What Do The Big Boys Say?

AU logoAs I’ve mentioned previously, it’s always interesting to read the written submissions to the auDA Names Panel about direct registrations.

Today I have a look at what a couple of the bigger players have to say. Companies like CarSales and the REA Group (publisher of realestate.com.au) who are not in favour of direct registrations proceeding.

They set out their reasons why quite logically; and I’ve taken the opportunity to summarise a few of these:

Key points from CarSales submission  

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

carsales’ view is that registrations under .au TLDs should not be made available because they do not provide the benefits that the Panel rely on to justify their introduction and they present complications for existing and future registrants. The existing 2LDs (.com.au, .net.au, etc.) that are available for use adequately service the needs of Australian domain registrants.

In the event that .au TLDs are introduced, the .au TLD should be reserved for the existing 2LD owner for 5 years at no cost.

carsales’ views are based on the following points, each of which will be addressed in turn.

1. DO NOT INTRODUCE .au TLDs
1.1. Does not provide benefits presented by the Panel
1.2. Open to cybersquatting and bad faith registrations
1.3. Increased cost of maintaining domain portfolio
1.4. Impact on trade mark assets of business
1.5. Opens up to user confusion

2. IF .au TLDs ARE INTRODUCED, THEY BE INTRODUCED WITH CERTAIN CONDITIONS
2.1. Protocols for protecting against cybersquatting
2.2. .au domains reserved for 5 years at no cost for existing 2LD holders and preferential allocation to .com.au registrants
2.3. Offer domain registrations that last for 1 year and 5 years

Read full version here.

Key points from REA Group submission

REA is concerned that the ability to register the .au domain will negatively impact existing domain name holders. In particular, REA considers that direct registrations will result in:

(a) defensive registrations by existing 2LD domain name holders;

(b) typo-squatting or bad faith registrations; and

(c) widespread confusion as a result of direct registrations by entities that “missed out” on the equivalent 2LD registration.

They conclude by stating:

In summary, REA considers that the introduction of direct registrations will provide little or no benefit to those wishing to register a domain name. Conversely, direct registrations will have a detrimental impact on existing domain holders and will cause additional and unnecessary cost and administration.

Read full version here.

Tip Of The Iceberg

It’s terrific that these two big businesses have explained the view from the other side. As you can imagine, they are not in isolation. It will be interesting to see what further action they may take (in the future) if they feel their businesses are being arbitrarily affected.

More importantly though is the view of the SME’s – the small and medium enterprises that will effected by direct registrations. These are entities that have little or no clue what may be in store for them. These are the people and businesses that auDA really needs to better communicate with in my opinion.

The dialogue by auDA over direct registrations definitely needs to be stepped up several notches. Judging by some recent actions, I think they do have the message. Time will tell though – let’s see what happens in the next six months.


Disclaimer by Ned O’Meara – Webmaster

Disclaimer 2

9 thoughts on “What Do The Big Boys Say?

  • May 19, 2016 at 11:51 am
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    When two of the most well known online brands in Australia choose to take the time to make submissions on an issue, you know it must be an important one.

    When they both have essentially the same view (i.e. being against direct registrations) you have to take notice.

    People might say “oh but they have a vested interest in direct registrations not being introduced”, but won’t all domain name holders have that same interest?

    To be honest I initially thought both of these brands might jump at the chance to rebrand to shorter names, but the fact that they’re both against it says a awful lot.

    • Ned O'Meara
      May 19, 2016 at 6:45 pm
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      @Shane – what’s interesting here is that both these players have expended big bucks on certain com.au domain names. Presumably they did so on the basis that .com.au has for years been acknowledged as the premium domain extension in Australia (and that approx 86% of domains in Australia share this extension).

      Imagine if at a stroke of a pen someone else had the opportunity to acquire the .au of one of their domains. Lawyers at 20 paces!

  • May 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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    But Ned, again, the best part of the REA Group submission:
    “the need for short and memorable domain names, will become less important”

    • Ned O'Meara
      May 19, 2016 at 6:37 pm
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      @Matt – not quite sure where you’re going with that? 😉 Please explain.

  • May 19, 2016 at 5:48 pm
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    Are the decision makers conflicted?  That is having stakes in Registrar businesses?

    • Ned O'Meara
      May 19, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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      @Garth – I believe so; and I think that any fair minded objective person having a look at the situation would also agree.

      It’s not just registrars. The registry employs an auDA Director, so imo there is a conflict there. (Potential or perceived).

      • May 21, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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        They will have to recuse themselves from the decision vote. 🙂

  • tim
    May 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm
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    very succinct from 2 large players, good to see.
    when will auda get the message that  both of them could put a very big dint in audas pocket if they do not pay attention.

    tim

  • Scott.L
    May 19, 2016 at 10:55 pm
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    .com.au [Commerce]

    .net.au [Network]

    .org.au [Organisation]

    .au [ ? ]

    1.5. Opens up to user confusion

Comments are closed.