Aust & NZ
page looks at the framework for naming in the dot-au space.
It covers -
following page considers the handling of disputes about
names, centred on the auDRP that deals with disputes between
domain name holders and entities with competing legal
rights in the name.
As we have noted in discussing domain name disputes
and ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP),
claims to domain names - a de facto address in cyberspace
- have become one of the most contested areas of internet
Trademark and other intellectual property (IP)
owners have sought to protect or leverage their offline
brands and other assets. Theorists have sought to reconcile
conflicts between trademark
owners or business name owners, with for example a pure
'first come,first served' model or 'first come, first
served subject to registration/use in good faith'. Some
libertarians have claimed that restrictions are nonsense
and the administrators of the net should simply generate
new gTLDs to deal with
In Australia the initial mechanism for disputes about
holding domain name is the .au Dispute Resolution Policy
It has been devised by auDA.
It is located within Australian law regarding trademarks,
business names and passing off.
It is similar to dispute resolution schemes overseas.
It is modelled on the UDRP.
The auDRP came into effect on 1 August 2002 and covers
all open .au domain names (ie the com, net, org, asn and
id 2LDs) registered or renewed from that date.
Existing domain name licences as at that date are 'grandfathered'
- registrants who licensed their domain name before introduction
of the auDRP will not have to submit to a proceeding under
the auDRP, unless they choose to 'sign on' to the auDRP.
Registrants are however required to 'sign on' to the auDRP
as part of their domain name licence agreement on renewing
the domain name.
In October 2005 auDA noted that
"close and substantial connection" rule was
introduced in 2002. It was intended to provide a limited
degree of flexibility for registrants to register domain
names that are not derived from their own company or
business name, but are nevertheless connected to them
in some way. ...
auDA has ruled in the past that it is acceptable under
the close and substantial connection rule to register
domain names for the purpose of providing Internet directory
services or information portals. For example, if a registrant
provides a real estate directory service then it would
be acceptable for them to register domain names that
are connected with that service (eg. houses.com.au,
apartments.com.au, land.com.au, estateagent.com.au and
It has recently come to auDA's attention that some registrants
have been using this interpretation of the close and
substantial connection rule to register large numbers
of domain names apparently for the primary purpose of
capturing web traffic and/or selling click-through advertising.
auDA is currently considering whether this practice
is acceptable under the close and substantial connection
Until auDA has issued a policy clarification, registrants
who engage in this practice should be aware that auDA
reserves the right to delete the domain names for breach