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Dispute Resolution Policy For .AU Under Review

December 3, 2012

It's been ten years since the .AU Dispute Resolution Policy (auDRP) has been fully reviewed and auDA is now embarking on a scheduled comprehensive review to ensure that it remains effective and appropriate.

The goal of the auDRP is to provide a more economical and rapid alternative to litigation with regard to resolution of disputes between the registrant of a .au domain name and a party claiming to have competing rights. The policy is an adaptation of ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

Potential registrants attempting to register an au domain name who find it taken may be able to gain control over it via the auDRP if it is a case of cybersquatting.

According to .au Domain Administration (auDA) - the body that oversees the operation of the .au name space - there have been 300 proceedings involving 433 domain names lodged since the auDRP commenced on 1 August 2002.

Of the proceedings, 173 resulted in name transfer to the complaint, 81 were found in favour of the respondent, 4 names were cancelled and 42 complaints withdrawn. Last year saw the largest number of proceedings (53) with the year to October 2012 looking rather quiet by comparison with just 32.

While touted to be a cheaper avenue of proceeding, the costs are still substantial - a positive side effect of which may be a reduction of frivolous complaints. In August 2007, auDA bumped up the auDRP fees from $1,500 to $2,000 for a single member panel and for a 3 member panel, fees jumped from $3,000 to $4,500. The average auDRP proceeding takes 45 days.

Fee levels are one of the issues auDA is seeking feedback on during the review.

Submissions in relation to the Issues Paper, November 2012 (PDF) are encouraged and the closing date for submissions is Thursday 31 January 2013.

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