Question 1. Should the New Zealand domain name space be extended to allow registration at the second level, for example yourname.nz?
Web Drive Ltd (authorized registrar "Domain Agent") support this proposal as a sensible, forward looking strategy for the .NZ namespace. We believe the long term alternative to this move is a proliferation of increasingly specific domain names, such as the recently proposed ".kiwi.nz". This goes against international best practice, industry trends and consumer demand. Consumers do not want to register a multitude of domain names to secure their brand. So whilst we must live with existing second level domains, this move ensures in the future there will not be an even wider range of 3rd level domains for businesses and organisations to register. Additionally with ICANN allowing "new gTLD's" the concept of top level domains is likely to dramatically change, further marginalizing structured 3rd level domains.
Question 2. Are there any other undertakings that the Domain Name Commission should make while developing/implementing the policy?
Question 3. Should new second level domains be created to cater for particular interest groups, such as .wine.nz or .sport.nz?
No, this would serve to create further TLD variations and confusion. Groups that desire such a namespace should do this through the open-market or a land-rush mechanism (see answer to Q6).
Question 4. Should new moderated second level domains be created to cater for domain names that require special protection, such as .bank.nz?
Domains that can be used to create confusion, particularly around whether they are a moderated should be restricted.
Question 5. Should the registration of some names such as .com.nz or .gov.nz, be prohibited at the second level to minimise potential confusion? What names, if any, should be prohibited?
Any domain names that attempt to replicate or are very similar to existing TLD's should be restricted. This includes potential misspellings such as c.nz and o.nz.
Question 6. Do you agree with the rationale for the Sunrise Period that would enable existing .nz domain name holders first chance to register names at the second level? Why?
We agree that a Sunrise period as described is required. However would suggest an additional Landrush phase. During Landrush, anyone interested in securing a relevant or memorable domain name have the opportunity to submit an application before General Availability begins. A fixed additional fee should be charged for applications. In the event of competition, applicants can enter an auction. This is a fair way to allow interest groups to ensure they can secure an important or relevant domain name rather than risking first-come-first-served and does not encroach on the rights of existing domain name owners.
Question 7. Who should be allowed to register a domain name at the second level when there are competing registrations at the third level?
We agree the domain name should not be registered to either party, or released to the general public.
Question 8. Assuming only persons with a conflicting third level domain name may apply, how should that conflict be resolved? By consent? Or some other mechanism?
Consent in the first instance, if that is not forthcoming both parties would be required to enter into the DRS process, sharing the cost. At this point parties have the choice of dropping their claim and giving consent or paying the fee and abiding by the DRS decision.
Question 9. Should the Domain Name Commission consider extending its Dispute Resolution Service for a limited period to cover particular sub-domains when considering whether a name registered at the second level infringes a complainant’s rights?
Question 10. Is the approach as outlined in the proposed amended policy in Appendix C appropriate? Why?
Question 11. Are there any other comments you would like to make relating to this consultation?