AuDA Announces Changes To .AU Aftermarket

Following a review of the .AU secondary market, the .AU policy and regulatory body, auDA, has announced a number of changes to the aftermarket, or secondary market, down under.The changes come about following recommendations from the Secondary Market Working Group and the changes are that auDA should:

  • mandate a registrant transfer process, along the lines of the registrar transfer process; and
  • publish information for registrants about the registrant transfer process, including the fact that they can choose to transfer their domain name to another registrar prior to processing a change of registrant.
  • The six month prohibition on registrant transfers should be removed.
  • auDA should provide more information to the public about drop catching services, including clearly identifying the registrars that provide these services.
  • AusRegistry should clarify its process for changing the Registry Usage Policy, including timing of changes and communications with registrars.

Further, that auDA should publish a policy which:

  • clarifies that connection sharing between related registrars requires auDA’s prior written consent; and
  • specifically prohibits connection sharing between unrelated registrars.
  • AusRegistry should publish a document that provides general information about drop catching to all registrars.

The changes will be implemented in coming months alongside recommendations from the 2010 Names Policy Panel.Writing on the changes, Australian law firm Cooper Mills Lawyers noted “the most noteworthy change was the removal of the restriction on the resale of domain names. This policy was seen to be inconsistent and illogical by many industry players. The restrictions did not apply to domain names transferred but only on new registrations.”Some industry observers say that this decision effectively removes restrictions on the trading of domain names, and brings Australia into line with almost every other jurisdiction around the world.”Other changes included the provision of more information to consumer and registrants about domain name transfers and domain name drop services.”