Submissions on the Draft Recommendations of the 2015 Names Policy Panel close at midnight on 30 September 2015. Make sure you have your say!
Some registrars have extolled the case for “YES” and given suggestions as to how to file a submission. That’s fair enough.
If you’re a domainer / domain investor interested in protecting your valuable cyber property (and not sure how to respond), below are some suggestions from the domaining community. Feel free to adopt all or part of these for your own submissions.
UPDATE: my own submission on the Draft Recommendations has been provided here.
First up is some great points made in a post on DNTrade, by an individual that prefers to remain anonymous and will not be making a submission for reasons they did not elaborate on.
Further to my two comments yesterday, there should be no concern whatsoever with the proposed .au, because it quite simply will not go ahead –without auDA attracting immoderate legal risk and/or cannibalizing one of its fundamentals: that there is ‘no hierarchy of rights’ amongst existing 2LD right-holders.
- If the UK model is adopted, whereby .com.au holders are attributed first right to .au, then .au would sit idle and be registered defensively, and the namespace would fail as there would be no reason to change registered business names, trademarks and SEO strategies.
- If the NZ model is adopted, whereby .com.au and .net.au (and .org.au, .gov.au and asn.au) holders register their intentions to claim the .au and then mediate between themselves where there are competing claims, then .au would still sit idle and be registered defensively, and the namespace would fail as there would be no reason to change registered entity names, trademarks and SEO strategies.
- As stated in my previous comment, there is no way that auDA would auction the name between .com.au and .net.au (and .org.au, .gov.au and .asn.au) registrants, as this would attract too much legal risk (damages could be better quantified, because a premium is paid for the .au). It would also be grossly unethical to make charities compete with commercial interests for .au at auction. Yet to not allow .org.au to compete at auction, or to make any particular concession to .org.au holders, would be to admit that there is a hierarchy of rights amongst the 2LDs.
- There is also no chance that existing .com.au registrants would be denied the opportunity to secure the corresponding .au (a scenario where .au is made available to the public on a first come, first serve basis) as this too would attract too much legal risk and would constitute a diminution of existing rights. (While .net.au, .org.au, .gov.au and .asn.au holders accept and are used to losing type-in-traffic to .com.au, .com.au holders are not used to losing traffic to any other local (.au) extension. Any loss of .com.au traffic due to .au would expose auDA to legal action and the damages in many instances would be readily quantifiable.
- A namespace comprised largely of defensive registrations would have no authority in the real world, hence no authority on Google, hence no value to registrants, hence no value to investors. Therefore, there should be no reason for panic among investors. If anything, .au would push up the value of .com.au significantly. This phenomenon has been witnessed three times over, with .com, .co.uk and to a lesser extent .co.nz. Moreover, the proposed equal footing between .com.au and .net.au (and .org.au, .gov.au and .asn.au) registrants would also push up the value of .net.au and … wait for it … .id.au(!) names. That’s right kids, if equal footing is given to .id.au holders as is proposed (read the panel document carefully, it says “all 2LDs should be regarded as equal”), then in the coming days, weeks and months we can expect a land-rush on .id.au registrations. After all, any one of us could go and grab www.target.id.au right now in expectation that www.target.au would go to mediation between the .com.au, .net.au and .id.au registrants or else will sit idle. (‘Personal hobby or interest’ is a basis for .id.au registration. Anyone here like archery?). This, ladies and gentleman, is the New Zealand model, proposed for Australia. What will result? At the end of the day, .au names would sit undelegated and/or idle and unused. So there is absolutely no chance that .au would gain any traction in Australia. It would be nothing more than a basket case for Facebook mums, eBay wannabes, ‘creative’ types and non-commercial interests.
PS. Don’t bother buying up .net.au names defensively unless you can also secure the .id.au and be confident that you wouldn’t end up vying with .org.au, .gov.au and/or .asn.au holders for the .au.
I will not be making any submissions to the Names Policy Panel, but I’m sure somebody else will identify these issues in their submission. I’m also confident that the Panel isn’t as juvenile and supply-side skewed as it appears to be at present.
PS. Does anyone here like to restore and sell old cars as a hobby? www.carsales.id.au is going begging.
Finally, the issues raised above could not simply be overcome by denying .id.au holders equal right to secure the proposed .au, as to do so would be to accept that there is a hierarchy of rights amongst 2LDs. If there is a hierarchy of rights amongst 2LDs, and if .id.au were to be disenfranchised (alienating non-ABN individuals –the primary user group that .au is suggested for), then .org.au, .gov.au and .asn.au would likewise need to be relegated behind .com.au and .net.au. The chief question then would be, why should .com.au holders not be attributed first right to .au, since they comprise 85% of all registrations?
Can’t wait to see charity and government departmental jaws drop when Melbourne IT hits them for another $149.99 per name biennially (assuming current .com.au pricing would be applied to .au).
The broadening of .id.au eligibility to groups and collectives would seem to be the simplest way to accommodate the supposed clamoring need for indigenous online identity.
Next up, we have a post on Flying Solo with a suggested response for those that do not support allowing direct .au registrations:
Auda, the governing body behind .com.au registrations has released a “draft” recommendation to introduce direct .au registration to the market.
Essentially, what this means is that if this recommendation passes without opposition someone else could easily register the .au version of your website without you knowing. If you owned YourBusinessName.com.au, someone else could come along and register YourBusinessName.au – unless you registered it first.
The best case scenario is that your registration costs are doubled as you’ve had to “defensively” register the .au version of your website. The worst case? Someone beats you to it and you lose traffic and business to a competitor.
If you think this is a bad idea, have your say. Vote in Auda’s survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WKZZLPV and let them know – it only takes a couple of minutes.
Closing date for submissions is Wednesday 30 September 2015
How to vote
- Visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WKZZLPV
- Sign up under your own name and an email that you can be contact at.
- If you oppose the introduction of direct .au registrations vote as follows (comments are not mandatory – you don’t need to fill these in)
- For DRAFT RECOMMENDATION 1A: Vote No
- For DRAFT RECOMMENDATION 1B: Vote No
- For DRAFT RECOMMENDATION 2A: Vote Yes
- For DRAFT RECOMMENDATION 2B: Vote Yes
- For DRAFT RECOMMENDATION 2C: Vote Yes
- For DRAFT RECOMMENDATION 3A: Vote Yes
- For DRAFT RECOMMENDATION 3B: Vote Yes
- For the General Comments section: Leave this blank if you want to, or make a comment along the lines that you object to the proposed introduction of direct .au registrations as they are either a threat or an additional cost to your business.
- Click Done.
- That’s it!
Let Auda know or lose out.
I’ll be lodging my own submission this week, and will be happy to share it with our readers on domainer.com.au.
UPDATE: my own submission on the Draft Recommendations has been provided here.