[DNS] auDA domain monetisation review

[DNS] auDA domain monetisation review

From: Jon Lawrence <jon§jonlawrence.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 22:27:12 +0100
>The auDA board considered the outcomes of the review at its meeting on 13
June 2006, and authorised auDA staff to publish a new policy clarification
which seeks to >achieve a fair and workable balance between private
commercial interests and the broader public interest in maintaining the
integrity of the .au domain space.


>The policy clarification was published by auDA today and takes immediate
effect. It is available on our website at


While I am somewhat relieved by the outcome of this review, it does raise a
number of questions (apart from the fact that it took 5 weeks to be


(1)     the document referred to in the link above calls itself, in it's
title, a "clarification", yet in 5.1 it calls itself a "policy".  I would
suggest that it's either a clarification of an existing policy OR it's a new
policy.  Logically, it can't be both.  


(2)     If it's a clarification, does that not imply that the policy it is
clarifying is deficient?  If so, why hasn't the original policy simply been
updated?  Is it because the "close and substantial connection" rule is,
always has been, and always will be, a completely subjective and therefore
unworkable rule that only exists because there are elements within auDA that
are terrified of allowing the Australian community to register whatever
domain names they choose?


(3)     We now have at least 13 current policies/clarifications (if I'm
counting correctly - it's really rather unclear from the auDA site what is
current and what isn't) relating to the registration of domain names in the
.au domain space.  Is it not possible for all these documents to be
consolidated into one or two agreements?  And, could someone at auDA please
archive off the old policies on the website so it's clear at first glance
what is current and what isn't?


(4)     More specifically, I'd like to take issue with some of the details
of this document, namely clauses 2.1 & 4.2:




a) "domain monetisation" means registering a domain name in order to earn
revenue from a monetised website;


b) "monetised website" means a website or landing page that has been created
for the purpose of earning revenue from advertising, including monetised
domain parking pages


c) "domainer" means a person who has registered a domain name under the
close and substantial connection rule for the purpose of domain





4.2 In addition to their obligations under auDA Published Policies and the
Registrant Agreement (domain name licence), domainers must comply with the
following conditions of use:


a) the content on a monetised website must be related specifically and
predominantly to the domain name; and

b) the domain name must not be an entity name, personal name or brand name
in existence at the time the domain name was registered.



-          a literal reading of the above would lead one to conclude that
the registration of google.com.au would breach this clarification/policy as
it meets all the conditions of 2.1 but breaches both 4.2 (a) and (b). 


I'm sure that is not the intention of the authors, but it does highlight the
complete absurdity of this clarification/policy.


Which brings me to my primary point, which is that it is clearly outside of
auDA's remit to make any judgement about whether a domain name registration
should be permitted on the basis of the (a) intended use and (b) content of
any website associated with that domain name, except where proscribed by
state or federal legislation (racist or other offensive terms, use of the
term "bank" etc etc).


Also, I'd like to hear how the intent of a registration can be determined?
For bad faith registrations (eg cybersquatting, typosquatting etc) there are
already proven and cost-effective mechanisms in place.  For anything else,
registrants, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria, should be able
to register whatever domain names they want.



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