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Consultation on Registrar Accreditation Agreement Amendments

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The ICANN Board of Directors unanimously approved the revisions to the RAA at its meeting on 21 May 2009. The newly revised RAA has been posted at http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/ra-agreement-21may09-en.htm. This new form of the RAA will apply to all new registrars, registrars that renew after the approval date, and all registrars that voluntarily adopt the new contract prior to their renewal date.

At the ICANN meeting in Mexico City, the various GNSO constituencies worked diligently to arrive at a supportive motion to advance the RAA amendment package and provide for additional follow-up efforts that will be pursued over the coming months. This motion was adopted unanimously and the amendment package was advanced to the Board for final approval.

For a transcript of the discussion in the GNSO meeting on 4 March 2009 see http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/transcript-gnso-council-04mar09-en.txt. A copy of the motion adopted during this public meeting is available at http://gnso.icann.org/resolutions/#200903. In addition to approving the set of amendments, the GNSO also committed to:

  • Within 30 days of Board approval of the set of amendments, representatives from the GNSO community and the ALAC shall be identified to participate in drafting a registrant rights charter.
  • Within 30 days of Board approval of the set of amendments, the GNSO Council will form a Drafting Team to discuss further amendments to the RAA and to identify those on which further action may be desirable.

The ICANN Board of Directors agreed with the substance of the amendments at its public meeting on 6 March 2009 and directed staff to hold a final public comment period prior to its vote.

The public comment period was open from 6 March 2009 through 6 April 2009. View the summary of these comments at http://forum.icann.org/lists/raa-consultation/.

Background

The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) is the contract that governs the relationship between ICANN and its accredited registrars (a directory of accredited registrars can be found at http://www.internic.net/regist.html).

As the market has developed and the number of ICANN accredited registrars and domain name registrations have grown significantly, it has become clear that certain amendments should be made to this important agreement. The amendments are intended to provide clarity and certainty regarding the duties of registrars and the rights of registrants. This page has been created to describe the process, plans and actions for developing and implementing these amendments. Also included are links to relevant documents that have been developed and public comment fora that have been established.

In March 2007, Dr. Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN called for a comprehensive review of the RAA and the Accreditation process. The results of that review included a workshop at ICANN’s meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico and to Board resolutions describing an approach for arriving at and implementing amendments. In accordance with that resolution, ICANN has solicited public input for possible changes to the RAA and the accreditation process. ICANN has drafted proposed amendments in accordance with that input, information received at workshops and public fora to date, and consultations with the gTLD Registrar Constituency. A set of proposed amendments has now been published for additional comment before they are submitted as advice to the Board for action.

Announcements & Resolutions

Important Documents

Proposed Amendments

The most recent document with descriptions of the process and feedback is the written report provided to the GNSO. This report can be found at

http://www.icann.org/en/topics/raa/amendments-report-gnso-12dec08-en.pdf [PDF, 260K]

An earlier report to the GNSO on 29 Oct 2008 can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/raa/amendments-report-gnso-29oct08-en.pdf [PDF, 37K]

For a background description of the process and the original fifteen proposed amendments see:

<Proposed Changes to Registrar Accreditation Agreement>

This document contains a description of the categories of changes under consideration, a History of the Consultations to date, and a summary of the actual Proposed Amendments.

To see an updated comparison chart showing both Current RAA Language and Proposed Language see:

<Updated RAA Provisions Comparison> [PDF, 40K]

To see an updated copy of the current RAA with redlined changes indicating where all of the amendments appear see:

<Updated Redline 2001 RAA> [PDF, 116K]

Below are some of the original documents describing possible amendments to the RAA. Alternatively, you can view them in plain text on a separate webpage. These documents were assembled first as a result of Paul Twomey's recommendations that were announced on 21 March 2007. These were discussed briefly with the gTLD Registrar Constituency at the Lisbon and San Juan ICANN meetings and publicly at the Workshop on Protection of Registrants in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 25 June 2007.

Each of the documents below describes the intent and purpose of the proposed amendment, as well as some of the issues concerning potential implementation of such an amendment. Comments on each of these can be made in the comment forum described below.

Workshop transcript: http://sanjuan2007.icann.org/files/sanjuan/SanJuan-ProtectionOfRegistrants-25June07.txt [TXT, 112K]

Workshops and Presentations

Staff Report to Community and Board
6 Mar 2009

Protection of Registrants Workshop
25 June 2007, San Juan

Public Forum: Issues Arising out of Recent Experiences with RegisterFly
26 March 2007 Lisbon

At Large Policy Working Group on Registrant / Registrar Relations

This working group will look at the entire scope of the RAA (Registrar Accreditation Agreement), and recommend concrete steps to the larger At-Large community.

A mailing list, RAA-WG, can be subscribed to from http://atlarge-lists.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/raa-wg_atlarge-lists.icann.org.

Public Forums

The ICANN Board of Directors has directed that a new public comment period be held on the latest set of amendments prior to its vote to approve them.

This public comment period will be open from 6 March 2009 through 6 April 2009. Submit comments at raa-consultation@icann.org. View comments at http://forum.icann.org/lists/raa-consultation/.

A second Public Comment period was open from 18 June 2008 through 4 August 2008.

View comments and a summary at: http://forum.icann.org/lists/raa-consultation

An initial Public Comment period was open from 30 July 2007 through 10 September 2007. It was established for the purposes of: soliciting input regarding potential amendments to the RAA; specific comment on the amendments subjects briefed above; soliciting input regarding potential changes to the registrar accreditation process. Comments for this phase of the review were synthesized to inform and refine proposed amendments. This synthesis of comments can be found in plain text here or at the following link as a pdf file: http://www.icann.org/topics/raa/raa-public-comments-23oct07.pdf [PDF, 61K]

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