[nc-deletes] Provisional Registry Constituency Statement
Please find attached a provisional statement from the registry constituency.
We've not yet had a formal vote to approve its contents, but I've been given
enough "thumbs up" from various constituency members that I feel comfortable
posting it, with the same caveat that everyone else is making that there may
be changes to go with a formal statement.
Here it is:
Two major themes unify the constituency's positions on the various topics
raised by the issues paper. First, that any effort to develop a uniform
process for domain deletion should balance the needs of the registrants,
registrars and registries while allowing room for business service
innovation. The policies that the deletes task force advances should ensure
fairness to all interested parties while striving to avoid specifying
administrative procedure or stifling specific business models.
Second, transparency and notice can often be as effective as demanding that
specific procedures be followed. By providing the Internet community with a
clear understanding of their policies and upcoming actions, registries and
registrars can address much of the uncertainty that may exist today
surrounding the deletion of domain names.
There will surely be some benefit in developing minimal guidelines for
consistent practices, but the need for consistency must be balanced against
the need to ensure that registries and registrars have flexibility to offer
services that differentiate their business practices from those of their
competitors. If all registries and registrars offer the same services, with
the same terms of service, there is little room for innovation and consumer
choice suffers. Additionally, the Redemption Grace Period allows
registrants with significant added protection in the case of a
misunderstanding of the registrar's deletion policy.
The constituency recommends that domain names be deleted if a paid renewal
has not been processed within by the end of the auto-renew grace period
(generally forty-five days after the domain's initial expiration).
Registrars should be free to implement specific deletion policies as long as
non-renewed domains are deleted within the grace period and the deletion
policy is made available to the registrant. In some cases, registries may
choose to enforce this requirement by deleting names that have not been
explicitly renewed by the end of the grace period.
The original issues paper correctly identifies the risk in deleting a domain
name when the current registrant can not be contacted to resolve a data
accuracy complaint. There is significant merit to defining a minimum period
of time that must elapse and a sequence of steps that must be taken before a
registrar must delete a name due to a data accuracy complaint. The registry
constituency believes that the minimum period of time must be long enough to
allow for international notification problems that are especially
problematic in certain parts of the world.
The registry constituency believes that the Redemption Grace Period has
already adequately addressed the issue of a consistent registry deletion
policy. The 30 day window for names to be reclaimed in the event of error
provides registrants and registrars adequate time to address erroneous
deletions. Further, the provision within the Redemption Grace Period to
publish the list of names to be purged from the system and an estimate of
when they will become available for re-registration addresses provides all
parties with a significant amount of transparency into the deletion process
and may also alleviate the phenomenon of "add storms". The constituency
applauds ICANN for its adoption of the Redemption Grace Period and feels
that no further policy action is required on the issue at this time.
Beginning in 2001, the "add storms" related to deleted domains within
VeriSign's CNO registry demonstrated the need for fast and flexible action
on the part of registries. As domains begin to become available for renewal
in the new gTLDs, the registry constituency believes that maintaining that
flexibility is crucial to our ability to provide consistent and equitable
access to deleted names. To that end, the constituency does not feel that a
unified reallocation policy is required or desirable at this time, and that
registries should be free to implement innovative reallocation mechanisms
that are consistent with their business and technical requirements while
ensuring the reliability and fairness of the registry's operations.
This issue describes a problem that is technical in nature, not one of
policy. The lack of an "undo" command in protocols such as RRP and EPP is
one that is best addressed through technical fora, as well as through the
close interaction of registries and registrars. Generally speaking, this
type of transaction occurs rarely enough that the current out-of-band
administrative procedures for reversing these transactions seem entirely