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Shanghai Meeting Topic: Transfers of gTLD Domain Names

29 October 2002

Meeting Notice
Public Discussion on Transfers of gTLD Domain Names

You are invited to participate in a "Public Discussion on Transfers of gTLD Domain Names," on Tuesday, 29 October 2002, from 10:30 - 12:30 in the Shanghai International Convention Center. The Public Discussion is being held in conjunction with the DNSO General Assembly, Registrars Constituency, gTLD Registries Constituency, and Name Council Transfers Task Force.

Remote participation is encouraged – join by phone or participate via e-mail. To dial in, call +1-484-630-4203 or (US/Canada) +1-877-562-9747. Notes of the session will appear on Thomas Roessler's Blog aggregator. When offering comments, please state who you represent (yourself, a specific constituency, an organization, etc.) and what role you/they have with regard to transfers (registrant, registrar, registry, IP interest, etc.) This will allow better categorizations of the feedback received.

The purpose of the Public Discussion is to educate participants on the fundamental issues regarding transfers, receive a status report from, and comment on, the work of the Names Council Task Force on Transfers, and discuss potential ICANN actions. (There is no ICANN Board action contemplated on transfers at the Shanghai meeting.)

For your information, background information, an agenda and sample questions on some of the issues that are expected to be addressed during the Public Discussion are included below.

If you have any questions, please e-mail the Moderator, Denise Michel at michel@icann.org.

Background Information

Background information relevant to the Public Discussion can be found at the following URLs:

Agenda

10:30 Brief introductions and overviews

Introductions (Denise Michel, Moderator)

Overview of existing contracts (Dan Halloran, Chief Registrar Liaison)

Overview of current environment (Michael Palage, Chair, Registrars Constituency)

Update on "Verisign Registry Interim Transfer Policy Proposal" (Chuck Gomes, VeriSign Registry)

10:55 Presentation of Names Council Transfers Task Force report (Marilyn Cade, Task Force Chair; Ross Rader, Task Force member)

11:15 Open Discussion

12:20 Conclusion & Next Steps

12:30 Adjourn

Sample Questions

  • The impetus for review of the transfers policy and processes was the adoption by some Registrars of a default non-acknowledgement (n'ack) policy in order to protect their customers from unauthorized transfers. Do you think the Task Force proposal accomplishes this goal? Does the proposed transfer policy offer a reasonable balance between the following two objectives: 1) making registrar transfers as easy as possible for registrants; 2) providing protection against fraudulant or erroneous transfers?

  • How would ICANN's responsibilities change, if at all, under the Task Force proposal?

  • Under the Task Force proposal, what additional responsibilities and costs would the parties involved bear, and are they reasonable?

  • Is the Task Force proposal responsive to all of your constituencies concerns regarding transfers

  • How would the Task Force's proposal affect EPP vs. non-EPP registries? Large vs. smaller Registrars?

  • Will the fact that a Registrar that loses an appeal in the dispute process pays the costs of the appeal (as proposed by the Task Force) discourage Registrars from appealing transfers - or do you think it will deter Registrars from engaging in behavior that discourages the free portability of domain names?

  • Should failure of the losing registrar to respond to the gaining one (or of the registrant to respond to the losing registrar) lead to acknowledgement or non-acknowledgement? What does your constituency think about the Task Force's approach?

  • It has been suggested that the proposed ICANN "Ombudsman" be used, in lieu of a dispute resolution panel/provider or "third party," to facilitate the resolution of domain name transfer disputes. Is this a feasible idea?

  • Under the Task Force proposal, what is the Registrant's responsibilities and course of action if they feel a transfer is not being handled properly? How does this differ from current practice?

  • Concerns have been raised that Registrants often are not provided with the necessary information to transfer their domain name or seek help if they have a transfer problem or question. How does the Task Force proposal address this concern?

  • Under the Task Force proposal, would Registrars have the right to enter into bilateral agreements with each other that potentially bypass the full transfer process recommended by the Task Force? Likewise, would Registries have the right to sign unique (rather than uniform) bilateral agreements with Registrars that streamline some Registrars' transfers? If so, how would this potentially affect transfers?

  • How would the Task Force proposal be implemented? Do the proposed changes in the domain name transfer process need to be implemented by a Board resolution directing staff to provide an amendment for Registry/Registrar contracts (Aren't these 5 year contracts? Can ICANN "force" the parties to amend them?) Or would the proposed changes need to be implemented by voluntary modifications of Registry/Registrar contracts? (Some have expressed a preference for a "universal transfer policy" rather than several Registry-specific implementations, while others contend that individual Registry/Registrar contracts are the most efficient method for effecting the necessary changes. What is the view of your constituency (how would each approach potentially effect your constituency)?

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