Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

Displaying posts tagged under "icann"

  • ICANN Finally nabs Domain Registry of America, termination likely coming

    1. BY - Jul 21, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 10 Comments

    Domain Registry of America hits a wall.

    ICANN has finally managed to suspend a scourge of the domain name registration business, Brandon Gray Internet Services (dba

    You might not know the company by that name, but if you own domain names then you’ve likely received postal mailings from Domain Registry of America (DROA). The deceptive notices trick people into thinking they need to renew their domain name by responding to the notice. Doing so results in a transfer of the domain name to Brandon Gray registrar…and the pricetag is hefty.

    The company has been doing this for over a decade. sued the company way back in 2002.

    Many people in the ICANN community have been begging ICANN to take action for years. So why now?

    For all its faults, you can credit the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement for this one.

    The 2013 RAA placed stricter controls on registrars as it relates to resellers. Accredited registrars can no longer turn a blind eye to activities undertaken by their resellers (or to hide behind resellers, as may be the case). This includes resellers undertaking deceptive advertising practices.

    ICANN is also questioning (pdf) how the company obtained mailing addresses for so many domain name registrants. (In other words, it scraped whois to get the records).

    The registrar is immediately suspended (although it hasn’t updated its website to reflect this) and may be terminated soon. ICANN sent a breach notice (pdf) along with the suspension notice. It has onerous requirements to cure the breach, including providing details behind all of its marketing activities.

  • Over 800,000 domain names suspended due to 2013 RAA

    1. BY - Jun 24, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 3 Comments

    Verification requirement ensnares hundreds of thousands of domain names.

    One of the requirements for domain name registrars under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement is that they must verify the contact details of registrants.

    Most registrars are fulfilling this requirement by sending an email to registrants asking them to click a link to confirm. Registrars must suspend domain names if owners don’t verify their information.

    We’ve had one-off examples of domain names being suspended due to this requirement. Now we have hard numbers: at least 800,000 domains have been suspended since January 1.

    Speaking at the Registrar Stakeholders Group meeting with ICANN’s Board in London today, Tucows CEO Elliot Noss said that number was collected from domain registrars that have about 75% of all registrations. He suspects the suspension ratio will be higher for registrars not included in the total because more of them are in parts of the world where it’s harder to verify.

    Noss drew a parallel between the verification requirement (which only hurts good actors and doesn’t harm bad actors) and efforts underway to change whois. He asked ICANN’s board what problem it is trying to solve with the whois change.

  • Will WHOIS be assassinated?

    1. BY - Jun 11, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 7 Comments

    166 page report describes plan to completely scrap WHOIS as we know it.

    Last year I wrote about a plan to scrap Whois as we know it and replace it with a new Registration Directory Service (RDS).

    The initial proposal, created by an ICANN working group, was rather complicated and 49 pages long.

    Now the Expert Working Group has issued its final report. It weighs in at 166 pages and is sure to be a hot topic at the upcoming ICANN meeting in London.

    I read the executive summary and started wading deep into the report. It’s really long. It’s really complicated. The nuance will be debated for many years before anything like what is proposed is enacted.

    Rather than get into the weeds, here’s my 30,000 foot view.

    The proposal takes what is a very simple, yet somewhat flawed, system. It considers the competing demands of registrants, law enforcement, intellectual property interests…and creates an extremely complicated system. A system that will certainly have unintended or unanticipated consequences.

    The report’s authors suggest that the proposal needs to be accepted in whole. Changing an item here or there will make the whole point of it crumble.

    This reminds me a bit of plans to cut the debt in the U.S. A group gets together, comes up with a plan to accomplish the goal and says this needs to be all or nothing.

    But of course it’s never all or nothing. Interests get involved, cut out the meat of it, and you’re left with something that doesn’t accomplish the original goal.

    That’s what’s going to happen here.

    If you care about Whois, you should read this introductory blog post and take a look at the report.

    Grab a big cup of coffee before you get started.

  • First ICANN “Auction of Last Resort” to take place next week

    1. BY - May 30, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 0 Comments

    First of many planned new top level domain name auctions to take place next week.

    It’s a last resort, and it kicks of next week.

    ICANN will hold its first new top level domain name auction next week to settle the contention set for .信息, which roughly translates to “information”.

    Afilias, the registry behind .info, will bid against Beijing Tele-info Network Technology Co., Ltd. for the name.

    At least seven auctions were originally scheduled to take place next week, but most were postponed. Auctions can be postponed by mutual agreement of both parties or if any applicant in the contention set wants to wait for the finalized framework for handling name collisions.

    I suspect a lot of contention sets will be resolved at the last minute outside of ICANN’s auctions. Some applicants have shied away from private resolution because they don’t want to pay off their competitors, but there are ways to do it without creating bad precedent.

  • Famous Four submits .Sport reconsideration request…with Ombudsman’s support

    1. BY - Apr 11, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 0 Comments

    Ombudsman recommends new panelist hear .sport community objection.

    Famous Four MediaI haven’t written about many new TLD objection appeals (reconsideration requests) because there are so many and few have a chance of succeeding.

    But a recent one from Famous Four Media (pdf) for .sport is unique: ICANN’s Ombudsman has supported the company’s call for a rehearing with a different panelist.

    The reconsideration request is based on Famous Four’s recent disclosure of a link between community objection panelist Guido Santiago Tawil and Famous Four’s rival applicant for .sport.

    Famous Four believes this link shows possible bias in Tawil’s decision on a community objection against its .sport application.

    Famous Four is asking ICANN to overturn the objection against its .sport application. Alternatively, it would like the case reheard with a three person panel. (One of the biggest errors in the objection process, in my opinion, was having just one panelist decide community objections.)

    The ombudsman issued support for rehearing the case with a different panelist, which is the more likely outcome if ICANN’s Board Governance Committee approves the reconsideration request. He wrote:

    I am concerned that in this case, there has been no direct comment from Dr. Tawil. I am also concerned that the ICC have taken a stance that it is too late for Famous Four Media
    to challenge the decision on the basis of material recently disclosed. My concern is, that this may create a reasonable appearance of bias. My view is that the commercial relationship ought to have been disclosed, to give the applicant Famous Four Media an opportunity to make a considered choice as to the suitability of this appointment. Transparency is the best way to ensure that parties are able to make the best choices.

    It is therefore my recommendation to the board, that there should be a rehearing of the objection with a different expert appointed.

    This case opens up a bit of a can of worms. .Sport was the first of many community objections to go against applicants for sports related domains, including .rugby, .sports and .ski. The other cases had very similar arguments and were all decided after the .sport decision was published. Were the panelists in those cases influenced by the .sport decision, which is now being called into question?