27 March 2001

Level 7
50 Queen Street, Melbourne

Present: Philip Argy, Evan Arthur, Alan Chalmers, Steve Fielding, Rowan Groves, Tony Hill, Keith Inman, Cheryl Langdon-Orr, Jo Lim, Michael Pappas (proxy for Cliff Reardon), Daniel Rechtman, Peter Reynolds, Cathy Thawley,
Derek Whitehead, Ross Wilson

Teleconference: Kitty Davis, Odette Gourley, Ron Ipsen, Ian Johnston, Josh Rowe, Anthony Wyatt

Apologies: Sandra Davey, Mark Davidson, Brandon Gradstein, Ian Halliday, Christine Page-Hanify, Steve Pretzel,David Purdue, Leanne Schultz, Galen Townson, Michael Wolnizer


  1. DW and JL to draft minutes from meeting.
  2. DW and JL to draft final report to the auDA Board, and circulate it to the Panel via the closed list.
  3. DW and JL to draft a discussion paper on new 2LDs.
  4. Panel members to confirm Panel membership.


Final report to auDA Board 
1. The Chair and secretariat will draft the final report to the auDA Board, along the lines discussed at the meeting, and circulate it to the Panel via the closed list.

2. The report will be presented to the auDA Board for its meeting on 9 April 2001.

New 2LDs 
3. Panel members will confirm their commitment to remaining on the Panel for the extended Terms of Reference.

4. The Chair and secretariat will draft a discussion paper on new 2LDs, for consideration by the Panel at the next meeting.

Next meeting
3. The next Panel meeting will be held at the Minter Ellison offices in Sydney on Tuesday 1 May 2001.


1 Confirmation of 30 January Minutes

Panel members confirmed the minutes from the meeting on 30 January 2001, previously circulated via the closed list.

2 Final report to auDA Board

Outcomes of second public consultation process
The Panel discussed changes to its recommendations as a result of comments made in response to the second public consultation report.

  • highlight the first come, first served (FCFS) rule more explicitly
  • explain that there is no hierarchy of rights, and lessen the number of references to trade mark rights
  • include a trade mark applicant in the description of an Australian entity in recommendation 3.1.1
  • recommend that auDA set domain name renewal period(s) of between 1 and 10 years in recommendation 3.1.2
  • replace second sentence of recommendation 3.1.2 with “A domain name licence is renewable subject to the continued eligibility of the domain name licence holder.”
  • replace ‘”bona fide” with “good faith”
  • remove recommendation 3.1.3 f and include in the explanatory notes
  • revise the purposes for each 2LD listed in Schedule A to reflect the new rules
  • replace recommendation 4.1.2 b with “is a name by which the domain name licence holder is widely known (eg. an acronym, abbreviation, nickname or alias) or is otherwise substantially and closely derived from the name on which the domain name licence application is based.”
  • redraft recommendation 4.2.2 to prohibit domain names that match gTLDs (as well as ccTLDs).
  • redraft recommendation 4.3 to focus on the reserve list mechanism, rather than the types of domain names to be reserved.

It was agreed that Panel members are free to submit minority views on particular issues. In particular, both SETEL and the ACCC have expressed reservations about expanding the eligibility criteria to include an application for an Australian Registered Trade Mark. Minority views will either be incorporated within the body of the report or attached separately, as appropriate.

Structure and format of report
There was some discussion on the best way to present the Panel’s final report. It was agreed that the report should integrate the recommendations and explanatory notes, so that people will not gain the wrong impression of the Panel’s recommendations by reading the summary alone.

The Panel’s original goals and objectives (expressed in the list of Essential Attributes from the November 2000 report) will be restated in the final report.

The final report will also contain a summary of the Panel’s operational processes, including the two public consultation processes. The Panel noted that the auDA Board has access to minutes from all Panel meetings and other supporting documentation.

The Panel will recommend that the auDA Board publicly release the final report as soon as possible, in the interests of openness and transparency.

Panel members were advised that the aim is to present the final report to the auDA Board in time for its next meeting on 9 April 2001. However, it is likely that the Board will not consider the report in detail until late April.

3 Dispute resolution
Panel members were advised that a dispute resolution working group has been established to develop a broad dispute resolution regime that accommodates the various types of disputes that may arise in relation to domain names.

Membership of the group is: Philip Argy, Chair; Ewan Brown; Alan Chalmers; Patrick Fair; Peter Knight; David Lieberman; Daniel Rechtman; and Derek Whitehead.

The group will meet for the first time on Thursday 29 March, following the WIPO briefing session. It is expected that the group will complete its work by the end of June 2001.

It was suggested that auDA will also need to develop a mechanism to handle consumer complaints, as opposed to disputes.

4 Generic/geographic domain names
Panel members discussed whether or not to remove the restriction on the licensing of generic domain names.

It was acknowledged that, for the sake of consistency, it would be necessary to extend the restriction on generic domain names in com.au to other open 2LDs where applicable (especially in a competitive domain name market).

Panel members voted on four options:

  1. Maintain the restriction in com.au and extend it to other open 2LDs, and create new 2LD(s) that allow generic domain names.
  2. Remove the restriction in com.au, and create new 2LD(s) that also allow generic domain names.
  3. Maintain the restriction in com.au.
  4. Maintain the restriction in com.au and extend it to include other open 2LDs, and do not create new 2LD(s) that allow generic domain names.

Votes were evenly split on options 1 and 2. There were no votes for options 3 or 4. The Chair concluded that there is consensus that the restriction on generic domain names should be removed; however there is no consensus about how or when the restriction should be removed.

It was agreed that this outcome should be reflected in the Panel’s final report. The Panel agreed to hand over its work on generic domain names, including the discussion paper on methods of allocation, for the auDA Board’s consideration.

Panel members also discussed whether or not to remove the restriction on the licensing of geographic domain names. It was agreed that this issue will be addressed in the Panel’s consideration of new 2LDs; the Panel has already received one substantive proposal to establish new 2LDs for each State and Territory.

5 New 2LDs (extension to Panel Terms of Reference)
The Chair outlined the scope of the extension to the Panel’s Terms of Reference, as agreed by the auDA Board in February 2001:

"Those second level domains which should be created upon the commencement of competition, and particularly as a means of remedying pressing problems in the current Australian DNS which have been highlighted as part of the policy review process; and the means by which public consultation should be undertaken and decisions made."

In considering the issue of new 2LDs in the .au domain, the overriding question for the Panel is how to improve the utility and effectiveness of the existing DNS. There are three main issues:

  • how to deal with the existing 2LDs? (eg. id.au)
  • how to address the “pressing problems” in the Australian DNS?
  • how will the introduction of new gTLDs impact on the Australian DNS?

The Panel indicated that ICANN’s method of selecting new gTLDs would not be appropriate for the .au domain space. The Panel’s focus should be on public interest considerations rather than on business model propositions.

Panel members were asked to confirm their commitment to remaining on the Panel for the extended Terms of Reference. Members who decide to resign from the Panel will not be replaced.

Last Updated: 07/03/2006 09:17