The .NZ Domain Name Commissioner has issued proposed changes to enable the resolution of “conflicted” domain names following the release of second level domains. The changes aren’t changes to the process, which currently has no time limits, but rather one of engagement and requiring action to resolve the conflict.
The problem has arisen where registrants of domains for the New Zealand country code top level domain (ccTLD) such as anyname.co.nz, anyname.net.nz and anyname.org.nz all have rights to the second level domain, anyname.nz, and they cannot reach agreement about who can register anyname.nz.
At the time of the release of second level registrations on 30 September 2014, it was documented in the policy that the process for considering registrations of conflicted names would be reviewed two years after that date. The DNC have now done that review and identified some proposed changes.
Currently there are 2 ways to resolve conflicts – either an agreement is reached between the parties that have currently registered the conflicted domains or for all but one of the conflicted names to be cancelled and released, leaving only one remaining.
When second level registrations were launched there were 36,771 conflicted domains but only 5,903 have done anything to resolve the problem. The proposed changes gives registrants of conflicted domains 12 months to resolve the problem.
In the case of a conflict set involving 2 domain names, the failure of one registrant to lodge a preference would mean the conflict was resolved in the favour of the registrant who had lodged a preference, assuming the preference they lodged was to try and get the shorter version of their name (currently 91.8% of preferences lodged are for this). Where no preferences are lodged in a conflict set, the conflict would automatically be resolved with the name becoming available for registration on a first come, first served basis.
For more information on the proposed changes, see the .NZ Domain Name Commissioner announcement here.