DNS: Response from Melbourne IT to ISOC-AU - the good news

DNS: Response from Melbourne IT to ISOC-AU - the good news

From: Peter Gerrand <ceo§MelbourneIT.com.au>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 14:48:20 +1000
Pauline van Winsen - on behalf od ISOC-AU - wrote:
> 
...
> what follows is a letter which will be faxed to MelbourneIT shortly.
> it is my understanding that these suggested changes have be ok'd by MelbourneIT
> & i would request that MelbourneIT respond to this letter in email to
> that effect.
> 
...
> ------------- Begin Forwarded Message -------------
> 
> [LOGO + ACN]                  The Internet Society of Australia
>                               A Chapter of the Internet Society
>                               C/- PO 366
>                               KENSINGTON NSW 2033
> 
>                               14th March 1997
> 
> Professor Peter Gerrand
> Melbourne IT
> Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street,
> The University of Melbourne
> Parkville, Victoria
> Australia, 3052
> 
> Dear Peter,
> 
> Thank you for responding to our letter regarding changes to the com.au
> domain name renewal procedure. From the telephone conversations between
> MelbourneIT and ISOC-AU we understand that MelbourneIT have three categories of
> domain name renewals to deal with. These are described as follows:
> 
> Category 1
> 
> com.au domain names registered by MelbourneIT after the 8th of October
> 1996 as part of the backlog processing of com.au domain names for which
> no fee has yet been paid. These domain names were registered at no charge
> when MelbourneIT commenced operation on the 8th of October 1996, to speed
> processing of registrations with the understanding that a renewal fee would
> fall due in January 1997.
> 
> Category 2
> 
> com.au domain names which are deemed "dead". i.e. the owners of the domain names
> cannot be contacted by email, phone or letter.
> 
> Category 3
> 
> com.au domain names registered prior to the 8th of October 1996 which have not
> been renewed. That is, domain names held by owners who have no prior
> "contract" with MelbourneIT.
> 
> MelbourneIT stated that they would like to process renewals
> for each of these categories in the following way:
> 
> Category 1
> 
> com.au domain names which fall into Category 1 need to be registered before
> March 17 as the domain name owners have an existing relationship with
> MelbourneIT. It is also understood that the March 17 deadline may have already
> moved to April 17 as a result of a Federal Court action.
> 
> Category 2
> 
> com.au "dead" domain names would be removed on July 1 1997 if no contact with
> the domain owner could be established.
> 
> Category 3
> com.au domain names registered prior to the 8th of October 1996 who could be
> contacted could elect to remain unlicensed until the 8th of October 1997
> providing no work was required to be performed on the domain.
> 
> ISOC-AU will endorse the above changes to the renewal procedure with the
> following caveats:
> 
> Category 1:
> 
> Providing there was a clear understanding in writing to the domain name
> owners registered after the 8th of October 1996 that registration would be
> completed for free but renewal fees would fall due in early 1997. It is
> understood these names were processed as part of the backlog of domain name
> registrations left over from the old registration procedure.
> 
> Category 2:
> 
> That a public register of "dead" com.au domain names be established
> immediately so that the public may assist in tracking down domain name
> owners. It is suggested that this list be published via a web page and that
> the existence of the web page be published to the Internet community.
> If the owner of a "dead" domain name did come forward before the 1st of July
> 1997, they could elect to move to Category 3. i.e. no fee would be due until
> the 1st of November 1997.
> 
> Category 3
> 
> That the renewal date be moved to the 1st of November 1997 to give
> com.au domain name owners a clear 1 year grace period.
> 
> ISOC-AU would also encourage MelbourneIT to allow com.au domain name
> owners to query the status of their renewal status via electronic means.
> We believe this will remove much of the current confusion regarding the
> renewal status of domain names in the com.au name space.
> 
