Happy New Year to all of our readers. 2020 was a terrible year for most people, lets hope that 2021 is much better.
auDA Licensing Rules
2021 holds potential for some significant changes particularly with respect to auDA Licensing Rules which are due to come into effect in April 2021. There are already some concerning elements of the new rules which havent been properly thought through, lets hope that auDA is prepared to consider some changes to avoid potential problems.
2021 is also likely to be the year of further auDA Audits. We have heard first hand from a number of domain investors and online entrepreneurs that the later half of 2020 saw a large number of eligibility audits of portfolios, the most common issues attracting auDA’s attention have been:
(a) domain names being held in the name of a trust rather than the trustee;
(b) owners being asked to verify their close and substantial connection with a domain name particularly domains that do not resolve to any websites;
The first point around trustee names is an easy one to resolve. Domain names should be registered in a legal entity such as an individual trustee or corporate trustee (in most cases). The second one is more challenging as email use of a domain name has in some cases not been sufficient to demonstrate a close and substantial connection unless actual emails can be produced to prove the use. It is often best to park domain names with parking platforms pending development or alternatively put up a holding page with your business logo while the website is being developed.
We’ll be talking more about auDA audits shortly. In the meantime, best wishes for 2021.