The battle between Bottle Domains and the Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA) is costing Bottle’s resellers dearly, several industry representatives claim.
This week, Bottle won an injunction from the Supreme Court blocking auDA’s efforts to have its accreditation dropped. The administrator has appealed and will fight to reinstate the de-accreditation on April 22.
The conflict began with auDA suspending Bottle’s accreditation to sell .au domain names on April 15, after a hacker allegedly gained access to a large number of credit card details through the registrar. In a statement on its website, auDA said it would vigorously defend its decision to terminate Bottle Domains' accreditation.
National sales manager for Bottle reseller Cove, Cheyne Jonstone, was concerned about the court process and is looking at an alternative registrar.
Customers using a registrar that loses accreditation are not able to manage their .au accounts until they have selected a new registrar.
“We are still negotiating with a few to see what we can come up with,” Jonstone said. “We do around $5000-$7000 worth of business out of .au domains each month, and we’re currently going through a period of good growth – the timing of this is very bad for us.
“The move prevented all our 3000 clients from managing their accounts for three days – it cut off our revenue stream quite badly – especially when combined with the four weeks we lost following the hacker attack.”
CEO of fellow domains registrar Netregistry, Larry Bloch, said the move by auDA to remove Bottle’s accreditation had “backfired spectacularly” on the not-for-profit organisation, and could bankrupt it, should Bottle win the case. However, he said this would be small consolation for Bottle and its partners.
“The legal process will be a long one, but either way Bottle has suffered some serious consequences,” Bloch said.
“It’s more critical to Bottle’s resellers though. Resellers who may find themselves needing to find a new provider themselves, while at the same time communicating what is going on to their own customers, are in the most complicated position through all of this.”