What’s happening here auDA?
Why the sudden rush to railroad the latest PRP Consultation Paper into the boardroom to be quickly voted on?
Has EVERY Australian domain name Registrant been contacted about Direct .AU Registration implementation, as previously promised?
Read on for all the fine details…
Direct .AU Registrations have been discussed by auDA as something that could come into existence since September 2007.
That means this conversation started 11 and a half YEARS ago.
At that time, MANY businesses and law firms stated “that direct registrations for .au domains should NOT be made available“, and an example can be found by reading this document submitted by law firm Gilbert and Tobin on Page 2, Section 2 in 2007. Currently stored on auDA servers.
In that document, Gilbert and Tobin state their reasoning for why Direct .AU Registrations should NOT come into existence are clearly documented on auDA’s own Issues Paper 2007, which most notably states:
- Registrants who choose, or feel compelled, to switch from a 3LD (3rd Level Domain) to a direct registration may face significant costs, such as domain name registration fees, printing and stationery, signage, marketing and advertising, as well as revenue already spent promoting the current brand.
- Introducing direct registrations may lead to increased disputes about rights to a domain name. Regardless of the implementation method, ultimately only one entity can secure the .au version of a domain name, which is particularly problematic where the same domain name is held by different registrants in different 2LDs
That being said, there were only 860,000 3LD .au domain names at that time, but only 65 million .com domain names.
Today, there are 2.8 million “.com.au” domains and 140 million “.com” domains.
If we look at the current numbers of domain names held by Australian businesses TODAY (11.5 years since Direct .au Registration was first discussed), here are the stats:
- There are currently around 2,822,000 “.com.au” domain names.
- Of that number, there are only around 1,241,700 Registrants holding all those names.
- There are around 75,000 “.com.au” domain name “conflicts”, where a matching “.net.au” domain name exists opposing the “.com.au” version.
- There are currently 250,000 Australian domain names registered to deregistered companies and cancelled ABNs.
But if we want to get to the real crux of WHICH REGISTRANTS are really going to care about Direct .AU Registrations coming into existence, check out this figure:
Around 64,000 Registrants own MORE THAN 10 “.com.au” domain names.
It is plain to see that these 64,000 Registrants have THE MOST TO LOSE with Direct .AU Registrations coming into existence.
And do these 64,000 Registrants know about, need or want Direct .AU Registration?
Yet, after 11.5 years of discussions, auDA seem to suddenly be in a crazy-mad rush to push The PRP to present the THIRD and FINAL Direct .AU Registration implementation recommendation within 14 days!
And only a very limited number of Australian businesses KNOW THIS IS CURRENTLY HAPPENING. And I do mean very limited! And the DEADLINE for the entire Australian public to make a written submission regarding this final PRP Consultation Paper is THIS MONDAY 11th MARCH, in TWO BUSINESS DAYS, and neither auDA or The PRP have publicly disclosed this information very well, if at all?!?!?!?
On this official blog post on February 21st, auDA gave the Australian public FOUR (4) DAYS to indicate they’d like to be a part of this “third and penultimate round of consultation” with The PRP. And they made NO MENTION of the date that written submissions were due on that blog post.
This means, NO ONE KNOWS this “third and penultimate round of consultation paper” is happening. And NO ONE KNOWS it is DUE ON MONDAY!
And let’s not forget, Cameron Boardman (auDA CEO) has been quoted as saying in The PRP Minutes (dated 14th December 2017), “work was underway to email ALL REGISTRANTS of .au domain names“.
Has this ever been done?
I personally have only very recently been made aware of this latest submission date via an email sent to a small number of people by Squad Consulting (currently working for The PRP).
Over the past week, there have been only 4 “Focus Groups” held by The PRP, (of which, don’t forget, only 4-days-notice was given). There have been embarrassingly LOW attendance numbers.
For example, only TWO (2) people showed up to the “Domain Investor” “Focus Group meeting”, once the DIWG (Domain Investor Focus Group) disbanded after clearly understanding their opinions were not being taken seriously by The PRP. Add to the fact there was little-to-no-notice given. And to be clear, NONE of the original DIWG Group attended this meeting due to the reasons outlined in the above article.
Surely, any sensible-person, would class anyone who owns more than 10 domain names a “Domain Investor”, (as opposed to the magic number of 100 that one single person has invented over at The PRP) and as noted above there are currently 64,000 Registrants who own more than 10 Australian domain names and ONLY 2 PEOPLE SHOWED UP to the “Domain Investor” focus group!
auDA; Why have you RUSHED THIS “penultimate round of consultation” on Direct .AU Registration and change of existing “Domain Monetisation” policy through?
I can’t recall seeing ANYWHERE in writing, on any auDA Board Meeting minutes, or anywhere else on the internet, the words, “Direct .au Registration is APPROVED.”
In fact, according to the public auDA PRP Minutes for 27th September 2017, it states on page 1: “Andrew Christie confirmed Ned O’Meara’s understanding of the 2015 Names Policy Panel Final Report recommendation to approve IN PRINCIPLE direct registration.”
This is black and white here.
Direct .AU Registration has only EVER been approved “IN PRINCIPLE”.
Perhaps the current methods don’t meet this specific requirement and Direct .AU Registration should be scrapped altogether now?
HERE ARE THE BIG QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERING RIGHT NOW by auDA:
- Has auDA emailed every single registrant about the possibility of Direct .au Registration, as promised in the PRP Minutes Dec 17?
- Has auDA consulted with the 64,000 Registrants who currently own more than 10 Australian domain names on their thoughts regarding this latest PRP “penultimate” Consultation Paper?
- If not, WHY THE MAD-RUSH to push through this “third and penultimate” final round of Direct .AU Registration and “Domain Monetisation” policy rollback?!
- Does auDA accept this “third and penultimate” round of consultation on The PRP’s latest consultation paper has not properly been distributed to the Australian business public for opinion?
- Will auDA please ask The PRP to publicly disclose the attendance numbers of all “Focus Groups” conducted over the past week?
I have formally submitted these questions to auDA’s CEO for response.