" ITREALMS: ICANN terminates 40 registrars

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ICANN terminates 40 registrars

In 7 Years Global Internet coordinating organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has sacked an estimated 40 registrars in the past seven years, with 2009 recording the highest figure.

Internet domain name registrars are organizations that manage domain names, either as Top Level Domain (TLDs) or Generic TLD (gTLDs), which must be accredited by ICANN. According to www.answers.com, any person or company that wants a presence on the Internet must register a unique name with over 1000 registrars around the world, while ICANN maintains a list of accredited registrars and Internet domain names. 

 A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the administrative subsidiary of ICANN as explained by an open source online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.org. 

 As said by ICANN, the number of registrars terminated this year alone has reached 16, that is from seven recorded in 2008, whereas between 2005 and 2007, the number was static with the sacking of only two registrars respectively. The year 2004 saw to the termination of accreditation of only one registrar, even as the year 2003 witnessed 10 registrars being sacked. 

ICANN stated in its recent Enforcement Action Summaries made available to ITRealms Online, that registrars that got their accreditations terminated were those who defaulted in the Registrars Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with most of them failing to renew accreditations. 

Hence, ICANN has to implement the enforcement clause to ensure sanity in the management of Internet domain names. Currently, there are about 16 registrars in-charge of TLDs and over 300 others in the generic TLDs. Notable is that just two months after ICANN sacked three registrars over breach of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) of May 2001, another three were terminated.

According to ICANN, Messrs Mouzz Interactive Inc of United Arab Emirates; Naugus Limited of 70 Washington Street and BP Holdings Group of Astoria, New York have yet been sacked. ICANN in a public statement made available to ITRealms Online disclosed that Mouzz Interactive was fired as accredited registrar for non-renewal of its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) of May 2001, which indicated that Mouzz registrar license has not been renewed. 

 And in pursuant of Section 3.9 of the RAA, which requires registrars to timely pay accreditation fees to ICANN consisting of yearly and variable fees. Director, Contractual Compliance at ICANN, Ms Stacy Burnette stated in a letter dated October 9, 2009 that “Mouzz Interactive currently owes ICANN $21,175.01 in past due accreditation fees.” 

Burnette noted that notices regarding Mouzz Interactive’s past due accreditation fees, including detailed customer statements were transmitted to the firm’s office on several occasions over the past years. “On April 20, 2009, ICANN sent you, via courier, a Notice of Breach of Registrar Accreditation Agreement for failure to pay accreditation fees along with a detailed customer statement reflecting $18,984.37 in past due accreditation fees. Mouzz Interactive failed t cure this breach in the time period allowed by the RAA,” part of the sack letter addressed to Mr. Imran Faziani, read.

Also, ICANN said that unless a renewal is performed on or before November 20, by 5pm, based on outstanding, it does not intend to renew Mouzz, for instance. For Messrs Naugus Limited, a letter was directed to Mr. Russ Goodwin in which ICANN stated the failure by the firm to escrow the generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) registration data in pursuant of Section 3.6 of the RAA.

The company was given until October 20, 2009 to pay up or stand disqualified to operate as accredited registrar, in accordance with Registrar Data Escrow Specifications document posted at http://www.icann.org/rde/rde-specis-09nov07.pdf, of which Naugus Limited has been notified on July 7, 2008 and August 26, 2009 respectively via electronic mail of the breach described aforementioned. 

Equally the notice of expiration of registrar accreditation agreement and non-renewal of accreditation issued to BP Holdings Group and addressed to Mr. Michael Bahlitzanakis, was for the data escrow agreement failure.

Burnette maintained that ICANN’s staff on March 1, 2008 put a call through BP Holdings and was able to speak with Mr. John Berryhill, who promised to take action by depositing relevant data as required with Iron Mountain Intellectual Property Management Inc. “To date, no deposits were made in furtherance of BP Holdings’ escrow obligation,” part of the sack letter read. Equally, ITRealms Online recollects that two months ago, ICANN sacked three registrars for failing to meet RAA deal. 

Affected registrars are South America Domains Ltd doing business as namefrog.com, Simply Named Inc (SimplyNamed.com) and Tahoe Domains Inc have not had their RAA renewed upon expiration for failure to comply with the requirements of the agreement. According to ICANN, notice to this effect dated July 30, 2009 tagged ‘Non-renewal of Registrar Accreditation Agreement’ which was dispatched to the trio via facsimile, courier and electronic mail. 

A copy of the letter addressed to the chief executive officers of the aforementioned companies made available to ITRealms Online, read in part that their agreement with ICANN has elapsed due to the breach and inability to renew same. The sack, ICANN explained was as a failure to provide a working Whois service in pursuant to and compliant with Section 3.3 of RAA.

The three-page notice signed by ICANN’s Director, Contractual Compliance, Stacy Burnette and sent to the affected three companies, the internet coordinating agency, stated that Section 5.4 of the RAA provide or apply upon expiration for renewal of accreditation in compliance with its obligations under the RAA. Based on failure to comply with Sections 3.3 of the RAA, ICANN said it does not intend to renew these registrars upon its expiration on August 5, 2009. 

ICANN noted that failure to provide public access to data on registered names in pursuant to Section 3.3 of the RAA. Section 3.3.1 of the RAA, ICANN said requires registrars “provide an interactive web page and a port 43 Whois service providing free public query-based access to up-to-date data concerning all active registered names sponsored by registrar for each Top Level Domain (TLD) in which it is accredited.” 

ICANN said that such data requiring updated from registrars include the name of the registered name, the names of the primary name server and secondary name server(s) for the registered name; the identity of registrar which may be provided through registrar’s website and the original creation date of the registration. 

In addition, ICANN said it expects to get update on the expiration date of the registration, the name and postal address of the registered name holder, the name, postal address, email address, voice telephone number and where available, fax number of the technical contact for the registered name. 

Burnette recalled that on July 17, 2009, a reminder was sent to the affected registrars by email and fax that Whois service was not compliant with RAA requirements. “Specifically, your registrar’s Whois service did not provide any Whois data when ICANN staff attempted to access Whois data regarding domain names sponsored by ‘you’,” part of the letter read. 

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