A Little Bird Told Me That auDA …

With all the contemplated and anticipated changes that auDA have basically committed to, the big one is of course Direct Registration. That is the ability to register a domain such as Domainer.au.

The purpose of this post is not to discuss or debate the merits of direct registration – it is to talk about the contentious cut-off date that auDA locked in a while back.

In simple terms, this means that anyone who has registered or purchased a domain before the 4th February 2018, has a priority access right to getting first dibs on the new .au (at this stage).

If you bought a domain on the expired auctions or did a hand registration at your favourite registrar after the 4th February 2018, you (at this stage) have two chances of getting a priority right to the .au. Buckley’s and none.

For clarity, if you purchased a domain privately or on the aftermarket in recent times that had not expired and was registered before 4th February 2018 (at this stage), you would keep the priority rights that the previous registrant had.

What the little bird said …

Because proposed implementation dates of just about everything have been pushed back “due to circumstances”, I have it on good authority that auDA is contemplating also pushing back the cut-off date. That makes a lot of sense to many.

But before they do this, I understand that they are going to go out to public consultation first.

So there are two possible results. First, the cut-off date remains the same (unlikely in my opinion); or it gets pushed back commensurately to take into account all the other delays. The latter seems highly probable – and would certainly be a popular and common sense decision.

But this is auDA we are talking about, so anything could happen!

What do you think?

15 thoughts on “A Little Bird Told Me That auDA …

  • Avatar
    December 14, 2020 at 10:30 am

    As I have vocally expressed multiple times over the years, the cut-off date for priority access of Direct .AU has been a shambles since the beginning. This date has been announced and moved multiple times as this whole Direct .AU Registration process has seen many years of delay after delay…

    auDA simply has no choice but to move this date AGAIN. And, as I have said numerous times, the new cut-off date should be directly related to WHEN Direct .AU is ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTED. Instead of plucking random fixed dates out of the air, auDA should simply make the cut-off date be the same date that they publicly ANNOUNCE the Direct .AU IMPLEMENTATION DATE.

    For example, if auDA announce on May 1st, 2021 that Direct .AU domain names will be available to purchase from September 1st, 2021, quite simply MAY 1ST 2021 would be the CUT OFF DATE – because that’s the date auDA “ANNOUNCED” what date Direct .AU would be available to the public.

    Until auDA actually announce WHEN Direct .AU will be turned on, THEY CAN’T HAVE A REALISTIC CUT-OFF DATE.

    Myself and numerous other people have been telling auDA this FOR YEARS.

    Neddy likes this.
  • Avatar
    December 14, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Direct registration will never happen Ned. It is like “The Great Pumpkin”, some people (Rob and Angelo) are waiting at the patch year after year and but auDA has no serious intentions with this.

    4 people like this.
    • Neddy
      December 14, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Registrars rule the roost Paul. They need extra dough.

      My little bird tells me that auDA is committed – there is no face saving way back for them. They are like Mr Bean at the top of the high diving board – the kids that stamp on his hands and make him fall are from “Supply”. 😉

      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    December 14, 2020 at 11:38 am

    You mean brought forward to a subsequent date?

    Not pushed back to a previous date?

    • Neddy
      December 14, 2020 at 11:46 am

      Sorry if I have confused you with the way I speak / write.

      “Pushed back” to me means if a date was set as 4 February 2018, it could now be “pushed back” (delayed) to Feb 2019.

      Anonymous likes this.
      • Avatar
        December 14, 2020 at 11:53 am

        “Doc, we’ve gotta go back, back to the future!”

  • Avatar
    December 14, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    ‘Public consultation’ cant wait to see those results !!!
    I think donald trump has read the auda playbook on that and nothing has changed since i left the board.

    2 people like this.
  • Avatar
    December 14, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Some clients of Drop paid large amounts at auction for domains that they don’t currently have priority for. Does Drop think there should be an extension to the cut off date? Be good to hear them speak up. They can also speak for Netfleet now.

    • Avatar
      December 14, 2020 at 1:32 pm

      What’s the concern? Do you want to be first in line for the land release in Nymagee? Cause that’s what .au is.

