Code of conduct

Code of conduct

From: Bruce Tonkin <Bruce.Tonkin§>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 04:26:29 +1100
> It is unclear when it will be introduced
> It is unclear if it will be enforceable
> It is unclear as to whether or not it will be enforceable, 
> how and by whom?

Actually it is reasonable clear.

There is an interim code of conduct that already exists. In the absence of
any changes by the date the new registry (operated by AusRegistry) goes
live, then this will be the code that must be adhered to by registrars.  In
the meantime, we have encouraged companies that sell domain name services to
adhere to the interim code, and people can sign up to it voluntarily.
However there is no enforcement of the code until the new registrar
agreements come into effect.  Note most industries have codes that are
purely voluntary, we are at least trying to go one step further to include
in registrar licence agreements.

There is a code of conduct committee that is trying to refine the interim
code.  It is hoped that the next refinement will be complete by around June

The code will be enforceable by auDA, and failure to abide by the code can
result in loss of registrar licence.  However ultimately any company can
sell domain names without any licence.  The licence purely gives them direct
access to communicate with the registry.  A comany can still act on behalf
of the registrant and purchase their domain names from any registrar or

The best method of enforcement is by consumers themselves choosing to use a
reputable provider of their services.  That is the whole point of
competition.  To do this consumers need to be well informed.  Consumers make
their decisions for real estate agents, auto repairers, car dealers etc
based on their knowledge of the industry and word-of-mouth.  In many cases
there are independent organisations such as RACV, CHOICE etc that publish
articles that compare the products and services of different providers.  The
fall back is the Trade Practices Act - which is administered by the ACCC.

I encourage all members of the industry to continue to educate and keep
informed their customers.   If auDA needs to continually be involved in
enforcement this will raise the prices of domain names services for us all
(as auDA's costs are passed onto registrants through a per domain name fee),
and potentially result in the Government taking over control of the

SO lets keep the code of conduct in perspective.  It is not the solution to
all problems, but an important step forward.  It will also help educate new
players in the industry on acceptable practices.  Ultimately it will be up
to us all to educate consumers about the existance of a code, and only
purchase products and services from those that adhere to the code.

Bruce Tonkin
Received on Fri Oct 03 2003 - 00:00:00 UTC

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