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 NameJuice.com).
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. Register.com 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.