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The Internet

Australia's Generic Net Names To Be Put Up For Auction 65

Posted by timothy
from the generic-dot-something-hey-you dept.
m0f3z writes: "According to this article, auDA has organised to auction off previously reserved internet names, such as hotel.com.au and banks.com.au. It's believed the auction is the first of its kind in the world."
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Australia's Generic Net Names To Be Put Up For Auction

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  • and if you try and register a domain name that someone has as .com expect to be sued for cybersquatting!
    oh, the world we live in . . .
  • all.your.base.are.bel....

    oh who am i kidding
  • Some weeks ago the Spanish NIC announced the same for .es domains for 'valuable words'. Incredible but true.
  • by rdl (4744) <ryan@NosPaM.venona.com> on Monday December 24, 2001 @04:57AM (#2746855) Homepage
    I actually had the idea several years ago, when tangentially involved with a ccTLD commercialization project, to auction domain names in a "virgin" domain on a first-come, first-serve, reverse auction basis. I'm sure others have as well -- auctions are a standard way to distribute scarce resources, like RF spectrum.

    On day one, offer any available name for USD 100m. (first come first-serve intraday). Second day, USD 50m. Third, USD 25m...

    Certainly there would be few/no sales at the higher price, but at some point, domains like "anal.*" would go for a high price. And single-letter domains. I like this system because it allows users to decide what domains are valuable, and whoever values the domain the highest, gets it. It really seems like the only fair way to distribute the resource.

    It's better to do reverse vs. forward auction because otherwise bidding for popular domains could drag out for some time. Forward auction might increase prices if there is a "bidding war". Some of the details can be tweaked.

    However, it's unclear if this kind of sale would be ok with ICANN (or at the time, IANA). Not that it particularly matters; they're pretty much morally bankrupt at this point, and if the proceeds went to the country involved, I doubt they could successfully protest.

    If anyone with a ccTLD wants to do this, please email me, I'd be happy to set it up for you, I have the code :)
    • I like this system because it allows users to decide what domains are valuable
      What if a company wants a domain name, but their competitor buys it up because the competitor has more cash?
      McDonald's Cafe (est 1935) surely has as valid a claim to McDonalds.* as the American "meat"inabun company? Yet the big corporation can uses its cast financial clout to dispence with the competition.

      Terry
  • The result will be that the sites will go not to the sites most deserving, but to those that can make the most out of them. </blindingflashoftheobvious>.

    I can picture it now...
    http://hotel.com.au:

    Welcome to hotel goatse.cx!
  • Why stop there? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by heretic108 (454817) on Monday December 24, 2001 @05:15AM (#2746879)
    Why don't they go the whole hog:
    1) Abolish ownership of all domain names, and replace it with a system of 12-month leases, issued by auction.
    2) At end of every 12 month period, auction each domain name again?

    Hell, even as it is, you can't register a .org.au domain unless you're a legally incorporated association. You can't register a .com.au unless you're a legally registered business, and the domain name has to be the same as the business' trading name.

    I was born in, and spent the first 32 years of my life, in Australia. Looking at it from outside, I'm fascinated how the 'convict streak' there is paralleled by a severe authoritarian streak.

    Hell, it's even against the law there to webcast an audio or video stream without a government license.

    I'm surprised they haven't yet legislated to force all TCP/IP connections to go through Censorship Board firewalls.

    I've spent 5 of the last 7 years in New Zealand (by virtue of my Kiwi wife), and I've never felt so free!
    • 1) Abolish ownership of all domain names, and replace it with a system of 12-month leases, issued by auction.
      Jesus, wouldn't that be hell to maintain? Imagine having to be the person to update potentially millions of DNS records every 12 months? Imagine having to pay to have the same web address every 12 months, and because it's an auction, your competitor can bid on your web address and force you to spend more money on something you already have?

      I'm for exactly the opposite, buying a web address and from then on, it's YOURS. If you don't want it anymore, you can sell it. Leasing it does nothing but make money for the organizations who sell the leases, otherwise they have no use what-so-ever. DNS issues would/should be taken care of at your ISP.

      Note: I am NOT speaking from a(n) .au perspective, I'm speaking of the entire registrar as a whole.
    • 1) Abolish ownership of all domain names, and replace it with a system of 12-month leases, issued by auction.

