.au Domain Names - Policy Review

auDA has constituted a policy review panel to review virtually all domain name policies in Australia, as well as to recommend a policy to implement direct registration in Australia.  I am chair of this policy review panel.


I strongly urge you to review the issues papers and to provide feedback.

Direct registration will allow registration of domain names in Australia such as

There are other reforms being discussed.  See the Issues Paper that was published at the end of January.

Liability of Intermediaries for copyright infringement

At the end of last year, the Federal Court of Australia issued a judgment in against the Redbubble platform, in favour of Pokemon.

The judgment is here:  Pok√©mon Company International, Inc. v Redbubble Ltd [2017] FCA 154

This is an important copyright and consumer protection law case.  Redbubble recently appealed (and its seems that their appeal was lodged outside of the appeal window).

There is also a similar case pending, involving the Hell's Angels.

A good summary is located on the IP Whiteboard blog.

Canadian Update

This blog post has a good summary of relevant legal developments in Canada over the past year.

Google Found Responsible for Defamation

The South Australian Full Court decided against Google Inc. in the recent case of Google v. Duffy.  See

Google's search results included defamatory material.  Google was found to be a secondary publisher.

Case note here.

AirBNB Hell

An interesting website that points out the risks of using AirBNB for both hosts and guests,

Digital Watermarks on Printed Documents

"The question is how the government identified her so quickly, and the answer may be that she was inadvertently outed by the Intercept itself. That’s because the website posted an image of the leaked document containing an almost-invisible code applied by the printer that produced the document sent to the Intercept. The digital watermark identified the printer model and serial number, along with the time and date then document was printed out."

See LA Times

Meriton found guilty of manipulating TripAdvisor Reviews

Serviced apartment and hotel operator Meriton was found to have engaged in illegal conduct by manipulating TripAdvisor reviews.  The ACCC sued Meriton and won.  The ACCC brought actions under s18 and the little used s34 of the Australian Consumer Law.

See judgment at:

According to the judgment, Meriton manipulated TripAdvisor in two ways:

"The respondent (Meriton) conducts a business of offering serviced apartment accommodation at (at least) 13 properties in Queensland and New South Wales. These properties appear on the TripAdvisor website. During the period November 2014 to October 2015 (the relevant period), Meriton participated in the Review Express service offered by TripAdvisor.  On a weekly basis, Meriton provided TripAdvisor with the email addresses of guests who had stayed at its properties and TripAdvisor sent email invitations to these guests to post a review. However, rather than sendi…

Alleged Illegal Conduct by Apple

Apple is being sued in Australia by the ACCC in relation to the Error 53 software fault in iPhones.  When this fault bricked iPhones and iPads, Apple refused to fix the problem where third parties had done prior repairs. 

The latest judgment on a procedural motion is

Regulation of Automated Vehicles in Australia

The Australian National Transport Commission has released a discussion paper Regulatory options to assure automated vehicle safety in Australia.  The paper identifies 4 regulatory options for a safety assurance system for automated vehicle technology.
Submissions for this discussion paper are open until 4pm, Friday, 28 July 2017.
The NTC expects to present it preferred regulatory option to the Minister in November 2017.
Full media release.

APT10 hacking attack from China

An interesting report from PwC regarding a computer hacker from China:

Cloud Hopper Report

Metatags and Google advertisements found to be trademark infringements

In an appeal decision handed down on Friday, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has affirmed a trial judge's decision that metatags and Google advertisements were trademark infringements.

The case is Accor Australia & New Zealand Hospitality Pty Ltd v Liv Pty Ltd [2017] FCAFC 56.

The case concerned a real estate agent advertising short term accommodation, using the name of a nearby Accor hotel (which was a registered trademark) to attract Internet users to the real estate agent's booking website.

The court confirmed findings of the trial judge that the following were trademark uses and trademark infringements:  use of of the trademark in the domain name, use in metatags for the website, use in headings for the website, use in email addresses, and use in Google advertisements.

First Amendment and Social Media

Social media and First Amendment issues were debated in oral argument before the US Supreme Court in Packingham v. North Carolina.


Issue:  Whether, under the court’s First Amendment precedents, a law that makes it a felony for any person on the state's registry of former sex offenders to “access” a wide array of websites – including Facebook, YouTube, and – that enable communication, expression, and the exchange of information among their users, if the site is “know[n]” to allow minors to have accounts, is permissible, both on its face and as applied to petitioner, who was convicted based on a Facebook post in which he celebrated dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring “God is Good!”

In oral argument on 27 February 2017, Justice Kennedy drew an analogy between social media and the public square.  Justice Ginsburg said restricting access to social media would mean being cut off from a very larg…