It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This is a tale of two Sydneys.
The first Sydney in Nova Scotia was famous for being cold, and bleak, and the sort of place where a whale might take a holiday. The second Sydney, in Australia, was hot, bleak and the sort of place where a great white shark would find a snack.
For hundreds of years the fact that the two places had the same name did not bother anyone. But when the world wide wibble made the matter of domain names important, the two Sydneys have found themselves at odds.
From June, companies, governments and cashed-up individuals can buy up .anything addresses if they pony up between $185,000 and $25,000 a year.
But the fear is that there will be a domain land grab by rich outfits and councils. AusRegistry, the organisation that is managing applications for the new domains down under, said the NSW Premier’s Office has “confirmed strong interest” in buying the .sydney domain.
However, Sydney, Nova Scotia might also apply. True, it has not yet, but that could cause a diplomatic crisis if it does.
ICANN has stated in the draft Applicant Guidebook if there is a dispute the applications will be suspended pending resolution by the applicants.
This could be solved in a mediation between the two governments on who should operate the .sydney top-level domain or there may be an agreement struck for the two cities to share the name space.
The latter is unlikely. New South Wales will want to use the domain to drive tourists to its beaches. The last thing you want is when you are looking for somewhere hot, to find yourself somewhere that is even colder and more miserable than Ionia on New Years Day.
When it comes to muscle, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia does not really cut it.
If talks break down, the Australian military could find itself at war with 24,000 people situated on the east cost of Cape Breton Island. Sydney Harbour in Nova Scotia boast for its tourism exhibits “the largest ceilidh fiddle in the world”.
Sydney Australia offers its tourists an exciting death either by water, snakebite, dingo, or a weird loner pulling you out of your car in the bush.
There is more about the Aussie side of the story here.