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Transfer policy does not make sense or is not properly enforced

  • To: <transfer-comments-g@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Transfer policy does not make sense or is not properly enforced
  • From: "Scott Albrecht" <scottrvp@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 15:03:29 -0600

A very common problem faced by many domain owners occurs when they want to 
transfer their domain to a new registrar but miss doing so before the domain 
registration with the current registrar expires.  I don't see where the 
transfer policy allows this but the common practice by many registrars (if not 
all) is to force the domain owner to pay to renew with them before the domain 
can be transferred.     This makes no sense.  If you own the domain, a 
registrar should not be able to prevent you from renewing it with another 
registrar if there are no outstanding obligations between you and the 
registrar.  Allowing this implies that ownership of the domain transfers to the 
registrar upon the domain expiring or that anyone can put a lien on your 
property in order to force a future contract.

I do believe that "a" (single I understand there are two currently) grace 
period is a good idea but any redemption period should solely benefit the 
domain owner not the registrar.  I actually believe that many bodies of law 
would find the current practice illegal.   Domain owners are almost certainly 
transfering their domain to another registrar because there is something they 
dislike about their current one.  This practice then and the ridiculously long 
period before a domain becomes available again allow "bad" registrar's to 
engage in strong-arm practices.  If ICANN feels there should be some sort of 
penalty for registering a domain that is in a grace period (I don't believe 
there should be), the only way to do this fairly is to have a neutral third 
party administer the fee.  A fee that is the same for everyone and not biased 
by the registrar.

As I mentioned I actually did not see where the transfer policy allowed this.   
An expired domain was not one of the explicitly listed reasons as to why a 
registrar could block a transfer.   If the policy doesn't support this behavior 
(and it shouldn't) then there needs to be better enforcement of the policy.

Scott Albrecht

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