Re: DNS: Re: INET: Proposed BIZ.AU Registry

Re: DNS: Re: INET: Proposed BIZ.AU Registry

From: Simon Hackett <simon§>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 08:50:56 +1000
>It would be possible to do this, unfortunately, the ASC (and the state
>business registeries) currently charge for access to their registers. I use
>their remote database "ASCOT" on a semi-regular basis and no enquiries are
>supplied free of charge. Basic pricing for a query is in the $12 - $20
>range. Not cheap.
>This seems to be an artifact left over from early electronic database days
>- someone from the ASC has told me that there is currently a push to place
>all of the information on the Internet eventually. However, given the
>amount of money that seems to be made from ASCOT and the reluctance of the
>federal government to give away anything for free, I can't see an obvious
>cash cow like this being let loose on the free ranging pastures of the

This sort of situation seems to re-occur the world over. I have had some
involvement with a project in the USA a few years ago where a group I work
with there (here, given that I'm in CA this week!) put up a free copy of
the entire US patent information database on the Internet causing both
consternation and discussion from/about/by the existing (multiple)
fee-for-service companies who provide the same info for money in the USA.

The interesting point in the US case was that the federal agencies involved
with this sort of information have a mandate to provide it free to the
population in the USA, subject only to being able to charge something on a
purely "cost recovery" basis. Of course, sometimes the costs don't seem to
ramp down quite as fast as the real costs of provision of theinformation do
(especially when provided via the internet), and its often discovered that
organizations providing things of this nature (whether they are companies
and securities info, patent info, or ISO standards), do this for "cost
recovery" reasons first, but a few years down the track wind up financially
dependent on the income for this service, and fight tooh and nail (quoting
completely unrelated reasons) to avoid loosing the gratuitous income stream.

Eventually, the dam breaks and the stuf becomes available free (or as  much
lower cost) via the Internet or similar means. And often, the fee-for-copy
companies discover, surprisingly, that they don't go out of business
because they offer various forms of value-added which mean some folks want
to pay them for what they would also be able to get over the 'net.

Meantime, in the case of the ASC, some of the above probably applies, but
it might well be just another case of an organization taking a very long
time to work ou the implications, on them, of the Internet. It often
depends on the real charter of the organization (eg. ASC in this case) -
are they chartered to provide this informaton to the public for
cost-recovery charges only? If so, it can be easily demonstrated that
putting it all on a web site, for "free", would cost them less than
employing another clerk to process inquries for paid access to the database.

Simon Hackett, Technical Director, Internode Systems Pty Ltd
31 York St [PO Box 284, Rundle Mall], Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
Email: simon&#167;  Web:
Phone: +61-8-8223-2999          Fax: +61-8-8223-1777
Received on Mon Dec 09 1996 - 09:44:15 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Sat Sep 09 2017 - 22:00:02 UTC