[nc-transfer] VeriSign Registrar Response to Tucows Letter of November 8, 2001
To the members of the Registrar Constituency:
As you will recall from our constituency meetings, there is a difference of
philosophy and actions between the VeriSign Registrar and Tucows regarding
the need for proper authorization to prevent slamming and to protect
registrants' rights during transfer requests.
Attached for your review is a copy of an email sent by Tucows on November 8,
as well as the VeriSign Registrar's response dated November 29. Because
this issue is important to all of us in the Internet community, and because
the Tucows' letter was already sent to a wide audience, we thought that we
would share both letters with you.
If I can provide any further details, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Several relevant URL's are included for your reference.
Attachments: Copy of email from Ross Rader to Christine Russo dated
November 8, 2001
Copy of email from the VeriSign Registrar to Tucows
dated November 29, 2001
Relevant information on registrar transfers:
<<Letter to Tucows of 29Nov01 - with redacted domain names.pdf>>
<<Verisign Registrar Registry/Registrar Contract Violations>>
Letter to Tucows of 29Nov01 - with redacted domain names.pdf
Manager, Contracts & Compliance - Business Affairs
VeriSign Global Registry Services
21345 Ridgetop Circle
Dulles, Virginia 20166-6503
Copy via Post
Dear Ms. Russo;
It has come to our attention that Verisign Registrar is denying transfers in
contravention of Exhibit B of the Verisign Registry/Registrar Agreement (for
.com, .net and .org) and the clarifications issued earlier this year by
Louis Touton of ICANN; specifically that ".a losing registrar should not
deny a transfer request simply because it has notified the Registered Name
Holder of the request and has not received a response."
We offer the following example;
- On October 15, 2001, Tucows agreed to provide a client (whom we will refer
to as "the Client") with Registrar services. This exchange was followed up
by email that confirmed the Client's intention that all of its domain names
were to be transferred to Tucows (regardless of which Registrar currently
sponsored them). A list of the particular domain names was included in the
email. The Client noted that time was of the essence because several of the
domain names were close to expiry and he did not wish to risk losing them.
- On October 16, 2001, Tucows filed the initial transfer requests for the
domains in question with VGRS.
- On October 17, 2001, the Client provided Tucows with a signed form of
o confirmed that his company was the legitimate Registered Name Holder;
o confirmed that he was fully authorized to act on behalf of the
Registered Name Holder;
o authorized Tucows to transfer the domain names in question from
Network Solutions (or any other registrar) to Tucows Inc.;
o confirmed his understanding that pursuant to the successful transfer
of the domain names in question that he would no longer have a
business relationship with the losing registrar in each case, and;
o confirmed that he had read and agreed to the terms and conditions of
the Tucows Registrant Agreement.
- On October x, 2001, Verisign Registrar "n'acked" these requests and
notified Tucows that the transfer requests were denied because either the
registrant specifically objected to the transfer request or Verisign
Registrar had failed to contact the registrant to verify their intent.
- On October 22, 2001, in response to an inquiry from Tucows, Verisign
Registrar indicated that Tucows was free to re-file the transfer requests
but that if the registrant failed to affirm their intent with Verisign
Registrar that they would "n'ack" the new requests unless Tucows provided
Verisign a notarized transfer document from the Client. Tucows subsequently
responded to this notice indicating that while Verisign Registrar was free
to request a confirmation of authorization from Tucows, that failure to
contact the Registered Name Holder, by the losing registrar, is not
sufficient reason, unto itself, for the losing registrar
to deny the transfer. Verisign responded indicating that the re-filed
requests would follow their publicly documented procedures.
- On October 24, in response to a new set of transfer failure notifications
from Verisign Registry and Registrar, Tucows inquired as to the reason for
the new denials. Verisign indicated "It would seem that these transfers
failed due to the admin contact not keeping valid contact information on
file. They have their emails listed as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ultimately with the bad email address, the admin contact failed to respond
to the request for transfer." We refer you to our email of November 8, 2001
to Bruce Beckwith of Verisign Registrar for Tucows position regarding this
It is our contention Verisign Registrar's conduct in this matter is in
violation of several provisions of Exhibit B of the Verisign
Registry/Registrar agreement and the clarifications that Louis Touton
provided you with on August 27, 2001.
On a related note, as outlined in the email addressed to Brian Davis of
Verisign, cc'ed to you on September 19, 2001 and then again on October 3,
2001, we have requested that Verisign Registrar provide Tucows with reasons
for denial of transfers for a list of approximately fourteen domain names
that were repeatedly denied by Verisign Registrar. Tucows specific request
was that Verisign Registrar provide Tucows with complete historical reasons
for denial for all transfer "n'acks" issued against the list of domain names
in question. Despite repeated requests for this information and despite
Verisign Registrar's obligations under the RRA, this information has not
been provided to Tucows. Tucows has been very patient on this particular
matter, however given that almost 45 days have elapsed from the initial
request and that Verisign Registrar appears to be ignoring the request, we
must request that Verisign Registry's cooperation in resolving the matter.
In light of these facts, we urgently request that Verisign Registry
undertake the following;
1. As Verisign Registrar is unable to or unwilling to fulfill its
obligations under the Registry/Registrar Agreement, we firmly request that
Verisign Registry immediately transfer the sponsorship of the Registrant's
domain names to Tucows Inc.;
Reliance upon a lack of response from an email address Verisign knows to be
invalid is not sufficient grounds to deny the transfer request.
2. Compel Verisign Registrar to provide Tucows with the data requested in
accordance with Exhibit B of the RRA on September 19, 2001. Failing timely
provision of this data, that Verisign Registry also transfer the following
sponsorship of the following domain names to Tucows Inc.,
3. Further, we firmly request that Verisign Registry suspend Verisign
Registrar's access to the Registry Service until such time that Verisign
Registry can determine that Verisign Registrar is fully compliant with their
obligations to Verisign Registry and other affected ICANN Accredited
Tucows looks forward to a timely resolution to this matter. Please do not
hesitate to contact myself at your convenience if you require any further
information, background or assistance in facilitating the transfer of these
Ross Wm. Rader
Director, Innovation & Research
Brenda Lazare, Tucows Inc.
Elliot Noss, Tucows Inc.
Dan Halloran, ICANN
Michael Palage, DNSO Registrar Constituency Chairman
Bruce Beckwith, Verisign
Tucows Reseller Discussion List