[DNS] What's in a name? Too little, says panel

[DNS] What's in a name? Too little, says panel

From: Patrick Corliss <patrick§quad.net.au>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 10:20:29 +1100
What's in a name? Too little, says panel
Sydney Morning Heral dated 16 Nov 2000


A shake-up of the rules governing how Internet names are handed out in
Australia seems imminent following a report by a public panel describing the
criteria now used as "completely unrealistic and rigid".

Most significantly, the report proposes anyone applying for a domain name
should first hold an associated trademark.

Cybersquatters have abused the current system, which only requires a related
business name be held before an Internet name application is processed. This
has led to the widespread registration of business names without any bona fide
intention to trade under the name, the report notes.

Trademarks are more expensive to obtain.

Other proposed changes include dropping a ban on companies registering more
than one Internet name and introducing names beginning with a number.

AuDomain Australia is an industry body set up by the Federal Government to
regulate the domain name space following the completion of two public reviews
on policy and competition. Yesterday's report covered policy.

The chair of the 30-person panel, Swinburne University academic Mr Derek
Whitehead, said its most controversial proposal was to get rid of a ban on
generic names. This would allow the likes of sydney.com.au to be registered.

Mr Whitehead said the single biggest area of complaint about Internet names in
Australia arose from people not being able to register their family name or

But Mr Whitehead said no final decision would be made until a meeting on
December 12.

"We are anxious to encourage debate on what we have put forward," he said.

A spokesman for Melbourne IT, which holds a historical monopoly on the
Australian domain name space, said the company had received the policy report
yesterday and was reviewing it.

Financial analysts said despite a clamour to open up the domain space in
Australia to competition, Melbourne IT would continue to benefit from the fact
that it was expensive to launch and operate a good registry.

This week, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is
meeting in California to make the first expansion of dot com addresses since
the 1980s. To relieve overcrowding, the global organisation could select
several new suffixes to be used by week's end, including .biz and .web.

A Melbourne IT consortium is among the international companies vying to
register the new names.

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Patrick Corliss
Received on Sun Nov 19 2000 - 07:18:55 UTC

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