Another Elephant

Back on the 8th August, I wrote this article about the possible impact direct registrations could have on the .au domain market. Of concern was how “create dates” of domains purchased on the “expired domain auctions” differed from private sales of aftermarket domains (or original hand registrations).

♦  Behind the scenes, auDA and its “Direct Registration Advisory Panel” is working feverishly on how best to implement direct registrations i.e. who gets the .au? Should it be the com.au holder (the premium domain name extension in Australia); or should it perhaps go to whoever has held the domain name in any extension for the longest period? Say an .org.au or a .net.au or an id.au.

If direct registrations are brought in, and if auDA decided to go down the “create date” route, then people or businesses currently purchasing valuable domains on the expired auctions would be at an extreme disadvantage. Let’s hope it never happens!

If it does, I imagine there would be out and out rebellion and litigation from com.au registrants if a net.au or org.au registrant were given preference. Particularly as com.au is the premium Australian domain extension comprising nearly 90% of total .au domain registrations.

So What Would Happen In This Instance?

Last week, financialplanners.com.au hit the expired auctions. Not sure why – possibly an expensive oversight by the previous registrant?

It sold for a lot of money – but what was more interesting to me was that financialplanners.net.au also dropped on the same day. Look at the difference in price between the two. Surprisingly, the buyer of the com.au did not also secure the net.au.

Because they are both expired domains, they will have exactly the same “create dates”. So if direct registrations do come in under the “create date” method, who would get the .au?

No wonder the elephant looks puzzled. 😉

Common-Sense Must Prevail

The fact is this potential situation should never arise. There is simply no demonstrated demand or business case for direct registrations at this point in time.

Take scammers (UBU’s) out of the stats, and I would bet that growth / demand is almost non-existent.

Most of us want the .au space to grow and prosper – but it makes absolutely no sense to do this artificially by simply creating another unnecessary extension (which will also create conflict amongst registrants).

auDA should (in my opinion) look at increasing growth / demand by reducing red tape for registrants. For instance, individuals who live in Australia should be able to purchase an Aussie domain without the need for an ABN.

More on this and other growth suggestions in another article.

Ned O’Meara – 29th August 2017


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6 thoughts on “Another Elephant

  • Avatar
    August 29, 2017 at 9:30 am
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    Take scammers (UBU’s) out of the stats, and I would bet that growth / demand is almost non-existent.

    I think this is probably right Ned, I’d say the direct registration cloud has probably pushed growth close to 0% but it has been hidden by the large volumes of UBU’s.

    I agree that AUDA needs to look at common sense ways to grow the market, individuals want to register .com.au’s, instead they have to buy a .com. The average person starting a site from their bedroom can’t even get a .com.au. That is the obvious problem to fix.

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  • Avatar
    August 29, 2017 at 9:55 am
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    Didn’t auDA commission a report into whether there was a business case for direct registrations?

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    • Avatar
      August 29, 2017 at 10:01 am
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      They did David, and people are wondering why it still hasn’t been released.

      Even though many people expect this to be whitewash of the real issues I think it needs to be released ASAP.

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  • Avatar
    August 29, 2017 at 10:34 am
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    I’m 1 that is looking forward to have direct registrations – besides that – i think its an important point made .com.au  far outweighs the .net.au and similar, lets hope common sense prevails as stated.

  • Shane Moore
    August 29, 2017 at 10:43 am
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    Great pick up Ned.

    As if the implementation wasn’t going to be tricky enough, having identical create dates for the com.au and net.au, with different registrants, is going to cause massive issues.

    Some might argue that the number of similar cases will be minuscule and it shouldn’t be a reason stop their introduction, but it’s just another example of why direct registrations will likely cause more trouble that they’re worth.

    Congrats to the buyers of financialplanners.com.au though.  It’s a brilliant name at a very good price.

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  • Avatar
    August 29, 2017 at 2:54 pm
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    I am finding the market is still healthy, from an aftermarket point of view. Although I have noticed the drops have rapidly declined, except for FinancialPlanners.com.au 🙂

    Unauthorised Business Use is still a problem, but removing the need for an ABN requirement is going backwards in my opinion. The reason .com.au is KING in Australia, is because Australians trust that only Australian businesses own and control a .com.au(.)

    auDA have been praised and asked to fix the UBU problem many times now – http://www.domainer.com.au/well-done-auda/

    The solution is to make it very quick and easy to make a UBU complaint, as we have all spoken about before.

    Perhaps auDA employ someone solely to monitor the drops every day, and ensure only legitimate businesses are receiving the dropped names? This would greatly reduce the UBU abuse…

    It’s not hard…

    For example: I believe in the last 24 hours, this is a UBU:

    gpv.org.au registered to xavier.stringer@hotmail.com – and Registrant: GORDON PRESCHOOL PARENT ASSOCIATION

    But when you visit their ABOUT page – there is no Xavier Stringer listed as being at the school. Plus the DNS helps give it away.

    If someone at auDA was monitoring this, they could BLOCK this right away – or at least phone the school and ask, “Can I speak to Xavier Stringer please?”

    Come to think of it, now that auDA have been made aware of this problem so many times now, why haven’t they implemented a staff member to perform these types of checks?

    I think what Ned is getting at, which I think a lot of us are realising, but auDA are yet to realise, is that the longer they take to release what the actual rules of direct .au registrations are going to be, the weaker the domain name market is going to become as people are getting more and more scared to trust .com.au space, in terms of not knowing what is going to happen to their name investments once the rules are released.

    It’s high-time auDA finalised the rules of the impending direct .au implementation, however I’m sure this will be done once the new policy review panel members have had their meetings. But you would think they could and should speed all this along?

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