Friday, 20 April 2018 13:13

auDA loses another director as Nicole Murdoch quits Featured

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The embattled au Domain Administration, the organisation that administers the Australian domain namespace, has suffered a further blow with the resignation of Nicole Murdoch, a director from the demand class.

A lawyer who works in matters around trademark disputes, Murdoch joined the board last year. She was against the move to .au, a decision taken by auDA that has caused some disquiet within the organisation.

But the move has had to be put off by at least a year, following the release of a government review that found the current management framework was no longer fit for purpose.

In a statement, Murdoch said she was reluctantly stepping away from the auDA board, due to an expanding workload which meant she did not have the time to address major challenges facing the organisation.

She said she had been named in the latest Doyle’s national report on Australia’s legal profession and listed in the Recommended category for Brisbane IP lawyers.

The Doyles ranking matched a growing number of IP matters Murdoch was handling now and she felt she was unable to devote the time needed by the board to address the findings of the government review.

“My time with the board has been memorable and it’s no secret we’ve had healthy discussions around the table over some of the issues auDA faces," Murdoch said.

“I regret that I’m unable to devote the time needed to address these matters and for these reasons feel it’s better if I step aside.”

Disquiet within the organisation's ranks in recent times has seen some members pushing for the ouster of chief executive Cameron Boardman and three directors over the decision to change Australian domains from .com.au and similar suffixes to .au.

Last week, chair Chris Leptos said the practices of several former auDA directors had been referred to the police in Victoria.

According to her LinkedIn page, Murdoch is a member of the Australian Information Security Association, Engineers Australia, the Australian Computer Society and the Intellectual Property Association of Australia and New Zealand.

She is also on the panel of pro bono lawyers for The Arts Law Centre, a 2015 auDA Names panel member and a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

The government review also released its terms of endorsement for auDA and asked it to provide, within 30 days, an implementation plan to demonstrate how it would achieve compliance with these terms by April 2020.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said if this was not forthcoming, he would look to appoint some other entity to manage the .au namespace.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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