auDA launches class action

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auDA (.au Domain Adminstration) has launched legal proceedings against a company it alleged has been sending out mailouts that could be considered misleading or deceptive.
auDA is filing a class action in the Federal Court against Domain Names Australia Pty Ltd (DNA) and its sole director Chesley Paul Rafferty, according to a statement.
'In those proceedings auDA alleged that recent mailouts by DNA were misleading or deceptive, or likely to mislead or deceive, in breach of the Trade Practices Act,' it stated.
According to the statement, the class action is on behalf of all members of the public that have existing .au ccTLD or gTLD domain names, and have received notices from DNA and made payments relating to these notices.
'auDA is seeking a declaration of breach of the TPA [Trade Practices Act], refunds and damages, and permanent injunctions restraining DNA and Rafferty from engaging in certain types of misleading or deceptive conduct, or conduct likely to mislead or deceive in the future,' it said.
Chris Disspain, chief executive officer at auDA, told CRN that it believed that DNA had sent out roughly 700,000 letters, 400,000 of which were sent out last weekend.
He said that there the next step in the legal proceedings would be a series of directions hearings 'relatively soon', with a timetable then set by the court for further proceedings.
An application by auDA for an interlocutory injunction restraining DNA from using funds they receive as a result of the mailouts was unsuccessful, the statement said.
Mid last month auDA also issued a consumer alert about Domain Names Australia, warning consumers that it had become aware the company was sending out letters or faxes to some domain registrants, regarding the .com version of their .au domain name being available or unregistered.
CRN could not reach a spokesperson from DNA for comment at time of going to press.
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