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123 Registration, Inc. Loses ICANN Accreditation

ICANN terminated its accreditation agreement with 123 Registration, Inc. (“123 Registration”) for failure to comply with the requirements of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), the contract between ICANN and registrars that governs the registration of domain names under generic top-level domains such as dot-com and dot-org. http://www.icann.org/correspondence/burnette-to-wolverton-25jun10-en.pdf [PDF, 64 KB]

To ensure continuing resolution of domain names and renewal of name registrations, ICANN has initiated a process to identify a qualified accredited registrar to take over management of the domain names formerly managed by 123 Registration through a bulk transfer. Guidance is provided below in the form of Frequently Asked Questions for registrants who may be affected by this action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does it mean that my registrar’s accreditation agreement was terminated?

A. Your registrar breached one or more provisions of its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and failed to cure the breach(es) within the time period allowed by that contract. As a result, your registrar’s contract with ICANN was terminated and it is no longer ICANN-accredited. This means that your registrar will no longer be permitted to register generic top-level domain names (such as in dot-com and dot-org) or continue to manage such registrations.

Q. If I have domain names with a registrar that lost its accreditation, will I lose my domain names?

A. ICANN is working with partners in the domain registration community to ensure your name is not lost. Your registrar’s gTLD names will be transferred to another registrar, as described below. Only names registered to generic TLDs through this registrar are affected. Registrations in two-letter country-code (ccTLD) names, such as .US and .CN, are not affected by this process.

Q. How will the domain name transfer process work?

A. ICANN will follow the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure (posted at http://www.icann.org/en/processes/registrars/de-accredited-registrar-transition-procedure-01oct08.pdf [PDF, 119 KB]) which is intended to ensure a timely transition in the event of the de-accreditation of a registrar.

In summary, the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure is initiated by providing the de-accredited registrar an opportunity to propose a receiving registrar at or about the same time ICANN posts a request for registrars to submit expressions of interest if they wish to be considered as potential recipients of a bulk transfer. Registrars are typically given one week to submit their expressions of interest. ICANN considers several factors in deciding whether to authorize a bulk transfer to the proposed registrar, and the transfer can only be approved if it would promote the community interest.

If the de-accredited registrar fails to propose a receiving registrar or if ICANN determines that the proposed transfer would not promote the community interest, ICANN will review all submitted expressions of interest and invite all qualified registrar-applicants to participate in a one-week negotiation period. In the negotiation period, the registrar-applicants must submit competitive proposals that will be scored on pre-determined, objective criteria. The qualified registrar with the highest score will be selected to receive the bulk transfer of names.

Once the receiving registrar is selected, ICANN will provide it with available registration data and notify the registries to effect the bulk transfer after the data has been integrated into the receiving registrar’s systems. The receiving registrar will then send notices to the affected registrants, with instructions on how to begin managing names with the receiving registrar.

Q. Will the chosen receiving registrar receive my registration data for my domain names?

A. The registration data for the gTLD names formerly managed by your registrar will be provided to the receiving registrar. This information will allow the receiving registrar to contact all registrants and create customer accounts for them so the receiving registrar may quickly begin managing the registrations. If your name is registered by a Whois privacy or proxy service, the receiving registrar will typically only receive the Whois privacy or proxy service registrant information.

Q. Will I be charged for this process?

A. No, the transfer process itself is provided free of any charge to registrants. You should note, however, that the transfer will not change the current expiration date of your domain name registration. After the bulk transfer process is completed, you will be contacted by the registrar that receives the terminated registrar’s domain names with information about your options.

Q. How long will it take ICANN to identify a registrar to receive the domain names?

A. We expect to identify a qualified registrar to receive domain names within 30 days; however, the process of identifying a qualified registrar and completing the transfer of registration information may, on occasion, take longer. ICANN will post a notice on its website when a qualified registrar has been identified and the transfer completed.

Q. My domain name is about to expire. How can I make sure it does not get deleted before the transfer?

A. Do not let your domain name expire. Protect yourself by either renewing your domain name with the current registrar or transferring your domain name to a new registrar before your registrar’s accreditation agreement is finally terminated or expires.  Either will add another year to your registration term. Please send an email to compliance@icann.org if you are unable to transfer or renew the name. ICANN will work to effect the bulk transfer as quickly as possible after the termination date.

Q. What do I need to do now if my name is not due to expire soon?

A. You do not need to do anything right now. You will be contacted by the company that receives the domain names registered through your registrar in due course.

Q. What if I want to transfer my domain name to a registrar other than the one that is chosen for the bulk transfer?

A. You will be able to transfer your domain to a different registrar some time after the bulk transfer, assuming that no other condition exists to support a denial of the transfer.

Please note that the gaining registrar is allowed to deny transfers for the first 60 days following the bulk transfer. If the gaining registrar allows, you may move your domain in those first 60 days; otherwise, you will need to wait 60 days before approaching a different registrar and requesting a transfer. For more information on the transfer of a registration between registrars, please see the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, at http://www.icann.org/en/transfers/policy-en.htm.

Q. What if my domain name is registered by a Whois privacy or proxy service?

A. If the privacy or proxy service is the registrant of record for your domain name(s), you should ensure that the service forwards to you any information it receives from the ICANN-accredited registrar selected to receive the bulk transfer.

Q. What if my domain name was deleted before my registrar was de-accredited, but I want it back?

A. If the name is available for registration, you may register it with your preferred ICANN-accredited registrar (see http://www.internic.net/regist.html).

If the name has since been registered by someone else, you have at least three options:

  1. Work out an agreement with the current registrant.
  2. Wait to see if the current registrant lets the domain name expire.
  3. If you believe the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which you have rights, and the current registrant has registered and is using the name in bad faith (and has no rights or legitimate interests in the name), you can begin an administrative proceeding under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). (Note: this is a legal proceeding, so you should proceed with caution.) For more details on this option, including a list of dispute resolution service providers, please see http://www.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp.htm.

    Please note that the UDRP applies only to domain names in generic top-level domains (such as .COM and .NET). Dispute resolution policies vary in other TLDs such as .US and .CN and the 249 other country code top-level domains. You may wish to seek legal advice to determine if the UDRP is applicable to your situation, or to assist in identifying additional alternatives.

Q. I have read everything above but I still have some questions. Whom should I contact?

A. The receiving registrar will contact you shortly after the bulk transfer takes place. You should contact this registrar first with any issues. If you are still not able to get an answer to your questions, you may contact ICANN’s contractual compliance team at compliance@icann.org.


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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."