Last week, ICANN held an online Zoom session focusing on ccTLD’s. For those not in the know, that stands for country code Top Level Domains – ours being .com.au etc.

As part of this, auDA’s very own Steph Viljoen gave an excellent presentation entitled “An integrated approach to compliance and complaints”. As a lot of regular readers know, Steph is auDA’s Compliance Manager – though her full title is “Manager Compliance & Analytics and Privacy Officer”. (Must be hard to fit that title on a business card!).

Steph is definitely one of the most approachable people at auDA. She is also extremely straight down the line. Here is just one quote that encourages me greatly (from a domain investor point of view):

Enforcement is only used when necessary. We are not in the business of taking away domain names – we are in the business of helping people complying to our rules.

Slide from Steph Viljoen’s presentation

The process of handling complaints is changing on the 12th April – less than one month away. So this short presentation by Steph (complete with slides) is well worth viewing. It runs from around 00.57 minutes to 01:09 – about 12 minutes.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “auDA Manager Explains Compliance & Complaints

  • Avatar
    March 15, 2021 at 12:13 pm
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    Definitely worth a watch, nice one Ned. Steph claims staff numbers have recently “doubled” at auDA…

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  • Avatar
    March 15, 2021 at 1:01 pm
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    So auDA in 2020 commissioned an independent review of the complaint handling processes as part of their accountability and transparency framework.

    Who did the independent review?
    Where was the public consultation?
    Why has not the report been published?
    Where is the transparency?

    As with regards to the .org.au audit. We all know the .org.au debacle has been happening for years and auDA has failed to act. 40% of registrations cancelled.

    Did the audit only happen because of community pressure and the article on Domainer?
    Sounds like registrars failed in their responsibilities. Did auDA issue any warnings and where is the accountability?

    30 staff. What do they all do?

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    • Neddy
      March 16, 2021 at 9:53 am
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      Excellent questions Nobby. Let’s hope we can generate some answers.

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  • Avatar
    March 15, 2021 at 1:01 pm
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    Who was responsible at auDA for this example escalating so far that cost the Registrant a lot of wasted money, wasted time, effort and stress?

    Should auDA have paid their costs and some compensation when auDA lost?

    Has auDA really changed or do they ever target people and push it as far as they can until they eventually lose?

    https://www.smartcompany.com.au/technology/complaint-threatened-to-axe-stewart-media-website/

    “I spoke up against direct AU and auDA tried to take away my business”
    https://stewartmedia.com.au/i-spoke-up-against-direct-au-and-auda-tried-to-take-away-my-business/

    https://www.auda.org.au/au-domain-names/registrant-review-panel-decisions

    “Gadens acts for domain name owner in inaugural application to auDA”
    https://www.gadens.com/news-gadens-acts-domain-name-owner-inaugural-application-auda/

    https://auda-corp-web-s3.s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/prod/public/2020-12/RRP-180882-stewartmedia-22Apr2018.pdf?W4YM_MqHX2bkoAYCSZsozDulkIlmsZWt=

    Deal profile | Gadens acts for domain name owner in inaugural application to auDA
    26 April 2018

    Gadens has acted on behalf of Mr Jim Stewart, CEO of StewArt Media, and Search Global Pty Ltd (together, the Applicant) in the first application to be dealt with under the Registrant Review Panel Rules (the Rules) administered by the governing body of .au domain names, the .au Domain Administration (auDA).

    In February this year, Mr Stewart was given notice that the Applicant business’ primary domain name, stewartmedia.com.au (the Domain Name), would be deregistered on the basis of an alleged breach of auDA’s published policies (in this case, due to the body noted on the record as the registrant being a deregistered company).
    Following unsuccessful internal review of the decision by auDA, the Applicant engaged Gadens to apply for review of the decision by an independent panel (the Panel) appointed under the Rules.

    On 23 April 2018, the Panel found in favour of the Applicant and set aside auDA’s decision to deregister the Domain Name.
    The application clarifies who can be the “Registrant” for the purpose of making an application under the Rules, and what constitutes sufficient evidence of an intention to transfer a domain name.

    Firms involved: Gadens
    Deal area: Intellectual Property & Technology
    Practice groups: Intellectual Property & Technology
    Key players: Gadens partner Antoine Pace led the matter, with the assistance of Alida Vandewiele (Lawyer)

    Decision significance: Despite the Panel review process being available since 2012, this is the first application made under the Rules.

    In making his decision, the Panel Chair not only set important precedent as to the interpretation of the Rules, he also recommended auDA consider making various changes to its own policies (including the Rules).

    In its news release on 23 April 2018, auDA acknowledged the decision and foreshadowed that it is “currently examining the [decision] to identify whether any changes are required to existing policies”.

    We believe the decision is an important precedent for the domain name industry and future applicants under the Rules.

    The full decision is available on auDA’s website https://auda-corp-web-s3.s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/prod/public/2020-12/RRP-180882-stewartmedia-22Apr2018.pdf?W4YM_MqHX2bkoAYCSZsozDulkIlmsZWt=

    Authored by:
    Deal profile | Gadens acts for domain name owner in inaugural application to auDA,

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  • Scott.L
    March 15, 2021 at 2:12 pm
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    Steph reported in her Zoom meeting that auDA calculated 50,000 domain registrations per month, I argue that this information is misleading because new registration numbers include; renewals, expired domain names (Drop auctions) along with newly created registrations (first time registered).

    auDA should develop clearly defined language about domain registration because current reporting about new registrations is misleading.

    I previously raised this issue on Linkedin – but when I pushed auDA to explain these registration numbers auDA simply ignored the question.

    https://www.linkedin.com/posts/auda-au-domain-administration_au-domain-names-growth-highlights-businesses-activity-6724862920041209856-e9Ab

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    • Avatar
      March 15, 2021 at 2:15 pm
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      Good point, Scott.

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    • Avatar
      March 15, 2021 at 4:39 pm
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      auDA constantly throws out the 20% numbers in all of it’s reporting and presentations. Its wonderful how you can manipulate the data to give the perception the namespace has grown by 20% when the reality is that the namespace has only grown 0.02%. Otherwise known as flat growth.

      I suppose using the 20% growth justifies the management bonuses that are handed out every year.

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  • Avatar
    March 17, 2021 at 8:24 am
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    Its mid March, Someone tell auDA to upload the registry reports for Feb 2021, or should we just wait until June.

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    • Avatar
      March 18, 2021 at 5:44 am
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      The registry report is bullsh*t
      It shows total domains went up by only 20,000 yet new registrations by 40,000 (jan 21)
      That means 20,000 domains were dropped

      Where is the transparency in the reporting auDA.

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