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Regular Member
I joined this forum so I could share a frightening experience with you.

I’m also fairly new to domains, but got involved when friends suggested I do so. One is a respected international domainer who lives in Melbourne.

I’ve registered lots of domains, and also joined a drop service and bought lots of domains at auction. Being initially very naïve, I did buy some domains that I have since learned had potential problems attached to them (like trademarks). My mistake.

About a month ago, auDA queried my right to hold some domains. They said they were going to take some domains off me because I had breached trademarks etc. I realised that I had to cop the loss of these domains. No complaints. Live and learn is my motto.

auDA then did an audit of all my domains held in one particular entity, and asked me on what policy reason I had bought them all, and what were my intentions with them. I answered as best as I could, and told them I was going to develop websites and monetize them etc. I had already started doing so.

auDA told me that they didn’t like my answers, and that I had broken their rules. Therefore they were going to “Policy Delete” nearly every single one of these domains; approx 110 of them! I spoke to a lawyer who wrote to auDA, but they just went ahead and deleted the domains that I had paid lots of money for. These were deleted last week and other people bought them. There were domains like horserugs.com.au which I paid over $400 for originally. Others included carstereosystems.com.au and Hastings.com.au. The whole list is published on this forum.

By the way, I have no beef with anyone who bought them.

I’ve never been a whinger and have worked hard for my dough. But I think this action by auDA is so over the top, and it’s frightening because they did it so quickly. I accept losing some domains because of possible trademark issues, but surely I shouldn’t been stripped of almost everything I own? Shouldn’t auDA be helping educate people like me rather than punish me so severely?

Please tell me what you think. Would you be upset if you had over 100 domains taken from you just like that?


Top Contributor
I feel for you mate, as I know how hard it is to take the loss of 1, let alone 100+.

auDA has several policies that affect as domainers, and often despite most members of auDA being domainers or Involved in the industry seem to have a problem with domaining.

Most informed domainers know not to incur the wrath of auDA regarding tm's and this is an area that auDA needs to do more. Preventing tm registration in the first instance, rather than waiting to policy delete.

Also most domainers still don't realise, registration for the sole purpose of resale is NOT a valid reason for registration.
Yes even after the 6 month wait period.

Just Parking a name with an attached for sale link could be considered advertising for resale not Monetisation.
Monetisation IS a valid reason if your stated business model is that under the Close and substantional rule.

Developing as a site is easier to justify as a valid usage and monetisation business model.
Non-Usage and invalid usage will incur possible deletions and as in your case , GLADY, possible audits of entire portfolios.
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Top Contributor
That's not good Glady, I think the auda have been harsh to say the least and even though you have admitted to some tm domains being in your name, to take all the other domains off you is terrible.

I remember some audits I had on my domains and I had a few taken off me that I too had registered not even knowing they were on the auda misspelt list.
We all make mistakes in the early days of registering domains, its not like we have a guidebook.

I thought the auda were going to have an independent body handle domain disputes, what ever happened about that?



Does the auDA even give you any time to fix any problems they have with some your domain infringements? It seems quite absurd to pretty much rob you of all those domains because they don't like your answer. Especially when there are many domains out there which are infringing on the rules, but haven't been deleted.


Top Contributor
Yes exceptionally heavy-handed
We do need the Australian domainers association that has been mentioned before
For ,by and about domainers.


Top Contributor
That really sucks. I did wonder at the time why horserugs.com.au etc were policy delete.

Quite surprised to hear this as auDA have been much better recently in my experience. I had 300 odd put into policy delete a few years ago but I they did reverse it after a bit of pressure. What response did you give them?

You certainly sound like a reasonable person so I'm really sorry to hear about this.

Don, good point about the independent complaints mechanism. It was announced by Chris Disspain at TRAFFIC 2008 so I'll be sure to ask Jo at the Sydney Domainer's meetup where that's up to...

EDIT: It's somewhere in here - http://gigtv.rampms.com/gigtv/Viewer/?peid=f090ae7508ce4bfe9dc809185ab64359 In fact everyone should watch this video
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Archived Member
How do larger companies such as OMG manage to avoid this? Is it simply a matter of auDA needing to make an example of someone now and again to be seen as doing their job?
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That's bad news Glady. I feel really sorry for you with regards losing your non trademarked domains. That seems an over the top reaction to me. There are many domainers out there that could be targeted similarly. If you watch the drops, you see loads of "iffy" domains that get picked up. Some are typos and mis-spellings, and some you would have to think are TM's. Do auDA pick on these people? Or are some people untouchable? I agree that we should have a representative body that can be heard by auDA.


Unless they can show a proper breach they shouldn't be able to touch your shit. Everything is based on policy, I am pretty sure they don't have a policy that says "We don't like your answer...".

Sounds like they need to be brought down a peg or two.


Top Contributor
I think we need to hear what Glady's response was before making judgement. It all hinges on that. I am surprised because they don't seem to be as aggressive in this sort of thing like they used to be a few years ago.

