Following international condemnation, in particular from the Internet Commerce Association, auDA has quickly backtracked on changes it was planning that would have banned domain investors from being part of .au.
In a Quarterly Update [pdf] from the .au policy and regulatory body for January to March, auDA announced that following a special meeting of the auDA Board on 15 April that was convened to consider the final report of the Policy Review Panel (PRP) into Reform of Existing Policies and Implementation Plan into Direct Registration, and following submissions from the Internet Commerce Association among others that condemned the proposed ban on domain investing, or domaining, auDA now say they are “not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to justify such changes, considering that the changes would be difficult to enforce.”
“Accordingly, without sufficient evidence that the changes as proposed would contribute to these principles, and result in a more secure and diverse namespace, the recommendations will not be implemented.”
Currently in Australia’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD), domain monetisation is allowed, but the registering of domain names for the sole purpose of sale is not. Sales of .au domain names happen every day in Australia through expired domains via dropcatchers and aftermarket sales. auDA themselves sold many generic domain names for a windfall back in 2002.
Other changes proposed by the PRP still being supported by auDA and its PRP include the introduction of internationalised domain names at the second level and second level registrations.