The very valuable commercially modified cow called “Direct Registration” was finally on its way to the milking sheds, having quashed objections and supposedly passing all tests. It was a done deal.
But at the 11th hour the Government expressed concern that not enough consumers had had the opportunity to comment on the potentially radical changes to the eco system.
So the regulator in charge of all cows had a change of heart and decided that “Direct Registration” had to go back to the paddock pending further analysis and feedback. Not only that, they were forced to also put other widely acclaimed changes that would affect all other cows (and the dairy industry) on hold. Dairy farmers, milkers and consumers were left confused and potentially out of pocket.
Putting the above analogy to one side, I don’t really care whether direct registration happens or not. Despite the lack of proper consultation, I had reconciled to it as something that was going to happen come what may (as had many on my side of the fence).
What made it slightly more palatable were the proposed sensible changes to the licensing rules of existing domains. The regulator auDA was widely congratulated for being willing to cut the red tape.
Pragmatism and quid pro quo ruled – direct registration on one hand; but better, fairer and more relaxed rules for com.au and net.au on the other.
In my opinion, direct registration will flop just like UK and NZ did, but it will give registrars in the .au eco system some much needed temporary impetus (cash flow).
com.au will always be king in Australia, and many domain investors will make money from its introduction.
What Should Happen Now
If it’s back to the drawing boards, then it must be done properly.
Better consultation with every registrant is only the start. Because of all these delays, other proposed changes need to be re-looked at. That seems only fair.
Number one amongst these is the protection of existing registrants (part of original mandate); and in particular, I believe the proposed cut-off date for eligibility to qualify for a chance to get the .au domain should be moved back substantially.
What do you think?
Ned O’Meara – 2nd September 2019
I have fought long and hard against direct registration over many years. This includes being a dissenting member of 2015 Names Panel. I was also the initial Demand Class representative of the PRP until I briefly became an auDA Director. But I also believe in proper process, and if this happens then I accept the outcome.