This is from his LinkedIn profile:
“John Swinson is partner-in-charge of the Brisbane office of King & Wood Mallesons where he specialises in intellectual property and technology law.
John is a domain name arbitrator under the UDRP and auDRP on the WIPO panel, and is a Member of Panel of Arbitrators for the South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission.”
In fact, I read overnight on Domain Name Wire that he made a ruling of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking in the latest case that he adjudicated. It was an excellent decision in my opinion.
What’s This Got To Do With auDA?
These concerned auDA’s decision to renege on a previous Board decision to put the registry contract out for tender in 2017. Instead, they have entered into “exclusive negotiations” with the current Registry operator (AusRegistry – which is ultimately owned by Neustar). It should be noted that Neustar is now under takeover by a foreign private investment syndicate.
So back in 2012, auDA put together a working group to decide whether to go out to tender or renegotiate.
One of the public submissions received back then was from John Swinson writing on behalf of his client CoCCA Registry Services. I have included this below – and I have highlighted some interesting passages.
Given John Swinson’s stature and reputation, how can auDA yet again (in 2016 / 2017) ignore the calls for transparency and competition?
Here is one snippet from his submission:
“From a public policy and corporate and internet governance viewpoint, it is extremely important that the market be tested at regular intervals, through a public tender process, to ensure that the fees charged for the services provided by the third party for-profit registry operator are fair and reasonable”.
As I’ve often said, I think AusRegistry have done a great job with the registry.
But the simple fact is that there has been no tender since 2005, and so it is incumbent on the current CEO and auDA Board to ensure this now happens. Particularly given the uncertainty regarding the prospective owners of Neustar.
AusRegistry should be confident in their abilities and past performance to submit a competitive tender.
As John Swinson concludes:
“ln these times, it is difficult to believe that a registry operator selected many years ago is providing leading edge services today at competitive prices, lf that is in fact the case, the current operator should welcome a competitive tender to demonstrate its value propositions.”
What do you think?
Ned O’Meara – 17 December 2016Swinson submission