Purpose: To solicit public comments on the IRTP Policy Status Report, and to obtain additional feedback from registrars and registrants on their experience with domain name transfers via a survey, which may be completed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLQRD3K
Current Status: The IRTP Policy Status Report has been drafted by ICANN Org using available data on transfers. The public comment proceeding and associated survey is intended to gather additional input from the ICANN community on the IRTP itself and the data and analysis included in the Policy Status Report.*
* The version below [PDF, 1.07 MB] reflects an update made to the report on 30 November 2018 to correct errors in Sections 1.5 and 2 of the original report [PDF, 1.03 MB] posted on 14 November 2018. Aggregated transfer numbers in these sections were erroneously labeled as "yearly" rather than "monthly". These labels have been corrected.
Next Steps: Once public comments and survey input have been received, ICANN Org will update the Policy Status Report to include relevant information from these feedback mechanisms. The updated report will then be returned to the GNSO Council, who may then consider whether the report provides sufficient information as a standalone report for assessment of the policy, or if further review of the IRTP should be undertaken.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The Inter‐Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) is an ICANN consensus policy that went into effect on 12 November 2004. Its aim was to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their domain names from one registrar to another. Over the course of several years, five Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Groups explored potential improvements to the IRTP. The overarching goals of the improvements were to:
- Enable registered name holders to move their domain names to a new provider, thereby increasing consumer choice and competition;
- Ensure the IRTP includes sufficient protections to prevent fraudulent domain name transfers and domain name hijacking;
- Clarify the language of the IRTP so that ICANN-accredited registrars consistently interpret and apply the policy;
- Clarify the language and visibility of the Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy so that providers/panelists consistently interpret and apply the policy.
In short, the policy aims to provide enhanced domain name portability, resulting in greater consumer and business choice and enabling domain name registrants to select the registrar that offers the best services and price. The policy is designed to simplify and standardize the [transfer] process, prevent abuses, and provide clear user information about the transfer process and options. With this in mind, the IRTP Policy Status Report is organized to help assess the effectiveness of the IRTP in terms of:
- Portability: Can registrants easily transfer their names? Are the processes well-standardized and efficient for registrars?
- Preventing Abuse: Does the Policy include effective protections against abuses such as fraud and domain name hijacking?
- Information: Are there readily available educational sources about the transfer process and options?
Section II: Background
The IRTP Policy Status Report (PSR) is intended to provide an overview of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy. It includes readily available and general data on domain transfers, brief analyses, and a history of the Policy Development Process (PDP) for the consideration of the GNSO Council and ICANN community. It may serve as a basis for further review of the IRTP or, at the discretion of the GNSO Council, it may provide sufficient information as a standalone report for assessment of the policy.
The mandate for the IRTP PSR stems from two sources:
- IRTP-D Working Group Final Report, Recommendation 17: "The WG recommends that, once all IRTP recommendations are implemented (incl. IRTP-D, and remaining elements from IRTP-C), the GNSO Council, together with ICANN staff, should convene a panel to collect, discuss, and analyze relevant data to determine whether these enhancements have improved the IRTP process and dispute mechanisms, and identify possible remaining shortcomings."
- Consensus Policy Implementation Framework, Stage 5 "Support and Review: Policy Status Report": "Compliance and GNSO Policy Staff should provide a report to the GNSO Council when there is sufficient data and there has been adequate time to highlight the impact of the policy recommendations, which could serve as the basis for further review and/or revisions to the policy recommendations if deemed appropriate."
Section III: Relevant Resources
- Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) Status Report (updated 30 November 2018): https://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/transfers/irtp-status-30nov18-en.pdf
- Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) Status Report (14 November 2018 version): https://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/transfers/irtp-status-14nov18-en.pdf
- Transfer Policy: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2016-06-01-en
- IRTP Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLQRD3K