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Registrant Freedom Day

After almost four years, ICANN has announced that they have adopted a new domain name transfer policy that make it much easier for domain name registrants to do business with the ICANN accredited Registrar of their choosing. Highlights from this new policy include;

  • streamlined definition of responsibilities as it relates to the management of the domain name. Under the new policy, only the Administrative Contact or Registrant can authorize a domain name transfer to a new service provider. This was extremely unclear in the old policy and led to a lot of abuse and confusion.
  • minimizing Registrar gaming and abuse. Under the old policy, it was quite common for unseemly Registrars to abuse their position and prevent outgoing customers from transferring to a different service provider.
  • introduction of arbitration. The new policy includes several policies designed to “fix” problems before they are taken to the courts. The old policy didn’t make it easy to fix problems and often relied on the good graces of usually uncooperative policies. The new policies fix this by introducing undo procedures and a dispute resolution process designed to make it fairly easy and relatively inexpensive for Registrants and Registrars to fix problematic transfers.

The new policy took quite a lot of time to develop and even longer to implement, so there’s much more to it than I could hope to summarize here. And even though the time that it took to implement this policy has muted the buzz around its release, this really is an emancipation proclamation for domain name holders. Registrants are finally free to choose whom they do business with without the fear of being held hostage by a registrar with less than savory business practices.

I’ve no doubt that there are players that will attempt to game this policy to their benefit (I’ve already talked to a couple of Registrars looking for an angle), but at least now, their actions will be much easier to track, catch and do something about.

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This work is licensed under a CreativeCommons License.

By Ross Rader, Director of Innovation & Research

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Comments

Dave Zan  –  Jul 15, 2004 5:40 PM

Good news after a long time?

Let’s see! ;o)

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