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Comments on Transfer Denial Reasons

  • To: <transfer-comments-c@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Comments on Transfer Denial Reasons
  • From: "Jordyn Buchanan" <jbuchanan@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 18:16:57 -0500

Although the current list of transfer denial reasons seems to reasonably
anticipate many situations in which a registrar would reasonably need to
block a transfer, it is unclear that registrars have sufficient latitude
in dealing with potentially fraudulent situations.  At the same time,
however, the widespread implementation of lock statuses by registrars
has made it more difficult for registrants to transfer domain names
between registrars.

The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy indicates that the Registrar of
Record may deny a transfer if there is "Evidence of fraud."
Unfortunately, there will be circumstances in which no evidence of fraud
for the particular transfer in question, but a pattern of fraud may
exist.  The current language makes it unclear whether the Registrar of
Record, acting in good faith to deny a transfer that matches a pattern
of fraud, may do so in compliance with the current policy.  Register.com
suggests that this reason be revised to read "A reasonable belief that
the transfer may have been fraudulently initiated."  More generally,
gaining registrars should not only be diligent at screening individual
requests for fraud, but should also refuse to do business with parties,
including resellers, when there is a reasonable belief that the
registrar is enabling or otherwise supporting fraud.

On the other hand, the current provision that allows transfers to be
denied if a transfer is on "lock status" has made transfers generally
more difficult for registrants.  Most registrars have unilaterally
applied the REGISTRAR-LOCK status to all of the domains they manage
(unless, sometimes, the registrant explicitly requests otherwise).
Other registrars do not even set the lock status with the registry, but
rather maintain some internal status that they use as the basis to deny
transfers.  As a result, transfers cannot be successfully completed
without first removing this lock.  While the transfer policy requires
standardized forms and procedures to authorize a transfer, there is no
such uniformity around the process for adding or removing lock status.
Today, registrants are left without the easy and uniform transfer
process that the new transfer policy intended to provide; in fact, the
additional step of removing a lock has actually made domains less
portable than before the policy's adoption.

Jordyn A. Buchanan
Director of Policy

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