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"BLACK MARKET" Domain Name Trade

Discussion in 'General Domain Discussion' started by Ashman, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    I'm not the type of person who lets political or industry best interest get in the way of what I believe is a legitimate discussion. So here is the story.

    Recent domain name discussions on this forum include utube.com.au and botox.com.au and were regarding their domain eligibility.

    Utube.com.au has constantly been removed from registration and Botox.com.au was recently registered for over $3000 even though there is a word trademark registered. Both these domain names were registered via the drop catch service providers.

    It is my opinion that the drop catchers are essentially dealing in prohibited goods, essentially black market products as they have no legal right to issue licenses for those domains (and others not included in this discussion) and they are just cashing in on a policy loophole. Actually it’s not even a loophole it just a vagrant disregard for auDA eligibility policy.

    When you normally register a domain name through a registrar there is usually a 48 hour approval process or there is with my registrar anyway. I don't think the approval process is some arbitrary way of the registrar appearing to check domain eligibility nor should it be. An example being when I recently registered a domain I was required to provide further information regarding my eligibility to register the name, which I provided and subsequently was issued a license.

    So here is the point I'm trying to make. The drop catch providers essentially bypass the approval process in their race to catch expiring domains. There is no approval process, no checking of eligibility and domains seem to be issued on first come first served basis.

    The domain eligibility policy is then enforced retrospectively that is after the domain has been licensed and after the drop catchers deposit the proceeds of the sale in their ever increasing bank accounts.

    The approval process for a domain names should require the registrar to check the eligibility of the registrant, not only that it is a close and substantial connection to the business name but in the case of domains registered for monetisation that the registrant has valid and current business credentials.

    I have often heard that the drop catchers invest vast sums of money into their domain catching technology but how much do they invest into technology to enforce policy compliance. My guess = $0.

    This retrospective policy enforcement which results in disputes and complaints is a massive pain and costly process for the businesses that do have the right to legally register domain names.

    However, since the drop catcher’s are not checking domain eligibility they will just continue to profit and trade in "Black Market" domain names. What makes this process worse is that auDA are aware that this constantly occurs and they appear to take no action to stop this illegal trade by drop catchers.

    When will we have a governing body that will enforce policy not retrospectively but before domain licenses are issue? If they don’t take action soon I can see the potential for legal proceedings not only against the registrars but against auDA.:eek:
     
  2. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    Slightly off topic.. but 48 hrs approval? Time to change registrars! What happens if the name gets registered by another person in the meantime?

    ---

    Back on topic.. yes some registrars are more stringent than others, but the policy isn't as rigid as you make out.

    The registrar must check for compliance, but it doesn't state by what means. Maybe one of our resident policy gurus can ellaborate for us.
     
  3. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    They say up to 48 hours but have never taken that long fortunately.

    So are drop catchers in breach automatically because I can't imagine that they have enough time to check eligibility compliance at the end of auctions.
     
  4. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    It would be great to get a response from Drop or Netfleet or even a solicitor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  5. acheeva

    acheeva Membership: VIP

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    This is a difficult topic because if someone were to establish a website (for a client or as a directory) promoting pipe benders, steel fabrication, exhaust systems or the sale of equipment for these purposes then it should be possible for them to challenge the prohibition on utube.com.au

    It is not the responsibility of the registrars to be the judge in these instances

    It may be possible for them to refund bids for names that are subsequently removed by AUDA - certainly a good PR exercise

    Having said all of that every business has risks that participants need to learn & understand
     
  6. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    what amazes me as a newbie to domaining is that this utube.com.au website KEEPS coming up for purchase AND keeps coming up in different threads on DNT !

    I've said it over and over again on different posts in the DNT forum, and thats the governing bodies just don't talk to each other, trademark doesn't talk to business/company rego who doesn't talk to AUDA.

    Until thats solved this will continuely happen.

    bloody "UTUBE STEEL VIC B2418***C " should register it and get rid of the issue.

    (that is publically available info so i don't think i am wrong in posting it? )

    BUT, the core issue still stays, we are all wasting a lot of time discussing this when all we need is a "rule"

    i know i'm heading for hot water but its the only way we can move forward.

    tim
     
  7. DamianLondon

    DamianLondon Membership: VIP

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    I won't get into policy discussion as it is clear that the market has been opened up to monetization under certain conditions, which as a domainer in the .AU space for 15+ years I only celebrate.

    RE: "It is my opinion that the drop catchers are essentially dealing in prohibited goods,"

    Totally disagree with this statement and it is in short a generalisation. I and many others have picked up a ton of domain names that could not possibly be classified as prohibited goods. Policy states that some names "e.g. misspellings" are, and the people who continue to register these names need to review the policy. It is simple. It is up to the individual registering the domain name to determine whether or not they have the right to do so, if they are in breach then they will be ultimately dealt with.

