Generic Domain Name Owned for 22 Years Ripped Away

Just over a week ago, the generic domain name Banking.com.au was ripped away from ING Group (A billion dollar banking corporation). It is believed they had (and still have?) NO IDEA they lost this valuable generic premium domain name.

A few days later, the Government Department Of Human Services lost MyGov.com.au and MyGov.org.au(.) We believe they have no idea they no longer own these domain names.

Two days ago, a businessman who has owned the domain name Australia.net.au since 1996 had his domain name LOCKED and RIPPED AWAY from him.

I spoke with him today and he is devastated. He says he is currently losing countless emails and business, because his email address for 22 years has been “@australia.net.au” and his marketing material has featured in the Sydney Morning Herald and other publications over the past few decades.

He said he spoke with Crazy Domains as it was happening and asked what could be done and they said “nothing can be done”.

How and why are “digital assets” being ripped away from businesses at the moment?

If you’re only just catching up on this, I have written detailed information in my previous article. But to put it simply…

auDA’s Policy Review Panel released an issues paper in January 2018 which contained an expanded list of words, phrases and acronyms whose use is restricted under Australian Law to be added to the Reserved List Policy to blacklist ownership of certain Australian domain names.

It is unclear if the Australian Government “requested” The PRP to do this, or if one or two people in The PRP took it upon themselves to come up with generic domain names they personally felt should be “banned and blacklisted” from ownership due to Australian Legislation dating back to the 1920’s and 1950’s.

Because of the “expanded list of words” added to the Reserved List Policy, auDA have demanded Afilias (Australia’s Domain Name Registry Database Operator) to LOCK these domain names from being renewed or owned.

In my previous article, I explained that NO OTHER ccTLD in the world blocks the generic-word domain “Banking” from ownership.

But here’s another point for auDA and The PRP to carefully consider (when ING surely decide they want their name back?)…

auDA PUBLICLY SOLD the domain name to ING BANK at their “Generic Auctions” way back in 2002. ING Bank purchased the domain name at the time as ING Bank (Australia) Limited under the ACN 000893292.

It appears that 18 years later, auDA have decided to “reneg” on the deal and withdraw and revoke the sale of the domain name with no refund or compensation to ING BANK.

And what about the Australian businessman who purchased Australia.net.au in 1996, only to have his name ripped away from him with no compensation or refund 22 years later?

This is happening to a lot of generic premium domain names every week at the moment!

There are also dozens of other names that have been RIPPED AWAY and LOCKED over the course of this year, we are still putting the list together.

Before this whole situation spirals to much higher out-of-control levels, I would suggest auDA put their thinking-caps back on and revisit the domain names that appear on this Reserved Policy List and the reason’s WHY they were added.

AND…

Perhaps give people back their premium generic domain names while they figure this whole mess out?

As promised, the full list of “pending” and “recently” LOCKED generic domain names are coming here soon…

 

 

3 thoughts on “Generic Domain Name Owned for 22 Years Ripped Away

  • November 20, 2018 at 6:43 am
    Permalink

    In my opinion the PRP are not to blame for the 2014-06 – Reserve List Policy.

    In Oct 2017 the terms of reference for the PRP where set and then published by auDA.
    https://www.auda.org.au/policies/panels-and-committees/2017-policy-review-panel/2017-policy-review-panel-tor/
    All the other policies referred to in the TOR where published policies at the time except for the 2014-06 – Reserve List Policy which only existed inside of auDA. The correct version at the time would have been the 2014-03 – Reserved List Policy which had followed the normal process of review by a panel, reviewed by the public, then presented to the board and then published to the public.

    It seems to me that auDA realised their error late in January 2018 which is when they made the document public and took out an advertisement in the newspapers. This policy was published with the “get out of jail free card” of being classified as a “minor amendment” which in theory means it does not require public consultation. Both the 2014-03 and 2014-06 policies state in 5.2 that “The decision to place a name on the Reserved List under paragraph 5.1 must be approved or ratified by the auDA Board” So the blame should site squarely on the shoulders of the Board who ratified the changes to the list.

    In my opinion the changes between the 2014-03 and 2014-06 lists are not too crazy and even if it had been open to public consultation I would not have objected, so why am I annoyed? The problem I have is that there are normally checks and balances in place if anything crazy happens. In this case when we changed Registry Operators the new Registry Operator was instructed to block the registration and renewal of these domain names. This unprecedented action is where problems start. Firstly both the 2014-03 AND 2014-06 policies state in section 3.1 “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“. This gives registrants certain rights.

    1) The onus is on auDA to become aware that a registrant does not have the requisite consent. So someone needs to lodge a complaint AND auDA needs to contact the registrant to ask for the paperwork.

    2) If auDA decides they do not have consent auDA must delete the domain. This then triggers the registrants rights to access the 2012-01 – Registrant Review Panel Rules which includes the right to an Internal Review and then in the case of a Reviewable Decision they can apply to the Registrant Review Panel for an external review of the decision.

    Either auDA or Afilais appear to have perhaps unintentionally taken away at least two fundamental rights of the affected registrant which in my opinion is not acceptable. I assert that they do not have a right to block the renewal of the domains names at all and should be following section 3.1 of their own policy.

    Once they go back and start deleting these properly we can then allow the internal and external review processes run their courses before we start having a public debate on what the board was thinking when they ratified the addition of specific domains to the list.

    Reply
    • November 20, 2018 at 1:20 pm
      Permalink

      Either auDA or Afilias appear to have perhaps unintentionally taken away at least two fundamental rights of the affected registrant which in my opinion is not acceptable. I assert that they do not have a right to block the renewal of the domains names at all and should be following section 3.1 of their own policy.

      Reply
  • tim connell
    November 20, 2018 at 8:38 pm
    Permalink

    its my opinion afilias have nothing to do with it, it all has to come from auda and the auda board, the ceo would present to the board and the board would make the decision.

    tim

     

    Reply

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