> Though not in the scope of our original letter, MelbourneIT will need to
> consider how to process com.au domain name owners who have licensed their
> domains on the understanding that a fee would fall due on the 17th of March
> 1997. It may be wise to consider extending the license of those domain name
> owners who have renewed but who do not require work to be performed on their
> domain until the 1st of November 1997.
> 
> Yours sincerely,
> 
> Pauline van Winsen
> Director, Internet Society of Australia
> A Chapter of ISOC
> 
> ------------- End Forwarded Message -------------
> 
> orig. letter:
> 
> ------------- Begin Forwarded Message -------------
> 
> [LOGO + ACN]                  The Internet Society of Australia
>                               A Chapter of the Internet Society
>                               C/- PO 366
>                               KENSINGTON NSW 2033
> 
>                               10th March 1997
> 
> Professor Peter Gerrand
> Melbourne IT
> Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street,
> The University of Melbourne
> Parkville, Victoria
> Australia, 3052
> 
> Dear Peter,
> 
> The Internet Society of Australia is concerned about Melbourne IT's current
> plan to remove domain names from the com.au name space which have not been
> renewed by the 17th of March 1997.
> ISOC-AU urges you to leave domain names which have not been renewed by
> the 17th of March untouched until the anniversary of the domain name's original
> registration or until the 1st of November 1997, whichever date arrives first. If
> the original registration date cannot be determined then the renewal cut-off
> date should fall to the 1st November. If MelbourneIT is asked to perform
> changes on behalf of an unrenewed domain before either of these times, only then
> is it reasonable that a renewal fee be paid to Melbourne IT by the domain name
> owner at that time.
> 
> The motivations you have given for your renewal process are valid and
> we consider the process of maintaining the integrity of the DNS to be of great
> importance. If the integrity of the current com.au namespace is flawed
> MelbourneIT has a wonderful opportunity to be public-spirited and to improve the
> DNS as MelbourneIT will already be contacting domain name owners as part of the
> renewal process. Administrative and delegation information and an original
> registration date can be determined when contact with the domain name owner is
> established. The domain name can then be added to the formal renewal process so
> that the domain name owner can be billed at the appropriate time. Domain name
> owners could also relinquish unwanted domain names at this time.
> 
> Requiring the immediate registration of all domain names is, rightly or wrongly,
> seen by many members of the Society as anti-competitive. It is felt that
> forcing most active domain names to be licensed with Melbourne IT will make
> it very difficult for effective competition to arise. Given the enormous
> competitive advantage that Melbourne IT already has in the area of DNS
> administration, we feel it can afford to make a gesture which will be of
> great long-term benefit to the Australian Internet. There is overwhelming public
> support for the renewal mechanism we have proposed above. This mechanism has
> been proposed to MelbourneIT before by parties other than ISOC-AU.
> 
> We urge you to permit unrenewed domain names to continue unaltered until a
> change is requested, until the anniversary of their registrations (if known) or
> until the 1st of November 1997 whichever is the earlier.
> This would be an effective show of good faith to the Australian Internet
> community, would lessen the financial strain on many domain name holders and
> would provide the space needed for alternative DNS services to arise. We
> believe that not only would such a course of action not harm Melbourne IT's
> business interests, it would actively promote Melbourne IT as a company with
> the real future health of the Australian DNS at heart, and would go a long
> way towards removing many of the reservations that the Australian Internet
> community has with respect to this revolutionary change in the way the
> Australian DNS is managed.
> 
> Yours sincerely,
> 
> Pauline van Winsen
> Director, The Internet Society of Australia.
> A Chapter of ISOC
> 
> ------------- End Included Message -------------