      There is no ownership of domain names. In Australia, and most other places, they _are_ leased. In Australia, domains like .com.au are leased for two years periods. I also note .com, .net, .biz, .info etc are leased too. You can't claim to own them because you don't.

      kim
  • .tv were taking bids rather than orders for the more 'desirable' .tv subdomains about 18 months ago. They had a nice page where you could see the current bids for things like m.tv
  • More self interested fucks will set up crap spamware sites with 50 banners each.
    I have to ask, do people actually make money off this shit? I mean, how valuable is "sex.com" or "banks.com.au" does anybody go to these sites (more than once)?? (and http porn is so passe. . . . ;)
    I think people would of have realized by now that people don't typically type shit like sex.com in their browser, but use a search engine. Space.com is a fairly cool site, but I don't visit it because of the domain name / advertising, but because the content is fairly decent.
    Anyways....
    • Sex.com is worth a ton [cnn.com]

      They also used to rake in $400,000/mo in banners [wired.com]

      Never underestimate the power of a clueless random with a blank address bar. Before you know it sex.com is "porn on the internet" just like banks.com.au is "australian banks on the internet" just like windows is "computers"...

    • Many people type in domain names. Some of my company's adult oriented domain names such as cocksuckers.com [cocksuckers.com] and fucked.com [fucked.com] get thousands of visitors daily. And many do cum again :-)

      There's certainly value in generic domains in .COM, but the real question is a similar value in other TLDs. To date, it appears there is not. For example, adult oriented generic .ORGs and .NETs are typically worth about 1% of their .COM counterparts. And ccTLDs are often worth even less - often to the point of being practically worthless.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Robert Elz was dead against this. His standard was that you got foobar.com.au if your company was called foobar and not otherwise. Nice clean system.

    But he lost his fight to keep .au and now the moment auDA gets control they throw out all logic.

    "Highest bidder? Excellent way to ensure a logical address space. No ethical problem as long as we get a lot of money for it!"

    I'm upset they breath the same air I do.

    • Robert Elz was dead against this. His standard was that you got foobar.com.au if your company was called foobar and not otherwise. Nice clean system. But he lost his fight to keep .au and now the moment auDA gets control they throw out all logic.

      You clearly don't know what you are talking about. You still must be eligible for the domain name under the auction. So if you want sex.com.au you company must be called something like "Sex" as of 13th August 2001.

      auDA hasn't and isn't throwing out the eligibility requirements of domain names, it is simple allowing people to register forbidden generics under those same rules.
  • they should take bids for contracts to provide a directory service for the community.

    The government should ask for bids... maybe they could require a non favoring listing feature, and allow for a limited number of paid advertizing on it...

    The government could pay, or be paid for this. the listing service could charge a fixed rate for service... (or proportional to the size of the business)

    etc..

    I don't think they should auction some of those things off...
  • only to be parrelled by the Verisign business model. Per bit they have to be the most sucessful digital product vendors on the planet.
    • only to be parrelled by the Verisign business model. Per bit they have to be the most sucessful digital product vendors on the planet.

      without having seen their financials, I am going to have to disagree with you...

      IMHO, success is not just based on money, but on consumer attitudes... and I challenge you to find *one* domain name registrant who is happy with Verisign. I certainly haven't met one, and as the Tech Support Manager at a web hosting company, I talk to quite a few of them.

      (Disclaimer: This is my opinion, not the opinion of the company I work for, etc, etc, etc.)
  • Although the best time to do this would have been 1 year ago or so, this is a pretty savvy way to generate some money. Last year, during the dotcom boom this auction would have made 10x as much money, but I guess they hung on too long.

    Actually, I would hold onto these domains for another 6 months or so when the supposed rebound is to happen- probably get more money then, but I guess they need the money now.

    Imagine the $s if the US government sold the name "slashdot.com" to the public....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmm... auction.com.au. Or is that up for auction, too? :-)
  • Not open season (Score:4, Informative)

    by purplemonkeydan (214160) on Monday December 24, 2001 @07:25AM (#2746997)
    It's not 'open season' on whatever stupid domain name you want (I was looking at nudists.com.au ;).

    .com.au requires you to hold a business name or trademark similar to the domain you want to register.

    To successfully win in the auction, you needed to have a valid and relevant trademark or business name current as of last August.

    It's mainly for companies that had a generic name as a trademark, but due to the existing policies of the previous .au administration were not allowed to register an appropriate .com.au (Orange comes to mind; they can probably pickup orange.com.au as well as their current .net.au).
    • To successfully win in the auction, you needed to have a valid and relevant trademark or business name current as of last August.

