30 January 2001

auDA

Level 7
50 Queen Street, Melbourne 


Present: Philip Argy, Evan Arthur, Alan Chalmers, Odette Gourley, Brandon Gradstein, Rowan Groves, Tony Hill, Keith Inman, Ian Johnston, Jo Lim, Christine Page-Hanify, Daniel Rechtman, Josh Rowe, Cathy Thawley, Galen Townson, Derek Whitehead

Teleconference: Ron Ipsen, Cheryl Langdon-Orr, Cliff Reardon, Peter Reynolds, Anthony Wyatt

Apologies: Sandra Davey, Mark Davidson, Kitty Davis, Steve Fielding, Ian Halliday, Stuart Hamilton, Steve Pretzel, David Purdue, Leanne Schultz, Michael Wolnizer, Ross Wilson

Actions:

  1. DW and JL to draft minutes from meeting.
  2. DW and JL to revise second public consultation report to reflect changes discussed at the meeting, and circulate it to the Panel via the closed list.
  3. JL to release second public consultation report.
  4. Panel members to raise issues of specific concern to be included on the agenda for the next meeting on 27 March.

Decisions:

Second public consultation report 
1. The Chair and secretariat will revise the second public consultation report to reflect discussion at the meeting, and circulate it to the Panel via the closed list.

2. The report will be released by 16 February, with a closing date for submissions of 16 March.

Next meeting
3. The next Panel meeting will be held at the Minter Ellison offices in Sydney on Tuesday 27 March 2001.

Discussion:

1 Confirmation of 12 December Minutes

Public consultation process
Panel members confirmed the minutes from the meeting on 12 December 2000, previously circulated via the closed list. It was agreed that the minutes would continue the practice of not attributing comments to individual members.

However, the Panel agreed that, at this late stage in the process, it is important that all members have the opportunity to state their position on specific matters. It was agreed that Panel members should raise issues of specific concern with the Chair and secretariat, to be included on the agenda for the next meeting.

2 Second public consultation report
The Panel discussed the draft second public consultation report.

The Panel noted that the report will include a preamble or executive summary to provide a plain English explanation of the changes to domain name policy recommended by the Panel. To more clearly indicate the nature of the changes, it was suggested that the report should label each recommendation as ‘change to policy’, ‘clarification of policy’, etc.

The executive summary will also explain that the Panel’s intent has been to identify common elements across all 2LDs, but that it has been hard to disassemble the complexity of the 2LD structure. As much as possible, the Panel has tried to recommend objectively verifiable bases for policy rules, however there will be some cases where this is not possible.

With regard to the eligibility criteria discussed in Recommendation 4.1 of the report, it was noted that the acronym ARBN stands for an Australian Registered Body Number. To avoid confusion, it was agreed that Schedule A would refer to “a business name registered in Australia” rather than an “Australian Registered Business Name”.

Specific issues for discussion

  • Derivation rule. The Panel discussed whether domain names should be derived from the name of the domain name licence holder. 21 members expressed their view. The Chair concluded, and it was agreed, that the consensus of the Panel was to maintain a strong principle of derivation, but to allow some flexibility in its application to accommodate cases where an exact match of domain name to name of licence holder is not possible (eg. where the domain name has already been licensed, quite legitimately, by someone else with the same name)
  • Generic/geographic domain names. The Panel discussed whether generic and geographic domain names should be prohibited or allowed. 19 members expressed their view. The Chair concluded, and it was agreed, that there was no consensus for either course of action. However, there was general agreement that generic and geographic domain names are quite different in terms of potential value and use, and therefore they should be considered separately. There was also broad agreement that more work is required to properly investigate the possibility of relaxing the restriction on generic and geographic domain names, and that it cannot be assumed at this stage that there is a ready solution to the transitional problems involved in changing the policy. A majority of the Panel felt that a cautious approach is warranted in this area of domain name policy.
  • New 2LDs. The Panel agreed that introducing more 2LDs in the .au domain space would alleviate a lot of problems with the current system. However, it is not within the scope of the Panel’s Terms of Reference to recommend new 2LDs. The Chair advised that he intends to seek an additional Terms of Reference from the auDA Board to examine the issue of new 2LDs.
  • Draft domain name policies. The Panel thought that the draft domain name policies for com.au and org.au, prepared by the Chair and secretariat, were a useful way of expressing the proposed changes to policy. It was suggested that another way of doing this would be to draft an umbrella policy, with appropriate variations for each 2LD.
  • Interim policy changes. It had been suggested that the Panel might recommend some interim policy changes, that could be introduced by auDA ahead of full implementation of the new policy. The Panel considered that this was not desirable as it would pre-empt the policy development process. However, the Panel agreed that auDA could alleviate problems with the current system by introducing a dispute resolution procedure as soon as possible.

3 Second public consultation report – timing and next steps
The aim is to issue the second public consultation report by 16 February, with a closing date for submissions of 16 March. The Panel meeting scheduled for 27 February will be deferred to 27 March to accommodate the second round of public consultation.

4 Coordination with Competition Model Advisory Panel
The aim is to issue a second public consultation report in February 2001. The Panel meeting scheduled for the end of February will be deferred to early March to accommodate the second round of public consultation.

5 WIPO Second Domain Name Process RFC
Panel members were advised that the three Panel chairs and six common Panel members and the secretariat, would meet on 31 January to discuss areas of overlap and possible coordination of public consultation efforts.