Can I monetise a generic domain under the new auDA rules?

Since 12 April 2021 the new auDA rules have been in force and they are causing some confusion as auDA's staff are reacting badly to the term "Monetisation".

Under the old rules we had a "Monetisation" policy which was really just a clarification policy to explain how auDA was going to interpret the exiting rules when you have a domain pointing to a default page with adverts on it.

In this context a parked and monetised domain means a domain with only or predominantly adverts on it, generally the adverts are delivered by a company like Above.com through Parking Crew, BODIS, SEDO, Skenzo and others with adverts provided by Google or Yahoo and linking to services or goods for sale through advertising networks.

Under the old rules it boiled down to you needing a majority of the adverts on the page to refer to the domain name.

Under the new rules we do not yet have a monetisation clarification policy to guide us BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS NOT ALLOWED.

Feel free to quote us on this.

A parked and monetised domain is "a service providing information or a referral to another provider which relates to goods or services used by the public or a sector of the public"

This falls under section 2.4.4 2 f (i) Definition of "Service" # 8. of the https://www.auda.org.au/policy/au-domain-administration-rules-licensing rules.

Which can be quoted as

2.4.4 A Person applying for a licence in the com.au and net.au namespaces must be

1. a commercial entity; and

2. the domain name applied for must be:

(f) a match or synonym of the name of:

(i) a service that the Person provides;

Where service has been defined as

Service includes:

   8. a service providing information or a referral to another provider which relates to goods or services used by the public or a sector of the public.

So once you have parked a domain all you have to do if you get a warranty check is ensure that at least one of your adverts links to "goods or services used by the public or a sector of the public" and which is a match for or a synonym of your domain name.

This brings us to "what are goods" and "what are services"

"Goods" are defined as being "Goods has the same meaning as under section 2 of the Australian Consumer Law." We are not an expert on that but as a lay person we take it to mean anything you can buy from an Abacus to a Zebra so everything physical that has even been offered for sale. It might also include some digital assets too like NFTs but better get legal advice on this from an expert. 

"services" are defined by auDA as

1 a service relating to banking, insurance, and the provision of grants, loans, credit or finance;
2 a service relating to entertainment, recreation or refreshment;
3 a service relating to transport or travel;
4 a service relating to gas, water or electricity;
5 a service of a kind provided by members of any profession or trade;
6 a service of a kind provided by government, a government or public authority or a local government;
7 a service of a kind provided by a not for profit for the benefit of the public or a sector of the community;

Which as a lay person when we read "a service of a kind provided by members of any profession or trade" we take that to cover pretty much anything you can pay a person to do for you from Accounting to Zoo keeping, it really is a very broad category.

Here are some recent examples which are parked and monetised domains referring to goods or services and which we believe are great examples of parking and monetising a domain name.
skipforhire.com.au (you can hire a skip to help remove your waste)
seolocal.com.au (you can find local SEO providers where SEO means "Search Engine Optimisation" and there are now specialists offering this service in Australia)
openplan.com.au (you can buy plans for modular kitchen designs and home layout designs, which are synonyms for "open plan" designs)
airconditioningfilters.net.au (you can literally order air conditioning filters) 
brisbaneloans.com.au (you can apply for loans in and around Brisbane)
cpd.com.au (You can book "Continued Professional Development" training courses)
moodswings.com.au (You can find Psychologists who can help with mood swing disorders, or even foods to help regulate mood swings *spoiler alert you need to avoid caffeine and refined sugar) 

We hope that these examples give you a good idea of domains which can still be parked for free (and can even generate you income) while you work on selling the domain (which is now totally unrestricted) and or a bigger project or business plan behind the domain.

Remember the rule when asking "can I park the domain" you need to ask yourself "Does this refer to Goods or Services I can find on a website like Amazon, Gumtree, Craigslist or even Facebook Marketplace, because if you can buy/sell it then you can park it.

* as a final note if you have a domain worth $10,000 and you can be 100% safe by registering an exact match business name or trademark, then by all means spend $100 to make it bulletproof but for the $25 - $1000 domains we don't yet recommend going to the hassle and expense of registering a business name or trademark.

 

 

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