RE: [nc-udrp] Update from the Registrars
Mike and others-
Thanks for raising this issue. Although most registrars are responsive and cooperative in the verification process, the few who are not produce one of the most difficult aspects of case administration we face as dispute providers. First, however, let me correct one statement you made. The initial contact with a registrar happens well before “commencement” of the case. The UDRP actually requires transfers to cease “during a pending administrative proceeding…” and makes no mention of “commencement” (which is a term with a specific meaning under the UDRP Rules). From a dispute provider standpoint, the proceeding is “pending” as soon as the complaint is filed. This is significant because a proceeding cannot be “commenced” until the provider has conducted its review of the complaint for administrative compliance, which includes acquiring verification that the name is registered with the registrar and confirming the identity of the registrant. (In fact, the Forum presently has one proceeding that was filed over a month ago and we have yet to receive a response to at least nine requests made of the registrar. Therefore it has not commenced. Our only recourse at this time is to contact ICANN (repeatedly) and request assistance, but so far that has not produced results in this instance.)
What should be understood is that this initial communication with the registrar actually is intended to accomplish three things. First, it puts the registrar on notice that a dispute is pending and requests that a lock be placed on the domain name(s). Second, it requests from the registrar the actual registrant of record as of the date of the complaint filing, which is necessary because it often does not match the information available to the complainant (or dispute provider) in the Whois database. Third, it requests confirmation of the language of the Registration Agreement to assure compliance with Rule 11.
With that in mind, the real question is whether a centralized notification mechanism would be able to fulfill all three of those tasks. If so, we would welcome it gladly. At present we maintain a list of contacts for each registrar or, if we have none we use the contact information at http://www.internic.net/alpha.html.
Timothy S. Cole
Director, Internet Dispute Solutions
National Arbitration Forum
I have received a lot of feedback from the registrars regarding the notification and verification process in connection with the initiation of UDRP proceedings. It appears that the majority of registrars that have provided initial feedback strongly support the continued practice of receiving notification at the commencement of a proceeding to verify the whois data and lock the domain name. During our call yesterday, the dispute providers had mentioned problems with contacting some registrars and getting names placed on hold. The question I ask of the providers is how are they now contacting registrars. One of the thing that I have seen as the Chair of the Registrar Constituency is customary turn-over in management and staff. Would a role account such as UDRP-Notification@ICANNREGISTRAR.TLD be preferred if it is not already in place. How do the providers currently handle incidents where they are not able to get a registrar to timely lock a domain name?