Review of auDA policy – restriction on geographic names in com.au and net.au

Under current auDA policy, people are not allowed to use Australian geographic (place) names* as domain names in com.au and net.au. This policy was originally introduced in 1997-98 by the previous administrators of com.au (Melbourne IT) and net.au (Connect Internet) in order to protect geographic names from commercial exploitation on the Internet. 

The DNS in Australia has undergone substantial growth and change since the restriction on geographic names in com.au and net.au was introduced. In November 2002, auDA announced that it would create eight new second level domains (2LDs) for Australian states and territories - act.au, nsw.au, nt.au, qld.au, sa.au, tas.au, vic.au, wa.au - in order to preserve Australian geographic names for use by the relevant community. Refer to Community Geographic 2LDs for more information.

In light of these developments, the auDA Board has decided to review the current policy to determine whether it still meets the needs and expectations of the Australian community.

To assist with its deliberations, the auDA Board is seeking responses to the following questions:

1. Should the restriction on geographic names in com.au and net.au be maintained? If so, why?

OR

2. Should the restriction on geographic names in com.au and net.au be removed - ie. should people be allowed to register geographic names in com.au and net.au? If so, why?

Responses should be emailed to auDA's Chief Policy Officer, Jo Lim.

The closing date for responses is Friday 30 July 2004.

All submissions received will be posted on the auDA web site here.

* Since 1 July 2002, a "geographic name" has been defined as any location with an Australian postcode, as listed on the Australia Post postcode database. The names and common abbreviations of Australian states and territories (eg. Victoria and Vic) have also been included within the definition of "geographic name".

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