Study Suggestion Number 24
Submitted By: [Redacted for privacy reasons] Topic: Whether registrars include in their registration agreements the Whois-related terms required by the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). Hypothesis: Many registrars are not appropriately obtaining agreement to all of the terms required under Section 3.7.7 of the RAA (including without limitation the requirement that registrants agree to provide accurate information (188.8.131.52), an acknowledgement by registrants that the provision of false information is a material breach (184.108.40.206), agreement to the proxy provision and the acceptance of liability flowing from use of a proxy (220.127.116.11), consent to the use of registrant data (18.104.22.168), etc.), and this hinders the validity of the registrarsâ?? use of personal data and the legitimate enforcement of intellectual property rights. How the hypothesis could be falsified: If it can be shown that all or nearly all registrars are appropriately obtaining agreement to all of the terms required under Section 3.7.7 of the RAA. Utility: It would identify whether registrars are appropriately complying with the RAA. It would also identify whether problems with Whois currently require policy changes or better enforcement of existing agreements. It would also act as a barometer concerning whether registrars and their affiliates could be relied on to enter into required agreements with registrants and enhanced obligations, should a more restrictive Whois system such as OPoC be implemented where registrars and their affiliates undoubtedly would be required to obtain the registrantsâ?? consent to act as the custodian of information and relay communications in a much more robust way than in the current Whois regime. Type of Study Needed: This study could be done by obtaining a representative and historical sampling of registrarsâ?? terms and conditions to which registrants must agree in order to register a domain name. Data that needs to be collected: The data collected would include a statistically relevant sampling of registrarsâ?? terms and conditions -- covering various gTLDs -- to which registrants must agree in order to register a domain name. Population to be surveyed: ICANN-accredited registrars. Sample Size: We cannot readily determine how to identify a statistically relevant sample. This of course could be accomplished by specialized survey personnel. Type of Analysis: Once the data is collected, a statistical analysis could be performed to help understand what percentage of sampled registrars is appropriately obtaining agreement to all of the terms required under Section 3.7.7 of the RAA.