I’m very pleased to note the publication of my article on ICANN and its struggles with internationalised domain names and top-level domains.  It has been in the works for quite some time, and includes what I think is a fairly novel approach to the relationship between law, language and technology in the ‘offline’ world.  Please do download it and contribute your own comments!  It appears to be available without a login through ‘advance access’, but will ultimately appear in the print and electronic versions of OUP’s International Journal of Law and Information Technology.

More than words: the introduction of internationalised domain names and the reform of generic top-level domains at ICANN
Download the PDF here

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is assessed in this paper as having a special role in the development of the law of new media, recognising both the importance of its management of the global domain name system and how questions of institutional legitimacy have highlighted the lack of agreement on the role of law in the governance of the global Internet. In order to underline how ICANN’s work relates to the regulation of the Internet and new media in particular., two particular issues are considered, both of which have been the subject of major announcements in 2009: (1) the facilitation of Internet multilingualism through internationalised domain names (IDNs) and (2) an attempt to expand the generic top-level domain (gTLD) system including prospect of dedicated gTLDs such as .xxx. In the case of internationalisation, it is argued that the question of internationalised domain names is best understood through its relation to historical processes of engagement between law, language and technology..

I didn’t put in the original set of acknowledgements (after taking them out for peer review), so thanks to the National Archives of Ireland, Trinity College Library Dublin, Dr. Eoin O’Dell and those who heard very early versions at the Dublin Legal Workshop and the International Academy of Linguistic Law.