[gnso-dt-wg] RE: Domain tasting in .uk
- To: <gnso-dt-wg@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [gnso-dt-wg] RE: Domain tasting in .uk
- From: "Patrick Jones" <patrick.jones@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2007 14:35:57 -0700
Lesley Crowley at Nominet has approved the forwarding of the email below to
the ad hoc group list on domain tasting policy within .uk.
From: Lesley Crowley [mailto:lesley@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 3:52 AM
To: Patrick Jones
Cc: 'Olof Nordling'
Subject: Re: Domain tasting in .uk
"Patrick Jones" wrote on 30/07/2007 16:49:51:
> The GNSO ad hoc group on domain tasting is preparing to launch a
> Request for Information as a follow-up to the Issues Report on
> Domain Tasting (http://gnso.icann.org/issues/domain-tasting/gnso-
> domain-tasting-report-14jun07.pdf) published in mid June. I
> understand that Nominet implemented a policy change aimed at domain
> tasting in .uk. Do you have statistics you are able to share on the
> impact of the policy change on .uk domain registrations? This
> information would be most appreciated.
Some information for you:
We have always provided registrars with the facility to delete domain
names registered in error, before they have been invoiced for. Domain
names deleted in this way do not incur a registration fee. Until August
2006 there was no limit on the number of domain names that could be
deleted by a registrar.
We became aware of domain tasting in 2005 when it first started to affect
the gTLDs. At that time we introduced a policy principle through our
Policy Advisory Body clarifying how our deletion facility should be used
(to correct mistakes) and how it should not be used (e.g. domain tasting),
and we began to monitor registration and deletion volumes closely.
In August last year we felt it was necessary to take action against the
practice of domain tasting. During the spring of 2006 we identified a
small number of registrars (far less than 1% of the 3000 registrars in
operation) who were potentially abusing the domain delete facility. We
considered this practice to be a breach of our acceptable use policy and
we were concerned that it would place unnecessary load on our systems,
potentially jeopardising access for other users. Whilst at the time we
took action there was no noticeable system impact, our concern was for the
potential for this behaviour to escalate and we felt preventative action
was desirable and would be supported by our stakeholders.
By carefully monitoring registration and deletion behaviour we identified
a level of deletions that would enable registrars not engaging in this
practice to continue their operations without unnecessary restrictions. To
do this we chose a limit of 5 domains, or 5% of monthly registrations,
whichever is greater. This dual approach ensures that both large and small
registrars (in terms of domain registration volumes) working within the
rules are unaffected.
However, we also clarified that any deletion of domains that we believe is
not for the purpose of correcting mistakes will be dealt with under our
contract with registrars. The sanctions may include reduced credit
limits, suspension of registrar access etc.
Finally, we reserved a degree of discretion. We were mindful that scammers
registering high volumes of domain names occasionally target registrars
and that the registrar will then wish to cancel prior to invoicing. If
this situation arises the registrar can appeal directly to us to delete a
volume of domain names above the limits set. We have found that this kind
of scam is easy to differentiate from tasting activity and over the last
year have acted upon a handful of requests to delete domain names for this
Since the policy was introduced deletions prior to invoicing have run at
an average of 0.37% of registrations and we have continued to see steady
month on month growth in registration volumes within the .uk ccTLD. In the
months prior to the introduction of the policy, deletions were running at
over 2%. We would consider this a success. We have also received
widespread support for the policy both from within our registrar community
and from the wider stakeholder community.