The current auDA Board and CEO obviously don’t like the backlash they are getting from many Members regarding their current lack of communication and transparency (and a few other things besides!). So they have come up with a plan to muzzle people. Am I exaggerating? You be the judge.
I’m a blogger on all things domains – particularly in the .au space. Have been for a long time. Before I started Domainer.com.au, I used to own the forum DNTrade. I’ve been a successful domain investor for many years; and have enthusiastically participated on auDA working groups and the last “Names Panel”. I’ve even seen how the “Dark Side” works – I was the owner of 3 Registrars for a couple of months. So I feel that I have “just a bit of knowledge” to share. Anyone who knows me (or has read my articles), can always be guaranteed that I speak my mind without fear or favour. Wherever possible, I always look for the positive. Though, that has been hard of late when it comes to auDA. 🙁
auDA Now Wants To Silence People Like Me
Membership renewals are now due. Everyone got their invoices last week; and here’s the fine print to ongoing membership:
Please note as a condition of auDA membership, in renewing your membership, you are agreeing that:
- I will be bound by the auDA Constitution – https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-org/constitution/
- My member name and membership class may be published on a list of auDA members
- I agree to be bound by the Member Code of Conduct – https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/membership/membership-code-of-conduct/
I can’t imagine anyone having a problem with the first two bullet points – but it’s the last one that really stinks in my opinion. The Membership Code of Conduct. I believe (as do several lawyers I have spoken to), that it is unenforceable in it’s current form.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a problem with a Code of Conduct per se, but I do have a problem when one of the clauses quite clearly contradicts the Constitution. It’s this one:
So anyone who dares to speak out on subjects that legitimately question or criticize an auDA Board Member, CEO or other member of staff can effectively be muzzled with this threat. At the Board’s discretion. That is total and absolute act of censorship for a Membership organization to unilaterally impose on their Members. In my opinion of course.
Here’s the link. Bolding is mine.
13.3 Expulsion of Members for Conduct Detrimental to Objects
auDA in general meeting may by special resolution terminate the membership of a Member if:
a. the Directors resolve that in the opinion of the Directors the Member may have been guilty of conduct detrimental to the interests of auDA or to the objects of auDA; and
b. the notice of meeting specifies the purpose of the meeting and the general nature of conduct referred to in the Directors’ resolution; and
c. the Member is given the opportunity to be heard at that part of the general meeting at which the resolution is considered.
And then this one is probably the nail in the coffin for their current plan.
31 REPEAL, VARIATION AND AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
Subject to any provision in the Corporations Act to the contrary, this Constitution may only be varied, amended or repealed by a special resolution of auDA in general meeting.
♦ Where does it say in the Constitution that auDA can “temporarily suspend my membership until conflicting behaviours are resolved”?
♦ It really is time that the Government stepped in and put their foot down. In my opinion, this is an abuse of power by a small group of people.
What do you think?
Ned O’Meara – 15th May 2017