In July 2019, auDA stated they “accepted a proposal from Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA)” to reserve more generic .com.au domain names so that Australian businesses couldn’t own them.
Although some of these recommendations make sense, a vast majority that the auDA Board approved for reservation don’t make any sense.
For example, archive.au and library.au were added to the reserved list. These are generic terms and Australian businesses should be free to register them on a “first come, first served” basis.
Yeah yeah, we all know that there are various government and corporate “acts” that state this and that… No one is saying a domain name owner is allowed to contravene a particular “act”… But… if someone wants to own a restaurant called “Library” they should at least have a chance of owning the generic dictionary-termed Library.com.au(.)
Let’s get down to just how ridiculous some of the banned generic terms are in auDA’s Reserved Policy List…
In Section 3 of the policy they state:
3.1 The table in Schedule A contains a non-exhaustive list of words and phrases that are restricted under Commonwealth legislation. It is the responsibility of the registrant to ensure they have obtained the requisite consent, where applicable, prior to registering a domain name that contains a word or phrase listed in Schedule A. Where auDA becomes aware that a registrant does not have the requisite consent, auDA reserves the right to revoke the domain name licence and delete the domain name.
Now, make sure you just read the above paragraph very carefully.
From what I understand, they are clearly stating that the Registrant must have obtained consent from the requisite authority, or else, if auDA become aware that they haven’t, they will potentially DELETE THE DOMAIN NAME.
Now, let’s use the current Bank.com.au situation as an example of a highly generic domain name that should never have appeared on the Reserved Policy List.
auDA have obviously recently pointed to their magical Reserved Policy List in the case of Bank.com.au and, as we recently reported, had set the domain into a status so it couldn’t be renewed by the current registrant at the next time of renewal. At that time, they will then place the name into REGISTRY LOCK so no one can ever own it.
To be able to do this with Bank.com.au auDA are pointing to this part of their policy;
“It is the responsibility of the registrant to ensure they have obtained the requisite consent, prior to registering a domain name that contains a word or phrase listed in Schedule A.”
“Schedule A” includes the generic term “Bank“.
Technically, I take this to mean that no one can own any domain name in Australian .com.au that contain the word “Bank”.
And if this is the case, here is where auDA’s Reserved Policy List completely falls apart.
There are currently exactly 5032 “.com.au” domain names that have the term “bank” in them.
If I were to publish this list right now, auDA would officially be made “aware that a registrant does not have the requisite consent” to own the domain name.
auDA would potentially be compelled by policy to DELETE ALL 5032 DOMAIN NAMES that contain the term “bank” in them.
If I were on the auDA Board right now, I would be quickly arranging a meeting with Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and going through the logistics of this potential nightmare. And also pointing out to them that Australia is the only country in the world that has been banning single-generic-word domain names like this.
Check this out…
There are 162 “.com.au” domain names alone, that contain the term “southbank”.
If I were to publish this list and make auDA “aware” of this list, would they delete all the “southbank” domain names and lock them up forever?
What about RayWhiteSouthBank.com.au – should this be deleted?
What about PowerBanksAustralia.com.au – should this be deleted?
What about PlantBank.com.au – should this be deleted?