Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How Does the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) Affect YOU, the Domain Registrant

New Registrar Accreditation Agreement - RAA
Your responsibilities when registering a domain name will soon change.
Late yesterday ICANN published the proposed "final" new Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) for public comment.

The update RAA will have an impact on how you register domain names.

You must verify your phone number or email address.
After you register a domain, transfer it to a new registrar, or transfer ownership of a domain, you will have to confirm your email address or phone number with the registrar. If you don’t do this within 15 days, your registration can be suspended or terminated.

This applies to changes made to domains registered prior to the new RAA, too.

Your registrar will retain your data even after you change registrars or let your domain expire.
The new RAA requires domain registrars to retain certain data about your domain registration for two years after you delete the domain or transfer it to a different registrar. The data include records of your accounts (including a credit card on file), registration data, and certain correspondence.

Other data including payment/transaction confirmations and your IP address for the registration must be kept for 180 days after the registration.

There is a provision that acknowledges this may need to be adjusted in the event it violates local laws.

You must keep your contact information up-to-date.
You are required to update your registrar on most changes to your contact information with 7 days of any changes.

The 2009 RAA didn’t include this seven day timeline. As with the old RAA, failure to respond to a registrar’s inquiry concerning accuracy of contact details within 15 days can result in your domain being suspended or cancelled.

Your whois proxy or privacy service will have to play by new rules.
And by new rules, I mean rules, which were completely absent before.

In the future, ICANN may establish a Proxy Accreditation Program. For now, they must agree to new specifications included with the RAA, which may affect you.

The big change is that your proxy or privacy service will have to escrow your actual contact details. However, at least as the current agreement reads, ICANN can only access this data in the event the registrar loses its accreditation or goes out of business. This is designed to protect registrants. Previously, if a registrar went out of business, ICANN and the new registrar that took over the domains may have had no idea who actually owned a domain that was registered with a proxy.

Is there a market opportunity for domain registrars to play by the old rules?
The new RAA may create a business opportunity for a handful of registrars that want to offer services under the old RAA. A registrar likely won’t be able to offer new TLDs if they stick with the old RAA until its expiration, but that might be worth it in order to be able to offer services to domain registrants under the "old" way of doing business.  Read more...

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