  • Avatar
    December 14, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    auDA will never do direct reg and the conflicted names process as it currently is. If they will be sued and lose.

    auDA has now doubled down on the importance of .au domain names being ‘”VERIFIED” by auDA and Registrars… The proposed direct new additional competing.au domain extension is not verifiable under their current proposed rules of no Trademark, No ACN, No ABN etc .. just an easily faked Australian Presence” required which the scammers will easily fake and auDA and Registrars will never stop them from registering… Maybe auDA and some Registrars want this and the money from Registrations anyway but how about Trust in the .au namespace and consumers?

    So, things like this will be far easier . “1000 Australian websites taken down after China-based criminal plot revealed”


    Imagine the legal “discovery process” and all the juicy facts how surveys where rigged, thousands of votes against a direct .au where ignored, the same IP’s voted yes for direct reg which auDA counted, the rigged PRP, the auDA attempts to delete the auDA Policy Review public consultation forums and evidence etc. That evidence shows much of what has been now proposed was NEVER properly disclosed at all by auDA or in fact auDA has gone ahead with things the PRP said they would not do in policy.. such as charge for the proposed Conflicted names process ( which no country or namespace in the world has ever done). This was snuck in very quietly at the end of the PRP by Bruce Tonkin and auDA some have been quoted as saying he apparently asked how much the Conflicted Names Process fee should be… out of the 300,000 Registrants who may be detrimentally affected by the current proposed auDA conflicted names process none know except a handful.

    auDA has been warned the .NZ Conflicted names process was free, Rights where transferable, Free mediation was offered etc. This highlights how terrible the auDA proposed process is and what a con job rip off it would be in comparison.


    auDA ex directors and ex Policy Review Panel members put on the stand what they knew, why they resigned writing letters about rigged processes etc.

    Yes it will all come out…..even though auDA have been trying to delete info.

    “auDA panel moves to delete record of past meetings”

    Now is the time to invest in “Litigation Lenders”…. They love these sort of easy win Class Actions and they always win.

    A major Litigation Lender had someone attend several of the auDA Policy Review Panel meetings and we all know how those crazy PRP meetings went. That person took ample notes and potential evidence which will blow away auDA’s credibility of proper process and consultation.


    auDA changing the cut-off date also legally affects those parties who may have dropped names as they did not qualify for direct reg.

    Remember auDA already extended it from 2016 to suck in more .net, .id registrations and renewals etc?

    The key here is to note how many people will be in the conflicted names process and how auDA, Registrar and Registrars want to make money out of that mess they may be creating.

    When over 300,000 current .au domain names may not even be eligible to be registered but auDA, Registry and Registrars keep taking renewal money this also raises the stakes considerably. How long has auDA known many names where being renewed when the registrant not eligible?

    auDA advertises all .au names are “”Verified” by auDA and Registrars so the names and registrants can be trusted more etc. This seems to not be a true advertised claim by auDA and they know it.

    “Verification required

    To be eligible for a com.au domain, businesses need an ABN or similar registration issued by the government. (1) Registrars validate business details upon application and auDA has a compliance team to ensure that domain names are issued to genuine local businesses.”

    So how well does this auDA and Registrar Verification work to stop fake and dangerous Criminal .au registrations and renewals that hurt Australian Consumers already?

    Here are just some examples which prove the issue is bigger about No rules direct .au and how auDA currently manages the namespace:

    Beware Of Unauthorised Business Use – “UBU”

    “1000 Australian websites taken down after China-based criminal plot revealed”

    “Over 1000 unauthorised .au domains deleted as regulatory body doubles down”

    “auDA orders 1025 bogus .au domains be deleted. Audit uncovers sites with fake business details.”

    4 people like this.
    • Avatar
      December 15, 2020 at 6:28 am

      The sued point is an interesting one since auDA auctioned 3,000 generic .com.au domains in 2002.

      2 people like this.
      • Avatar
        December 15, 2020 at 7:17 am

        Why has auDA now deleted these important pages and most others from the auDA public website?

        https://www.auda.org.au/news-archive/auda-18122001/ Page Not Found
        auDA Launches Generic Domain Name Auction


        3,006 domain names like shopping.com.au and sport.com.au are now available

        Melbourne, 18 December 2001 – Australia’s Internet domain name industry regulator, the .au Domain Administration (auDA), today launched the auction process for 3,006 domain names previously classified as ‘generic’ and unavailable to Australian businesses.

