Candidate Statement – Nicole Murdoch

Nicole Murdoch is standing as a Demand Class candidate in this year’s auDA Board Elections. This is her candidate statement.

If you have any questions for her, you can post them below – or alternatively, you can email her directly.

nicole-murdochExtended Candidate Statement

I am Nicole Murdoch, and I’m running for election as a Director (Demand Class) of the auDA.

My reasons for running for election as Director of auDA are very simple. I was part of the 2015 auDA names policy panel, as part of that process I became interested in the decision making process of auDA and wanted to take part in that process and in auDA.

As most of you would know, the 2015 names policy panel members were appointed to discuss and comment on certain topics and one of those topics was whether domains at the .au should be open to registration. As the year progressed I became interested in why the questions posed to the panel were posed in the manner that they were (ie: in isolation) and I wanted to know why.

I was also interested in how auDA sought feedback from the Australian community at large regarding opening .au for registration.

My personal feelings on the topic is that we cannot answer the question of whether .au should be opened up without considering how it should be opened up and what the “rules of play” would be. To consider the question properly we needed to be able to consider the advantages and disadvantages of opening up .au for registration, and to consider those we needed to know the “rules of play”. I would have also preferred to see a more comprehensive community consultation than what was conducted.

From that process and considering what I observed from that process I made a conscious decision that I wanted to be part of the decision making processes at auDA rather than be an outsider questioning why certain decisions are made.  I want to be part of the process of deciding how the .au release is implemented.

I am keen to increase the membership of auDA and the involvement of the community. Even if people are not members of auDA the community as a whole should have a say in how the domain space is administered. Ultimately it is a public good and is a critical infrastructure. As such it needs to properly serve the people.

My background is varied but I am qualified for the task. I have a technical background and learnt to program 31 years ago (don’t do the maths) when my father brought home an Apple IIE. I eventually became a programmer and the first website I built was built in 1998 for my mother’s business. From there I moved onto larger projects coding in PHP, HTML, C/C++, JAVA and SQL (Oracle and MYSQL) including working on the E*Trade (German) website and other e-commerce sites. I have worked as a website developer and worked in SEO.

I am now working as an Intellectual Property lawyer. I have served as a director in other companies and that background (and legal training) gives me some advantage in terms of corporate governance.

Because I am a lawyer and work in trade mark dispute matters, I am often accused of being anti-monetisation. That is simply not correct. I represent clients who are rights holders as well as clients who simply want to openly trade without intimidation from trade mark holders. I am keen to have the .au domain space used by the community and believe in monetisation of domains. But, yes, I say that there does need to be some fair “rules of play” involved.

My job gives me an interesting perspective on how day to day traders see the internet and the domain space. I see both sides of the debate on a daily basis. I am often told that it is “not fair” that other traders have a domain name my client wants. Then I see traders make massive investments in their domain holdings, not only to develop their websites but also to drive traffic to the domain. That investment should be protected but the rights of traders to trade freely should also be protected. There is a delicate balance involved and I want to ensure that everyone affected by potential changes to the current balance are properly consulted and the true ramifications of changes are understood. It should not just be domain holders that are consulted but anyone who would consider a .au domain needs to play a part. If traders are not entering the space then we need to look at why these traders are not entering the space so that we can address the issue.

Please vote for me as Demand class Director. I promise you that I will listen to you, especially when we disagree, I will ask you your views even when you are quiet and I will represent your views honestly to the Board.

You can read more about my background here.

If you have any questions on my where I stand, and what I want to achieve, then feel free to contact me.

5 thoughts on “Candidate Statement – Nicole Murdoch

  • Avatar
    November 24, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Great to see Nicole like many other candidates are very concerned about the proposed additional competing .au extension.

    People  should forget “implementation” and go back to a full and proper disclosure and email multiple correctly worded surveys to the existing 3 million Australian domain name registrants.

    Survey questions should not be leading to a yes vote again. It appears it was almost “rigged” to provide a yes vote majority.

    Registrars and auDA Board Members ( and all of their related entities, staff etc) should be banned from send out Yes Only solicitations which occurred and auDA recognised affected results.

    The material presented saying another .au extension was needed due to overwhelming demand and Australia was just following the UK and NZ was false and in many cases misleading.

    2015/ 2016 results from the United Kingdom and New Zealand show their direct extensions have failed and New Zealand has stated clearly many people have dropped their direct .nz and just kept their as preference after the first year. UK only has had a 6% uptake and overall 0.3 registration growth, New Zealand growth is negative!

    Both countries have had their worst year of domain name registration growth ever so not even the registrars where right it would be a windfall for them as most had hoped in their push!

    auDA must not be swayed by the wishes of “supply” including some auDA board members who want another extension purely for financial gain at the detriment of and already globally strong  and trusted reputation.

    Ausregistry and auDA make money from every and .au domain name registration, renewal and change of registrant so they also need to be transparent and their own push for any additional .au extension needs to be questioned and opposed. It could also be a conflict of interest if proper disclosure was not made of the financial gains another additional competing .co extension would bring them.

    Good luck to every candidate opposed to the additional competing .au extension. It is nothing more than a money grab by those who will profit from it and it will hurt Australian business and the existing 3 million paying existing domain name registrants. Some of whom paid a lot of money for their domain names including at the auDA auction ( which made auDA many $ millions ( auDA has over $10 million in the bank) !

    $billions have been spent by making well known and accepted globally. Let’s not ruin what has been successful with another competing .au extension and lets not
    blackmail” existing owners into  paying more costs just for “defensive .au registrations” which still make profits for registry, registrars, auDA and resellers.

    If 3 million existing registrants had been properly informed there is no way the additional .au extension would have been approved by auDA. It has already been opposed for the last 10 years each time “supply” has tried to introduce it but this time Yes vote stacking and misinformation won out unfairly.

  • Avatar
    November 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Dear Sean

    I agree. The question needs to be asked again and this time the approach needs to be completely different.



    • Avatar
      November 27, 2016 at 2:05 am

      I thought direct .AU registrations were happening? All that is being decided is the implementation?

      In the long run I believe it makes sense to do direct .AU registrations. Should have been that way all along as it helps differentiate between extensions. IF people don’t need to type in “.co” or “.com” before before domains names, they shouldn’t. 🙂

      • Avatar
        November 27, 2016 at 8:52 am

        The decision has been made but there may be ways to overturn the decision and that is what I want to investigate and push. If we can overturn it then great but it msy be necesssry to ask the community again whether au should be opened up. If that is the case then the question needs to be asked properly with the right proportion of the community asked and a road representation of the comunity consulted.

        • Avatar
          November 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm

          As we heard at the AGM.

          1. Yes the decision can be overturned by the new auDA board. This is in line with the corporations act and auDA constitution.

          2. Deloitte will be conduct more research to see if there is even a business case for another additional competing .au extension.

          I think Deloitte may have already found there is no actual substantiated business case for another extension plus auDA does not have the resources or capacity to do it nor is it in the best interests of Australia or existing registrants, business or other users etc.

          auDA will not be able to handle the tens of thousands of complaints, disputes and probably a lot of letters from lawyers they would need to respond to at a massive cost.

          3. With the additional information and results auDA now has about the UK and NZ results they can easily rescind it now.

          4. Google also has stated a direct ,au will not rank any higher and in fact in the UK for an example after 2 years of being “live” not one direct .uk name shows in the top 15,000 websites.

          5. After many years of being announced in the UK and after 2 years of being live 94% of existing uk names have not even been registered with the shorter .uk extension option.

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