auDA Board accepts final report of 2010 Names Policy Panel

Posted by Jo Lim on 30 August 2011

The auDA Board has accepted the final report of the 2010 Names Policy Panel, which recommended changes to a number of .au domain name policies.

The following recommendations were accepted:

Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules for Open 2LDs:

  • That the requirement for registrants to be Australian (or registered to trade in Australia) should remain in place.
  • That the “special interest club” eligibility criterion for and domain names should be more clearly defined.
  • That auDA should publish the results of its periodic audits.
  • That auDA’s position on third party rights with respect to domain name leasing or sub-licensing arrangements should be clarified and published.
  • That the close and substantial connection rule for should be relaxed to include domain names that refer to personal hobbies and interests.
  • That direct registrations under .au should not be allowed at this time.

Reserved List Policy:

  • That the Reserved List Policy should be retained, and updated as necessary to ensure consistency with Commonwealth legislation.  
  • That the names and abbreviations of Australian states and territories should remain on the Reserved List, but may be released on application provided that the proposed registrant is eligible to use the name under normal policy rules, and that they have received permission from the relevant state or territory government.  

Domain Monetisation Policy:

  • That:
  1. the Domain Monetisation Policy (2008-10) should be abolished as a separate policy;
  2. Schedules C and E of the Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules for Open 2LDs (2008-05) should be amended to include domain monetisation under the close and substantial connection rule for and domain names (as exemplified in Attachment A to the Panel’s report);
  3. the existing conditions of use on domain names registered on the basis of domain monetisation under the “close and substantial” connection rule should be retained;
  4. the definition of “domain monetisation” should be replaced with a description of permissible practice, to accommodate a range of monetisation models; and
  5. the Guidelines for Accredited Registrars on the Interpretation of Policy Rules for the Open 2LDs (2008-06) should be amended to include additional explanatory material regarding domain monetisation.

Prohibition on Misspellings Policy

  • That the Prohibition on Misspellings Policy should be retained in its current form.

The following recommendations were noted, pending further information from auDA staff regarding implementation issues:

  • That registrants should be able to license a domain name for a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 year period.
  • That, in the absence of any compelling technical or policy reason to maintain the restriction, single character domain names should be released (subject to the registrant being eligible to register the name).

The Board commended the Panel on its final report, and thanked Chair Derek Whitehead and Panel members for their efforts.

Implementation of the accepted recommendations will occur over the next few months and further details will be announced in due course. In the meantime, all current auDA Published Policies continue to apply.

The Panel conducted its review of .au policies during 2010-11, and held two public consultations. More information about the Panel is available here.