Heavy Hitters Say Yes!

With regards the responses to the auDA 2015 Names Panel, I found it interesting to read the written submissions. These are people and organisations who have made the effort to put their point of view across (both for and against).

That’s not to knock those people who in good faith completed the survey. Their views are equally important.

Unfortunately, as we now know, that survey result was “somewhat” manipulated in the last week by a big registrar group mass emailing their client base telling people to vote “yes”. Registrants who had made the effort to give their honest opinions either for or against were literally swamped by the thousands of “yes” votes. That was the game changer – though it shouldn’t have been.

Anyway, back to the written responses. I thought I would publish some extracts from a sample of these respondents. Those for; and those against. Today, I give the “For” case (from two of the heavy hitters of the Supply side).

Of the 27 written submissions to the Draft Recommendations (see full list at end of article), only a handful really wanted direct registrations.

You don’t need to be a Rhodes Scholar to see that it comes down to “Supply versus “Demand” again. ūüėČ

Those For It

Bolding is mine.

AusRegistry Submission

We believe that opening the .au namespace to direct registrations will ensure the continuing provision of a strong and viable namespace for our nation. We believe that through careful management, the opening of the .au namespace to direct registrations will enhance the reputation of the namespace and position it for continued innovation.

Though they did also say:

Finally we believe that the implementation of such an opening of the .au namespace can be achieved in a manner which respects existing .au Registrants. AusRegistry supports the establishment of an implementation working group consisting of Internet stakeholders to ensure that questions relating to a hierarchy of rights, grandfathering and a release program are developed.

And:

We believe that the time is right to open the .au namespace to direct registrations. In doing so we would not be heading into uncharted waters; two recent and relevant examples of countries that have undergone such a process are New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Both these countries were in a similar situation to the .au namespace, and both within the last two years have undergone a successful process allowing direct registrations.

 

Melbourne IT Submission

Yes .au should be opened for registrations in the second level. This is long overdue and Australia has lagged a long way behind the rest of the global internet community in making this change. In the¬† top 20 ccTLD’s .au is the only space that does not allow registrations in the second level. Many of¬† these spaces clearly show that registrations in the second and third levels can quite happily co-exist with no confusion in those markets.

And:

On the matter of monetization we might suggest an evolution of the space similar to the existing 2LD’s in .au such that domains might not be able to be registered for this specific purpose for say 5 years from the date of go live. This would give businesses and individuals an opportunity to establish a brand/space before premium names are tied up in domainer portfolios.

You could also manage this issue in the same way a number the new TLD’s have by having differential pricing models which effectively prices domainers out of holding large portfolios.

And:

The rights of existing holders should be respected. If people or businesses have taken the time to register their marks in Australia, the rights that are associated with those registrations should be protected. Once these users have been accounted for, the space should be open to all users on a first come, first served basis in a landrush process.‚ÄĚ

By existing holders, he was referring to trademark holders and not existing registrants. This position was NOT accepted by the Names Panel.


Here are all written responses to the Draft Recommendations:

AUSREGISTRY PTY LTD
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER ACTION NETWORK (ACCAN)

BLAKE, Alex
BROWN, Shawn
BUY DIRECT PTY LTD
CAMPBELL, Enrique
CARSALES.COM
COWPER, Joshua Todd
edu.au DOMAIN ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE (eDAC)
DIVINE SIGNS
GILBERT + TOBIN
GILMARTIN, Oliver
GOV.AU DOMAIN ADMINISTRATION (DTO)
HOWIE, John
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK ASSOCIATION (INTA)
KALUCY, Michael
LYE, David
MARKS, Sharron
MARKWELL
McDONALD, Doug
MELBOURNE IT GROUP
NG, Jenny
O’NEILL, Chris
REA GROUP
SELBY, John
THE LUCKY COUNTRY
XAMAX CONSULTANCY PTY LTD

This is the link to summation of the 4495 survey responses.


Disclaimer by Ned O’Meara – Webmaster

Disclaimer 2

8 thoughts on “Heavy Hitters Say Yes!

  • Avatar
    May 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm
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    REA Group submission:

    “the need for short and memorable domain names, will become less important”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

    Um, no

  • Avatar
    May 9, 2016 at 1:43 pm
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    “Many of¬†¬†these [ccTLD name] spaces clearly show that registrations in the second and third levels can quite happily co-exist¬†with no confusion in those markets.”

