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 Sydney.au when owners of Sydney.com.au and Sydney.net.au and Sydney.org.au 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:
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 RealEstate.id.au could have a 33% chance of owning RealEstate.au(.) This is over and above the RealEstate.com.au and RealEstate.net.au 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 RealEstate.com.au approaching the RealEstate.id.au guy and saying, "Excuse me, would you kindly mind putting your hand down and letting us have RealEstate.au?"
Why would the RealEstate.id.au guy put his hand down, when he stands a 33% chance of owning RealEstate.au? 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 RealEstate.id.au 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.