auDA seeks public comment on domain industry code of practice

Australia

auDA, the body entrusted with the operation of Australia's country-code top-level domain, has released for public comment a draft Code of Practice for the domain industry. The closing date for submissions is July 19.

Both the code and the existing auDA registrar agreements are to be the key elements in the domain industry's self-regulatory model. Compliance with the code will be compulsory for registrars and resellers (those entities appointed by the registrars to sell domain name services).

auDA is attempting to define the boundaries of what is acceptable market conduct and ethical business practice for registrars and resellers. The code is intended to provide a clear regulatory framework for the industry and consumers, covering everything from what is acceptable by way of advertising to the implementation of a comprehensive procedure for dealing with consumer complaints.

The code proposes a five-step process for dealing with breaches, with auDA ultimately having the power to require all registrars to cease dealing with an offending reseller or terminate an offending registrar's accreditation.

Martin O'Connor, Coudert Brothers, Sydney

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