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Username: Onion
Date/Time: Wed, December 26, 2001 at 1:32 PM GMT
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Subject: LANDRUSH - GENERICS : Afilias strikes! Australian domain names head down "path of maximum profit"


      Days after the announcement of Afilias' perversion of the Australian domain, the great news arrives - finally those attractive generic names we've all been prevented from profiting from are going to mega-buck auction.
      Background: In OZ, the domain-name admin was originally handled by a single, principled guy, rather than a greedy corporation. Then he handed most of the role to a University (Melbourne), which spun off a dodgy commercial unit to profit from the .com boom (its now a world leader). Mr Elz (the founder/administrator/coordinator or .au) had taken steps to prevent most of the generic names in from being taken - reserving most unallocated generics.
      Grudgingly, MelbIT had enforced the policy of allowing only commercial use of, and requiring actual existance of a registered company before name registration {AND, the name had to be a simple derivation of the company name}. This was then watered down to include "Business Names" - thus people could simple register a business name for a non-existant business, pay the small fee, and take the name. Subsequently this was even further watered down; however, only major companies could do dodgy deals with MelbIT to grab the occasional generic.
      Finally, ICANN shoved Mr Elz out of the scene, and paved the way for the entry of Afilias. Now they have dumped his prohibition on 3006 generic names, and are to auction them off via a dodgy third party commercial internet auction site.... in - wait for it -a "landrush" (sic).

The Onion!


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