The Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA) recently relaxed
its rules on domain name transfers by introducing a new Transfers
(Change of Registrant) Policy. Significantly, the policy allows
domain name registrants to transfer or "sell" their
.com.au domain name licences to any other eligible person or entity
by any means. So what will be the effect of this relaxation in
policy? Will the market be flooded by enterprising domain name
registrants seeking to trade their .com.au domain names?
The birth of online domain name trading website Netfleet.com.au
(Netfleet) may signal a new era in Australian domain name trading.
Through Netfleet, domain name registrants can list their domain
names for a fixed price or for auction within a range of
categories. The site currently lists over 3,400 domain names in 22
categories such as health, finance, business, careers, sport,
leisure and shopping. Prices being sought range from $180.00 (for
memes.com.au) up to $1,000,000.00 (for business.com.au). Although
buyers and sellers are required to subscribe to the Netfleet site,
no fees or commissions are payable. This will ensure that the
Netfleet online trading forum is available to all enterprising
domain name traders.
But before you go snaffling up available domain names in search
of a quick dollar, it's worth remembering that there are some
restrictions in place. The new auDA Transfer Policy explicitly
prohibits the registration of domain names solely for the purpose
of resale. To this end, the auDA can prevent or cancel the transfer
of any domain name made within 6 months after the domain name is
first registered. Also, domain names can only be registered by, and
transferred to, people or entities that are eligible to hold the
domain name under auDA's existing eligibility rules. This
policy requirement will initially limit the pool of available
buyers and sellers by requiring each to demonstrate that they have
a genuine interest in using the domain name. A genuine interest is
usually demonstrated by providing evidence of an associated company
name, business name or trade mark.
So if you can prove you are eligible to hold a domain name, are
able to wait 6 months after its registration and can find a willing
buyer that is also eligible to hold the domain name under the
applicable auDA eligibility rules, you're in business. Even
with such restrictions in place, it is likely that budding
entrepreneurs will seek to take advantage of the new transfer
policy by registering a portfolio of tradeable domain names with a
view to selling them to the highest bidder. Only time will tell
whether a thriving domain name transfer market arises and whether
the auDA will stem the tide by stringently enforcing its
prohibition on registration of domain names for the sole purpose of
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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