        Chris Disspain, CEO, auDA said, “Following a public policy review, auDA is lifting the prohibition on generic domain names in com.au and making those names available to Australian businesses by way of auction.”

        “The .au domain is a public resource that auDA is managing in the interests of all Australians. A market-based allocation system is the best option to prevent a “landrush” and ensure a fair and equitable outcome.”

        auDA has contracted online auction house Stuff.com.au to manage the application and auction process. A list of available names has been published at http://www.stuff.com.au/auda.asp

        Applicants must apply for the name of their choice through the web site. auDA will assess the eligibility of applicants based on the new com.au policy, outlined on the application form.

        If an applicant is the only eligible applicant for a particular name, they can reserve that name for a fee of $110 (inc. GST). There may be several eligible applicants for a name, in which case the name will be auctioned. Those eligible for participation will be notified of the date and time of their auction.

        “auDA is concerned to give all Australian businesses, especially small businesses, an equal opportunity to secure these attractive domain names. The strict eligibility criteria will minimise the risk of large multinationals and domain name speculators buying up all the good names,” said Disspain.

        The closing date for applications is 31 January 2002.

        Successful applicants will not be able to register and use their domain name until the new policy is introduced during the first half of 2002.

        Any names that are not reserved or auctioned as part of this process will become available for registration on a “first come, first served” basis when the new policy is introduced.


        For media contact:

        Chris Disspain
        Chief Executive Officer
        tel: 03 9349 4711
        email: [email protected]

        Page not found https://www.auda.org.au/news/auda-generic-domain-names-auction/

        You can see it here

        auDA generic domain names auction

        Posted by Jo Lim on 5 February 2002
        9,900 applications received

        Melbourne, 5 February 2002 – Applications for names on the generic name list closed on 31 January 2002. auDA has received 9,900 applications for 2,210 of the 3,000 names on the list.

        The most popular name is ‘computers.com.au’ with 76 applications and the top 10 names applied for are;


        “We are delighted with the response” said auDA CEO, Chris Disspain. “Given the number of applications, it will take some time for the process to be completed and we will be contacting applicants on a name by name basis over the next 2 months or so.

        “Applications are being assessed as soon as possible and we are asking applicants not to telephone or email auDA requesting an update on the timing or the status of their application.”

        At the end of the auction process, auDA will publish a list of those names for which no eligible applications have been received. These names will be available on a first come first served basis when the new names policy is introduced.


        For media contact:

        Chris Disspain
        Chief Executive Officer
        tel: 03 9349 4711
        email: [email protected]

        auDA auctions .com.au domain names creating a “Hierachy of rights”.


        3 people like this.
      • Neddy
        December 15, 2020 at 7:36 am

        Good on you “Teddy” – you have unleashed Sean! 🙂

        Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    December 15, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Also check this out. https://www.dntrade.com.au/threads/auda-to-cripple-business.11762/

    Most of the new auDA staff and new Board wouldnt even know this info. Thus they blindly proceed on passing crazy rules and implementation models which will create a mess

    “Australian Businesses To Be Damaged By auDA’s Domain Changes”

    This is all tied together
    Rigged process to date by auDA and some Registrars
    Direct Reg
    Hierachy Of Rights – .com.au was auctioned and others where not!
    Conflicted Names Process and Fees Vs how other countries do it – https://dnc.org.nz/cnp – No Fees – Full Transfer of Rights if domain is sold during process, Free conflict Mediation service
    Cut Off Dates for eligibility
    IBU’s and fake .au registrations that will affect any conflcited names process and direct reg eligibility.
    Directors and Panelists resigning over process and bias of auDA and PRP
    auDA auctioned .com.au and many people paid a premium

    Now also deleted off auDA website!! Whjy is auDA deleting all of this so people cannot find it or read it?

    Bruce Tonkin auDA COO

    .AU POLICY CHANGE May 20, 2008 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy_885Ssqcc


    From: Bruce Tonkin
    Sent: Thursday, 14 June 2007 7:40 PM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: Melbourne IT response to the 2007 Names Policy Panel issues
    paper, May 2007

    Hello Jo,

    Please find below Melbourne IT’s response to the 2007 Names Policy Panel, issues paper of May 2007.

