If you own a conflicted New Zealand domain name and you want a say in who gets the shorter .nz version, you must register your preference by 18 October 2017.

The Domain Name Commission has changed its policy on ‘conflicted’ second-level .nz domains. The change in policy means some domain registrants must act by October this year if they want a chance to obtain a second-level .nz domain.

Background

Second-level .nz domains (e.g. example.nz instead of example.co.nz) have been available to the public since September 2014. When they became available, registration priority was given to registrants of corresponding third-level domains. So, if you owned example.co.nz, you had the exclusive right to register example.nz over anyone else.

What’s a ‘conflicted’ name?

‘Conflicted’ domains exist where there was more than one third-level domain registrant with priority when second-level domains became available. For example, if example.co.nz and example.net.nz were both registered, example.nz would have ‘conflicted’ status.

The DNC’s original policy was that registrants with a claim to these conflicted domains could register their preference online, to say ‘yes I do want the second-level domain’ or ‘no I don’t want it’. If one registrant said they wanted it and the rest said they didn’t, the conflict was resolved.

I’ve lodged my preference: why can’t I get my domain?

There are two common scenarios in which a priority registrant lodges their preference but still can’t obtain the second-level version of their domain. One is where two or more registrants have said they want the second-level domain, which means the domain remains conflicted until the registrants work it out between them. This scenario won’t change under the DNC’s amended policy.

The other scenario is where one or more registrants have failed to lodge any preference, which leaves the domain conflicted indefinitely. The DNC’s change in policy resolves this issue.

The new policy

The DNC wants to reduce the number of conflicted domain names, and assist owners who have lodged their preferences to obtain the second-level domains they are entitled to.

Under the amended policy, registrants of third-level domains associated with a conflicted second-level domain will only have until 18 October 2017 to lodge their preference. If they do not lodge a preference they will be deemed to have no interest in what happens to the second-level domain and will not be entitled to participate any further in the conflict resolution process.

If you are aware you have an interest in a conflicted domain name, it is important to lodge your preference by 18 October 2017 if you want a chance at obtaining the second-level .nz domain.