Wednesday, 18 July 2018 06:37

auDA dissenters seek donations for tussle ahead of SGM


Some members of auDA, the administrator of the Australian domain namespace, who have petitioned for the removal of a number of the organisation's board members at a forthcoming special general meeting, claim that the fight between the two factions in the organisation is one between lawyers.

In an appeal for donations to fund legal talent, the group of dissenters characterised the tussle between the auDA supporters and themselves as a "David v Goliath" battle.

"auDA has thrown their high-priced lawyers against the many auDA members who have called the special general meeting," the dissenters said in a statement.

"We have engaged the services of a moderately priced law firm for professional advice for the SGM. The funds will be used to pay for costs already incurred on legal advice ($4400) relating to the SGM resolutions and voting calculation method."

Dissatisfaction within auDA ranks broke out into the open in April when one member, Jim Stewart, the chief executive of StewArt Media, led a call for the ouster of auDA chief executive Boardman, chair Chris Leptos and directors Sandra Hook and Suzanne Ewart.

The major irritant was the decision by the board to change Australian domains from and similar suffixes to .au.

The auDA dissenters said they would use any funds that were donated to obtain a copy of the latest membership list in order to understand what they characterised as the "make-up of the dramatic and huge influx of non-Australian overseas foreign auDA members".

After the push for the SGM began, auDA attempted to avoid holding such a meeting and instead proposed it would take up the matters raised by the dissenters at the annual general meeting in November.

It took the matter to the Federal Court but failed in its objective and was told to hold an SGM by 28 July. The meeting has been scheduled for 27 July.

The push for ousting Boardman will not be debated at the SGM, with the board refusing to take it up at the meeting on the grounds that the chief executive is appointed by the board, not the members.

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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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