The dark side of granting “lease to own” domain sales via Afternic

Afternic is rolling out the option of offering lease to own (LTO) opportunities to potential domain buyers.

Copied from that streamlined the process, the Afternic process appears to be a welcome option for domain investors.

Still, the option arrives with strings attached: A series of terms and conditions appear to cover Afternic from a legal standpoint, but not the seller and provider of the lease.

John Berryhill, IP attorney and a well-known persona in the domain industry, has pointed out what could go wrong with selling your domains via Afternic with an LTO option:

“Anyone considering using Afternic’s LTO service has fair warning of what may happen. Afternic publishes some terms “for Selllers” but if you have found the terms for Buyers, let me know. Let’s dig in…”

For starters, Mr. Berryhill points out the lack of restrictions for the seller:

“Afternic will control the domain and set DNS as specified by the Buyer. There are no apparent restrictions, in the seller terms, on what the Buyer might do with the domain name, and no right for the seller to raise an objection to what the Buyer might do with it.”

The protection that Afternic would enjoy via the terms of the LTO option are more or less clear; the seller gets pretty much nada:

“If you are watching the Lessor use the name for an unlawful or infringing purpose, you have no meaningful way to address that, and thus far I have not found Afternic’s LTO Buyer terms. As long as Afternic is protected, their incentive to care about what happens is low.”

Terms and conditions of LTO sales at differ and there are provisions on unlawful usage.

See the full thread on the LTO dangers via John Berryhills tweets.

Copyright © 2023 · All Rights Reserved.


2 Responses to “The dark side of granting “lease to own” domain sales via Afternic”
  1. Those are what I would call…..100% DEALBREAKERS!!
    Without those protections, the domain owner could and would be liable.
    I don’t think you want the FBI knocking at your door at 5 am.
    This sets that possibility up!!

    AVOID until/if they fix it!!

  2. Keral Patel says:

    So its like a rubber stamp CEO of a company which you have no control on. But are liable for all the bad things that happen with it.

    Sounds like the “worst deal ever”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available