Australia’s government is lodging more warnings than any other government in the world against top level domain name applications, reinforcing its reputation as an over-regulator of the internet.
Out of 243 “early warnings” against domain applications, the Australian government lodged 129 – more than half.
Most of the objections are against generic terms, such as .food, .tennis or .books, where giving one company exclusive use of the domain would “exclude potential competitors” and allow that company to dominate the market.
129 objections is ridicolous. The Australian Govt is often regulation heavy when it comes to the Internet. Having said that there are legitimate issues with some applications such as do you let Amazon get .books which is a generic term?
Having said that, I note Amazon got famous as amazon.com and I don’t even know if there is a site called books.com – so a name is not as important as what you do with it.
However, the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) also objected to domains ending in fail, gripe, sucks and wtf (short for what the f–k?) because they are “overtly negative or critical connotation’. The government is concerned these domains could be used to damage individuals or organisations, for example www.labor.sucks or www.liberal.sucks, and force organisations into buying the website to avoid embarrassment.
Now that is just silly. People could get liberalsucks.com at the moment anyway.
Australia has a history of strict internet naming regulations, according Ms Carlsson. It is one of the only countries will only allow someone to purchase a .com.au domain if the name relates to their trading name, for example. In recent years Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy has been criticised for his proposal to introduce an internet filter.
By contrast co.nz has no restrictions on who can register there.