04/04/2007

Registerfly Update From ICANN

The ICANN Blog has reported the following information concerning the Registerfly problems.

Q. If ICANN terminated Registerfly's accreditation agreement on 31 March, why do they still claim to be accredited?

A. Registerfly decided to file an arbitration action to stall the termination. For better or worse, this is their right under the accreditation agreement. The accreditation agreement is a contract that ICANN has to follow. If we didn't follow the agreement, Registerfly could potentially continue operations as an accredited registrar indefinitely. So please be patient and understand that we are doing everything we legally can to protect registrants without jeopardizing our right to terminate Registerfly' accreditation.

Q. What will happen when Registerfly's accreditation is finally terminated?

A. There are a number of paths we could pursue, and to some extent, the one we follow will depend on the behavior of Registerfly. In the 'big picture' the process looks like this: (1) Registerfly loses its access to the registries; (2) a competent and qualified accredited registrar is selected by ICANN to receive a 'bulk transfer' of names (and underlying data) from Registerfly to it; (3) former Registerfly customers will be able to contact the new registrar to manage or transfer their names.

Q. How does the bulk transfer work?

A. ICANN has the power to approve a bulk transfer from one registrar to another. We will not do so unless the transfer is in the community interest. We have told Kevin Medina he should name a "gaining registrar" now and stop hurting his customers, but he has not done so. If Kevin does name a gaining registrar, we will only approve the transfer if it is in the community interest.

In a bulk transfer, there is no fee to the customer. However, a bulk transfer is different from a normal transfer in that it does not add a year to the registration.

Q. Why doesn't ICANN bulk transfer the names now?

A. Like it or not, Registerfly is still technically accredited, pending the outcome of our lawsuit against them or their arbitration action. Because Registerfly is accredited, we cannot initiate a bulk transfer. When Registerfly's termination is final, we will bulk transfer the names, either to a registrar suggested by Kevin Medina or one chosen by ICANN.

Q. What is the status of names that were deleted by Registerfly that are currently in RGP (redemption grace period) or PendingDelete?

A. The registries have agreed not to "drop" names that are deleted by Registerfly. In other words, the names will not be permanently deleted. Today, Registerfly could technically allow its customers to redeem names in RGP, but given its history of not being able to fund the registries, it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. (There has to be money in Registerfly's registry accounts in order to process transactions.)

Since Registerfly has failed in its obligations to its customers, we are continuing our discussions with the registries and others to ensure that customers will be able to regain control of their domain names. Unfortunately, unless Registerfly begins funding its registry accounts in earnest, we may not be able to make that happen until their accreditation agreement is finally terminated.

Q. What if my name was deleted before the registries began prohibiting deletions by Registerfly?

A. If the name is available for registration, by all means, register it.

If the name was registered by someone else, you have at least four options:

1. Work out an agreement with the current registrant.

2. Wait and see if the current registrant lets it expire.

3. File a lawsuit in court against the current registrant.

4. For cases involving "abusive registrations" (this is a narrow category, so you should proceed with caution), begin an administrative proceeding under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy. For more details on this option, see Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy Here.

If you decide to file a complaint under the UDRP, you'll need to do so via one of ICANN's four approved domain-name dispute-resolution service providers:

(Please note that the answer above applies only to domain names in .com, .net, .org, or other generic Top Level Domains operated under contract with ICANN such as .biz, .info or .name. Dispute resolution policies vary in other TLDs such as .gov, .edu, or .us and the 240+ other country code Top Level Domains. Please note also that ICANN generally recommends seeking legal advice before deciding which of the above alternatives is best in any particular situation.)

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Cybersquatting: 'How To' Resources

  • Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act - Wikipedia
    The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (also known as Truth in Domain Names Act), a United States federal law enacted in 1999, is part of A bill to amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and carriage of broadcast signals by satellite (S. 1948). It makes people who register domain names that are either trademarks or individual's names with the sole intent of selling the rights of the domain name to the trademark holder or individual for a profit liable to civil action.
  • Typosquatting - Wikipedia
    Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, is a form of cybersquatting which relies on mistakes such as typographical errors made by Internet users when inputting a website address into a web browser. Should a user accidentally enter an incorrect website address, they may be led to an alternative website owned by a cybersquatter.
  • Reverse Domain Hijacking - Wikipedia
    The term reverse domain hijacking refers to the practice of inequitably unseating domain name registrants by accusing them of violating weak or non-existent trademarks related to the domain name.
  • Uniform DomainName DisputeResolution Policy - Wikipedia
    The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of disputes regarding the registration of internet domain names. The UDRP policy currently applies to all .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org top-level domains, and some country code top-level domains.
  • Cybersquatting - Wikipedia
    Cybersquatting, according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.

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