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Who should have rights to direct .au names?

Kevin Murphy, October 10, 2017, 12:36:22 (UTC), Domain Registries

Australian ccTLD registry auDA wants to know what you think about its plans to open up .au to direct second-level domain registrations.

It’s no longer a question of if the change should happen, but how it should be implemented.

A public consultation launched yesterday poses a series of questions about issues such as grandfathering, trademark rights and banning certain strings from registration.

It’s already been decided that existing third-level .au registrants should get first dibs on the matching second-level, but auDA has yet to decide what the eligibility cut-off date should be and for how long the names should be reserved before being released for registration by others.

The cut-off date is important because auDA has already seen some data suggesting possible domain investor gaming.

There were 193,645 strings that were registered as third-level domains in two zones at April 18, 2016, when the direct registration policy was announced, but that had risen to 255,909 as of September 1 this year.

That could be indicative of speculators obtaining low-value domains in .net.au or .org.au in the hope of beating the matching .com.au registrant to the possibly more valuable direct second-level .au domain.

If the April 2016 date is used, up to 14% of .au registrations will be subject to competing claims. The data shows that 90% of the conflicts are between .net.au and .com.au domains.

auDA has declined to draw any conclusions about gaming, however, saying that many of the conflicts could be defensive registrations made by the same registrant.

Where there are conflicts, a number of solutions have been posed. Among them: the longest continuous registration, priority for .com.au registrants, auction or lottery.

The consultation paper spends little time discussing the rights of trademark owners, something submissions from the IP lobby will no doubt seek to rectify.

Many of the questions auDA is posing are similar to those posed by the likes of .uk’s Nominet in previous ccTLD consultations.

There’s an additional wrinkle in the .au system as many state government and educational entities are required to register fourth-level names. So auDA wants to know what kind of rights these guys should have too.

The consultation is open until November 10 and all the relevant information can be found here.

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Comments (3)

  1. Richard Funden says:

    I think Nominet gave the best example with the Right of Registration process.

  2. Joe says:

    The auDA CEO Cameron Boardman has stated at the 2016 auDA AGM the auDA Board may choose to not go ahead with the extra proposed competing .au extension.

    Some parties may be pushing that this is a “done deal” so they can make more money but the fact is it is not a “done deal”. The auDA Board can change their mind based on more full proper investigation and proper full stakeholder engagement.

    Are any parties on the auDA Board in a position to benefit from another .au extension? Have their disclosed publically their potential personal or company gains? Any bonuses, extra projected income etc?

    Every existing .au registrant deserves to be more fully informed about the issue, the potential extra costs or risk to their existing .au investment or business. They have not been contacted as auDA says ” it would cost too much and we don’t have the resources to contat them”. How mnuch does an email cost auDA to send to the existing .au registrant consumers?

    With over $10 million in the bank auDA does have the money and can allocate the resources if they wanted to.

    People need to ask who is pushing so hard for the extra .au, how much will they potentially make from it and are they in any way behind the scenes in any position of power to push this through for their own gain or that of their related entities.

    If you bought your com.au at the auction years ago would you like to know and at least be contacted by auDA? This has not even occurred.

    If you owned Realestate.com.au would you want someone else to be able to register Realestate.au?

    The facts are the .uk and .nz failed. It was a money grab and even that failed. It hurt both namespace extensions.

    Type in http://www.google.uk and http://www.google.nz then type in http://www.google.co.uk and http://www.google.co.nz Can you see the difference? Where are the first .nz and .uk results for any web site domain name. It is the .co.uk, .co.nz and .com.au which are the well known and trusted extensions.

    https://www.dntrade.com.au/threads/nz-growth-rates-at-record-lows-after-change.11347/

    https://www.dnc.org.nz/sites/default/files/2016-08/Domain Name Commission – Annual Report – .pdf

    “It appears that some registrants, having exercised their preferential registration rights, have subsequently let the shorter version of their name drop. ”

    https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-org/constitution/
    “3.2 Activities
    Without reducing the effect of clause 4, auDA will see to achieve its principal purposes as set out in clause 3.1 through:
    a. ensuring the continued operational stability of the domain name system in Australia;
    b. establishing mechanisms to ensure it is responsive and accountable to the supply and demand sides of the Australian Internet Community;
    c. the promotion of competition in the provision of domain name services;
    d. the promotion of fair trading;
    e. the promotion of consumer protection;
    f. adopting open and transparent procedures which are inclusive of all parties having an interest in use of the domain name system in Australia;
    g. ensuring its operations produce timely outputs which are relevant to the needs of the Australian Internet Community.
    (Amended by Special Resolution, 14 August 2006)”

  3. Obie says:

    This is stupid… The strength of .com.au and .net.au will be distroyed…

    I can homestly tell you I wont bother, with any .au if this goes ahead. I will go back to .com and no longer register any new .au domains.

    This is pure money grab and should not happen!!!

Leave a Reply to Richard Funden