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Summary & Analysis of Comments

  • To: "vrsn-btappa-amendment@xxxxxxxxx" <vrsn-btappa-amendment@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Summary & Analysis of Comments
  • From: Patrick Jones <patrick.jones@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 05:45:01 -0800

Summary & Analysis of Comments for:
VeriSign Amendment for Partial Bulk Transfer (BTAPPA) in dot-COM and dot-NET

The comment period ran from 16 October to 16 November 2009. Six comments were 
received, and can be viewed at 


Louise Timmons noted that "there is nothing in my current registration 
agreement concerning 'acquisitions'-related transfers" [from a losing registrar 
to a gaining registrar]. Timmons also noted that the 15-day notice period from 
the losing registrar to registrants was not long enough. Timmons suggested that 
"The amendment and language should specify registrants are allowed to select 
their own registrars within a higher-than-15-day [such as 6 months] amount of 
notice, pending an acquisition." See 

George Smith also noted that the timeline for registrants to respond was too 
short. He suggested that the timeline should at a minimum match with the grace 
period for a domain name renewal. "45 to 60 days would benefit the registrant 
and prevent a backlash. 30 to 45 days would likely be sufficient if properly 
carried out."

Smith also suggested that registrants be provided an opt-out option from 
BTAPPA. As noted in the Analysis section, the VeriSign proposal does allow for 
an opt-out option.

Smith agreed that the gaining registrar should provide a notification to 
registrants of names being transitioned from the losing registrar. Under 
Smith's proposal, the gaining registrar would provide information on "the 
proposed prices, guidelines, agreements, relationship, account information, 
services, and other pertinent info." See 

According to Smith, "there needs to be a guideline that a domain cannot be in 
any of the hold/pending statuses, nor the redemption period, for the entire 
length of the BTAPPA proposal. That means that if at any time a domain goes 
from a typical registrar lock to a Registrar hold, then this domain becomes 
ineligible for transfer." The VeriSign proposal notes that "Domain names with 
the following statuses at the time of the transfer request or the actual 
transfer will not be transferred in a BTAPPA: "pending transfer", "redemption 
grace period" (RGP), or "pending delete."

D. Stussy noted that "I am totally against the entire concept, except when it 
must be done because a registrar is going out of business (or has been bought) 
with respect to a given
TLD, whether voluntarily or not." See 
http://forum.icann.org/lists/vrsn-btappa-amendment/msg00003.html.  He also 
stated that the 15-day notice period was too short, that "a proper study of 
alternative registrars cannot be completed by registrants in 15 days or less."

D. Stussy also stated that sensitive billing information must not be 
transferred from a losing registrar to a gaining registrar. He also provided a 
technical correction suggestion: "Gaining registrar must make a request for 
BTAPPA from VeriSign within one calendar year of the closing date of the 
acquisition.'  Technically, one day is 'within one year.'  Maybe this should be 
'no less than one year before'?"

Patrick Mevzek submitted comments on the proposed amendment and a side comment 
of relevance to the posting of RSEP requests generally: 
http://forum.icann.org/lists/vrsn-btappa-amendment/msg00005.html. In his 
comments, he distinguished between registrar portfolio transfers and registrant 
portfolio transfers.

Mevzek noted that BTAPPA for registrant portfolio transfers seemed to be ok, 
but some consideration should be given that registrants may have domain names 
in a portfolio held by a registrar across multiple TLDs, because "if they [the 
registrants] find that some registries do have a BTAPPA process and others do 
not, it will make their life complicated."

He suggested that registrar portfolio transfers should be dealt with in the 
context of RAA changes being contemplated by the GNSO. Mevzek stated that the 
15 day notice period for registrants was too short, and that "the BTAPPA should 
only apply to domain names for which the registrant gave specific approval, 
after registrar request. If the registrar does not get
authorisation from registrant/administrative contact (the same rules as for 
ordinary transfers could be used), then the domain name would be automatically 
excluded from the BTAPPA."

Mevzek stated that .BIZ requested a similar service in 2006 and that "it would 
be hard to deny the same thing to VeriSign today." He also stated that after a 
deeper analysis, if useful and carefully described, it would be helpful if 
offered by all registries and included in all future gTLD contracts or at 
renewal of the current agreements. He said that doing so would provide a more 
uniform experience for end users. Mevzek stated that if such a request was 
granted, "the registries should incorporate requirements on reports with
numbers to monitor the use of this service. This could be added to the already 
monthly registries reports to ICANN."

Two comments were not related to the content of the proposed BTAPPA amendment:

 *   Curtis Neeley Jr: 
 *   Todd Hill: 


Several of the commenters noted that the notice period in the proposed 
amendment was too short. D. Stussy suggested that the period be at a minimum 90 
days long and that notice be made by at least two means of communication 
(electronic and postal mail as examples).

The BTAPPA service was first proposed by Neustar in 2006 was designed to 
accommodate registrars while at the same time protecting registrants.  Neustar 
included a 15 day advance notice to registrants of a pending partial bulk 
transfer. This notice gives users 15 days to voluntarily transfer their domain 
names to a third party registrar of their choice (prior to the bulk transfer) 
if they do not want to have their domain names transferred to the intended 
gaining registrar. The losing registrar must ensure that no obstacles are 
placed in the way of a registrant seeking such a transfer. At the time, Neustar 
asserted that this provides registrants with more rights than the existing 
transfer policy. The ICANN Board approved the Neustar amendment for BTAPPA on 
22 November 2006: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-22nov06.htm. 
VeriSign has included the 15-day notice in its proposed implementation of 

The GNSO Report on the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy Part A (see 
 looked specifically at whether the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) 
should incorporate provisions for handling partial bulk transfers. On 16 April 
2009, the GNSO Council approved a motion on the IRTP Part A that did not adopt 
new provisions in the IRTP for partial bulk transfer, allowing gTLD registries 
to continue to use the Registry Services Evaluation Process to address partial 
bulk transfer.

D. Stussy noted that "registrants [of names in a portfolio that had been 
acquired by a gaining registrar] are likely to transfer their domains BACK to 
the losing registrar when possible.  Therefore, to permit this type of action 
makes no sense, especially when registrants may regularly reverse such 
transfers." Staff notes that the BTAPPA proposal includes an opt-out if the 
losing registrar has indicated its willingness to continue to serve as the 
registrar for the domain name and that both the gaining and losing registrars 
must approve the list of domain names subject to the BTAPPA prior to the change 
in sponsorship by VeriSign.

Patrick Mevzek suggested that it would be useful to be able to search RSEP 
requests through an online form and database query with fields for the 
registry/TLD, the service name, the date of request and status. ICANN staff 
notes that this is a useful comment and ICANN will try to incorporate an 
enhanced search capability to the RSEP page.

Next Steps:

The comment summary will be provided to ICANN's Executive Team for 
consideration along with the proposed amendments to the dot-COM and dot-NET 


Patrick Mevzek, Dot and Co
Todd Hill
D. Stussy
Curtis Neeley Jr.
George Smith
Louise Timmons


Patrick L. Jones
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: +1 310 301 3861

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