New restrictions face domain name resellers.
Domain name registrar resellers will face new restrictions under ICANN’s new registrar accreditation agreement.
Several of these restrictions were spelled out in an email from eNom to its resellers yesterday:
1. If, in the future, eNom is obligated to provide a link to an ICANN webpage, Resellers must also provide such a link (at this time no link is necessary).
2. Resellers are prohibited from displaying the ICANN or ICANN-Accredited Registrar logo, or from otherwise representing themselves as accredited by ICANN unless they have written permission from ICANN to do so.
3. Resellers shall identify the sponsoring registrar, eNom, or provide a means for identifying the sponsoring registrar, such as a link to the InterNIC Whois lookup service. Any registration agreement used by Resellers shall include all registration agreement provisions and notices required by the ICANN RAA and any ICANN Consensus Policies.
4. Resellers must ensure that the identity and contact information provided by the customer of any privacy or proxy registration service offered or made available by Resellers in connection with each registration will be deposited with eNom or held in escrow or, alternatively, display a conspicuous notice to such customers at the time an election is made to utilize such privacy or proxy service that their data is not being escrowed.
All of these changes are welcome and should help improve the image of the reseller business. My only concern is with loopholes. Consider #4, “display a conspicuous notice to such customers at the time an election is made to utilize such privacy or proxy service that their data is not being escrowed”. Just what is a conspicuous notice? I worry that a reseller will not properly disclose to a customer that the data isn’t being escrowed. If the reseller goes out of business or has bad intentions, domain owners can lose their domains.
Two of the three largest domain name registrars — eNom and Tucows — have resellers as the foundation of their businesses.