Has Domainer been bought by auDA?

domainer paid by auda

This morning I received two emails from a well-known domainer, implying that I am receiving money from auDA to influence the direction of this website.

The first email reads as follows:

Are they paying you mate? The sites gone very pro auDA everyone is saying?

What did Cameron offer you regarding  registry.au which they still have registered to use?

All because, it seems, I posted relevant auDA news that I thought the domainer community would like to read and comment upon.

This next second email was CC’d to Josh Rowe, Paul Shaw, Jim Stewart, Tim Connell (The “DNTrade” crew), perhaps in an attempt to intimidate me to write in a certain direction?

It reads as follows:

Hi Rob,

What’s happened to the Domainer.com.au which before spoke up on important issues , poor auDA mismanagement and policy problems.

What did Cameron Boardman discuss with you about Registry.au etc? Did auDA provide you any offers for registry.com.au or any promises? I see he still has registered Registry.au so nothing’s changed at all from them….thet have gotten worse.

Are auDA paying or incentivising anything?

I’m emailing you because many people and Government are still extremely concerned about current auDA’s management of the .au domain namespace.

I have been in the industry for 21 years. I made numerous submissions to Government and still do on a very regular basis.


The Supply Registry and Registrar stacking of auDA membersips and control potential over auDA is serious. ACCC flagged it back in 1999.

The CMWG should not condone or turn a blind eye to it and the other obvious issues.

Signing off on such behaviour risks the credibility of the CMWG and the individuals who allow it.

I understand many people on the CMWG work in the Supply area of the .au namespace but I hope more will speak up and ask more questions for accountability and transparency.

I have heard and witnessed a complete takeover of cmwg by auDA Management. It is not Independent at all nor are its models and planned changes to membership and Constitution

[Editor Note: 22 External Links Redacted]


Rob, If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, Scott or Tim whom have spoken up also. We are auDA “whistleblowers” and we want to see all 29 points of the government report and Terms Of Endorsement met. We speak to government often and we know a lot of what has been occurring most in the CMWG have no idea of….thus some people want us muted or “smeared”.

[Editors Note: I spoke with Tim 10 minutes after this post and he is surprised to be included in this email and rejects what has been said about him]

I am very concerned about you going quiet and Domainer.com.au

A few people are thinking due to a lack of exposure like it once offered a few new sites and blogs are needed to keep up the news and spotlight on issues Domainer.com.au once was supported and was well known for.

Kind regards,

I would never usually reprint an email that someone has sent me. I am known by everyone I communicate with to be able to keep subjects confidential. But in this case, I am deeply offended by this email, after all the hard work I have done (and have planned!!) for the Domainer and Domain Investor community over the past 5 years, and feel this email was sent to a number of people to intimidate me into steering this website in a certain direction.

No one likes to feel bullied into going in a certain direction.

Still, rather than let rumours fester, I’ll answer the questions publicly in the comments section below once I take a few deep breaths.

5 thoughts on “Has Domainer been bought by auDA?

  • August 22, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Editors Note: I spoke with Tim 10 minutes after this email and he is surprised to be included in this email and rejects what has been said about him.

  • August 22, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I was in no way a party to this email, it was cc’s to me which does not make me responsible, i’ve spoken to sean and have asked him to verify this here on domainer.

    i’m more then capable of creating my own opinions.

    whilst speaking to rob he bought up how i don’t support domainer eg: no commenting , the reality is for most of domainers life i was a director and as ned and i are friends i felt it best i don’t, so my lack of commenting on domainer is actually consistent with the past.


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  • August 22, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Don’t be intimidated Robert, speak your mind. It is terrible that people think that they can use threats and intimidation against others when they don’t always share the same views. What makes it worse is that they are roping Tim into this without his knowledge.

    2 people like this.
  • August 22, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    I’m going to keep the vein of my comments as real as possible. I can’t really help myself.

    Whenever I mention “Sean’s questions” below, I am paraphrasing him from his public email above…

    Sean: What’s happened to [the old version of] Domainer.com.au?

    Rob: A new person with a different brain has taken it over.

    Sean: What did Cameron Boardman discuss with you about Registry.au?

