The biggest negative change in Australian domain names could be around the corner.
By: Robert Kaay

The biggest negative change in Australian domain names could be around the corner.

The biggest negative change to our entire Australian domain name system could be about to occur for the first time since Australia first received the internet 28 years ago.

For those that are still only just being exposed to this news, here are the facts.

1. auDA (Australian Domain Administration) formed a Policy Review Panel (PRP) last year to give their opinion on updating the latest auDA Policies and also suggest a way to implement Direct .AU Registration. This means, the PRP have created some discussion points for governing who receives ownership of a domain name like when owners of and and all respectfully wish to individually own it.

2. Over the past two weeks, the PRP have gone on a public "road show" through Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. They discussed various changes to policy, but the most important subject discussed was how they believe Direct .AU Registrations are going to be introduced.

Attendence levels for the "road show" were as follows:

  • Perth 7
  • Sydney 13
  • Melbourne 30

That's a grand total of 50 people who attended across Australia. This clearly indicates either no one knew these extremely important forums were taking place, or no one cares. If no one cares, does this mean there's no need for Direct .AU Registrations to be created at this point in time?!

There was heavy resistance at each forum meeting by the few people that heard about the event and attended. This was mostly due to the following proposed discussion points for Direct .AU Registration implementation:

3. Any version of the SEVEN ccTLD variations may be able to protest a "claim" to owning the Direct .AU within 6 months of Direct Registrations being "turned on":


That's right. If this is allowed to go ahead, the owner of could have a 33% chance of owning This is over and above the and owners. Because of the following potential rule:

4. After 6 months, all those who have come forward to claim their Direct .AU version of their domain name will have to discuss amongst themselves, who is the single entity to inherit the Direct .AU match of their domain name.

Can you honestly see approaching the guy and saying, "Excuse me, would you kindly mind putting your hand down and letting us have"

Why would the guy put his hand down, when he stands a 33% chance of owning Due to this rule:

5. If the parties can't come to any arrangements after the 3 months, then it is a 50/50 LOTTERY CHANCE of who scores the Direct .AU(.)

I'm sure I don't have to continue using the analogy here. I'm sure you can see just how crazy this whole implementation could become if these current PRP discussion points were to be taken seriously.

To stop "domainers" and "cybersquatters" (most of the PRP don't seem to fully understand there is a MASSIVE different between professional domain name portfolio speculators and trademark-infringing cybersquatters), the PRP decided they needed to introduce a CUT-OFF DATE dated the 18th April 2016. This rule goes something like this:

6. Any domain name that has expired and appeared on the Drop Platforms or had a Change Of Registrant (COR) performed AFTER 18th April 2016, may NOT BE ELIGIBLE AT ALL to own their exact match Direct .AU version of their domain name.

I'm going to write a few articles on this topic because it's just HUGE. I'd really appreciate those of you who are passionate about this proposed implementation to leave your comments below, or add your comments to the LinkedIn articles being circulated by myself and many other passionate colleages. Your comments, likes and shares will help to educate all of those who still don't know these discussion points could soon turn into actual proposals.


Published: Tue, 13th Feb 2018 22:30
Author: Robert Kaay


15 Feb 2018 14:58
One of the issues that was discussed was if a COR had been done after the cutoff date would they be eligible to own the 2LD (.au) of the domain. The panel indicated that they are undecided on this point and my impression was that CORs would not be affected by the cutoff as this would be unfair to businesses. HOWEVER this is not a given which still leaves uncertainty in the market place.

In my opinion the panel has little understanding on how these changes will affect small business. Why is there not a business representative on the panel as was part of the original mandate? The excuses for not filling the position were weak considering the is a commercial namespace.

I would encourage everyone to put written submissions to the panel detailing how they will be affected by these proposals and why they should not happen.
Robert Kaay
17 Feb 2018 23:34
There is no need for a "cut-off date" if Direct .AU is given to the .COM.AU domain name holder. I am writing two more articles that will come out on Monday and Tuesday about this.
15 Feb 2018 15:29
The concept that a lottery would be the fairest solution to contested names shows no regard for the investment that has been made into the namespace.

The idea that someone who has registered a domain should have equal rights to the .au over a business that may have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building their business under the is a kick in the face. The sensible solution is to give the .au to owners.
Robert Kaay
17 Feb 2018 23:36
Couldn't agree more. And I have publicly stated that I personally hold some one-word domain names. I just don't think it would be fair for anyone other than the holder to receive their matching .AU(.) If this can't be guaranteed, we need to think about taking Direct .AU back off the table altogether.

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Last Update: 24-01-2021 07:13