quite happy with another name. The important thing is the bid itself isn’t in jeopardy.” He added, “It looks increasingly likely that Icann will open the application process in 2011 so we need to decide on the Welsh domain by the end of this year.”
A post on dotCYM, a website campaigning for a Welsh cultural and linguistic domain, states that they “will choose a new top-level domain to represent the community. We need one which fulfils the criteria under which the application will be submitted to ICANN, who control names on the Internet.”.
Haydn Blackey, of the University of Glamorgan, who lectures about the internet instited that “It’s easier for nations recognised by the United Nations to secure these domains, rather than nations, like Wales, which are part of larger countries. For Wales to make its own claim (for a domain) makes it’s more complex.”
Other suggestions have been for ‘.cymru’ and ‘.cal’ (for Cymru Wales).
Though, Wales is not the only country to fall fowl of ICANN rules. Earlier this year, Bulgaria had its bid for ‘.бг’, the Cyrillic version of ‘.bg’,denied on the grounds that it looks too similar to the Brazilian’s suffix, which is ‘.br’.