[DNS] Catch-up time for .au

[DNS] Catch-up time for .au

From: Jon Lawrence <jon>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 20:56:56 +1100 (EST)
Hi Doug 

I regularly hear people shortening .com.au/.org.au etc to just .com/.org. I even heard two examples of it within a few minutes during the recent auIGF meeting. In both cases, '.org' was said when '.org.au' was meant. There are also regular examples in the media, right back to my favourite example in the 1990s which was Jeff Kennett's election website jeff.com.au, which was routinely referred to in the media as jeff.com, much to the bemusement of the individual in the US who ran a personal site at that address. 

A direct registration under .au, eg jeff.au is in no way confusable with jeff.com. 

Your point about 'having to decide between .au and .com.au' is in no way different to the .com.au/.com example, or for that matter, between .com.au and .net.au. There are tens of thousands of .net.au domains registered by different entities to the .com.au equivalent, and I'm not aware of any major issues. 

I am the registrant of lawrence.net.au. I have also set up an account at jon at lawrence.com.au which redirects here. Not once in two years have I received an email sent to jon at lawrence.com.au instead of jon at lawrence.net.au. I suspect there have been a few sent to jon at lawrence.net though... 

Yes, domain names are a finite resource. Opening up the second level actually creates additional options, so increases choice. 

I think comparing the desirability of a second-level .au with TLDs like .asia and .info is pretty spurious. The .au domain is a very strong brand already (over 2.5 million names) and has a clearly defined constituency (ie Australia) so would almost certainly be very sought after. I'm also certain that the release of second-level names in .uk and .nz (which are appropriate comparisons) will be very keenly contested. 

You seem to be assuming that opening up second-level registrations would require changes to the eligibility rules. That's not necessary, and I'm not proposing it. 

I am a strong supporter of maintaining the local presence requirement for all .au registrations. That is, however, the only one of Robert Elz's policies that I think needs to be maintained and I believe it is the single factor that gives .au domains a very high level of consumer acceptance and trust. 

My proposal would be that second-level .au domains could be registered by any entity legally entitled to trade in Australia. That would include (and always has in .com.au and .net.au) individuals, as we're all sole traders if we want to be. 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Doug Robb" <doug at clarity.com.au> 
To: ".au DNS Discussion List" <dns at dotau.org> 
Sent: Thursday, 21 November, 2013 6:08:55 PM 
Subject: Re: [DNS] Catch-up time for .au 

The question was who is with me and clearly I?m not one! Re where is the evidence of confusion Jon mentioned: 

Jon says: ?And as they're both currently 'co.', they don't even suffer from the same brand confusion that we get from being 'com.'? 

If you are of the opinion there is already confusion between .com (world) and .com.au (Australia) the proposed solution hardly helps. You would then have to decide if a business is somename.au or somename.com.au, either one or both? If the 2LD domains go on the open market then it is likely different companies with be at each domain, this has to be confusing not to mention we are dealing with a finite resource so there is no going back or further segregation possible. You can make the case that the 2LD is under-utilized but there is room to explore this further without creating yet another domain gold rush which has happened in other jurisdictions with varying levels of success. I think I still have a few .asia and .info names myself ? what a waste? What happened to the geographic domain names ? I haven?t followed that recently but they are not mainstream despite all the hoopla created at the time. 

Re individuals I don?t know the answer to that one is but I do think just opening up .au to all comers is the worst of all worlds. We were very lucky that the restrictive policies of the past left us with a relatively coherent and clean .au registry to work with so let?s not throw the baby out with the bath water. This is a topic that can go on forever so I?ve got nothing more to add to the discussion. 


From: dns-bounces at dotau.org [mailto:dns-bounces at dotau.org] On Behalf Of David Goldstein 
Sent: Thursday, 21 November 2013 4:59 AM 
To: '.au DNS Discussion List' 
Subject: Re: [DNS] Catch-up time for .au 

Where is the evidence of ?utter confusion? Doug? This process has happened in a number of ccTLDs around the world and the sky hasn?t fallen in. And where it has happened and there is an equal choice, that is the same policies for both spaces, registrants overwhelmingly prefer registrations at the second level. 

And then it comes back to individuals. Individuals are treated poorly under .au. Oh yeah, they can go and use .id.au, but it is unloved and almost nobody wants to use it. Go to .fr, where individuals can register domains, and registrations are around 50/50 for business and individuals. 

These are two issues I have campaigned on at the last two Names Policy Panels with limited support. Where were you Jon? The problem is the issues are put as simple yes or no questions that doesn?t work. The issue needs to be a discussion about the pros and cons and how the transition would take place. It?s a serious issue that requires serious discussion as happened in .uk and .nz. Not a simple yes or no option in a questionnaire. 

And I?m not sure where you get your information from Doug. The .co ccTLD seems to be progressing nicely with over 1.5 million registrations in 3 years. 

So how about an informed discussion on the issue without the histrionics. 


From: dns-bounces at dotau.org [ mailto:dns-bounces at dotau.org ] On Behalf Of Doug Robb 
Sent: Thursday, 21 November 2013 2:55 
To: '.au DNS Discussion List' 
Subject: Re: [DNS] Catch-up time for .au 

Err this is madness! 

>From the article: 

?In the small proportion of instances where there could be competition ? e.g. where one person holds example.co.uk and another holds example.org.uk ? the shorter domain will be offered to the .co.uk registrant.? 

So the domain space is collapsed by a mass migration of .co.uk to .uk for what purpose? What utter confusion for the .org?s and the like. Perhaps the .co is meaningless in people?s minds ? a mistake of the past. We should be so lucky to be .com.au and get the best of both worlds ? a recognized brand and a regional separation with the potential for further discrimination between logical groups. 

Leave me out of destroying this in favor of a once off land grab by existing .com owners or companies with deep pockets ?.. 


From: dns-bounces at dotau.org [ mailto:dns-bounces at dotau.org ] On Behalf Of Jon Lawrence (Personal) 
Sent: Wednesday, 20 November 2013 9:00 PM 
To: dns at dotau.org 
Subject: [DNS] Catch-up time for .au 


So, .uk are doing it. And .nz is doing it (opening up registrations at the second-level). And as they're both currently 'co.', they don't even suffer from the same brand confusion that we get from being 'com.'. 

I call on auDA to urgently convene a new Names Panel to consider the issue of opening up second-level registrations in .au. 

Sorry Chris, but the 'let's see how the dust settles on the new gTLDs first' line is, in my opinion, naive, and I believe puts the long-term success of .au at genuine risk. 

Who's with me? 

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