Archive for the ‘IT Law’ Category
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Global internet regulator ICANN has announced that it has now approved the new GTLD .melbourne, making it one of the first new Australian GTLD applications to be approved.
All new GLTD need to pass an evaluation process before approval. The approval of .melbourne brings this new GTLD a step closer to going live.
The Victorian Government has not yet announced what the cost or eligibility criteria will be for the new extension, but it is anticipated that registration will only be open to businesses with a physical presence in Melbourne, Victoria.
Following a successful tender process Melbourne based ARI Registry Services won the tender to provide registry services for .melbourne. ARI Registry Services is part of the Ausregistry Group who provide registry services for .au domains.
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Today is the start of Privacy Awareness Week 2013.
This week’s events include:
Sydney – 30 April 2013
The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim will speak about privacy law reform at a CEO forum event, Sydney.
Brisbane – 1 May 2013
The iappANZ, together with Corrs Chambers Westgarth will hold a PAW event featuring Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim and Michelle Dennedy, Global Chief Privacy Officer, McAfee Inc. The event will be held from 12.30–2.00 pm at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Brisbane.
Canberra – 1 May 2013
The Australian Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan will speak about privacy law reform at an event at the Australian Government Department of Human Services, Canberra.
Sydney – 2 May 2013
The iappANZ, together with McAfee and Norton Rose, will present a PAW event titled ‘Understanding Australia’s new privacy legislation’. The event will be from 8–10 am held at Norton Rose, Sydney.
Melbourne – 3 May 2013
The iappANZ, together with McAfee and Norton Rose, will present a PAW event titled ‘Understanding Australia’s new privacy legislation’. The event will be held from 8–10am at Norton Rose, Melbourne.
Friday, April 19th, 2013
.au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) the regulator of .au domain names, has called an EGM for Monday 22 April 2013 to put a number of constitutional amendments to its members.
The proposed amendments to the constitution arise out of recommendations from the independent review of auDA, by Westlake Consulting. The proposed changes fall into two categories (1) house keeping, which focuses on errors and redundancies in the constitution; and (2) changes including a reduction in the number elected directors, an increase in directors terms, and a cap of terms that directors may serve.
The EGM will be followed by a public meeting of the Board.
All auDA members are welcome to attend.
Details of the EGM are:
Maddocks Lawyers, 140 William Street, Melbourne
on Monday 22 April 2013 at 10.30am
Friday, March 8th, 2013
The 2012 Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code was registered in September 2012, but thanks to a six month ramp up period it’s just starting to seriously impact Australian telco retailers.
The TCP Code, as it’s widely known, introduces a range of reforms designed to improve consumer satisfaction with telecommunications services. From 27 October last year, it mandated a form of unit pricing in advertising some telco plans, inspired by the unit pricing scheme that has applied in larger supermarkets for some years.
Telcos offering so-called ‘included value’ mobile plans are obliged to inform potential customers of the price of a two minute mobile call, the cost of an SMS and how much of their included value will be consumed by using a megabyte of data. ‘Included value’ plans are those where a monthly fee buys a higher amount of credit that can be applied to calls, messages or data usage.
Since 1 March 2013, it has also been obligatory for telcos to provide would-be customers with a two page summary of the key features and pricing of a plan, before they commit to buy. These ‘Critical Information Summaries’ are designed to provide clearer and more standardised information to customers, and to simplify the task of comparing various plans that may be under consideration.
Those are just two out of dozens of requirements imposed by the Code, and a newly created independent body called Communications Compliance has been charged with monitoring telco compliance with the new rules. By 1 April 2013, every telco that is subject to the TCP Code (and there may be as many of 1,000 of them) must file statements with the Code monitor attesting their Code compliance and listing the website location of the large amount of consumer and customer information that is now required to be provided on telco websites.
Standing behind the Code monitor is the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as Code enforcer, with a range of sanctions available to it where education and encouragement fail to secure industry compliance. The ‘big stick’ here is a potential Federal Court penalty of $250,00 for failing to heed an ACMA direction to comply with the Code.
Cooper Mills is recognised as the premier legal adviser the 2012 Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, and we have even established a dedicated website to support the industry’s compliance effort. Our innovative TCP Code Compliance Shop provides a rich set of expert compliance tools at a fraction of the cost of traditional legal advice.
Cooper Mills’ TCPCode.com.au website also offers news, analysis and commentary about the TCP Code, frequently updated.
The ACMA is already actively auditing telco compliance with the Code, even before the industry is due to file its compliance materials with Communications Compliance. We expect a busy time for telcos in the next few months as compliance laggards are identified and allowed short timeframes to get their business in order.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
The Victorian Government today released its ICT Strategy at a AIIA function in Melbourne.
