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April 15, 2019

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
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to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

It Pays to Speak Up: Australian Domain Authority Rejects Attempt to Ban Domain Investing There

In our last post we told you about Australian entrepreneurs being up in arms over a proposal that country's domain governing body, auDA, (administrator of the .AU ccTLD), was considering that could have effectively banned domain investing in that country's TLD. From the moment the idea was broached a crescendo of protests began growing with everyone from a former auDA board member (Simon Johnson) to the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) lodging strong objections to what would have been an unprecedented development in the domain industry.

The united stand taken by the domain business community apparently caught the attention of auDA leadership because today they announced they have rejected the proposed policy changes for the Australian namespace. The auDA decision said “there is no evidence that domain name flipping as an investment strategy is having a negative impact on the utility of the .au domain nor resulting in a scarcity of domain names."

Australia image from Bigstock

The first word we got on the auDA decision came in a press release issued by the ICA this morning. It noted that auDA concluded, "the warehousing prohibition appears to disproportionately target domain investors, as the licence portfolios or holdings of trademark and brand owners will be excluded under the Policy Review Panel (PRP) proposal.  

This proposal elevates the rights of trademark and other intellectual property owners over other licence holders in the .au domain, which may give rise to issues of market power and anti-competitive practices. auDA management accordingly does not support the PRP recommendation for a resale and warehousing prohibition."

All domain investors owe a debt of gratitude to the ICA and all others who stood up in opposition to this encroachment on the rights of domain investors and entrepreneurs. They represent a significant portion of  domain registrants worldwide and should have the same standing as anyone else who chooses to invest their faith and money in the long term value of domain names.

(Posted April 15, 2019)

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