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Names Policy Panel Releases .AU Domain Name Draft Recommendations

Published May 7, 2011

The Names Policy Panel has released a series of draft recommendations for changes to Australia's domain name policies and public comment is invited.

In November last year, the Panel published an initial Discussion Paper for comment that received 177 complete responses. Those  public comments were taken into account when preparing the latest draft recommendations. The Panel says responses to the Discussion Paper indicated the Policy Rules remain overall "appropriate and desirable".

A distinct majority of public comments were in favour of retaining the current policy of .au domain name registrants needing be Australian or registered to trade in Australia, in order to preserve the integrity of the .au space and maintaining a very strong community acceptance that ".au means Australian".

The majority of respondents strongly supported a change from the current fixed 2 year domain name registration licence period to allow for a wider range of options; ranging from 1 to 5 years. There was also a strong interest in a 10 year licence period option, but Panel members did not support the idea of licence periods over 5 years for various reasons.

In terms of registering domain names for personal use, public comments were generally in favour of making it easier for individuals to register .au domain names and the Panel believes would provide a controlled environment to test the a relaxation in policies.

The current Prohibition on Misspellings Policy prohibits the registration of domain names that are misspellings of brands, organisations or persons - a practice also known as typosquatting. The majority of respondents believed the prohibition should remain in place, as does the Names Policy Panel.

Other issues covered in the draft recommendations include the Domain Monetisation Policy, Reserved List Policy, direct registrations under .au, leasing of .au domain names and single character domains.

Australian domain name policies are administered by auDA on behalf of the Australian community.

The 2010 Names Policy Panel Draft Recommendations can be viewed in full here (PDF). The closing date for public feedback submissions is Friday 10 June 2011 and feedback mechanisms are detailed on the document.


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