auDA target generic domain name investor

Today, a domain name investor called Mr Modesto lost dozens of generic domain names when auDA placed most (possibly all?) of his entire portfolio onto the public domain name auction platforms.

Domainer is lead to believe it had taken him over a decade to acquire some of these highly sort after generic domain names, at great expense.

The domains auDA confiscated from him and released to the public today included;

  • below.com.au
  • swerve.com.au
  • beached.com.au
  • domainx.com.au
  • edesign.com.au
  • staffed.com.au
  • gymclass.com.au
  • welfare.com.au
  • humanoid.com.au
  • keepcalm.com.au
  • migrated.com.au
  • timebomb.com.au
  • escooters.com.au
  • mesmerise.com.au
  • loungebar.com.au
  • rockstars.com.au
  • persistent.com.au
  • remotework.com.au
  • fuelled.com.au
  • petgear.com.au
  • runaway.com.au
  • toyzone.com.au
  • sirloin.com.au
  • 30th.com.au
  • 40th.com.au
  • 50th.com.au
  • 60th.com.au

You don’t get any more generic than this!

I personally own escooter.com.au and would have been willing to offer him at least $5000 to acquire his escooters.com.au domain name (as my side-hustle business grows, for brand protection purposes, and if it hadn’t appeared on the drops today!).

How much money has auDA caused Mr Modesto to lose today, and in years to come (as domain names become more valuable every year), because of their actions?

Was this one single person at auDA who made this decision? Or a joint decision?

What is the reasoning behind deleting someone’s entire portfolio of domain names? His ABN associated with owning the domain names appears to still be valid.

But… wait until you read this…

auDA Policy Deleted Mr Modesto’s OWN SURNAME today!

That’s right…

Today, auDA also placed Mr Modesto’s domain name “Modesto.com.au” (his own surname) into Policy Delete.

On checking the WHOIS a few minutes after the drops today, it appears Mr Modesto has just had to buy back his own domain name (surname). And to the exact same entity too.

To me, it looks as though they just placed his entire portfolio of generic domain names into Policy Delete without any sort of due diligence on individual names. Am I wrong?

Perhaps a representative from auDA, or Mr Modesto himself, can take the time to write to Domainer and explain what happened today?

16 thoughts on “auDA target generic domain name investor

  • Neddy
    June 29, 2020 at 4:50 pm
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    This is so disappointing on many levels.

    Firstly, I feel very sorry for the registrant. He must be absolutely gutted that something like this can happen in Australia. In what other major ccTLD space in the world would something like this occur?

    In my opinion, auDA should be there to help and educate registrants that may not comply with whatever policy or licensing rules are currently in existence (which can be confusing for even the most experienced of us). Their role should not be to “punish” those that don’t deserve it. I have written about this before on Domainer.

    That said, domain investors also need to also help themselves.

    1. Registrants should never lose domains at auDA’s “first base”. There are two levels of appeal.

    2. If you receive a decision that seeks to delete your domains, get advice from people in the industry before trying to fix the problem yourself. Unfortunately, sometimes if you think you are giving the right answer to the auDA Compliance team, you are not. On the contrary, you are almost sealing your fate. (Once again, it shouldn’t be this way).

    3. Keep your domains with a registrar that will “have your back” when you need it. Particularly someone who knows how auDA operates, and who can advise you as to the best courses of action. I am an experienced domain investor who knows how policy works, but Anthony at Drop.com.au knows much more than me! And he is always willing to go the extra mile to help registrants keep their domains.

    Ned

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    • Avatar
      June 29, 2020 at 7:49 pm
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      Well said Ned, stories of constant deletion attempts (which are often overruled when people appeal) are an extreme concern.

      auDA should be there to assist registrants, it shouldn’t be this constant attempt to catch people out.

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  • Avatar
    June 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm
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    Will these be deleted by auDA in the same way they deleted the persons name Modesto.com.au?

    Boardman.com.au ex auDA CEO
    Leptos.com.au. ex auDA Chair
    PaulFletcher.com.au current Minister
    ScottMorrison.com.au current PM
    etc.

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    • Avatar
      June 29, 2020 at 10:23 pm
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      Mary did you have a Little.com.au Lamb.com.au

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  • Avatar
    June 30, 2020 at 6:23 am
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    Ridiculous. This is why I and many others don’t invest in .au anymore. It’s like walking through a minefield. auDA needs a reality check.

