It seems that the .Scot registry doesn’t know about domain name collision lists and other ICANN rules concerning new domain name extensions. 3 of the 38 pioneer domain names and websites that were announced are either against an ICANN rule and/or on the ICANN collision list.
The new .scot top level internet domain launched on the 15th of July giving individuals and organisations the chance to express their pride in Scotland online. More than 50 Pioneers signed up to be vanguards of the new .scot internet domain. Domestically this includes the Scottish Government, SCVO, The Highlands and Islands University, NHS Scotland, The Scouts in Scotland, PR firm Weber Shandwick, Yes Scotland and Better Together. Internationally, the Louisiana Scots and The Clan Wallace are amongst those having signed up. For the next 60 days only Pioneers will be allowed to use the .Scot TLD but others are invited to register interest via http://nic.scot.
But not all pioneers will get their requested domain name. The University of the Highlands and Islands will not get, not yet anyway, the domain name university.scot because the domain in on the ICANN collision list that doesn’t allow this domain name to resolve.
Similarly the Scottish Enterprise will not get the domain name business.scot that is on the .scot collision list and se.scot that is both on the collision list but it is also a 2-letter domain name that ICANN doesn’t allow in New gTLDs.
The .london registry has asked ICANN to allow name collision terms such as: business, fashion, hotels, soho, thames, transport. ICANN has not yet issued a decision on the collision terms so for now they are not allowed.
Finally, 12 Registries Have Requested 2-Character New gTLD Domains (.DEALS, .CITY, .GOP, .TRADE, .WEBCAM, .BID, .WORLD, etc.) but .scot is not one of them. Again ICANN has not made a decision on this matter.
Noob question but why can registries sell single-letter domains right out of the gate while two-letter domains have to be held back? Perhaps because of all the county codes?
You are correct.
All 2 letter domains are reserved according to ISO 3166-1 that sets all the country codes.
But together with the countries all other 2-letter domains are reserved as well.