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2010 Names Policy Panel Report Accepted By auDA

August 31, 2011

A number of changes to relating to the Australian domain name space will be implemented over the next few months after .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) accepted the final report of the 2010 Names Policy Panel.

Among the changes will be a relaxing of the criteria for registrations of the extension, allowing for domain names that refer to personal hobbies and interests. Currently, names must exactly match the registrant's name, or be an abbreviation, derivation or acronym of the name; or a nickname.

While names and abbreviations of Australian states and territories will remain on the Reserved List, they may be released if the registrant is eligible under normal policy rules and has received permission from the relevant state or territory government. 

Direct registrations under .au will continue to not be permitted.

The Prohibition on Misspellings Policy will also be retained in its current form. This policy prohibits the registration of a domain name that is a misspelling of an entity, personal or brand name that does not belong to the registrant and where the registrant has deliberately registered the misspelling in order to trade on that entity's, person's or brand's reputation. The policy is in place to preserve the integrity of the .au domain space by discouraging "typosquatting".

The Domain Monetisation Policy (2008-10) will no longer be a policy and the definition of  "domain monetisation" will be replaced with a description of permissible practice in order to take into account a range of monetisation models.

A few recommendations were also noted, but require further information from auDA staff in regard to implementation. One of these recommendations is the option for eligible parties to register an Australian domain name consisting of a single character.

A full summary of the 2010 Names Policy Panel recommendations can be viewed here. The auDA says changes will be formally announced when implmented and up until that time, all current auDA Published Policies continue to apply.

The auDA is the policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .au domain space. 

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