At-Large Expired Registration Recovery Policy Workspace

Comment Close
Date
Statement
Name 

Status

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Call for
Comments
Call for
Comments
Close 
Vote
Announcement 
Vote OpenVote
Reminder
Vote CloseDate of SubmissionStaff Contact and EmailStatement Number
18.11.2012Expired Registration Recovery Policy

Adopted
14Y, 0N, 0A

Alan Greenberg
(NARALO)
27.11.201230.11.2012
00:00 UTC 
30.11.2012
18:00 UTC
30.11.2012
20:00 UTC
05.12.201206.12.201207.12.2012Steve Gobin
steve.gobin@icann.org 
AL/ALAC/ST/1212/1

* Status will be confined to the following terms: Drafting, Commenting, Voting, Adopted, Rejected, Suspended, No consensus, No statement, To Be Confirmed (TBC), Other

Comment/Reply Periods (*)Important Information Links
Comment Open:11 October 2012
Comment Close:11 November 2012 Extended to 18 November 2012
Close Time (UTC):23:59Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open:12 November 2012 Extended to 19 November 2012To Submit Your Comments (Forum)
Reply Close:30 November 2012 Extended to 7 December 2012View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC):23:59Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization:ICANN Registrar Relations Department
Categories/Tags:Top Level Domains, Policy Processes, Contracted Party Agreements
Purpose (Brief):ICANN is opening a Public Comment Period for the draft Expired Registration Recovery Policy. Members of the Internet Community are asked to provide feedback on the proposed document. The proposed Policy is based on recommendations from the Generic Names Supporting Organization Council related to Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery ("PEDNR")
Current Status:The Generic Names Supporting Organization Council ("GNSO") initiated a Policy Development Process in May 2009, which resulted in the submission of several policy and process recommendations to theICANN Board of Directors, which the Board approved on 28 October 2011. ICANN staff developed this proposed, draft Policy in consultation with an Implementation Review Team convened by the GNSO.
Next Steps:ICANN will review the submitted comments and, where appropriate, incorporate suggested modifications into the Policy. Once finalized, the Policy will be implemented and made effective for allgTLD registrars and registries.
Staff Contact:Steve GobinEmail:steve.gobin@icann.org
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The Registrar Accreditation Agreement between the registrars and ICANN contains a number of provisions outlining the obligations of registrars to communicate the details of their deletion and auto-renewal policies to new registrants. However, because of diverse registrar business practices in the way registrations are handled after they expire, some registrants might not fully understand their available options for recovering domain names post-expiration. Many registrars currently offer post-expiration grace periods of varying lengths, during which registrants can renew expired names. Similarly, manygTLD registries and registrars offer registrants a redemption service, allowing registrants a certain amount of time to redeem names after they are deleted.

The proposed Expired Registration Recovery Policy is intended to help align registrant expectations with registrar practices by establishing certain minimum communications requirements and making renewal and redemption of registrations uniformly available in prescribed circumstances. When the Policy is finalized, ICANN will create educational materials in consultation with interested stakeholders to help registrants properly manage their registrations.

Section II: Background

At the request of ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee, on 5 December 2008, ICANN published an Issues Report [PDF, 422 KB] on the topic of Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery. The Generic Names Supporting Organization Council ("GNSO") initiated a Policy Development Process in May 2009, which resulted in the submission of several policy and process recommendations to the ICANN Board of Directors. The ICANN Board approved the recommendations on 28 October 2011, directing staff to implement this policy.

Section III: Document and Resource Links
Draft Expired Registration Recovery Policy [PDF, 94 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information
None

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

FINAL VERSION TO BE SUBMITTED IF RATIFIED

Please click here to download a copy of the PDF below.

ALAC Statement on the Expired Registration Recovery Policy.pdf

FINAL DRAFT VERSION TO BE VOTED UPON BY THE ALAC

The PEDNR PDP recommended that information about renewal fees and how a registrar will contact a registrant should be readily made available on the registrar web site (Rec. 5 & 6). It was the clear intent of the recommendations that this apply to ALL registrants.

Paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 of the ERRP (http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/consensus-policies/errp/draft-policy-11oct12-en.pdf) require, among other things, that if a registrar operates a web site, certain information must be clearly displayed there. Paragraphs 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 require that a reseller, if one is used, must similarly display this information.

It is the understanding of the ALAC that the belief within the PEDNR WG was that all provisions of the RAA that applied to registrars must be enforced by registrars on resellers (for those who use them). Since that has now proven to be false (http://forum.icann.org/lists/draft-errp-policy/msg00004.html) it is imperative that either sections 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 of the proposed ERRP not be omitted, or the ERRP wording otherwise be adjusted to ensure that it covers websites operated by resellers.

The ALAC understands that registrars might be reluctant to include terms that have not been fully vetted during the PDP process, but the two paragraphs in question are identical in impact to the existing 3.12.5 and should have no unforeseen consequences not already in the current RAA.

