Alessandro Sorbello 
To: Jo Lim


Attention Jo Lim
Chief Policy Officer,
www.auda.org.au

auDA Regarding Proposed Changes

Dear Mr Lim

Further to your request for perspective on the proposed changes, please find response.

The Australian domain name market has been somewhat erratic in its evolution and the evidence of this are quite noticeable to the international marketplace. 

The changes in the early part of 2000 which essentially allowed .com.au domain name to be acquired to businesses and private individuals did not take into consideration the applications which had been lodged and rejected prior to the amendments, therefore, those who had attempted to register domain names and enter into emerging marketplaces were penalised for their foresight. 

As an Internet and Media consultant in Australia and Europe, I have found the .com.au domain name restrictions to be stifling to the evolution of the domain name market place and the subsequent development of the Internet space in Australia in comparison to the rest of the world. The poorly executed strategy permitted a limited number of investors to acquire a vast number of geographical domain names whilst at the same time excluding the previous applications prior to the amendments. 

It is without doubt that .com.au (and variations) domain names in Australia that are currently subjected to internationally unreasonable limitations need to be lifted. It is a globally accepted practice to acquire, trade and monetise domain names and we have seen the effects of this in the .com space. This buoyant market has created and allowed dynamic buoyancy into an entire market sector which gives rise to the expansion and development of the Internet into emerging market sectors. 

Recently I interviewed Dr. Vinton G Cerf, widely known as the Founder of the Internet. Vint Cerf serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In an exclusive interview, I posed several questions regarding the limitations of the .com marketplace imposed by ICANN  Dr. Cerf replied that the processes for appealing the decisions for disputes are not subject to definite timelines and therefore one can appeal the decision of the international body over an indefinite period, this of course means that incorrect decisions and changes in circumstances affecting the entitlement to this hugely valuable resource are not finite.

Many incorrect decisions have since been altered and reversed as the result of private individuals questioning the validity of the decision in the Supreme Court. No such procedures are currently in place in Australia under current legislation.
 
Regarding the .au proposed extension change, It is without doubt that this change will simply create confusion and open the marketplace the very practices which your organisation is attempting to curtail. The confusion that this will further create will continue to diminish the Australian Internet communities presence and significance on the global platform. 

Dan Warner from the Sydney Morning Herald recently interviewed me about the Australian domain name market and noted the stark contrast in the Australian marketplace in comparison to the rest of the world.

The market in Australia is sadly lacking the rest of the world by perhaps as much as 10 years although Australians are now waking up to the enormous possibilities which the 'Virtual Real Estate Market'
offers and trends in this country are evolving quickly. To apply the proposed changes at this time (or any time in the future) would be to yet again curtail the natural and essential evolution of the 'Australian Internet Landscape'

Thank you for your time
Alessandro Sorbello
Internet and Media Consultant 
Saturday, 9 June 2007

Report online at http://www.auda.org.au/pdf/sorbello.txt