However there is, in my opinion, far too much grey area in much of the policy which needs to be cleaned up. In some ways a clearcut bad policy is better than a subjective iffy policy - at least you know where you stand.

Agree a domainer's industry group would also be of value.

Simon Johnson

Top Contributor
Full disclosure - I'm an auDA member and have been for some time.

In all fairness - if there are trademarked domains, then auDA has done the right thing, and put them into "Pending Delete" as per the current policy.

In terms of the specific domain you named in your original post - horserugs.com.au, funny you should mention that....

The morning it was put into the drop, I called auDA on the phone as I had a question about it being flagged as "Client Delete" (if I recall it correctly - it may have been flagged as something else)..... In any case I did an ASIC lookup that morning and the ASIC database found too many names (with the term horse rugs) to display in the results. I then had a 10 min discussion with auDA about the "close and substantial connection rule" on this specific name and expressed my concerns about acquiring this name (if it was going to be put back into the pool again). In any case, I decided not to bid.

Obviously without knowing more info about your domains its difficult to get a view on it. At the end of the day, if you think something is "borderline" - don't bid.


Top Contributor
I've had similar instances where domains have been taken incorrectly by Auda - by incorrectly, I mean in contrast to the wording of their own policies. Even when they're wrong the only way to settle the issue is via the media or court - I was very close to the 2nd option in my case.

Let's be honest, from a contract perspective, the policy has more grey areas than an elephant's backside and unfortunately it seems, Auda's staff are left to make their own interpretations.

Based on the rulings I've been subjected to, the Red Cross is not eligible to be holding www.donateblood.com.au, as the Red Cross do not provide such a service, they actually receive the blood and therefore they would be eligible for www.bloodextraction.com.au, wetakebloodfromyourarm.com.au and the like. This is an incorrect interpretation of the policy but one that Auda took in my case.

This is one of the areas I was hoping that Jo Lim could comment on at the Sydney Domainer meeting.


Top Contributor
Based on the rulings I've been subjected to, the Red Cross is not eligible to be holding www.donateblood.com.au, as the Red Cross do not provide such a service, they actually receive the blood and therefore they would be eligible for www.bloodextraction.com.au,
Well actually they extract blood, then they donate it to whoever needs it.
But the context that it is used is trying to get people to donate blood. Domains don't have to JUST be about a service that is provided. The service that IS being promoted is one that allows Blood to be Donated. So the RED CROSS is very much entitled to the domain. Probably the ONLY group or person that is entitled.

I am a Supply member of auDA
I am a receipient of Red Cross Supplied BLOOD.
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Top Contributor
Hmmmm, I think that's what I said.

The actual case was with respect to creating of regional directories. I had some regional geo's (eg; Parramatta) that I was building free directories on; Auda said that I was eligible for www.regionaldirectories.com.au, etc but NOT www.parramatta.com.au, etc even though one of the services I was providing was a regional directory for businesses in that area.

They PD'd the domains and I was given no avenue to take the matter further.

This is one of the areas I was hoping that Jo Lim could comment on at the Sydney Domainer meeting.

Don't follow me on Twitter
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Regular Member
Thanks for all your comments. Sorry for delay in reply but I have been trying to get a couple of Nando’s stores finished.

It’s really hard to try and give the whole story here. It all started when there was a complaint made to auDA about one particular domain I owned. I had been approached to sell it, and when we couldn’t agree on a price, the potential buyers complained to auDA. I got asked why I should keep it. I told auDA that the domain was being parked to start with and it was my intention to develop it and other domains in the future. They obviously didn’t like the “parking" response because they then said: “Given your explanation, auDA now seeks a response with regard to the list of domain names (see attachment) registered to you”.

So after taking advice, I sent them (via my lawyer) an itemised list of what my intentions were with the domains. I have listed a few examples below. They did not accept these reasons, because “they were different to what I had initially said”! So I was stripped.

It all came down to “domain monetization” and the “close and substantial” policies – and the fact that some of my domains apparently didn’t have relevant links or content.

Some sample responses I gave to auDA: (These were all sold as PD’s last week):

carstereosystems.com.au - I purchased this domain in order to develop a website for car sound systems and possible future online sales (now goes to a parking page!)

carsoundsystems.com.au - I purchased this domain in order to develop a website for car sound systems and possible future online sales (now goes to a parking page!)

sandstonepavers.com.au - Providing a directory to sand stone paving suppliers and layers (now reverts to no site found!)

constructionworkers.com.au - Providing a directory for employment sites focusing on the construction industry (now reverts to no site found!)

floorcoatings.com.au - Explaining the different floor coatings available (now reverts to no site found!)

sharkfishing.com.au - Social interest and networking site concerning sharkfishing, with instructions and public input with photos and a forum (now goes to a parking page!)

Check out all my other domains that were sold as PD’s. Where is the consistency and fairness?

As I said, I’m not a whinger, but I don’t like losing money unreasonably. I accept totally that I cocked up with buying some TM domains, and I also accept why these were taken off me. But surely not the others?

I am totally confused and frustrated by it all.

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