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    • Avatar
      June 30, 2020 at 7:40 am
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      I get how people can become jaded due to one or two individual ‘complaints staff’ at auDA taking it upon themselves to decide who gets to keep their domain names, but we shouldn’t let these ‘complaints staff’ deter Australian entrepreneurs from purchasing and investing in domain names for their current and future businesses.

      auDA is not an all-powerful deity, it’s merely one or two individual ‘complaints staff’ reading their own personal opinion into broad, outdated policy and acting as judge, jury and executioner of people’s domain names. Domains people have often invested tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars into. (as is this case with Mr Modesto.)

      Don’t let them get away with taking your domain names!

      It’s clear that auDA have not changed at all since the last regime. In fact, that seems to be the major problem. New board members and CEO’s and Chairmen and ‘complaints staff’ come on board every few years and have to go through the ‘domain name learning curve’ from scratch, all over again, which takes the Australian DNS backward, time after time. The Australian .AU is no longer in the world top 10 Country Code Domain Names (https://www.domainregistration.com.au/news/2019/0906-domain-name-report.php) and we have more unnecessary restrictions on ownership of our domains than any other country in the world.

      auDA tick a few boxes every few years for the Department of Communications and the wacky merry-go-round keeps spinning. auDA staff keep getting their pay checks every week, as they bumble through that learning curve, all heavily funded by domain investors. Yet. domain investors and entrepreneurs keep having their domain names wrongly confiscated by ‘anonymous domain complaints’ made by domain thieves and backed by one or two individual ‘complaints staff’ at auDA.

      WAKE UP auDA and bring our namespace up to date with the rest of the world!

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    • Avatar
      June 30, 2020 at 7:48 am
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      [ Admin Note: Please use one alias when you post. Either Mark, TJ, Jon or Fabian. ]

      No it’s not. Names should correspond to entity or TM names or be used for monetisation or have an otherwise close and substantial connection to the registrant. The criteria are very broad, but there will always be some who don’t stay within the rules.

      We don’t even know whether auDA deleted these names. It may have been an error at the registrant’s end, perhaps they asked for all names to be deleted and then realised they wanted to keep the surname one so re registered it. I don’t find any of the names in the list appealing at all and would’ve deleted them all myself.

      My 2 cents

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      • Avatar
        June 30, 2020 at 8:01 am
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        Actually, we do know that auDA deleted these names, including his own surname.

        Here’s a sentence Mr Modesto sent Domainer a few days ago…

        “Unfortunately auDA deemed it necessary to place basically all my domains in PD. I’m going to try to get some of the important ones back…”

        His domain names were valuable and very appealing. I paid $1888 for his escooters.com.au domain name alone and more than 20 of his domains were picked up yesterday for between $50 and $500 each.

        Imagine having to buy back your own surname…

        What one or two ‘complaints staff’ at auDA did to Mr Modesto yesterday is disgraceful.

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        • Avatar
          June 30, 2020 at 8:04 am
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          Oh, but unless we can see what the comments or representations were from the previous registrant it is still not as clear cut as you might think. Very rare. I still disagree about the names deleted but each to their own.

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          • Avatar
            June 30, 2020 at 8:47 am
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            What is your connection with auDA Mark?

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            • Avatar
              June 30, 2020 at 9:54 am
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              Admin Note: Please use one alias when you post. Either Mark, TJ, Jon or Fabian.

              What is your connection to .com.au Snoopy?

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  • Avatar
    June 30, 2020 at 8:12 am
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    Admin Note: Please use one alias when you post. Either Grey Goose, Jack, Mike etc.

    GG.com.au will go for $10k+ today

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  • Avatar
    June 30, 2020 at 10:35 am
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    Funny how everyone misses the elephant in the room, the people stopping change are the Department. .au needs to get with the times. auDA cant change the rules, it comes down to the faceless men and women in the Department who hold onto the way things were in 2002, when champagne, international trips and 6 star hotels were the norm at auDA. None of them have even owned a .au domain name which makes it worse.

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    • Avatar
      June 30, 2020 at 10:56 am
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      [ Admin Note: Please use one alias when you post. Either Mark, TJ, Jon or Fabian. ]

      Do you have any connection to Snoopy?

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  • Neddy
    July 1, 2020 at 11:02 am
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    This old article from DN Trade may send a few shivers down some backs.

    At least back in those days one could pick up the phone and speak to someone at auDA – these days it is very hard to do so.

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  • Avatar
    July 1, 2020 at 11:25 am
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    auDA at it again today!

    They deleted the highly generic first-name domain Lynne.com.au

    On one hand auDA issue domains to people and collect the money and pay their own wages. On the other, they strip the same domains from the same people and send them to be re-sold to the public. And their money machine keeps turning.

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