[nc-deletes] Comments from NCC representative (constituency statements)
As anticipated during the task force teleconference of November 15,
it has not been possible for the non-commercial constituency to
develop a position statement in response to the issues raised in the
task force issues paper, terms of reference, etc. The NCC membership
was asked for comments, there was some discussion, but not yet enough
to help form the basis of a draft position statement. I doubt the
constituency will be in a position any time soon to submit a
substantive position statement on the deletes issue.
However, comments to the constituency mailing list, personal email,
and conversations in Shanghai, show a common concern is the lack of
clarity and consistency in the renewal/deletes process. Anxiety
around deletions generally might be much reduced if the process were
better understood. In small, often poorly resourced organizations,
lack of awareness seems to be a likely cause of poor internal
processes for managing names, maintaining contact details, etc.
(ONE) Summarizing and interpreting general comments received:
i./ Registrants need to be given clearer information about the
renewal process at the time of registration.
At the time of registration, it should be made clear that names are
not bought outright, but must be renewed after a period of time. It
should be made clear that if contact information given to the
registrar changes, it must be updated or reminders about renewal may
not be received and the name perhaps deleted/lost. Correspondence
from the registrar rather than information on a website would be the
most effective way to educate the registrant.
ii./ Clarity in all correspondence about the renewals process is important.
At a time when Internet users must to wade through a mailboxes full
of spam, a not insignificant amount of which touts cheap domain name
registrations, registrars should be careful to present renewal
notices in a straight forward manner, uncluttered by excessive
marketing information and other perhaps off-putting information.
Plain language, on subject, should be the basis of renewal
It is not ICANN's (or DNSO's) place to dictate how any business
should write letters, or generally communicate with its customers. In
this industry self-managing regime, providing clear information about
the renewal process should be part of industry best practise. A best
practise document might require registrars to present a minimum set
of information about the renewal process to registrants at the time
of registration (minimum requirements that would not prevent
registrars from offering "better" terms as a way to differentiate
their product.) And offer advice on standard formats to be considered
when corresponding about renewal.
(TWO) Issues 1 and 2 of the deletes issue paper (Issue 1: Uniform
delete practice after domain name expiry by registrars; Issue 2:
Deletion following a complaint on WHOIS accuracy.)
In-line with comments on clarity and consistency above, a uniform
deletion process is desirable. Whether the result of a complaint on
WHOIS accuracy (however the WHOIS Task Force defines this) or the
result of usual expiry, uniformity is helpful to registrants. That
is, the instruction to delete a name for WHOIS inaccuracy would be in
effect the same as reaching expiry date, i.e. the first day of the
auto-renew period (up to 45 days) and should be followed by
redemption grace. Exceptions are envisaged (some have been noted by
other members of the deletes task force), but, generally, the average
registrant should be able to expect consistent treatment.
Note. While the above statement on uniform practises has been
supported by some representatives of the constituency, and has been
put to the constituency a number of times, it has not received
substantive public comment. It would be inappropriate to take "no
comment" as acceptance at this stage. So the above is offered as a
sense of the constituency rather than statement.
The message will be sent to the non commercial constituency
discussion list. I hope NCC members will comment. Given sufficient
feedback from the constituency, a revised statement will be submitted
to the task force.