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Roger Clarke **
Submission to the Names Policy Panel of the Australian Domain Names Administrator (AuDA) on 15 June 2007
© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2007
Available under an AEShareNet licence or a Creative Commons licence.
This document is at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/Direct2LDs.html
Mr Derek Whitehead
Names Policy Panel
.au Domain Administration Limited
Attention Jo Lim, Chief Policy Officer, auDA
I have reviewed the submission by John Selby of Macquarie University, and strongly support it.
I would add one further point.
Allocating active names directly within .au would create an enormous amount of additional contention over short names and acronyms. It would not only re-open many old wounds, but also create new conflicts.
For example, ACS is at least:
(Those are all real, not made up; and there are plenty more to choose from).
In general, corporations have far greater power than small businesses and non-profit organisations, and hence corporations would win most battles, in some cases at considerable cost to the smaller organisations. (The squelching of Virgin Helicopters by Richard Branson's company is a lesson that needs to be remembered).
If AuDA were to proceed with this ill-advised idea, then a complementary design feature would be essential. This would provide something similar to Wikipedia 'disambiguation' pages: the owner of a <name>.au page would be obliged by the terms of contract to provide an initial page containing an index of any secondary links that had been accepted for registration to the same domain-name.
Using John Selby's example, if the owner of the whitegoods business gained the rights to whirlpool.au, then the first page encountered by the user would not be the whirlpool home-page, but instead a page along the lines of:
This is the home-page of <business-name> The full page will be displayed in 15 seconds, or you can click here to go directly to it. If you are looking for another organisation, the following registrations also exist: - LINK:whirlpool.net.au - <organisation-name> - LINK:whirlpool.org.au - <organisation-name> - ... This service is provided under AuDA guidelines.
Another approach would be to require the owner to display on their home-page a prominent display and link along the lines of FIND OTHER ORGANISATIONS WITH SIMILAR NAMES. But this alternative would be far from satisfactory to any of the parties.
AuDA's policy re acceptance of registrations for secondary entries would need to be liberal and practical. It would need to accept not only any organisation that gains a registration under the relevant policies applicable to any .au 2TLD, but also any organisation that would gain such a registration if the relevant domain-name had not already been assigned.
Hence Virgin Helicopters, which it appears no longer owns any virgin.xxx.au domain-name, would be accepted for registration for the virgin.au domain.
Would you please accept this as a formal submission, despite its brevity and ASCII formatting.
Regards ... Roger Clarke
Roger Clarke is Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre at the University of N.S.W., a Visiting Professor in the E-Commerce Programme at the University of Hong Kong, and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University.
The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.
From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 40 million by the end of 2012.
Sponsored by Bunhybee Grasslands, the extended Clarke Family, Knights of the Spatchcock and their drummer
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Created: 15 June 2007 - Last Amended: 15 June 2007 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
This document is at www.rogerclarke.com/II/Direct2LDs.html