2015 NPP Meeting - 2 April 2015

Philip Argy, Andrew Christie, Gavin Collins, Adele Flego, George Fong, David Goldstein, Dan Hunter, Erhan Karabardak, Jon Lawrence, Jo Lim, Peter Mead, Ned O'Meara, George Pongas, Holly Raiche, Derek Whitehead, Miguel Wood

Nicole Murdoch, Cobey Parnell

Jeremy Blackman, James Deck, Brett Fenton, Joe Manariti, Anthony Peake


  • DW and JoL to revise draft Issues Paper based on discussion at the meeting, and circulate for approval on the Panel mailing list.
  • Following approval, JoL to publish Issues Paper on the auDA website for a 6 week public consultation period.

1. Confirmation of 5 March minutes

The minutes were confirmed.

2. Review of draft Issues Paper (item 1 of ToR)

The Panel reviewed the draft Issues Paper and suggested some amendments and additions to the text, which will be picked up in the next iteration.

3. Discussion of outstanding issues (items 2 and 3 of ToR)

The Panel identified the following issues for inclusion in the Issues Paper:

  • Business name registrations. This issue was canvassed in detail at the Panel’s first meeting, refer to minutes.
  • Domain name licence period. There is a standing recommendation from the 2010 Panel to change the fixed two year licence period to a variable 1-5 year period. Panel members generally supported this recommendation, to provide enhanced flexibility and choice for suppliers and consumers alike. It was suggested that even greater flexibility and choice would be achieved by following the example of .nz, which allows registrations from one month to 10 years.
  • ‘First come, first served’ and ‘no hierarchy of rights’. It was suggested that the existence of commercial back-order and drop-catching services is not well known outside the industry, and this puts “ordinary” people at a disadvantage when trying to register expired domain names. One possible solution to this problem might be to provide an “official” service for people to reserve or pre-register a domain name, so that if it expires the domain name is directly allocated to them instead of being included in the public drop list. This would mean a departure from the long-standing .au policy principles of first come, first served and no hierarchy of rights.
  • 2LD eligiblity criteria. Under current policy, it is possible for some entities and individuals to register their name in more than one 2LD – eg. incorporated associations and companies limited by guarantee are eligible to register in com.au and net.au, as well as org.au and asn.au.  It was suggested that the 2LD eligibility criteria be made mutually exclusive, to reinforce the different purposes of the 2LDs – ie. commercial, non-commercial and individual.
  • Close and substantial connection rule. The original rationale for the rule was to try and ensure that there was some sort of discernible relationship between a domain name and its registrant, for the benefit of Internet users who want to find things easily and trust that “it does what it says on the tin”. It was suggested that there is no longer any reason for the rule to be in place, and there are issues with enforcement. Panel members noted that, whilst the rule is open to interpretation, auDA has been enforcing it for nearly 13 years and over that time has developed a large bank of documented decisions which have brought clarity and consistency to the interpretation.
  • Reserved list and prohibition on misspellings. Panel members generally supported  these policies and did not consider it necessary to make any changes, subject to any issues that may be raised in public submissions.

4. Public consultation process and timing

The Issues Paper will be released for a 6 week public consultation period. It will be published on the auDA website and people will be able to submit their comments by email, or via Survey Monkey.

The Panel discussed different methods for raising awareness of the public consultation among as broad a range of stakeholders as possible, including:

  • Notification to all auDA mailing lists, including registrars, members and general (approx. 3,500 recipients in total).
  • Notification via social media platforms – posting on auDA’s blog, Facebook and LinkedIn and auDA twitter account.
  • Panel members requested to send notification to their own mailing lists and social media.
  • Notification added to AusRegistry survey, respondents pointed to auDA website and auDA Announcements list.
  • Media release / one-pager explaining the key issues.
  • Contact to be made with relevant organisations not directly represented on the Panel, eg. IP Australia, COSBOA and AIMIA.
  • Approach to Minister Turnbull’s office, via Department of Communications.
  • auDA Board members to give media interviews.

5. Next meeting

The scheduled meeting in May will be cancelled, due to the public consultation period.


The next Panel meeting will be held in mid-June, TBC.