Ran.com.au Locked & Reserved by Afilias

It’s happening almost every month.

auDA’s crazy “generic-commercial” update to their Reserved Policy List in January 2018 has taken another generic domain name from an owner who’s owned it since at least 2014. From our quick research, the latest owner had the domain for at least 4 years.

We told you this was happening here.

Banking.com.au – CONFISCATED.

Australia.net.au – CONFISCATED, but since returned.

Today, Ran.com.au was dropped under “Policy Delete” and although someone had placed a backorder on one platform and multiple bidding levels were “locked out” on another, no one was allowed to purchase the domain name and it went straight into “Reserved By Registry (Afilias)” status.

We spoke about the owner of Australia.net.au losing his domain name after owning it for 22 years due to the new Reserved Policy List update, and now, here we go again.

Apparently, Ran.com.au (a generic-commercial Australian three-letter dictionary word and/or acronym) can’t be owned because its three-letters stand for “Royal Australian Navy”.


Perhaps we’re no longer allowed to mutter out loud sentences like, “My friend ran to the shops” anymore either?!

How auDA got away with adding these commercial generic terms to the Reserved Policy List is anyone’s guess? Especially when no other ccTLD in the world is doing this.

In a November 2018 Smart Company article, auDA are quoted as saying:

(we were) “informed” by the department it must comply with Australian law when it came to the treatment of names restricted under Australian legislation

However, a few paragraphs later in the same article, Smart Company claim they phoned the Department Of Communications who denied that claim:

A spokesperson for the Department of Communications said auDA was not instructed to expand its reserved list by the department or Minister Mitch Fifield.

“The expansion of the reserved list was a result of a policy development process conducted by auDA, involving public consultations on each phase of work,” the spokesperson said.

An auDA spokesperson also said the organisation was not instructed to expand its reserve list policy list by the government.

“The implementation of direct registration is an issue still being considered by the Policy Review Panel and has no effect on names which are restricted by Australian legislation,” the spokesperson said.

Common sense should prevail here.

What right (or interest!!!) does the Royal Australian Navy have with a generic-commercial domain name?

The Royal Australian Navy’s website is currently Navy.gov.au which makes perfect common sense. If they wanted to have “ran” as the acronym for “Royal Australian Navy”, then even Blind Freddy knows they would use Ran.gov.au – but they don’t!

As the weeks go by, this ridiculous Reserved Policy List fiasco continues.

What exactly do crazy decisions like this say about the current PRP and auDA Boardmembers?

After Domainer rallied for Australia.net.au to be given back to its rightful owner, auDA finally conceded and returned the domain name to him. Although there was a wrong committed, many of us publicly applaud the one or two people involved at auDA who went about putting things right in this case.

But sadly, we now see that again another domain name owner has lost yet another highly valuable digital asset in Ran.com.au(.)

In these cases, neither auDA nor Afilias offer ANY compensation to the owner, even though their domain name is stripped from beneath them. Even though the domain name owner legitimately paid for the domain name fair and square and according to policy in the first place.

It’s time for auDA to make things right AGAIN.

And this time, it’s also time for auDA to UNDO the ridiculous generic name additions that were added to the Reserved Policy List in January 2018. And instead of pointing the finger at the PRP or the Department of Communications and blaming “process”, they should be more proactive about making things right.