How Should Australian Domain Name Rules Change?

.au domains might cost more than their .com equivalents, but they clearly signal an Australian presence. auDA, which sets Australian domain name rules, is weighing up a number of changes, including possible changes to registration policies and the introduction of single-letter domain names, and it wants your thoughts.

Other possible changes include allowing non-Australian residents to register .au domain names and changing the current two year registration period. The organisation is seeking comments until January 21, 2011; hit the link for details on how to make a submission.

auDA


Comments

    For myself and clients I find it very difficult to find a business name with an available .au domain...which shouldn't be the case. If the business name isnt registered, even as a trading-as name, then the domain shouldn't have been sold. Doing a whois on most domains will show someone with no legal interest or connection.

    I believe its a reseller issue, as a private person applying is asked for ACN/ABN proof they have a logical link to the domain, but on my reseller account I can just buy domains for my client with no questions asked, which is open for abuse.

      By doing that you will limit the availability of domains to those who have registered businesses. This excludes people from registering domains for other uses, such as community groups, personal blogs/websites, information pages.

      I saying that there needs to be a common sense approach to the use of domain names. If I was to register the domain www.coke.com.au, and just have it full of ad's then Coca-Cola should be able to take that domain name as I have no legitimate use for it, however if I'm using www.coke.com.au as as website showing off historical ad's and coke bottles of Australia then that would be a legitimate use of that domain. Just visit the website and see what it's being used for, if it's crap, then get rid of it. Simple.

        I agree that it would limit the use of .com.au to businesses and companies, which is what the COM and BIZ stands for in .com.au/biz.au. Organisations can use .ORG.au and .NET.au etc. I dont want to see it become a militant system, but when I have clients come to me looking for a rebrand or new business, firstly I check the Australian Business Registrar, then for a matching domain. Frustrating when an available name has the matching domain taken...usually parked, redirected to another business in a related industry but a different name, or it goes to a page full of spam-like adwords; a WHOIS shows its registered to some random person with no logical legal link...following the AUDA own rules it shouldn't happen, I've had this conversation with them. ABC123.com.au should be reserved for someone who has ABC123 as a registered company, business, trading-as name, or registered and trademarked product named that, not sold to someone selling shirts with ABC123 written on them. Its not a perfect system I know, but there is room for improvement now that its getting crowded and more important to a companies presence on the web.

      I'm with on this one. If anything registration policies need to be tightened, not relaxed, and miscreant registrars punished.

      As you mention in your reply to Cameron, .net.au and .org.au are perfectly acceptable for non-business purposes. I use them myself in that manner.

      I was recently alerted to a .com.au version of one of my .net.au sites becoming available and didn't bother to grab it for the reasons listed above.

    Before asking "how", ask yourself "why".

    @ Mike Biggs

    That must depend on who you're a reseller of, as I resell DistributeIT and they're pretty thorough with their checking. Also, if a name appears to have been registered without a valid business connection to it, you can actually already report such occurrences to the AuDA and they will investigate. I believe Planet Domain were the subject of further scrutiny a few years back due to some of their resellers doing what you highlighted.

      Yeah Matt it must vary, because I remember reselling my first domain and thinking somewhere they will ask for the clients ABN/ACN...nope...it just went through fine, and in a few hours the site was up, no questions asked. What if I applied for holdencommodore.com.au ...should I legally be able to own that? Maybe holdencommodore.org.au for a fan site. Its happened before where domains were registered on the rumor of a new product, and when the parent company went to order it, already taken, and no longer $24/2years lol. I believe it happened to IBM.com at the beginning of the internet.

    why would a non australian company want to register an .au addy? - Eg given you can't trade in Australia without a registered ABN you should not be able to claim a .au web presence as it would be misleading.
    It will also get harder remembering a web address if there are multiple prefixes, and it will force companies to register a redirect for each one to stop mirror sites and competitors.

    I have no real qualms about their current setup, except that I'd love to register straight .au domains instead of .com.au, .net.au, .org.au and so on.

    It's not a big one, it'd just make my life a little happier and easier.

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