    Rob: Public auDA Minutes confirm I was approached by auDA over a domain name. I can confirm auDA were interested in purchasing Registry.com.au off me and I met with Cameron in person. He was professional and I said I wasn’t interested and he accepted that. From that conversation he conceded that auDA were no longer going to use Registry.au and they moved forward with an alternate option. He and auDA have seemingly done the right thing in this regard, so I have left it alone.

    Sean: Are auDA paying or incentivising anything?

    Rob: auDA are not paying or incentivising anything to do with Domainer and I would never risk taking money from anyone, in regards to Domainer, where it would have an ability to censor the site.

    In terms of Sean’s comments about the CMWG, he may be right, he may not be. His voice in this regard is important, as long as it’s done in the right way. I am still looking into this myself, as are a lot of people.

    I know the CMWG held two workshops on possible membership models, because I attended both, and it was extremely clear to see that the Single Membership Model easily won the majority vote, time and time again. If the auDA Board don’t end up agreeing with this model, I can honestly see the biggest fight yet coming to their doorstep.

    When Sean mentions, “Please feel free to contact me, Scott or Tim”… I can confirm I have spoken to Tim and Scott and they both agree that they should “not have been construed to be a party to” his email.

    I also don’t believe Josh or Jim or Paul wanted to be a party to this email either, just unfortunately CC’d in on it.

    Sean: I am very concerned about you going quiet and Domainer.com.au

    Rob: Sometimes I get busy with other projects. Sometimes it’s best to lay-low to voice the best filtered opinion on the industry. Sometimes I’m working on a powerful way to voice an opinion on a very important domain name industry subject… and working out the best angle to attack it… None of these reasons mean that I’ve “been paid off by auDA”. For future reference.

    The NEW Domainer isn’t on anyone’s side other than what is best for the domain investor industry, and that of everyday business owners trying to buy a domain name.

    Sean, you’ve also used the phrases (as documented above), “A few people are thinking” and “The site’s gone very pro-auDA EVERYONE is saying”…

    And you have been using this dialect on me in other various forms of communications this year…

    I believe it is more like your own personal viewpoint, than that of many others. Which is another reason I have decided to bring all this to a head.

    I wanted to see who “Everyone” is, but I’m yet to hear from anyone else today in this regard.

    In closing;

    I believe this post I made today was for the greater good of the future of the industry. Hopefully everyone, including Sean, can see this.

    auDA are clearly not performing in the best interests of Domainers or Domain Investors at the moment, but at the same time, I can see what is driving auDA to make some of the important decisions they are being forced to make… because, without defending them…. certain Domainers (not just Sean) are taking things way to far and not stating the whole truth on certain matters, and going about voicing their opinions in the right way.

    I’m not saying I have always gotten it right either… but I’m trying harder.

    Of course auDA needs to be told when they’re going in the wrong direction, but the filter mechanism driving the voice of Domainers seems to have now been completely eroded.

    I’m not concerned about my credibility as a publisher of Domainer because of this post. In the same way I’m not concerned about the credibility of Julian Assange doing what he needs to do, at certain times when he needs to do it.

    Timing is everything.

    Fellow Domainers and Domain Investors; don’t be concerned about me posting your personal emails because of this post. My true friends and fellow industry colleagues know I wouldn’t do that. UNLESS someone else “pulls a Sean”, by pretending to post a personal message to me, but instead addresses it to a number of people, MAKING IT PUBLIC in the first place.

    Sean made this PUBLIC FIRST, I made it public SECOND.

    Hopefully Sean can see the IRONY in all of this (without me having to explain it) and chooses to positively move forward.





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  • August 23, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Sean appears to be a canary in the coal mine. I admire his determination and steadfastness in trying to bring Honesty and Ethical to the table. Thank you Sean.

    This new auDA is fraught with despicable decision making processes and vested interests ruling the roost.

    It’s beyond shameful what auDA’s shot callers have done, and are doing. If you don’t agree with that, read Tim’s resignation letter which highlights some of the problems with today’s cabal. In one word, “unethical” comes to mind, time and time again! For example, I sprained my eyebrows after learning that auDA’s Chair signed up his family (including Lassie!?) as Demand members to blatantly attempt to control his ousting. [Does auDA pay that well!?] (cough, cough, yes: with too little oversight and through redacted minutes and consolidated financials)

    It’s unfortunate Sean’s warnings and message is not concise. But thanks Sean for trying to make some noise.

    9 people like this.

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