Today we start a series on Domainer about the many rules and policies that the Australian domain regulator has.

Many people think we are way over-regulated in Australia compared to our peers in other countries.

You know this to be the case when, for example, you have Licensing Rules (62 pages) followed by a 40 page Explanatory Guide to the same Licensing Rules. Yep! They are really trying to make it simple.  

And no one knows where they stand because the “goal posts” keep getting moved. For instance, the licensing rules were again amended on the 12th October.

Here’s the kicker though. Whilst they have been approved by the auDA Board, the commencement date is still to be confirmed. It was supposed to happen earlier this year – now it has been put out to Q1 or Q2 next year.

Who knows how many more amendments may be made in that time?

Speaking for the domain investor community (of which there are many) how are we supposed to have confidence in what lies ahead?

Is “Direct Registration” (the ability to register a domain name at the “second level” e.g. Domainer.au) going to happen; and if so, when is it going to happen?


In Part 2 (coming up)

We will examine auDA’s compliance system, and illustrate some examples of who gets targeted and who doesn’t. It won’t surprise you when I say that some domain investors are viewed as “easy pickings”; whilst other registrants are left alone.


Confused Elephant in the room

10 thoughts on “Them’s The auDA Rules! (Part 1)

  • Avatar
    November 9, 2020 at 11:26 am
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    On attending many NamesCon conferences in the USA over the years, and speaking with hundreds of domain brokers from many countries, I can also attest that YES, many people from various countries around the world think we are way over-regulated in Australia compared to other countries.

    The new Licensing Rules followed by the 40-page Explanatory Guide to the same Licensing Rules do not look like we are simplifying our ancient Australian domain name policy rules at all.

    And there are rumours that these rules are possibly being changed on a weekly basis behind closed doors over at auDA. If this is true, who is behind making these changes and on what grounds and who are they consulting with? Are Australian Entrepreneurs and Domain Investors being represented? Or have we been squeezed out by certain people?

    As for “Direct Registration”, If you type in “Direct Registration” in the Domainer Search Box on the right of this page, you will see how many years the “Direct .AU Registration” debacle has been bumbling along for…

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    • Scott.L
      November 9, 2020 at 8:16 pm
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      In my opinion, I think auDA is completely missing out on valuable input from a very large and important stakeholder, namely, the domain name portfolio holder.

      This stakeholder is literally the heart which keeps auDA alive. You might laugh, but consider this, you don’t need a registrar or a registry operator to register a domain name, auDA can do it, however, you do need a competitive Aftermarket active in the future value of the namespace.

      Removing rights and privileges (leasing of domain names) also removes an element of investment appeal. auDA should be looking at how to increase the value of the domain market renewal rate, its maturity indicates that such focus should be on the Aftermarket – But we have seen the Aftermarket diminish rapidly, along with its consumer choice and competition under this Administration and Board.

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    • Avatar
      November 9, 2020 at 1:04 pm
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      https://www.crn.com.au/news/sms-admits-restructure-led-to-sales-pipeline-collapse-441284
      auDA announce new Elected Director to join auDA Board – Jackie Korhonen ?? Why??

      “Recent performance has been disappointing and well below expectations. I believe that Jacqueline’s decision is in the best interests of the company and provides for new leadership to refocus the business on both its core and emerging service offerings,”

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      • Neddy
        November 9, 2020 at 1:16 pm
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        I suppose this sort of fits into “Them’s The Rules” – on the basis that auDA has this extensive matrix (rules) they need candidates to pass muster on.

        Whilst I wish Ms Korhonen well in her role, what saddens me about the current auDA Director election process is that there simply wasn’t a decent choice of alternate candidates.

        And dare I say what everyone is muttering, candidates with industry experience.

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  • Avatar
    November 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm
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    True, many well-respected “domain industry” candidates with “industry experience” have raised their hand to be considered as candidates… yet, certain people appear to be screening them out…

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  • Avatar
    November 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm
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    The Policy Review Panel was supposed to fix all this BS. How much registrants money has been wasted over the past few years? Who drafted all these new licensing rules and guides? Internal or external lawyers?

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    • Avatar
      November 9, 2020 at 6:33 pm
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      Hmm, you make a good point here, Andrew…

      The longer this implementation and “drama” with “pesky domain investors” and entrepreneurs takes… the longer all these people can be paid huge salaries, as the years drag on by.

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  • Avatar
    November 10, 2020 at 6:35 am
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    Can we get a Guide to the Explanatory Guide please? 😀

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