    Really? ¬†There’s no confusion between .CO.IN and .IN or between .COM.MX and .MX? ¬†How did they make this determination? ¬†Do we know there will be “no confusion” between .CO.UK and .UK websites in a few years’ time when 2LDs are opened up to all comers? ¬†I’ll grant that 2LD and 3LD do coexist, but not always “happily”. ¬†As a buyer’s broker, I’ve worked to help some very unhappy clients¬†resolve confusion between 2LD and 3LDs, between established TLDs and nTLDs, between plural and singular, etc.

    What on earth “clearly show[s]” that there¬†is no confusion between 2LD and 3LD? ¬†They cite¬†no evidence and make no argument but seem to draw a conclusion anyway!

    • Avatar
      May 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm
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      I also would like to hear their evidence on this.

  • Avatar
    May 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm
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    Australians ought to resolutely oppose any “differential pricing model”. ¬†nTLD registries adopted that business model for 1 simple reason ‚Äď to make themselves as much money as possible. ¬†Unless I’m quite mistaken, the auDA is supposed to look out for the public¬†‚Äď not¬†squeeze them for every last penny.

    It’s bad enough that Australian registrants will now be obligated to protect their brands by purchasing 2 domains instead of 1. ¬†As things stand, their ongoing cost will double. ¬†But if the registry charges different amounts for different strings, then registrants may be facing a far more extortionate price hike. ¬†Instead of paying double, they might be forced to pay 10 or 1000 times the going rate for .COM.AU.

    Many nTLD registries have become laughingstocks because of their own greed.  Just look at these prices:

    $125 ‚Äď otb.horse

    $295 ‚Äď dressage.horse

    $550 ‚Äď sea.horse

    $5,400 ‚Äď quarter.horse

    $65 ‚Äď farm.fishing

    $550 ‚Äď stop.fishing

    $1,100 ‚Äď great.fishing

    $2,700 ‚Äď biggame.fishing

    Keep in mind, those are ANNUAL prices.  Is this a model to follow?

    In some cases, this¬†amounts to little more than an extortion racket. ¬†Some businesses will pay these exorbitant rates for a redundant domain simply because they don’t want to lose traffic or see their brand divided.

    Such differential pricing¬†would hold back 2LD .AU usage. ¬†Ostensibly, it might be meant to “deter domainers”. ¬†In practice, though, it’s simply the registry clumsily¬†stepping in AS THE DOMAINER. ¬†When the registry is arbitrarily setting¬†higher prices, that is¬†no different¬†in principle from what domainers do on the secondary market.

    The chief difference is that registries and registrars have proven to be far less¬†sensitive to market conditions than¬†domainers. ¬†Just look at those nTLD prices! ¬†Registries and registrars do¬†less outreach¬†than domainers, and lack the manpower and¬†range of experience found among domainers. ¬†Unlike domainers, who must research, explain, and negotiate in order to sell, a registry or registrar will ordinarily do little more than attach an over-the-top price tag. ¬†Of course, that won’t stop these companies from imagining that they can supplant¬†you all as distributors of domains.

    Essentially, this looks like a push by a small group of corporations to gain a monopoly on selling 2LD .AU domains.  Naturally they want the flexibility to charge registrants as much as possible.  They want to be the only domainer in this space.

    • Ned O'Meara
      May 9, 2016 at 8:38 pm
      Permalink

      @Joseph – the sad thing is that we won’t get a response (from the powers that be) to your summation. I know they have read it – but they obviously think it’s better to ignore than engage.

  • Avatar
    May 9, 2016 at 11:21 pm
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    You have to laugh at the dig at domainers.

    • Ned O'Meara
      May 10, 2016 at 7:28 am
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      That really is the sad / amazing thing – particularly given that TPP Wholesale actively chase many of us for our business.

      I suppose it is just “Politics 101” though. That message was designed for certain eyes.

  • Avatar
    May 10, 2016 at 2:55 pm
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    It’s funny to read that most companies (carsales, ACCAN) were OPPOSED to direct registrations, but said if it had to go ahead, the NZ or UK model should be followed and the same .com.au rules should apply.

    Yet, it still went ahead anyway.

    It is seriously plain to see how and why this has/is going down.

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