Anti-Conroy Campaigners Damage Australian Anti-Censorship Cause

I don't need to highlight the multiple posts here at The Inquisitr when it comes to my stance against Chinese style censorship in Australia; I'm a foundation member of the Pirate Parry in Australia despite previously swearing off politics for life; half of that drive was censorship driven, the other half was a real need for copyright reform.

So I'm naturally not inclined to criticize those who try and support the anti-censorship drive. But today, there is one cause that is damaging the anti-censorship cause, and that's the people behind the now unregistered stephenconroy.com.au.

If you believe the media release (link) that SAPIA Pty Ltd put out today, auDA (the Australian domain registrar) undertook an unprecedented act of political censorship by suspending the domain.

It's a nice line, and I'd normally be the first to support it, after all, it makes for a good anti-censorship line.

Except for two things: it's not based on facts nor reality. I should note at this point that I have previously been a member of auDA, although I'm not today, although I might still be on their books as an unpaid, or unrenewed member.

No matter how good the tale, the deregistration of stephenconroy.com.au was not made on censorship grounds (and for the record, I haven't spoken to contacts at auDA.) The registration was 100% dodgy to begin with.

To register a .com.au domain name, you need to have a business relationship with the name registered. Originally that meant a business or company name, but in more recent years that has meant essentially a business slogan as well.

Those rules may well sound weird compared to other domain names, and they are. There's a reason .com.au is one of the more smaller domain names vs other domains, and that's the strict registration laws.

In the case of stephenconroy.com.au, despite the political implications, the rules don't allow for protest sites; the rules are the rules, love them or hate them.

One of the reasons I originally joined auDA (see above) is that I didn't necessarily agree with the rules, and I still don't mostly; but mostly on the grounds that they aren't always applied evenly. auDA has basically allowed big business to register crap names that have little to nothing to do with them, but on the grounds they are the basis of an ad campaign, vs a trademark or company registration.

Still, there was, and still is no registration or ad campaign between SAPIA Pty Ltd and Stephen Conroy, at least when the domain was registered.

Well, except today. I found this Victorian business registration on ASIC, dated today. There's no supporting evidence it came from SAPIA, but maybe they've gotten smart.

Either way, as much as I'm anti-censorship, rules are rules. auDA isn't prefect, but there is really nothing wrong with the deregistration of the name so far, no matter what some people may think. If SAPIA get the name registered as a business (and not, it can be a broader name, say Stephen Conroy sucks, on that basis you can register the part name) I'm all for them. But until that time, lets stick to playing fair, after all, Conroy isn't.