Restriction on Geographic Names in and

Restriction on Geographic Names in and

From: Bruce Tonkin <Bruce.Tonkin§>
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 18:08:46 +1000
Hello All,

Thanks to Chris Disspain for posting the link to the Interim report.

Here is the relevant text extracted from the report of the New Names
Advisory Panel:

auDA has invited public comment on the report - see:

Restriction on geographic names in and

A majority of the Panel believes that, once a system for community use of
geographic domain names is implemented, there is no longer good reason to
maintain the restriction on the use of geographic names in and The majority constitutes a consensus  as defined for this purpose
(2/3 of the Panel).

A majority of the Panel believes that the current policy is not effective in
its stated aim of protecting geographic communities from commercial
exploitation, because:

(a)	there are a significant number of geographic names that were
registered before the restriction was introduced in 1998, or have been
mistakenly registered since 1998; 

(b)	new geographic names are being created all the time, and it is not
possible to retrospectively apply the policy to existing domain names; and

(c)	geographic domain names are widely used in other 2LDs, and in gTLDs
and other ccTLDs. 

There is evidence to suggest that most of those seeking to use geographic
names in and do so because:

(a)	they have a company or business name that happens to be a geographic
name, but they are not located in the geographic area or associated with the
local community in any way; or

(b)	they represent the local community (eg. local council, chamber of
commerce, tourist board, etc).

The OCOS model will provide an appropriate naming structure for registrants
in category (b). A majority of the Panel believes that providing access to
geographic names for registrants in category (a):
(a)	does not constitute "unfair competition" for the OCOS model, which
should be strong enough to stand on its own merits in any case;
(b)	will not cause confusion among users, because commercial and
non-commercial use would be clearly denoted by the different domain
(c)	does not open the door to unreasonable commercial exploitation,
because the auDRP provides a mechanism for a community to bring a complaint
about bad faith use of geographic names in the commercial domains.

The Panel notes that the Geographic Names Board does not support lifting the

Bruce Tonkin
Received on Fri Oct 03 2003 - 00:00:00 UTC

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