      Okay, the last August thing sorts things out for now. But what about the generics not taken after the auction that are still valuable? Someone's gonna register business names ASAP for every domain they can. Its not like its ever been trivial to form a business. It takes seven hundred dollars, a visit to incoporator.com.au or a similar site, a dropp in to your lcoal ASIC office, and and about forty minutes depending on travel time. They'll then wait for the `you must have had a business by this date' to roll forward to the date they started and band, they have their domain.

      And its been done many times in the past by business trying to register generic domain names. Jeff Kennet, a politicial, simply formed a company to register jeff.com.au. And apple gets their generic domain name.

      How about applecomputer.com? Orangemobile.com?
      Why does every large business expect a god-given unfair advantage over smaller competitors?
  • First of it's kind? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zocalo (252965) on Monday December 24, 2001 @07:32AM (#2747004) Homepage
    I don't know about "it's believed the auction is the first of its kind in the world" but wasn't one of the new TLDs auctioned off? Sure, it got classed as an illegal lottery, but it was still an auction of domain names to the highest bidder.

    Actually this makes a lot of sense to me; raise a shitload of cash for nothing and then watch the new owners of the vastly overvalued domain names struggle to recoup their investment while you laugh all the way to the bank. This scheme sounds suspiciously like the 3G mobile auctions in the UK a few years ago; the government got £26 *billion* for a few leases on the RF spectrum. Like, sure, there is £26 billion to recouped from 3G in a population of less than 60m...

  • The rules and regulations regarding registering *.au domains has been a big fucking fuck up! Basically what their saying is unless you're a big multinational company you won't be able to afford a .au domain. Just like every other useless thing Australia has done all the profits will end up overseas because of the strict policies of the auDA.
    In Australia you need to be a registered company with an ABN to purchase a .com.au, this forces most Australian businesses to register o/s to get .com names.
    No one these days registers a business name before knowing if they will be able to get a url that somewhat represents their name and with the stupid policies that come out of this lucky country it's no wonder most people go else where.
    • In Australia you need to be a registered company with an ABN to purchase a .com.au, this forces most Australian businesses to register o/s to get .com names

      What a crock of shit! - You only need a registered business name, which costs around $au70 - and anyone can get one.

      The company that I work for has a few dozzen business names used to register domain names with aunic. [aunic.net]

  • Not the first (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SW6 (140530)
    Last year a company called CentralNic [centralnic.com], who operate a registry for uk.com and many other similar domains, decided to auction off all the generic names they had previously held back. The main difference is that CentralNic did it for charity, and not to line their own pocket.
  • They made that list without thinking of tech terms .

    These are all established websites:
    www [www.com.au]
    top50 [top50.com.au]
    link [link.com.au]
    isp [isp.com.au]


    Maybe they flipped through a dictionary to make the list.
    That would explain why these slipped through, back in 95.
    • They made that list without thinking of tech terms. These are all established websites: www top50 link isp

      The generic rule was only introduced around 1995/1996, and there were generics registered before then. I think you will find most generics already existing were registered before the rule was introduced (although some HAVE slipped through since).

      The inconsistent application of the rule is one of the reasons it is being dropped.
  • Strange as it may seem, this is not likely to be an optimum business strategy. The reason is that the value of a domain is also dependent on the amount of use it gets. Domains with few registrations attract less interest than those with many.

    If the .au people cherrypicked the best 100 domains they might have an optimal plan. However the chances are that they will get far too greedy and take 10,000 or 100,000.

    What it comes down to is the same economics as baseball cards. The scheme does not work if the card companies cherry pick all the best cards before they sell them.

  • The only way to make generic domains work is to have things like beer.com.au go to site that has links to anyone that has a legitmate need for it.

    This will be very importaint once the .name domains start to get used because at this point the law is quite weak when it comes to personal identity theft and misrepresentation. I'm sort of glad one of the first areas allowed will be for lawyers. Let them work it out with their own money for a change. I suspect that the only way you could hold on to john.smith.name is by being a portal providing links to any other john smith in the world.
  • Why does anyone use .au?

    seriously, my friends and I (in Australia) always end up going with .com

    .au requires all manner of paperwork and fuss, and nearly as much money, and in the end u have to type 3 more characters everytime.

Just go with the flow control, roll with the crunches, and, when you get a prompt, type like hell.

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