With so much turmoil surrounding our Australian domain name space over the past few years, many of us were enjoying the new-concept of possible stability.
For as many positive steps forward we’ve seen in this industry as of late, we’ve also seen some very-outdated backward steps. And most of those, in my opinion, have been initiated by The PRP.
Alarm bells started ringing again when the generic domain name Banking.com.au was lost on the weekend, opening up a brand new muddy can of worms.
It appears a large majority of people, including myself, didn’t notice when auDA posted this on their website in February, 2018:
Not only did almost no-one that I’ve spoken to see it, little did any of us know what sort of explosive negative-power it was hiding for Australian businesses at the time, which is only now starting to see the light of day.
I for one can attest that I didn’t see this notice. If I had, I would have looked deeper into what the future ramifications would be. I also would have looked deeper into how this concept could have even been brought into existence, and most importantly, who was responsible for bringing this world-upending “Revised Schedule” into existence.
The first major casualty we all witnessed from this “REVISED SCHEDULE to the RESERVED LIST POLICY” was mentioned in my last blog post. We all saw Banking.com.au lost on the weekend by ING Group (a Billion-Dollar corporation) on the drops. The name was housed at CSC Global. I wonder why they didn’t put up a fight?
And, although it appeared on the drops, looking like anyone could buy it but no-one wanted it, it turned out that no one was allowed to win this great generic domain name, at any cost, as it went straight into “LOCKED BY REGISTRY” mode. “Registry” is such a broad term though, so to clear things up, in this case, “Locked By Registry” means “Locked by Afilias”; Australia’s Domain Name Database Registry Operator.
Perhaps when they lock the domain, they should state: “Locked By Afilias!” instead?
But if we’re going to be entirely accurate, I think I would prefer locking the domain (due to this new “Revised Schedule”) to state: “LOCKED BY THE PRP“.
Because Afilias don’t have anything to do with creating and governing the “rules” in which a domain name is owned or acquired.
Why do I think this has a lot to do with The PRP?
I’m glad you asked!
On digging deeper and reading auDA’s February 2018 PUBLIC NOTICE blog post, and then the subsequent Reserved List Policy FAQ link at the bottom of that page, the real culprits behind this “Updated List of Restricted Names and Acronyms” disaster-waiting-to-happen is seen to be, none other than… The PRP.
Here is a snippet from the Reserved List Policy FAQ:
Why update the list of restricted words, phrases, and acronyms (Schedule A) now?
The Policy Review Panel, an independent advisory panel to the auDA Board, has released an issues paper: Registrant Policy: Enabling Australia’s digital Economy and society, which contains an expanded list of words, phrases or acronyms whose use is restricted under Australian Law, except in certain circumstances. The Panel released the paper on 25 January 2018.
The big question now is…
WHY and WHO at The PRP decided to personally choose a bunch of GENERIC DOMAIN NAMES to block-out ownership due to ancient legislation dating back to 1959 (Banking Act), 1973 (Human Services Act) and 1924 (Scout Association)?
The make-up of members on auDA’s PRP has to be questioned at this point. Not only for this latest eye-opening debacle, but for a LOT of their recommendations that will no-doubt be dubiously questioned for years to come.
“Let’s introduce a Lottery System for Direct .AU” comes to mind as just one example… one that was thankfully shot down.
WHY and HOW did they come up with this concept as something that was/is reasonable?
Did the Australian Government ask/demand them to do it? (If this was/is the case, then I would have to revisit this entire blog post from scratch of course)
I don’t think so.
Because on Page 18 of The PRP’s: Enabling Australia’s digital Economy and society in relation to words and phrases on the Reserved List Policy they state:
The Panel is aware that obtaining Ministerial consent may be a lengthy process, and is examining whether or not a domain name may be provisionally registered (not used) while consent is sought.
Did The PRP or auDA ever get the answer to this question before rocketing full steam ahead with blocking and confiscating powerful premium domain names worth ten’s of thousands of dollars? (and higher?!)
If the answer is NO to both those questions:
Which single person in The PRP came up with this idea; to block generic domain names (just in case) from being owned by Australian Businesses, due to an ancient 1924 Legislation list of generic words?
And then…. we must also ask the question; why did the rest of The PRP go along with it?
But then comes another question that needs to be asked;
Why did the auDA Board vote that blocking generic-word and generic-acronym domain names was a good idea?
Especially if no one at auDA bothered to “examine whether or not a domain name may be provisionally registered (not used) while consent is sought.”
This seems like a crazy, unfair and totalitarianistic idea that should NEVER have been allowed to move forward, and now, MANY of the phrases, words and acronyms listed NEED TO BE TAKEN OFF THIS LIST.
And what a pain this is all going to be.
But… it’s INEVITABLE that it needs to be done.
And it’s easy to prove.
NO OTHER COUNTRY ccTLD DOES THIS.
Banking.co.uk is for sale. Nominet aren’t blocking this generic domain name from being purchased from the public.
Banking.com is a private company site. (As was Banking.com.au before The PRP OUTLAWED that no one was allowed to own it due to 1959 legislation).
Banking.co.nz is for sale and not blocked for owning.
Banking.ca is a Canadian general-info website helping the public compare banking options.
One has to wonder how far The PRP would like to go with using Legislation from as far back as 1924 and trying to relate it to blocking-out generic domain names in the year 2018?
Surely this is only one or two bad-eggs in The PRP that are leading everyone else astray… and backwards.
If they could, do you think The PRP would have the Oxford Dictionary remove the generic word “Banking” from their Australian dictionary?
Should Google.com.au remove it as a search-word, due to 1959 Australian Legislation?
Perhaps we’re no longer allowed to mention the word “Banking” on radio or television?
Would The PRP’s preference be that we no longer even utter the word out-loud, without the Department of Treasuries permission, just in case someone thinks we are offering financial advice?
These here are STILL crazy times.
PS – In our next blog post, we will be releasing the ENTIRE LIST of Australian generic domain names that are currently LOCKED and the current businesses and corporations have NO IDEA they’re about to lose them…
You won’t believe your eyes.