How do I lodge a domain name complaint with auDA?

Posted by Vanessa Stanford on 13 April 2011

Scotty:   Muuuuum! Timmy is being mean to me!!!!!

Mum:     Now Scotty, what do you mean by “Timmy is being mean to me”?

Scotty:  He’s just being mean to me! Tell him to stop!

Mum:    Scotty, you can’t just say Timmy is being mean to you without explaining how!

Do you remember those times when we were children and just wanted our parents to sort out our brother or sister for us? In much the same way as Mum is trying to get Scotty to explain what he means by “Timmy is being mean to me”, auDA needs to have clear reasons to investigate a domain name complaint.

Simply claiming someone shouldn’t have a domain name is not sufficient reason for a complaint investigation. Neither is explaining why you, as a complainant, should have the domain name.

As the policy authority for the .au domain name space, auDA develops and implements domain name policy.  The backbone of .au domain name registration is covered by the Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules for the Open 2LDs (2012-04).

As its name suggests, this policy talks about the eligibility criteria for .au domain name registrations. It also mentions the ‘first come first served’ allocation of .au domain names and that there is no hierarchy of rights in this industry. That means that having a trademark (for example) does not automatically give you an entitlement to a corresponding domain name. It make it a lot easier for us – and you - if you’ve familiarised yourself with these rules before lodging a complaint!

If you decide you do want to lodge a complaint about a registered domain name, here are a few other important things to know:

  • Do your homework. For example, use the WHOIS tool to find out information about the domain name, including registrar information and the identity and contact details of the registrant.
  • Refer to the auDA policy you believe the registrant is non-compliant with
  • Explain why and which part/s of that policy you think the registrant has not adhered to

If you can reasonably explain how you believe a registrant is in breach of auDA policy/s then lodge your complaint by submitting the online forms here.

If we accept the complaint for investigation, you will be provided with a complaint reference within five (5) business days.  Domain name complaint investigations generally take about 30 days to complete. In this time, we investigate all sides of the story, and make a decision based on the evidence and information we gather. If you’re successful with the complaint, then the domain name will be deleted, making it available for registration again.

Given many other people may be interested in the domain name, it may be quite difficult to successfully register it. For more information about deleted domain names and “drop catching” services see the Domain Drops and Processes blog piece.

It is important to note that the domain name will not be transferred to you. If this is your desired outcome, you should consider other options such as the .au Dispute Resolution Policy (auDRP). The purpose of the auDRP is to provide a cheaper, speedier alternative to litigation for the resolution of disputes between the registrant of a .au domain name and a party with competing rights in the domain name.

Given we are the policy authority for the .au domain name space, of course we also have a policy detailing our complaints handling.  It is the Complaints Policy (2012-03).

Finally, as for Scotty and Timmy.....well you’ll have to wait for my next blog to find out just what happened.

- Vanessa