Domain name registrar loses appeal

A domain name registrar with a trail of angry customers has failed in its appeal against a court decision that could cost its licence.

The Federal Court in Sydney last week refused to overturn a previous verdict that allowed the .au Domain Administration (auDA) to request business operations documents from TotalNIC, a generic top level domain (gTLD) registrar.

auDA made the requests after complaints about the registrar's handling of transfer requests.

Generic top-level domains are controlled by ICANN, but complaints are handled by the domain regulator in that jurisdiction.

This was the first time auDA had requested gTLD documents from an Australian registrar.

auDA threatened to suspend the Canberra-based company's .au accreditation if the documents were not delivered.

Capital Networks, holding company of TotalNIC, argued that auDA had no authority over its operations in the gTLD space, and took the matter to court -- but auDA won.

In Capital's appeal last week, Judges Whitlam, Finn and Conti said in their verdict that jurisdiction was not an issue in the matter.

That Capital was accredited by the regulator gave auDA authority over the matter, they said.

PC World contacted auDA for comment, but CEO Chris Disspain was unavailable.

Disspain previously told PC World the regulator would continue with its review of TotalNIC's status as a .au accredited registrar once the appeal was heard.

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