[DNS] Auctioning generic names

[DNS] Auctioning generic names

From: Bruce Tonkin <Bruce.Tonkin§melbourneit.com.au>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 12:39:06 +1000
Hello Harry,

The relevant section in the Names Panel
(http://www.auda.org.au/panel/name/papers/finalreport.html report is:

**************

" 4.1 Generic domain names

Generic domain names are prohibited in com.au, but are allowed in all other
2LDs. The Panel noted that if the prohibition on generic domain names were
to be maintained in com.au, then for the sake of consistency it should be
extended to other 2LDs too (or at the very least, to the other commercial
2LD, net.au). 


There is consensus among the Panel that the restriction on generic domain
names should be removed in some way, to meet public demand. However, there
is no consensus about how or when the restriction should be removed. Some
Panel members favoured maintaining the prohibition in com.au, but creating
new 2LDs that would use generic names as gateways or portals (eg. cars.au,
lawyers.au, etc), or new 2LDs that would allow generic domain names to be
licensed as third level domains (3LDs). Other Panel members favoured
removing the prohibition in com.au, in addition to the new 2LD options.


The Panel has decided to refer this issue to the auDA Board. If the Board
decides to remove the prohibition on generic domain names in com.au, a
discussion paper prepared by a sub-group of the Panel at Attachment B
recommends the auction method of allocation. Note that this recommendation
was put forward by the authors of the paper; it does not necessarily reflect
the views of the whole Panel. If the Board decides to maintain the
restriction on generic domain names, then the Panel suggests that the
reserved list mechanism in recommendation 3.7 would be the best way to do
this. "


********************

Thus the panel reached consensus that the restriction on generic names
should be removed, but could not reach consensus on how that should be done.

A subgroup of the panel (3 people: Alan Chalmers, ACA, Ian Johnston, SETEL,
and Derek Whitehead, Swinburne) made a proposal (in Attachment B) to auction
the generic names.

However there were other submissions to the Names Panel reports that
proposed other approaches (e.g
http://www.auda.org.au/panel/name/submissions/tonkin2.html).

The auDA Board seems to have made a decision to use the proposal from the
subgroup (based on their press release of
(http://www.auda.org.au/docs/new-domains.html), although the minutes of the
relevant Board meeting have yet to be posted.  The last Board minutes posted
on the website are May 2001.

The auctioning of generic names is certainly one approach to allocating
generic names, and it also has the advantage of providing some funding to
help auDA manage the process of running a tender for the ".au" and second
level domain registries.  However I would like to have seen some industry
consensus (or at least majority support) reached on this issue with more
public comment - rather than the Board just accepting a proposal from 3
people instead of the panel as a whole.  

Note that auDA is an Australian self regulatory policy body, and should
normally be driven by the outcomes of the Advisory Panels
(http://www.auda.org.au/panel.html) which include broad participation from
both industry participants and consumers.  I am less concerned about the
method chosen for allocating generic domain names, then I am about the
process used to make the decision.

I hope at least the details of how the auctioning process will work will be
put out for public comment, before implementation.  Implementing an auction
for several thousand generic domain names will not be simple.  e.g Will the
process be done manually by auDA, or will there be an open tender to operate
a system to automate the process?

Regards,
Bruce Tonkin

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Received on Mon Sep 17 2001 - 02:50:19 UTC

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