You do not talk about domain name prices if you use Drop.com.au

Today Drop.com.au bought the domain name DomainCatch.com.au for Drop.com.au Pty Ltd for $10,000.

I posted a comment in this previous article about the sale.

Anthony Peake from Drop.com.au then sent me a text message that reads as follows:

I guess the “terms” Anthony is referring to are these:

I didn’t see these terms before (someone else sent me this screenshot today).

Are Drop.com.au saying, for the first time in 20 years, we’re not allowed to talk about sales prices of dropped domain names anymore?

Now that I see Drop’s new terms, I can tell that I don’t like them, so I’m not going to obey them.

I wonder what’s going to happen now?

20 thoughts on “You do not talk about domain name prices if you use Drop.com.au

  • Avatar
    April 23, 2021 at 2:06 pm
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    Wow – you have balls of steel. Go for it Rob. But they say this ‘WILL’ result in user bans or going back to hiding pricing. I imagine they don’t want to upset a power broker (and a whole group of people that represent a good percentage of their customers), although who knows… when you’re a monopoly you can do whatever you like – just look at facebook and twitter with their banning of conservative accounts because half the countries opinions apparently don’t fit their ‘community guidelines’.

    Either way, I imagine your stone faced public challenge will force them to respond in some way. I’m just off to get some popcorn. 🙂

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  • Avatar
    April 23, 2021 at 2:25 pm
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    Drop are sounding like dictators now. Our way or the highway. This is why a competitor is badly needed. The ability to report prices paid on expiring auctions is fundamental to transparency.

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  • Avatar
    April 23, 2021 at 2:42 pm
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    I have not partaken in any drops as of late, as I understand by what is happening now is:-
    The ‘transparency’ of the $ amount bids is only made ‘public’ to the interested bidders actively partaking in the name in drop.com.au auction on the day the domain is being dropped?

    Just clarifying things ..

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  • Neddy
    April 23, 2021 at 3:27 pm
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    I have to say that I am scratching my head over this response by Drop. David and Anthony both advocated a desire for a return to some form of transparency.

    Seems to me that they are just digging themselves a bigger hole by threatening punitive measures against Rob and other investors. But of course, what would I know! 🙂

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  • Avatar
    April 23, 2021 at 3:29 pm
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    This is beyond belief.
    Not only does there appear to be a conflict of interest, not only apparent evidence of fraud, they also threaten people sharing information that hundreds of people have seen on screen.
    What possible justification could there be for wanting to hide auction results, if not nefarious ones?
    I’m just amazed the ACCC hasn’t got onto DROP and put them out of business.
    Why does auDA do nothing?
    What country are we in?

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    • Avatar
      April 23, 2021 at 8:32 pm
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      I wouldn’t go that far, John, but…

      1. Drop have been called out time and time again and need to do better.
      2. We need another Drop Catcher.

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      • Avatar
        April 24, 2021 at 12:12 am
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        Attention all Drop.com.au members:

        There is NO COPYRIGHT WHATSOEVER over selling prices.

        Selling prices are facts, they are not original works.

        “… copyright protects an expression not an idea; it is the form or way an idea, information or facts are expressed that is protected.

        Copyright does not protect the idea, information or facts themselves.”

        https://libcopyright.org.au/material-not-protected-by-copyright/

        This was affirmed in the Yellow Pages case:

        https://www.claytonutz.com/knowledge/2010/february/goodbye-to-copyright-for-databases-federal-court-finds-no-copyright-in-phone-directories

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        • Avatar
          April 24, 2021 at 9:30 am
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          Thanks Chris, that’s what I thought!

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          • Avatar
            April 24, 2021 at 10:35 am
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            A screen grab is copyright as it is expression of a fact. So only the fact itself (the price the domain was sold at) is free from copyright.

            This can be obtained in any number of ways, for example by contacting the buyer of the domain.

            But wait, there’s more…

            Screen grabs, although Copyright, can be published without permission where such publication is “fair dealing”, which includes criticism or review or reporting of news.

            https://www.copyright.org.au/acc_prod/AsiCommon/Controls/BSA/Downloader.aspx

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      • Avatar
        April 25, 2021 at 6:53 am
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        Keep this jihad up and you can be sure of one thing: there will be no competitor to Drop.com.au because auDA will take over the drops.

        auDA would likely extend the number of days that a name is being auctioned to 30 days, meaning most names would go to end user buyers and there would be nothing left for domainers.

        auDA did auctions in the past, it can do them again.

        So many words dedicated to mundane and irrelevant issues (there are no good domains dropping anymore). What is there to be gained from such?

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        • Neddy
          April 25, 2021 at 9:49 am
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          Welcome back “Charlie”. We’ve missed you. 😅

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  • Avatar
    April 23, 2021 at 5:16 pm
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    “The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.”

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    • Avatar
      April 23, 2021 at 8:32 pm
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      I like the second rule better.

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  • Avatar
    April 24, 2021 at 1:05 pm
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    Also: the ‘Copyright’ warning only appears if you click the heading on the results list and not in the actual terms and conditions at DROP. So, many users would never even see the warning and no-one signed up to it.

    Secondly, since when is communication about supposed rule breaking communicated via text message?

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  • Avatar
    April 24, 2021 at 3:18 pm
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    Would DROP be happy to tell their customers:
    “By the way, we may bid ourselves on any domain in the drop auction.”

    If this is allowed then:
    1. DROP can bid as high as they want as they would pay the price to themselves and it would be effectively free to DROP to obtain any domain in the drop.
    2. If DROP just bids up the price (at no risk to themselves of actually it costing them) then they make money from an inflated price.

    Am I missing something? Because if this is happening, this is fraud.

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  • Avatar
    April 24, 2021 at 4:43 pm
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    Very strange behaviour for a company that professes to want transparency.

    It’s difficult to understand their thought process. It’s obviously not something they “can” hide, but they desperately want to.

    Why would a drop catcher want to conceal how much money they’re making?

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  • Avatar
    April 25, 2021 at 9:23 am
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    With no incremental bids or bidder id’s being shown, how do we know that Drop are not shill bidding to drive the price up on good domains? Do we just take their word for it?

    Re domaincatch.com.au, bet you they didn’t actually pay $10K.

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    • Avatar
      April 25, 2021 at 9:29 am
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      Agree! I wouldn’t suggest Drop are shill bidding, but the point is, how do we know?

      Also… How do we know if they’re looking after “mates” (like what happened to Company.com.au – https://domainer.com.au/drop-com-au-names-for-mates/)

      Hopefully Drop can take all this criticism on board as positive and make some much-needed changes.

      Hopefully… A second drop catcher can come along to level the playing field…

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  • Avatar
    April 28, 2021 at 7:05 am
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    From auDA when I asked about Drop bidding on their own service, verbatim:

    Domain Name(s): domaincatch.com.au

    We advise that auDA is not involved in setting rules for drop catching or secondary market services.

    Our role is purely whether the licenses which have been registered are consistent with the licensing rules – i.e. whether the registrant is eligible for the domain name they have licensed.

    We would recommend contacting your local office of fair trade or the ACCC if you have concerns relating to the business practices of Drop.com.au Pty Ltd.

    auDA Compliance Team

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