The strategy sees a dramatic altering in the landscape of government ICT delivery in Victoria. The strategy sets out 8 ICT decision making principles:
The strategy also signals a change in the central shared services provisioning model administered by the trouble plagued Cenitex.
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has completed its prioritisation draw for new GTLD (top level) domains.
The draw will determine the order for release of evaluation results for 1930 new GTLD applications, such as .christmas and .lawyer.
This process now brings new GTLDs even closer to release with a July 2013 release for some GTLDs becoming a reality.
In the draw .melbourne was drawn as one of the top 10 cities, a list which included Tokyo and Paris. While Fiat Epson and Omega topping the list of brand names.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
As a result of the 2010 Names Policy Panel Report, auDA has implemented some of the Panel’s recommendations with the introduction of the new 2012-04 Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules for the Open 2LDs and 2012-05 Guidelines on the Interpretation of Policy Rules for the Open 2LDs.
The main changes involve the revocation of the Monetisation Policy, with rules around monetisation now being incorporated into the new policy, and specifying with more clarity as to how registrants can use domains for monetisation. The changes to policy also broaden the eligibility basis for .id.au domain names to now allow, individuals to register these domains for personal interests or hobbies.
Friday, December 14th, 2012
Following weeks of intense lobbying and aggressive debate at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, Australia has announced that it will not sign a revised international telecommunications treaty, over threats to the openness of the internet.
The west including Australia largely faced off against countries like Russia who sought to exert more controls over the internet.
In announcing Australia’s position, Communications Minister Senator Conroy today said:
“Australia’s consistent position has been that the internet should not be included in the ITRs. This is a point on which we would not compromise. Australia does not support any changes that would undermine the current multi-stakeholder model for internet governance or fundamentally change the way the internet operates. Australia believes that the approach taken by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN), which has input from industry stakeholders, governments and the public, remains the best way to sustain the internet’s growth and innovation. It remains Australia’s view that for the ITRs to be enduring and useful they should focus on the interconnection of international telecommunication networks.“
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has ruined Christmas for eleven Harvey Norman franchisees accused of misrepresenting consumer rights. On 19 December, when most people will be counting sleeps til Christmas, the franchisees will be in the Federal Court in Sydney as orders are made for progress of the case.
ACCC says that the eleven retailers gave consumers false information about their rights when goods weren’t up to scratch. It says that staff rolled out old red herrings like:
Some of these statements can sometimes be valid in some circumstances. But where goods simply aren’t of reasonable quality when supplied, traders can’t use excuses to push complaining customers away. Australian law says they have rights to a remedy, and no store can limit or exclude them.
A familiar story
Of course, there have been no adverse findings against any of the eleven yet. But ACCC’s allegations have a familiar ring. Just last year, discount computer chain MSY was caught making up its own law on consumer warranties. According to MSY:
According to the Federal Court, they could pay a $203,500 penalty and submit to a five year court restraint for misleading consumers about their rights.
ACCC: It’s a campaign
ACCC has made no secret of the fact that it has these kinds of misrepresentations in its legal gun sights. “Consumer Guarantees has been identified as a national priority by ACL Regulators and is a matter of particular concern for the ACCC with more than 16,000 contacts from members of the public to the ACCC’s Infocentre so far this year” said its Chairman Rod Sims this week. And its website now states that “The ACCC is conducting a number of investigations into other large manufacturers and retailers for alleged misrepresentations of consumer guarantee rights in breach of the ACL.” And to prove the point, ACCC launched the same kind of legal action last month against Hewlett-Packard Australia Pty Ltd.
A good website or policy is not enough
Many businesses think they can cover off legal risk with paperwork. It’s true that a well drafted contract or a comprehensive trade practices compliance policy document is a key tool in managing risk. But they’re almost never enough, if they aren’t backed up in practical ways.
Harvey Norman’s website has clear and accurate information about what remedies consumers are entitled to if goods are not satisfactory. If ACCC’s case is right, it means that the franchisees were operating in disregard of the information on their own group website. That would indicate a serious disconnect between what the group’s head office knows (ie that consumers have bedrock rights) and what’s filtered through to staff on the shop floor. And that kind of disconnect can be very expensive.
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Cooper Mills Director, and Domain Name Lawyer, Erhan Karabardak was yesterday elected to the board of auDA (.au Domain Administration Ltd), the Australian regulator of .au domain names.
The election was held at the auDA AGM in Sydney.
The board election also saw the appointment of Stuart Benjamin, Cheryl Langdon Orr and Joe Manariti.