Breaking news: Bottle Domains wins second injunction against auDA

Written on 22 April, 2009 by Jonathan Crossfield
Categories DomainsTags auda

Following on from last week’s temporary injunction, Bottle Domains today won a second, longer injunction in the Supreme Court in their battle with the Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA). auDA is now ordered to re-accredit Bottle Domains to sell .au domain names until a further hearing takes place on June 22nd.

The conflict comes from auDA’s sudden and extreme de-accreditation of Bottle Domains  on April 15th over an alleged security breach dating from 2007.  Nicholas Bolton of Australian Style – the company behind Bottle – strenuously denied any wrongdoing by the domain registrar and immediately sought to have the decision overturned in court.

What this means for domain holders is another month of uncertainty and confusion. Bottle has yet to clear their name, causing many domain holders to still choose to transfer their domains away upon hearing of the alleged security breach. Many resellers have also taken the decision to avoid any loss of business by transferring their accounts to other accredited registrars. Also, auDA’s authority and judgement has been strongly called into question, causing further criticism from other registrars.

Should Bottle Domains win their case on June 22, auDA could be forced to pay massive damages for loss of business and damage to reputation. Calculating that lost business could be a huge undertaking, sifting natural attrition from those transfers brought about by auDA’s actions. A large damages bill could risk bankrupting auDA or may result in higher domain prices as it seeks to recoup costs by taxing domain holders.

If auDA were to win, it would be a pyrrhic victory. auDA can only win at the expense of their own reputation, forced to question their handling of the entire affair and how their actions have spread instability and chaos throughout the Australian domain industry for over a month. There is no doubt that, even if auDA’s reasons for de-accrediting Bottle Domains turn out to be correct, it has done the industry no favours and damaged more people than it has protected through the arbitrary way it was carried out.