Contractual Compliance Monthly Update | Issue 6
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1. Breach Notices Sent for Whois Inaccuracy
ICANN has sent breach notices to two ICANN-accredited registrars, Beijing Innovative Linkage Technology Ltd., doing business as DNS.COM.CN and Joker.com, on 30 September 2008. (See: http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/burnette-to-hu-30sep08.pdf and http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/burnette-to-legenhausen-30sep08.pdf.)
These registrars failed to comply with Section 3.7.8 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) which requires registrars to take "reasonable steps to investigate" Whois inaccuracy claims.
Section 3.7.8 of the RAA requires registrars, "…upon notification by any person of an inaccuracy in the contact information associated with a Registered Name sponsored by Registrar, take reasonable steps to investigate the claimed inaccuracy. In the event Registrar learns of inaccurate contact information associated with a Registered Name it sponsors, it shall take reasonable steps to correct that inaccuracy." (See: http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/ra-agreement-17may01.htm#3)
In November 2007, ICANN audited registrar compliance with the investigation of Whois inaccuracy claims filed through ICANN's Whois Data Problem Report System (WDPRS). The audit analyzes the complaints as well as complainant follow-up correspondence indicating "no change" to Whois data 45 days after the claim is filed. Registrars that appear to take no action in response to a significant percentage of WDPRS complaints are sent a Notice of Concern that request they provide ICANN with details regarding the steps taken to investigate the claimed Whois inaccuracies - as required by Section 3.7.8 of the RAA.
On 29 May 2008, ICANN sent Joker and DNS.COM.CN Notices of Concern. Both subsequently assured ICANN that they were investigating Whois inaccuracy claims and had suitable processes in place to do so. However, ICANN found compelling evidence leading to a conclusion that both DNS.COM.CN and Joker.com do not appear to be taking reasonable steps to investigate these claims as required.
Accordingly, on 30 September 2008 ICANN sent DNS.COM.CN and Joker.com notices of breach of contract. To avoid the commencement of the termination process, DNS.COM.CN and Joker.com must cure the cited breaches within 15 days. ICANN will pursue all remedies available under the terms of the RAA, including possible termination, if DNS.COM.CN and Joker.com fail to cure the cited breaches.
DNS.COM.CN has over 300,000 domain names under management and Joker.com has over 600,000 domain names under management.
ICANN's efforts to improve Whois accuracy are ongoing and registrars are advised to investigate every claim of Whois inaccuracy received as required by Section 3.7.8 of the RAA to avoid compliance action by ICANN.
2. Contractual Compliance Staff Participates in Registrar/Registry Gathering in Seoul, Korea
ICANN's Contractual Compliance staff participated in the recent Registrar/Registry regional gathering that took place in Seoul, Korea on 10-11 September 2008. Two contractual compliance related presentations were made that focused on: registrar compliance with the UDRP; and contractual compliance program progress.
At this meeting, contractual compliance staff helped inform registrars and registries on ICANN's contractual compliance activities and addressed questions and issues. In at least one case, staff successfully worked with a registrar to resolve an outstanding compliance issue.
he department also took the opportunity to listen to registrar and registry feedback and heard, among other things, that the recent translation of the RAA into different languages will facilitate compliance with the agreement.
3. Upcoming Events
ICANN's 33 rd International Public Meeting in Cairo, Egypt, 2-7 November 2008. http://cai.icann.org/