--------------- Start Letter of Reply ------------

Pauline van Winsen
Director, Internet Society of Australia

Dear Pauline

I am happy to confirm my agreement to the principles outlined in your
letter dated 14 March 1997 for dealing with the three categories of
com.au domain names, and my agreement to the caveats expressed in your
letter.  I have also checked with Luke Carruthers that these principles,
and the implied new arrangements, have been agreed to by the other
national Internet association, INTIAA.  As INTIAA and ISOC-AU are key
founding members of the proposed Australian Domain Name Authority Ltd, I
would expect that this agreement would be "grand-fathered" into the
policies adopted at inception by ADNA. 

To provide maximum certainty for those already allocated com.au domain
names, I will summarise Melbourne IT's position on the three categories
of yet-to-be renewed com.au domain names, consistent with the principles
you and I and Luke have agreed to, and which are outlined in your
letter. 

Category 1

These are com.au domain names registered by MelbourneIT after the 8th of
October
1996 as part of the backlog processing of com.au domain names for which
no fee has yet been paid. These domain names were registered at no
charge
when Melbourne IT commenced its operations as DNA on the 8th of October
1996, to speed
processing of registrations with the understanding that a renewal fee
would
fall due in January 1997. 
                   
Category 2
  
These are com.au domain names which by default are deemed "dead". i.e.
the owners of the domain names cannot be contacted by email, phone or
letter.
 
Category 3
 
These are com.au domain names registered prior to the 8th of October
1996 which have not
yet been renewed. That is, domain names held by owners who have no prior
"contract" with Melbourne IT.
 
Melbourne IT will process renewals for each of these categories in the
following way:
 
Category 1
  
All com.au domain names which fall into Category 1 need to be registered
or renewed with payment before 30 April 1997 (note the final extended
deadline; the original deadline was 1 February, later extended in early
January to 17 March) as the domain name owners have an existing
relationship with Melbourne IT. From 1 May 1997 Melbourne IT has the
right to delete Category 1 domain names not registered or renewed with
appropriate fees, after having made best endeavours to contact the
Administrative Contact for each relevant domain name.
 
Category 2
 
All com.au "dead" domain names will be removed by July 1 1997. These
include not only domain names whose registered Administrative Contacts
or Technical Contacts (ISPs) have informed Melbourne IT that their
domain names are no longer required, but also those domain names,
registered before 8 October 1996, for which no contact with the domain
owner has been established by 30 June 1997, despite a diligent process
by Melbourne IT.  Melbourne IT will make available on its website by 31
March at the latest, electronic access to a database of apparently
"dead" domain names, so that ISPs and others can check their own
records. 
 
Category 3

These are com.au domain names registered prior to the 8th of October
1996, whose owners or ISPs are found to be contactable, and have not yet
been renewed. Melbourne IT will offer the owners of these domain names
the option of retaining their domain names passively on our Zone Files
as temporary, Unserviced domain names without charge until the 8th of
October 1997.  Being Unserviced means they will not receive changes of
delegation, Internet connectivity maintenance testing or any customer
service. This option needs to be explicitly confirmed by the
Administrative Contact before 1 July 1997 to Melbourne IT, otherwise the
domain names will be considered to be "dead" and will be treated like
Category 2 names.  The Administrative Contacts for these domain names
can at any time until 1 November 1997 renew these Category 3 domain
names by paying the appropriate fee, either directly or via their ISP;
they will then receive normal levels of service, including free changes
of delegation.  From 2 November 1997, Melbourne IT will have the right
to delete from its Zone Files any remaining Category 3 domain names. By
that date the com.au Domain Name System will have become finally fully
validated and updated.

I thank you and Luke Carruthers of INTIAA for your co-operation in
developing collaboratively with Melbourne IT some sensible compromises
to meet the needs of the Internet community as we make the transition
into this fee-for-service era. 

THE EXTRA GOOD NEWS

In addition I would like to announce that Melbourne IT will reward those
ISPs and end users whose domain names are in Category 3 and who renew
their domain names with $125 payment to Melbourne IT by 30 April, with a
six month bonus on the normal two year licence period - i.e. their
renewal licence will extend to 30 October 1999. This offer expires on 30
April 1997. (However note that under our agreed policy, com.au domain
names can only be licensed to businesses registered to trade in
Australia, and some evidence of that status in the form of a registered
company name or registered business name or equivalent certificate will
be required. It is Melbourne IT's intent to preserve the "blue chip"
status of licensed com.au addresses.) 

Equally importantly, we will reward those other 'historical' com.au
domain name owners, whose domain names were allocated before Melbourne
IT commenced its operations on 8 October 1996, and who have already
renewed their domain names on the fee-for-service basis in response to
our previous advertised policy. They will receive an extension of six
months at no extra cost to their current licence.

Well before 30 April, Melbourne IT will establish an electronically
accessible database on its website providing information on both the
status of each com.au domain name in our Zone Files and its expiry date.

Yours sincerely

PG
-- 
Professor Peter Gerrand
CEO, Melbourne IT
Received on Sun Mar 16 1997 - 15:37:33 UTC

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