Registries ask for prior communications prior to sending a breach or termination notice.
Last month ICANN sent a breach notice to .jobs registry Employ Media. This came as a surprise to Employ Media (for good reason) and probably freaked out some .jobs registrants as well. Employ Media complained that ICANN “publicly defamed” it.
Now the Registries Stakeholder Group is asking ICANN to take a different approach going forward.
The group sent a statement (pdf) to ICANN titled “Procedures for Notification of Breach or Termination of a Registry Agreement”.
It asks ICANN to first reach out to registries to try to handle the matter before posting a public notice:
We wish to emphasize that registry operators perform a critical role in the stable resolution of DNS services that are relied upon by millions of people and businesses. While we appreciate the important
role and obligations placed upon ICANN compliance staff to swiftly take action on behalf of ICANN, this
should never come as a surprise to the impacted registry or to the ICANN Board. We understand that in
rare emergencies it may not be possible to engage in discussions prior to the issuance of a breach
notice, but we strongly believe that proactive, constructive engagement should be the preferred
approach, and a notice of breach or termination should only be an option of last resort.
The breach notice to Employ Media is the first sTLD/gTLD breach notice I’ve ever seen. Indeed, it seemed to specifically address a new program that was blessed by ICANN’s board. Whether or not it should have been approved by ICANN’s board is a fair debate, but the breach notice seemed to come out of left field.