Direct registrations were always going to get the nod from the current auDA Board. In my opinion, just too much concerted pressure to do otherwise.
All one has to do is read part of the public announcement yesterday to see where this pressure came from. Look who happens to be number one in the sentence! (Bolding is mine).
• add value to all three main categories of users – registrars and resellers, registrants and ultimate users of the .au domain name system.
Surely that is getting the order reversed auDA? 😉
And let me suggest that you forgot two very important categories. Yourselves (being the administrator of the .au space); and the registry (yet to be decided). Direct registrations are certainly going to “add value” to the coffers of these two parties.
In my article “Follow The Money”, I did a few numbers. This table below shows the potential earnings of the Registry (not necessarily AusRegistry), and the auDA (based on current wholesale costs). If existing registrants are given “prior rights”, then they will be ultimately forced into defensive registrations.
They say that one of the surest bets of all is to back a horse called self-interest. Look at some of the board members and who they represent. I mean a Supply Class Director – no matter who he is – was unlikely to ever vote against the proposal of direct registrations. To do so would potentially be electoral suicide. Not to mention potentially having an impact on one’s career or business.
As for Demand Class Directors, I know of at least one who fervently wanted direct registrations to proceed.
I’m not saying or suggesting that anyone acted unethically or improperly. Quite simply, the push was on – and momentum flowed accordingly.
It Does Make Me Wonder Though
I’m not a conspiracy theorist kind of guy – but I am a grizzled old veteran. I’ve seen many machinations and power plays unfold over the years in politics and business, and my radar is finely tuned for such things.
I just put the following out there for consideration:
- You’d have to say that AusRegistry has a lot of skin in the game – after all, if and when direct registrations are brought in, someone has to be the registry. There is potentially going to be a lot of money in new and defensive registrations.
- Why did a well respected Chairman of auDA suddenly get replaced at the December 14 board meeting? Coincidental?
- Why did the previous CEO suddenly have his contract terminated early? Also a coincidence? This snippet from the brief announcement made on March 24 was “interesting”:
“Mr Disspain’s contract was due for renewal later this year, but the Board agreed new leadership was required to take the organisation forward.”
- It’s well known that the secret to getting the answer you want in market research has a lot to do with the framing of the question. Shane Warne would have been proud of the amount of “spin” contained in auDA’s written justification of their “sole question” survey. 😉 This was the question:
“If you had the choice to register a domain name directly under .au – for example, yourname.au – how likely would you be to do so?”
Imagine if this question was posed instead:
“If you had the choice to register a domain name directly under .au – for example, yourname.au – how likely would you be to do so (if there was an ongoing additional cost to what you currently pay for your existing .au domain name?)“
- Why was there not a more comprehensive engagement attempted with the majority of the 1.7 million registrants out there (many of these people wouldn’t have a clue what is being proposed)? After all, this is a MONUMENTAL CHANGE that is being considered. Governments of any level wouldn’t attempt something similar without proper consultation.
As I’ve written so many times, I was never totally against direct registrations. I just believed that they were not necessary now.
However, I was always willing to give my support provided that we (Names Panel) were allowed to discuss and make recommendations on the “How”. Unfortunately, it was beyond the terms of reference (which seemed ridiculous to many). Therefore, I was not prepared to vote for direct registrations with the implementation issue being put off to the future.
Despite this decision yesterday, it’s only the beginning of the process. Now comes the interesting part.