One of the whole premises behind introducing direct registration of domain names in Australia was that it also had to be fair on all existing registrants.
I don’t believe the currently proposed model is fair on small business registrants – and I’m going to show you why with two simple examples (see further below).
Trust Us – We Are The Regulator!
Both auDA and their Policy Review Panel (PRP) have told those who care to read or hear their pronouncements that there will be less than 60,000 registrants out of around 3.2 million that will actually be affected by any form of conflict i.e. someone or somebody else having the same domain name but with different extensions e.g. yourname.com.au and yourname.net.au. That’s less than 2%.
Here’s their quote:
Evidence suggests that there will be fewer than 60,000 possible conflicts, out of over 3 million domain names registered.
But That’s Bulldust!
What about the “unseen” conflicts or other ramifications that could affect the small guys?
If there are only around 60,000 domain names currently conflicted, that means there are potentially over 3 million other domain names that could be conflicted or affected.
Conflicted or affected how I hear you say?
Let me give you two real life random examples (I always like to use “window cleaners”!)
Cam’s Window Cleaning / Joe’s Window Cleaning
I don’t know Cam or Joe from a bar of soap. But they are registrant’s of camswindowcleaning.com.au and joeswindowcleaning.com.au. Nice small business websites.
Nobody else has these domain names registered in any other extension, so yippee, they can register camswindowcleaning.au and joeswindowcleaning.au if and when direct registration gets introduced (they have 6 months to do it from launch date).
Yes, they do have to pay for the privilege. Groan …
But what if they don’t want to pay or register the .au within 6 months? (Or worse still, they never knew it was happening)! You guessed it. A competitor or anybody could potentially register the domain. And no small business in their right mind would want that would they?
So in effect, they are being held to ransom. And by paying the ransom, they have effectively been double taxed by the regulator. The ATO must be so envious.
Let’s Call a Spade a Spade
In my opinion, this direct registration implementation model has been designed to print money for the supply side i.e. auDA (the regulator), Afilias (the registry operator), and then all the registrars and resellers.
If it wasn’t about the money, they’d be giving Cam and Joe (and millions like them) their .au domain name for free (at least for a minimum period). Or they wouldn’t be introducing it at all.
Those most affected are going to be hardworking small businesses that probably wouldn’t even have a clue that this is happening – and what the ramifications are going to be. Yep, despite promising to do so, the regulator (auDA) has still not individually advised each registrant of the proposed changes.
Shame on you auDA.
Ned O’Meara – 17th September 2019