New market for domain names opens up

From mid-2008, selling and transferring Australian domain names will become easier.

.au Domain Administration (auDA), the policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .au domain space, has finalised its new policy promoting more straightforward trade in the domain name marketplace.

A key feature of the new policy framework is that registrants of domain names will be allowed to transfer their domain name licenses to others for any reason.

Transfer of domain names will not be permitted for the first six months after initial registration (this does not apply to domain names that have been renewed or previously transferred).

After this period, registrants will be able to offer their domain name for sale or transfer by listing the domain name for sale on a domain brokerage website, for example, or advertising the domain name for sale in a newspaper or contacting a prospective buyer directly.

Companies handling the registration and transfer of domain names will be permitted to charge transfer fees for that service.

However, registering a domain name for the sole purpose of resale or transfer to a third party will not be permitted.

The new policy framework is the result of a year-long consultation period in which auDA consulted with consumer and industry groups to develop more practical and business-friendly guidelines.

Until the new policy commences operation mid-2008, auDA’s “Transfers (Change of Registrant) Policy (2004-03)” continues to apply and auDA will continue to investigate complaints about transfers breaching this policy.

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