In a recent audit of .org.au domain names, auDA (the body responsible for .au domain names) found that 4,113 domain names (being 23% of all audited .org.au domain name registrations) did not comply with the eligibility criteria. This included instances where a domain name:
- was registered to a commercial entity;
- was registered to an individual person; or
- was registered to an apparently non-existent entity.
The registrant of a .org.au domain name must be one of the following:
- an association incorporated in any Australian state or territory;
- a political party registered with the Australian Electoral Commission;
- a trade union or other organisation registered under the Workplace Relations Act 1996;
- a sporting or special interest club operating in Australia;
- a charity operating in Australia; or
- a non-profit organisation operating in Australia.
The holder of the non-compliant registrations are to be contacted by the registrar with whom they registered the domain name, and will be given until 30 June 2009 to either remedy the non-compliance, or face having their registration deleted by the registrar.
In light of the consequences of non-compliance – that is, deletion of a domain name registration – it might be prudent for holders of .org.au domain names to review the registrant details on record for the domain names, and to seek confirmation from their domain registrar where they have any doubts as to the sufficiency or completeness of those details. Further, in any instances where the existing registrant would not be eligible to retain the registration, consideration should be given to transferring the domain name to an eligible registrant, or of registering another domain name, such as a .org domain name or a .com.au domain name, depending on the particular circumstances and nature of the registrant, and on the availability of substitute domain names.