Message from the Commissioner
Today I wanted to share some thoughts and guidance on dealing with .nz domain names when a business closes.
Now more than ever it is important we are on the lookout to support our business community online. Sadly, in these unprecedented times, companies may collapse and businesses will be faced with some difficult decisions. Domain names held for years may be lost.
That’s why this month we’ve launched a guide targeted at the insolvency industry to give them some information to help them with the domain names of companies placed in liquidation.
It supplements the work we already do with the New Zealand Treasury when a company is struck off the companies register. We have a process in place that can permit a former Director and shareholder to license a struck off companies domain name. More details on our website.
We are also aware at this time that there is likely to be a higher chance of merger and acquisition activity in the domain name market.
This can bring benefits to the domain name space but it can also lessen competition and involve companies who may not be a .nz authorised registrar and therefore not regulated by the .nz policy and contractual framework.
Considering that, we’d like to remind any authorised registrars to engage with the Commission early on if there are any changes in directorship or control, or in company structure. Retrospective consent for sales and purchases is not always possible.
From mid-June, there will also be an urgent amendment to New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Act.
If the bill passes, all foreign investment that results in a more than 25% ownership interest, or an increase in existing interests to, or greater than, 50%, 75%, or effectively a change of control in the underlying business, will have to be notified to the Overseas Investment Office, starting June.
Once these changes become law, we will be obtaining advice from the Overseas Investment Office on what the changes may mean for any merger and acquisition activity in the .nz domain namespace.
Guide to liquidators
The Commission’s Guide to liquidators helps explain what happens with domain names associated with a company in liquidation. Read it now and share it with anyone who might be interested.
A conflicted name is a shorter .nz name direct at the second level that has equivalents registered in at least two second levels.
For example, for the conflicted name 'anyname.nz', one registrant may hold 'anyname.co.nz' while others may hold 'anyname.org.nz' and 'anyname.school.nz'. If one of these registrants wants to try and get the shorter version of the name they need to go through the Conflicted Name Process (CNP).
Conflicted names are unable to be registered until all those with rights have agreed on who should be able to register that domain name.
The number of domain names in the conflict set has been getting smaller. There are now 2102 domain names that are conflicted, and the Domain Name Commission is actively working to reduce conflicted names in a number of ways.
One way to help resolve these conflicts is through the DNC’s Conflict Resolution service. Our facilitator is able to work with registrants in the conflict set to seek a suitable resolution. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to access this free service.
Another type of conflict is with self-conflicted domains, where the same registrant holds all the second level versions of the domain name. We are actively trying to reduce conflicted names through requiring parties, who are self-conflicted, to resolve the domain name, or else the conflicted name will be made available to register on a first-come, first-served basis. We have asked authorised registrars to pass on our instructions on how to resolve the variants of the self-conflicted name with any of their registrants.
Our COVID-19 response blogs
We’ve published two blog posts in May on our COVID-19 response. You’ll find some stats about the volume of registrations, typical keywords used to register domains and the number of domain names that were validated. We also covered the steps we took locally and internationally to keep the .nz domain name space safe, trusted and secure.
Privacy in focus
This quarter our compliance focus is on privacy. Our full year’s compliance plan is available on our website.
It means that we will be working with registrars on their privacy position.
We will be reviewing the implementation of the Individual Registrant Privacy Option (IRPO), ensuring that .nz authorised registrars have applied this in line with .nz policy.
We will be ensuring that any data quality privacy-related issues are identified, notified, and monitored on an on-going basis.
We will also be surveying .nz registrars on their privacy-related practices and processes in the coming weeks.
This is a general reminder that domain name providers must not decline or delay a registrant’s request to transfer their domain name to another registrar (by withholding the Unique Domain Authentication ID (UDAI) or otherwise).
Neither the releasing registrar nor the registry is entitled to charge any fees for the transfer of a domain name.
Interesting links and stories