auDA Policy Review Panel releases draft recommendations

Posted On March 6, 2019
In Domain Names, Governance of Cyberspace / Reply

The auDA Policy Review Panel has released a Consultation Paper containing its likely recommendations on implementation of direct registration, reform of the eligibility requirements and allocation rules, and the prohibition on registration for resale or warehousing.

On implementation of direct registration (i.e. registration of <>), the Panel recommends:

  • the holder of a domain licence at the third level of .au (e.g. <>) have priority to register the corresponding domain name at the second level of .au (e.g. <>) for a six-month period from the Launch Date
  • where there is a priority conflict at the third level (e.g. both <> and <> are registered) at the Cut-off Date, the second level domain name be locked from registration unless and until the conflicting registrants agree on who can register it
  • the Cut-off Date be 4 February 2018 (the date when the Panel began public consultations on implementation of direct registration)
  • certain names – inc. <>, <> and <> – be reserved for use as future second level domains

On reform of the eligibility requirements, the Panel recommends:

  • the requirement that a registrant has an Australian presence be retained
  • where an Australian trade mark application or registration is the sole basis for meeting the Australian presence requirement, the applicant/owner be restricted to registering a domain name that is an exact match to their trade mark
  • only trade mark applications or registrations for word marks can satisfy the Australian presence requirement
  • where the Australian presence requirement is satisfied solely by an Australia trade mark application or registration, eligibility automatically ceases if the application lapses or the registration is cancelled or removed from the Register

On reform of the allocation rules, the Panel recommends:

  • the close and substantial connection rule be retained
  • domain monetisation no longer be a basis for satisfying the close and substantial connection rule
  • there be a six months grace period from first registration in which to satisfy the close and substantial connection rule

On the application of the prohibition on registration for resale or warehousing, the Panel recommends:

  • the prohibition be retained and strengthened
  • registrants be prohibited from registering a domain name “primarily” for the purpose of resale or warehousing
  • adoption of a list of factors indicating that a domain name has been registered primarily for resale or warehousing, with the onus shifting to the registrant to demonstrate that the registrant did not register the domain name for purpose of resale or warehousing where the majority of these factors are met

The Panel is due to provide its final report to the auDA Board in the first half of 2019.

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