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New Internet Domain Name dispute resolution process for Australia

From 1 August 2002, a new procedure for resolving disputes between parties over the rights to Australian Internet domain names has been implemented.

Australian public second-level domains

All public 2LDs (second-level domains) are now administered by auDA. The five 2LDs currently available to the public are:

At present, these are all administered by the new Registry, ausregistry, through ten Registrars, including such well-known bodies as Melbourne IT.

Dispute resolution

Previously, any disputes between competing claimants to an Internet domain name had to be referred to arbitration by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) or to litigation in the courts. From 1 August 2002, a new, low cost scheme for Australia has been available through auDA and its four approved dispute resolution service providers. The dispute resolution policy (auDRP) and the names of the service providers are listed at www.auda.org.au/policy/audrp.

Arbitration

Has someone been cyber-squatting on your desired Internet address? Is someone else's Internet address so similar to yours that your customers are being confused? Help is now at hand. For a one-off payment of $A1500, you may have your dispute arbitrated by a one-person tribunal. There is normally no oral hearing, and the award will be handed down within 14 days of appointment, and may be published on the Internet. The arbitrator's decision is binding on the relevant Registrar, and is usually in the form of an instruction to the Registrar either to cancel a domain name or to transfer it to the successful party. The arbitrator's award is final, unless appealed to a court under certain limited conditions. Each party bears its own costs.

This procedure only applies to disputes between two or more members of the public over the rights to domain names. If you have a dispute with, for example, your Registrar over aspects of your desired Internet address, the auDRP does not apply, and you will have to look to the terms of your agreement with your ISP or Registrar in order to resolve that type of dispute.

Contacting an arbitrator

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is one of the oldest and best-known arbitration bodies in the world. Its Australian Branch, based in Sydney, is an accredited service provider under auDRP, and has five experienced arbitrators ready to handle your case. Contact the Scheme Administrator, Malcolm Longstaff, at dispute@arbitrators.org.au . Malcolm will appoint the arbitrator best qualified and available to hear your dispute.

The following Australian arbitrators have home pages that you can visit for more information about the process and themselves:

The above list may not be exhaustive, please contact Gammon Software support to make additions or corrections.


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Written by Nick Gammon - 5K

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Page updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2004