    However there are some domain names which need to receive a classification that disallows them from being registered. My understanding is that there is already a list of names that are banned from being registered. This list needs to be improved.

    We really don't want to go back to policies of the 90's where you had to have a registered company name or business name which closely matched the domain name being registered. This stalled the growth of the .AU market.

    We need to ensure .AU has an identity worldwide and can continue to grow. The current AuDA policies allow this.
     
  8. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    Wow - dramatic title!

    Couple things to note:

    1) What are drop catchers - they are simply registrars who are very fast as registering domain names. They will charge a premium for this service for sought-after names but essentially they are just registrars.

    Now, ALL registrars in Australia (even your 48 hour one) will allow a registrant to register 'utube.com.au' or 'botox.com.au'. Believe me, no registrar spends hours assessing a particular domain for potential infringment and then spends further hours investigating a registrant to see if they comply.

    Remember the vast majority of PDs, infringing names etc are registered through a normal registrar rather than a drop catcher. You only have to look at the drops themselves to find dozens of dodgy looking names dropping, the vast majority of which don't get a bid.

    So, you should modify your statement to:

    2) Secondly, you need to understand that it's not a case of black and white whether a company is in breach of a domain name. Just because a domain has a TM within it (or is the euqivalent of a TM) doesn't mean it's automatically a 'black market' domain name. It takes considerable effort in many cases to decide whether this is the case or not.

    I've personally been on the receiving end of a couple of different complaints about domains I had registered that had household name TMs in them. The complainants, being multi-billion dollar companies put months of effort in trying to prove that the domain was in breach. One of them hired a PI to investigate and both delivered several hundred page submissions. However the independent panel found that the respondent (me) was entitled to hold the domain.

    Can you really expect any registrar should provide the same rigour in assessing rights to a domain name prior to registration.
     
  9. helloworld

    helloworld Membership: VIP

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    Interesting thread. Does anyone know what happened to facebook.com.au? That domain was originally owned locally.
     
  10. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    I remember they were forced to hand it over years ago, can't remember via what means
     
  11. helloworld

    helloworld Membership: VIP

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    I was always interested to see if they got paid for it.
     
  12. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    Thanks for all the input guys.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2012
  13. payattention

    payattention Archived Member

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    How exactly did he breach eligibility? Sounds more like sour grapes given your name calling of him. You seem to believe you need a registered business name or trademark but that isn't the case.
     
  14. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    Again thanks for your input guys.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2012
  15. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    Please don't come on here and make unsubstantiated and uneducated attacks on the integrity of other members.

    Matt G***** is a member of DNT and has been for some time. I have never heard anyone say a bad word about him. For you to refer to him as a tosser, smart ass
    and scumbag is simply not acceptable (particularly as you don't seem to have all the facts).

    May I suggest you have a good read of auDA policy and try and understand eligibility and the "close and substantial" rule - plus the domain monetisation policy.

    If you want to have a civil debate and raise pertinent issues on here then I have no problems - but please lose the vitriol.
    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2012
  16. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    From what I remember, the site was operating well before the rise of FB. I remember looking at it and thinking these guys could be getting a knock at the door with a big cheque to give it up.

    But then there started being Adsense ads on the website. IMO this was a risky strategy as it could be claimed that these ads were trying to take advantage in the increase in traffic that the brand Facebook must have been driving.

    Bit like www.utube.com have done.

    So not sure whether it was ultimately wrestled off them for any compensation or not.

    Sour grapes that your own drop catching business didn't take off?

    http://www.webpark.com.au/expired-domain-names

    Probably the same reason you started this thread:

    http://www.dntrade.com.au/drop-vs-netfleet-t4946.html

    Now we have more sour grapes about missing out on a domain? I'd suggest rather than hitting out and blaming everybody else, you should step back and try to learn how to get better at whatever it is you do.

    You've got a nice little website there so keep working on it, learn from your mistakes and realise that you have the same opportunity as everybody else and you'll do well. Good luck!
     
  17. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    Totally agree, well put Ned
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  18. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    Ned is that your opinion with your "Legal Hat" on ?

    David I have never said anything about starting or wanting to start a drop catching business. I personally think the fewer the better. I simply list expired domains on my website that can be manually registered if they are still available.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  19. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    webpark you can't be judge and jury, you are bridging on slander so be careful.

    pick up the phone and sort it out or move on.

    tim
     
  20. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

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    No, it is my opinion as Administrator of this forum.

    We don't often find need to refer to the "rules" of the forum, but in this case you may care to have a read: http://www.dntrade.com.au/rules.php


    As I said before, happy for you to voice your opinion anytime about anything, but please lose the vitriol. (This is a community where we try and help each other out by sharing info, knowledge and tips).

    If you feel you can't do that, then you are welcome to go elsewhere.
    .