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RegisterFly update: March 9, 2007

The United States District Court in New Jersey yesterday awarded Kevin Medina control of RegisterFly.com Inc. The decision resolves a dispute over ownership of the company.

The resolution of this issue does not alter RegisterFly obligations to immediately cure the breaches of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement, as noticed by ICANN.

ICANN has been advised and has confirmed that RegisterFly is aware of the issues raised by many registrants, regarding their inability to transfer their registrations away from RegisterFly to another Registrar.

ICANN has demanded that RegisterFly immediately act to provide authorization codes and has also demanded a meeting with RegisterFly (and other relevant parties that are assisting ICANN) to resolve RegisterFly’s reported failures. We will provide an update on the outcome of this meeting.

Transfer difficulties

Some customers may be experiencing difficulties in transferring their name because they are not listed as the registrant, but instead have opted to use a privacy service. In discussions with ICANN today RegisterFly agreed to assist people in those circumstances and will provide customer data to eNom from Monday 12 March. This means that eNom should be able to facilitate transfers from RegisterFly (as reseller) to another registrar of the customer’s choice.

Yesterday we advised that ICANN had obtained registrant data from RegisterFly. We are still confirming the accuracy of that data.

But it appears ICANN is in possession of the vast majority of registrant data (a potentially significant step toward the protection of registrants in the case of RegisterFly business failure or de-accreditation under the terms of the RAA).

ProtectFly

It should be noted that a significant percentage of the data obtained are cases where customer information is hidden via a privacy service (in this case known as “ProtectFly”). We have provided additional questions to RegisterFly regarding how that data can be maintained in a manner that would permit access in the event that RegisterFly remains unable to fulfill its role as a registrar. If a name is hidden through a service of this kind, it is possible that no one aside from the provider of the privacy service can identify the customer, therefore data escrow may be insufficient for ICANN to protect that data. In making a choice to use a proxy/privacy service, customers should be aware of balancing privacy against access to data.

Comments

    Domain Name System
    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."