Can I lease an Australian Domain Name? Not anymore, says auDA.

As we discussed in last week’s Domainer Show, the domain name was leased for many years in the 90’s by Telstra for many thousands of dollars per month.

Telstra, a major Australian corporation, saw the merit of “leasing” a domain name for years.

Yet, there is a new “.au Domain Administration Rules; Licensing” auDA Policy that is due to be implemented very soon (currently appearing on auDA’s front page as…)

The “new policy” (complete with an added ridiculous 40-page Explanatory Guide) (I thought the new policy rules were supposed to make everything simpler?!?!) now states;

“2.11.11  A Person must not rent, lease, sub-licence or permit the use of the licence by another Person, unless that Person is a related body corporate with an Australian presence.”

On contacting auDA recently, one Domainer reader sent us their official response;

You will continue to be free to register domain names in namespaces such as .com if you wish to operate a business leasing domain names to third parties.

How have auDA’s infamous PRP and a small handful of auDA Directors and auDA’s Manager of Policy and Strategy been able to get away with slipping in this crazy new rule?

There seems to be one or two individual people at the head of auDA who seem intent on taking the Australian domain name space BACKWARDS, all seemingly due to a personal vendetta against “Domain Investors” who are merely Australian Entrepreneurs preparing for future successes.

Did auDA ever take into account that Domain Name Leasing is a legal right in Australia protected by Commonwealth and International Law IP?

It’s listed specifically under a Trademark Class 450233

auDA’s new proposed domain name leasing restrictions / banning are simply absurd and not in line with the rest of the domain name, IP Rights or business world.

Every business in Australia can lease a premises for business use. They can lease equipment for business use. They can lease a car for business use. You can even lease a 1300 business phone number! Yet, silly-old-outdated auDA are now proclaiming no one can lease a domain name (internet real estate) for business use.

After the last CEO’s period of control, we are seeing more and more that auDA was never cleaned out or “updated”.

It’s becoming as clear as mud, that the auDA swamp STILL needs to be drained and updated with the right people moving forward.

More to come…

6 thoughts on “Can I lease an Australian Domain Name? Not anymore, says auDA.

  • August 11, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    I think the IP laws cover exactly what the new rule intends to cover? You can only lease the domain to someone equally allowed to use the domain/trademark. So you can’t legally have ownership of but then lease it to a business trading in cars. (Unless they are required to etch phone numbers in everything they sell perhaps???)

  • August 12, 2020 at 8:58 am

    The WIPO Nice classification and IP Australia’s goods and services picklist are just a classification system. They don’t establish legal rights to offer goods or services. They also include opium (class 5) and cannabis plants (class 31) – doesn’t mean I can open my own exotic nursery…

    I think it’s reasonable that when a consumer accesses a website, they can easily determine who is operating it via WhoIs, rather than have this information hidden behind an opaque web of domain name sub-licences.

    Anonymous likes this.
  • August 16, 2020 at 8:46 am


    Domain Leasing Policy Australia auda

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  • September 3, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Surely any 3rd party agreements could be based on a CPC or $.c per visitor, with a minimum payment
    Isn’t that a large part of Google’s business model?

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