Without these two paragraphs, there is no obligation for a registrar to ensure that a reseller displays this information and a significant percentage of registrants, those who deal with resellers, may be deprived of this information.  The access to this information that the PDP was attempting to ensure is no longer guaranteed, and the registrar, by subcontracting services to a reseller, has effectively been relieved from fulfilling these RAA obligations. This calls into question the value of the immense time and energy that the community puts into developing PDP Consensus Policy Recommendations and indeed the effectiveness of the entire RAA. Resellers are responsible for a large percentage of gTLD registrations, particularly those by individual users, and they should be afforded the FULL protection of their rights under the RAA.

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17 Comments

  1. As you know the Post Expiration Domain Name Recovery (PEDNR) PDP was approved by the Board last year and the resultant Policy (now called the Expired Registration Recovery Policy - ERRP) was posted for comment.

    The PDP recommended that registrars who operate web site for registration must post their renewal fees and state what method they will use to contact registrants. The recommendation was silent regarding resellers because it was the belief that registrars, in honoring all of the terms of their contract, would require resellers to post this information as well.

    Although it was not clear why at the time, ICANN staff working on the resultant changes to the RAA added very welcome wording explicitly requiring that registrars require resellers to post this information as well. The proposed policy can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/consensus-policies/errp/draft-policy-11oct12-en.pdf and the sections in question are paragraphs 4.1.2 and 4.2.3.

    There were no negative comments about this in the public comments which were due to close on Nov. 11th. Staff extended the comment period for one more week, and had explicitly called attention to the changes on the Implementation Review Group mailing list and explicitly asking for comments to be posted on this.

    Michele Neylon, the registrar who was on the Implementation Review Group submitted a statement to the ERRP Comment saying that the proposed language about resellers was debated at length by the PDP WG and the final decision was to not include such language in the recommendation. That is factually correct and indeed the report made reference to the fact that there was an explicit decision to not include it. His statement can be found at http://forum.icann.org/lists/draft-errp-policy/msg00001.html.

    The ICANN Registrar Relations staff person who I had been working with was unavailable, so I asked compliance whether that was how they saw this as well. The reply was direct and clear that this was not how they interpreted the RAA terms and that the web posting provisions would not apply to resellers unless the explicit. The exchange is appending to this message.

    I propose the following:

    1. Under my own name but as former Chair of the PEDNR WG and a member of the Implementation Review Team, I will post the statement from Compliance that without the explicit reseller language, that the new Policy will not benefit all Registrants, but only those who deal directly with Registrars, and based on my understanding, that was not the intent of the WG.
    2. ALAC should post a statement supporting the need to keep the explicit reseller language. This statement may need to be altered if registrars in the interim post a message agreeing to keep the language.

    Draft Statement

    The PEDNR PDP recommended that information about renewal fees and how a registrar will contact a registrant should be readily made available on the registrar web site (Rec. 5 & 6). It was the clear intent of the recommendations that this apply to ALL registrants.

    Paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 of the ERRP (http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/consensus-policies/errp/draft-policy-11oct12-en.pdf) require, among other things, that if a registrar operates a web site, certain information must be clearly displayed there. Paragraphs 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 require that a reseller, if one is used, must similarly display this information.

    It is the understanding of the ALAC that the belief within the PEDNR WG was that all provisions of the RAA that applied to registrars must be enforced by registrars on resellers (for those who use them). Since that has now proven to be false (reference to Greenberg post) it is imperative that sections 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 of the proposed ERRP not be omitted.

    Without these two paragraphs, there is no obligation for a registrar to ensure that a reseller displays this information and a significant percentage of registrants, those who deal with resellers, may be deprived of this information.  The access to this information that the PDP was attempting to ensure is no longer guaranteed, and the registrar, by subcontracting services to a reseller, has effectively been relieved from fulfilling these RAA obligations. This calls into question the value of the immense time and energy that the community puts into developing PDP Consensus Policy Recommendations and indeed the effectiveness of the entire RAA.


    Dialogue with Contractual Compliance

    Alan Greenberg:

    A comment has now been made (http://forum.icann.org/lists/draft-errp-policy/msg00001.html) speaking against the language in the draft ERRP Policy paragraphs 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 (http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/consensus-policies/errp/draft-policy-11oct12-en.pdf).

    As a result, the ALAC now needs to decide whether to reply to this, and if so, what we need to say.

    In order to understand the issue, I would like to know whether ICANN Contractual Compliance believes that the inclusion of these sections alters their ability to enforce the intent of the ERRP.

    Specifically, it has been stated repeatedly that all obligations of a Registrar are unchanged if they decide to sub-contract marketing to a reseller. In this case, I take this to mean that the obligation to have certain information on the Registrar's web site also includes the reseller's website if that is the Registrant point-of-contact.

    That would imply that what is explicit in 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 is applicable whether these statement are there or not, and their presence simply serves to remind Registrars of their obligations.

    Can you please confirm if that is a correct interpretation, or if not, how you view it.

