My position on the need for direct registrations is well known. I was against it when I was on the 2015 Names Panel (and was part of the Minority Report) – and I have been consistent in that stance ever since.
But here’s the thing. It went through an established Panel process, and the majority of the Panel voted in favour of it (noting that implementation was an important issue to be addressed). The auDA Board then accepted that recommendation back in April 2016. So proper process has been followed to date. If that’s to change, then it has to be a political decision (as in auDA Board).
What it now comes down to is how best to implement direct registrations. And that’s what the Policy Review Panel (PRP) is all about. The terms of reference are quite clear – the PRP is not revisiting the merits of direct registrations. As a member of the PRP, I noted my concerns in the inaugural Minutes. The Chair acknowledged these.
What Do You Say?
Everybody acknowledges that one of the complexities of introducing direct registrations is addressing prior rights of existing registrants and stakeholders – and doing so in a fair and equitable manner. In order for the PRP to make informed recommendations to the auDA Board, it’s important that registrants participate by lodging a submission on the questions in the Issues Paper (page 4). Deadline is 10th November.
I published the 10 questions in a previous blog post. Let me highlight just one of these questions to get you started – and it’s the first one.
“What date should be chosen as the cut-off date for determining registrant eligibility for priority registration of the second level domain name, and why?”
This is actually really important, because it potentially affects who has the opportunity to be eligible for an .au. Most domain spaces around the world have always had a cut-off date when they have introduced direct registrations. e.g. Both the UK and NZ did. They do this to try and be fair – and to avoid speculation.
Let me give you a hypothetical example of how this works. Let’s say the PRP recommends 30th September 2017 as the cut-off date (again that date is hypothetical). That means that every registrant that holds any Australian domain at that date is potentially “in the mix” for the .au (however priority is determined). But if you purchase a domain after this date (no matter whether it is a com.au or any other extension), then you are not in the running to even be considered for the .au.
That should focus your mind, and help you answer this particular question!
Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org ; or posted to:
Policy Review Panel
c/o .au Domain Administration Ltd
PO Box 18315
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Ned O’Meara – 17th October 2017
♦ I am a member of this Panel, and have given my commitment as to the confidentiality of the process. Therefore, whilst you are welcome to make comments and ask questions, I may only be able to respond generally.
♦ Please note that there will be Minutes published of each PRP meeting. As this is an independent panel, these should be fairly prompt compared to what one normally expects with auDA!