[Linux-aus] Linux Australia's submission to the auDA direct registration policy review | proxy vote in auDA board elections

Linux Australia President president at linux.org.au
Fri Nov 10 21:02:57 AEDT 2017

Hi everyone,

In line with our values of openness and transparency, there's two key
things I'd like to communicate this evening.

        Linux Australia's submission to the auDA direct registration
        policy review

As you might be aware, auDA has recently decided to allow direct domain
registrations into the .au ccTLD. A Policy Review Panel has been
convened to hear submissions related to the implementation of this
policy decision. Given Linux Australia's interest in the *.conf.au 2LD,
we have made a submission. The submission PDF contains my signature, so
I haven't attached it here, but the text is reproduced below.

Sincere thanks are extended to Secretary, Sae Ra Germaine, and long-time
leader of our Admin Team, Steve Walsh, for their efforts in producing
this submission, and to my Council colleagues Josh Stewart and David
Bell for their input and QA. Thank you all.

        Proxy vote to Nicole Murdoch in auDA Board Elections

Linux Australia has directed our proxy vote in the upcoming auDA Board
Elections to Nicole Murdoch, and instructed her via a Proxy Form to
register 'FOR' votes for herself and Ned O'Meara in the upcoming auDA
board election, to be held on 27th November. We thank all board
candidates who contacted Linux Australia requesting our proxy vote.

As always, your feedback, comments and queries are warmly welcomed.

(A newsier "update" email to come in a week or so when we get some
breathing space)

Kind regards,


        Text of Linux Australia's submission to the auDA direct
        registration policy review

Submission to the auDA on the Naming Policy of .au domains

Disclosure of interests

Linux Australia Inc is the peak governing body for open technology in
Australia. We represent thousands of open source users and developers
within Australia.
Our flagship conference is linux.conf.au; an internationally recognised
grassroots free and open source (FOSS) technology conference. Linux
Australia also auspices a number of other open technology related
conferences throughout Australia and New Zealand including PyCon AU,
DrupalGov, DrupalSouth and WordCamps. We have recently formalised an MoU
with WordPress Community Support LLC to foster additional WordPress
community growth within Australia.

Linux Australia is the recipient of a grandfathered domain
‘linux.conf.au’ following the significant historical use of the domain
under the previous registration system run by K. Robert Elz [0], and the
successful submission of a number of proposals when the .conf.au
namespace was retired in 2010. This submission includes the historical
documentation provided to AUDA during this process in 2009/2010 as

Linux Australia appreciates the opportunity to respond to the Australian
Domain Name Administration (auDA) inquiry into policy changes aimed at
implementing direct registration of domain names. For reference: This
submission is in direct relation to the conf.au 2LD but should be
applied to other direct registrations.

Direct registration has raised significant concerns both in its proposed
scope and proposed implementation pathways.

3 implementation issues have been identified:

Ability to retain existing grandfathered domain names prior to
implementation (either through direct allocation or a permanent
registration process);
Preserving registration rights for specifically related domain names;
Mechanisms for implementing direct registration.

Retaining existing grandfathered domain names

It is Linux Australia’s position that there should be the reservation of
specific 2LDs to accommodate those who currently fall under a specific
2LD including .gov.au, .edu.au, .org.au, .asn.au and .conf.au. These
domains should be retained as open 2LDs in the .au namespace.

Linux Australia posits that the opening of existing 2LD namespaces to a
more generic Direct Registration system will lead to an increase in
unrelated organisational domain registrations, with subsequent inflated
pricing, and loss of brand recognition due to unrelated website content.
Furthermore, the brand credibility and trust inherent in 2LDs such as
.gov.au, .edu.au and so on will be significantly diluted should the
existing restrictions on their registration be loosened.

Diminution of brand trust and credibility at the 2LD level also reflects
poorly on the .au ccTLD - a point that appears to have gone unidentified
and unaddressed in the process antecedent to discussions of
implementation. Indeed, one of the primary reasons for auDA’s creation
was to preserve the integrity of Australia’s ccTLD.
Preserving registration rights
for specifically related domain names
The move from the registrations of 2LD namespaces in Australia to direct
registrations could potentially result in erroneous and disingenuous
domain name registrations requiring litigious resolutions. It is the
position of Linux Australia that registration of a specific or generic
direct registration should be restricted to parties that can demonstrate
an existing relationship with a domain name registered in a 2LD
namespace to maintain a fair and open distribution. Moving forward, new
entrants to the market would need to obtain a relevant domain in a 2LD
namespace prior to seeking direct registration in the .au ccTLD
namespace. For example “Bob’s Books” has bobsbooks.com.au, and therefore
should be given preference for bobsbooks.au. “Books of Robert” do not
have a .com.au address, and want bobsbooks.au. “Books of Robert” are
refused bobsbooks.au.
Mechanisms for implementing direct registration
It is Linux Australia’s position that the current auDA policies
including the requirement for an Australian residency, exact match,
acronym or abbreviation of the registrant’s company or trading name and
the need for a substantial and close connection should continue to be
applied to any future direct registrations within the available 2LD
namespaces, thus preserving the integrity, value and good repute of
domains in the .au ccTLD.
Linux Australia recommends in the strongest possible terms that the
Policy Review Panel closely examine examples presented by ICAAN and
recommends in the strongest possible terms that the application of
auDA’s current policies for 2LD be applied to direct registrations.

Linux Australia recommends in the strongest possible terms that
preferential rights to holders of current 2LDs are ascribed to ensure
the continuation of brand recognition and the removal of confusion for
those with 2LD namespace registrations.

Should direct registrations into the .au ccTLD progress to
implementation - given the doubt cast on this by several Board
candidates, then Linux Australia urges the Policy Review panel to
consider in depth the ramifications that implementation of direct
registrations will yield.

Linux Australia would be delighted to meet with the .auDA Naming Policy
Panel to further discuss our submission and represent our viewpoints.

Yours sincerely,

Kathy Reid BA/BSc MBA (Computing)
Linux Australia Inc.
president at linux.org.au
ABN 56 987 117 479

Appendix - History of .conf.au

[0] AUNIC1 states the current purpose the "conf.au" 2LD - "(conf.au) is
used to support conferences and exhibitions that require a named
Internet presence. The domain is a short duration domain, delegated to a
conference or exhibition for a strictly limited duration."

Examples of previous users of this name space include Linux Australia
(linux.conf.au), Australian Diabetes Society (ads-adea2002.conf.au),
Australian Health and Medical Research Congress
(ahmrcongress2002.conf.au), First Cultures (firstcultures.conf.au), Best
for Women (bestforwomen.conf.au), and several other health and medical
related conferences (irf4thcongress.conf.au, insideout.conf.au, etc).

In all cases, these domains were registered and maintained using a
complex manual process that was error-prone and often resulted in the
domain being de-registered mid-event due to either miscommunication or
mis-understanding of the registration process.
This document is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia license (CC-BY-SA-3.0-AU). To view
a copy of this license, visit
or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900,
Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.


Kathy Reid
Linux Australia

0418 130 636

president at linux.org.au

Linux Australia Inc
GPO Box 4788
Sydney NSW 2001

ABN 56 987 117 479 

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