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02|29|2008 01:59 am EDT

auDA Announces a Series of New Reforms

by Chad Kettner in Categories: ccTLDs

The Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA) has announced a series of reforms that will regulate domainers from registering any .au Second Level Domain for the sole purpose of reselling it.

The auDA board has set up guidelines to regulate domain sales in order to create transparency in the industry.

Under the old rules, according to the auDA website (.pdf), registering an auDA domain name provided no proprietary rights. Registrants did not “own� a domain name, but were instead able to control it for a set amount of time. Because of this system, domain transfers were nearly impossible.

The new regulations allow domain transfers between relevant entities, but only when both participants disclose the sale method and price of the transaction. This change is being praised across the industry.

“These are policy changes the industry has been waiting for,� said Larry Bloch, CEO of NetRegistry, a domain name registering service. “We’ve been saying since 2002 that an outright prohibition on the sale and transfer of domain names is draconian and unnecessary.�

It has been a long wait for owners to be able to transfer their .au Second Level Domains, but even with the changes there are still restrictions disallowing significant after-market activity. The new policy states that an owner “will not be allowable to register a domain name for the sole purpose of resale or transfer to a third party.�

While Bloch is pleased that things are moving in the right direction, he also believes the changes are coming too slowly.

“This is classic anti-business behavior from auDA. Not everyone buying something wants to use it, there’s always a section in any market that simply trades,� Bloch stated. “Overall, I think trying to stop this does more to hinder legitimate business than it does to thwart speculators.�

The new policies were announced after last week’s controversial actions by auDA, where they stripped a Sydney based web-business of its registered domain with only 24 hours notice because the domain had “wrongly lapsed� from its original owner.

Thanks to our friends at DAC for passing this along!

[via ZDNet Australia]
[.pdf auDA full report]

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