[registrars] Registrar Warehousing History 101
I would like to provide a little historical background into the
"warehousing" issue. Unfortunately this has been an issue that has been a
focal point since the second registrar meeting in Chile (Summer 2000).
During that meeting, this issue surfaced in connection with credit card
charge backs. Specifically what was a registrar to do if after registering a
domain name the registrar was to lose payment in connection with a credit
card charge back. Several CORE members (if my memory serves me correct
Amadeau, Bob Connelly & Ken Stubbs were very vocal on this topic) talked
about the registrar deleting the name and eating the then ($9) registry fee
as a cost of doing business.
Lauren Gaviser (RCOM's then Policy Person) objected based upon the grounds
that this requirement would prohibit registrars from potentially reselling
the name to another party in an attempt to recoup their initial lose.
Heading into the fall meeting in LA (Fall 2000), the Registrar focus shifted
toward bring NSI into the ICANN family and having them become an ICANN
In early 2001, the Registrar Constituency refocused its effort on
warehousing in connection with a Code of Conduct. In the ICANN Registrar
Accreditation Agreement there are two provisions that are relevant for this
Section 3.7.1 which states:
In the event ICANN adopts a specification or policy, supported by a
consensus of ICANN-Accredited registrars, establishing or approving a Code
of Conduct for ICANN-Accredited registrars, Registrar shall abide by that
and Section 3.7.9 which states:
Registrar shall abide by any ICANN adopted specifications or policies
prohibiting or restricting warehousing of or speculation in domain names by
The Code of Conduct Task Force was headed up by Richard Lindsay in the
Spring and Summer of 2000. After several telephone conferences and in person
meetings, the biggest being in Yokohama, Japan a document was produced.
However, instead of calling it a Code of Conduct, I believe it was called a
Best Practices Document. I was not an active participant in this group so do
not hold me to the exact sequence of events. I believe the last revision of
this document currently appears on the Registrar website at
I seem to remember that there was a debate over how this document would be
adopted by ICANN so that it would be enforced against all registrars. Much
the like Transfer and WLS debacles, there was discussion of whether this
needed to go through the DNSO Names Council to receive input from other
constituencies or if this could have just been adopted by the Board. Scary
how history repeats itself. During the Summer and Fall of 2000, the majority
of the constituency was distracted with the new TLD proof of concept
Although there was talk of trying to get this initiative back on track in
the new year, ICANN and VeriSign sprung the Restructuring contracts on us in
March of 2001. Heading into the Summer and Fall of 2001, Transfer and WLS
moved to the forefront and the Code of Conduct has remained on the back
Now that we are back in the present, I agree that warehousing needs to be
addressed as well as whois data mining, transfers and other issues that
directly impact day to day registrar operations. Historically I believe it
would not be prudent to attempt a comprehensive Code of Conduct. When this
was tried in the past different fractions , based upon different registrar
business models, formed to prevent meaningful progress. I would respectfully
submit that the best way to go is to start off with a Code of Conduct
skeleton, and then add pieces to it in an incremental manner. By tackling
the problems one at a time, you will be able to get consensus on each items
instead of the whole document. Much like running a marathon you have to run
each mile one at a time.
Hopefully this provided some insight into the Registrar Warehousing problem.
Although there is a mechanism for us to resolve this problem, nothing will
happen until action is taken.