    ICANN Contractual Compliance:

    ICANN does not have the same interpretation.

    The reseller obligations as stated in section 3.12.2 of the 2009 RAA focus on the registration agreement where, if a registrar has an agreement with its resellers, the agreement must require the reseller to include all registration agreement provisions and notices required by the ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement and any ICANN Consensus Policies (such as the information identified in 4.1.1 and 4.2.2 of the proposed ERRP). The reseller obligations within the 2009 RAA do not include obligations on registrars to require the posting of information such as that within the proposed ERRP Sections 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 on reseller websites.

    Under the contracts we have in place today, the reseller website posting obligations in the proposed ERRP section 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 would only be enforced if the language is included within the ERRP.

     

  2. One more addition, I would add after the paragraph reading

    It is the understanding of the ALAC that the belief within the PEDNR WG was that all provisions of the RAA that applied to registrars must be enforced by registrars on resellers (for those who use them). Since that has now proven to be false (reference to Greenberg post) it is imperative that sections 4.1.2 and 4.2.3 of the proposed ERRP not be omitted.

    I would add a new one reading:

    The ALAC understands that registrars might be reluctant to include terms that have not been fully vetted during the PDP process, but the two paragraphs in question are identical in impact to the existing 3.12.5 and should have no unforeseen consequences not already in the current RAA.

  3. In complete agreement with the statement. Good work, Alan .. and especially thanks for the work in following up of Michele's comment.

  4. First, a big thanks to Alan.  My comment is really a follow up on the compliance advice.  My reading of RAA clause 3.12.2 is that once something is a 'consensus policy' it must be as binding on resellers as it is on registrars.Therefore, if the ERRP is a 'consensus policy', there should be no need to include resellers in the language. 

    So I would slightly change the wording to, if the ERRP becomes a consensus policy, there  should be no need to specifically include resellers in the wording.  However, if that is not the case, then every policy made through the PDP process to become a consensus policy will need to have the wording of the RAA changed in every case.  Otherwise the whole purpose of PDPs and consensus policies will be undermined and registrant's left unprotected if resellers have not been specifically covered by each consensus policy developed.

     

    1. Holly,Your reading was what we all thought, but apparently it is not correct,  SO unless ICANN Contractual Compliance and the ICANN legal team change their minds, we need to work with what we understand is today's reality.

      In that case, what you say about other potential holes is theoretically correct, and if you look at the statement submitted to the Public Comment by Mikey O;Connor, he says just that. I will (very soon) be adding a similar statement to the ALAC draft.

      The issue is not quite as bad as you imply, because when 3.12 was added to the RAA in 2008, there was a clear attempt to go through the RAA and catch the places where there was a reseller compliance issue. That is why 3.12.5 was included. In my mind, they missed a couple of places, and it is also conceivable that and policy adopted since that time might have a similar omission (although I cannot offhand recall such a case).

      Of course, I also shudder knowing that there are still some registrars under the old RAA which no reseller provisions at all. Do any of them have resellers?????

      1. Thanks Alan for the reply - and adding an additional statement.  What I was hoping to highlight is that resellers should not be able to slip through cracks in the RAA just because of wording that didn't manage to rope them in.  This way, the message will be made. 

  5. I have finalized the statement wording. The two changes are:

    1. Including the option of other forms of regarding in addition to simply keeping paragraphs 4.1.2 and 4.2.3. This is in conjunction with a post I will be making suggesting that in the PEDNR Recomendation, if given this new knowledge, we might have replaced "If the Registrar operates a website for registration or renewal," to "If a website is operated for registration or renewal,".
    2. Adding one final sentence as suggested by Holly.
  6. The statement works for me.

     

    Carlton

  7. Reference to Compliance ruling inserted.

  8. Dear Alan, I support the statement in principle, but can you clarify which version should be voted on as the final statement please?

    Thank you.

    Rinalia

    1. The version just before the comments labeled "Draft Version". For some reason that makes no sense to me, the version labelled "Final" is only inserted after the vote is completed.

  9. Dear Alan,

     

    In line with what Rinalia has asked for .  Please I can't see "Draft Version" but  two "Draft statement".

    Thank you

    Yaovi

    1. Sorry, it was DRAFT STATEMENT. It is now in BLUE.

  10. Sorry.  Does the drat statement itself include all the part in BLUE?

    The text like

    I propose the following:

    1. Under my own name but as former Chair of the PEDNR WG and a member of the Implementation Review Team, I will post the statement from Compliance that without the explicit reseller language, that the new Policy will not benefit all Registrants, but only those who deal directly with Registrars, and based on my understanding, that was not the intent of the WG.
    2. ALAC should post a statement supporting the need to keep the explicit reseller language. This statement may need to be altered if registrars in the interim post a message agreeing to keep the language."

    looks like comment


    thanks




    1. Yaovi, you are correct. The statement was replaced by my dialogue to the ALAC early Saturday (UTC). I didn't notice it when I changed the color to blue.

      It is now replaced correctly.