    Bruce Tonkin
    Chief Technology Officer
    Melbourne IT
    ( now auDA COO)

    (1) Should .au be opened up to direct registrations (e.g domainname.au)? If yes, should there be any policy rules, and if so what rules?

    Melbourne IT is opposed to opening up registrations at the top level of .au.

    The present naming structure has allowed for a stricter policy to apply to .com.au for businesses,
    whilst also supporting less stringent requirements for non-profit organisations via .org.au, or
    individuals via .id.au. The naming structure also provides an indication to the user of the nature
    of the licence holder. This contrasts with the .com and .org domains, where anyone is allowed to
    register in either of these spaces, and the distinction is no longer meaningful.

    There is also the possibility for multiple registrants to use the same name, whilst still distinguishing
    their nature.

    For example a name like flinders.com.au used by Flinders Camping is easily distinguished from flinders.edu.au which is the University. This provides more opportunity for registrants to get a simple and easy to remember domain name, and takes advantage of the hierarchy which is a key feature of the DNS.

    The existing second level domains are widely recognised in Australian and internationally.

    A key drawback of introducing names directly at the top level could be damage to the businesses of existing .com.au registrants, when registrations at the top level are made to trade off their reputations.

    There would be a significant cost to businesses to try to protect their brands in the top level without any specific gain from a consumer perspective.

    Whilst other cctlds have indeed increased their volumes of registration since opening up the top level
    of their ccTLD to direct registration, this has generally occurred at the same time as relaxing the policy
    for registrations as well as changing the price point.

    auDA has already significantly relaxed the rules for domain name registration since 2002, and the growth of the .au namespace has tracked the international average for growth.

    (2) Should the policy rules for asn.au, com.au, id.au, net.au and org.au be changed? If yes, what changes should be made?

    Melbourne IT supports the current policy rules which have already been through regular stages of evolution, and have provided a stable environment for the growth and use of the .au domain name space.

    (3) Should registrants be allowed to sell their .au domain names?

    Melbourne IT is in favour of registrants being able to transfer their domain name licence to another eligible party.

    The eligible party would need to comply with the policy rules. The policy rules should be designed
    to protect against various infringements of trademarks, rather than creating separate rules for transfers of licence.

    Currently most of the short and easy to remember domain names have been registered in .com.au. In an open market, registrants place a different value on names according to their likely return from using that name as the identifier for their business.

    These short and easy to remember domain names are not available to the majority of Australian businesses. Either the existing registrant will continue to hold onto the domain name
    as long as they are receiving an economic benefit larger that the current fee to renew the domain name, or if the existing registrant neglects to renew the domain name, professional domain name monetizers will re-register it the second it becomes available again for re-registration.

    There are examples of businesses that obtained their domain name licences under auDA’s auction process for generic names, or its process for obtaining geographic names, that are not effectively using these names, but would not be prepared to simply allow the licence to lapse given the high price they paid for the name.

    Many of these registrants would be prepared to transfer their names to another eligible registrant at lower cost than what they paid for to at least recover part of their investment.

    auDA is being hypocritical by charging high fees for some names, but not allowing the registrant to transfer the name to another eligible registrant.

    Allowing an orderly market for the transfer of domain name licences, and the re-registering of expired domain Name licences, will ensure that domain names are held by those that can make the most effective use of the domain name. The most effective use of any given name is usually not to place the name on a parked page to receive advertising. Overtime more and more names are being ineffectively utilised in this way.

    Melbourne IT believes allowing the transfers of domain name licences consistent with the policy rules, ensures that there will be efficient reuse of domain names.

    Melbourne IT also notes that this is the approach used for most gTLDs and ccTLDs, and also by the Australian Government with respect to phone numbers that can be dialled with alpha-numeric keypads (e.g 1800 PIZZA etc), or vanity car licence plates that are used to identify a particular car.”


    2 people like this.
  • Avatar
    December 15, 2020 at 10:40 am

    At the speed this Board operates we will be looking at 2022 before they launch direct registration.

    Why are the Board so slow to make decisions? Because they know nothing about the domain industry.
    Seems like auDA spends most of it’s time educating the Board on policy and industry due to their lack of experience.
    Where is the annual review of board performance and why is it not made public?

    As for the cut off date the PRP recommended it be changed if the launch of direct reg was delayed, with 6 months before the official launch being put forward as a possibility.

    2 people like this.

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