A wide range of amendments have been approved to the contract that defines the rules for the retail level of the Internet's domain name system.
The set of 17 amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) were agreed to unanimously by the ICANN Board on 21 May 2009 and follow an extensive consultation that engaged all interested elements of the Internet community including governments, individual Internet users, and gTLD registrars.
The changes update the RAA, which was last amended in 2001, to adapt to the modern domain name market. The amendments significantly increase the protections in place for domain registrants.
The changes include: enhanced enforcement tools to assure full compliance with the ICANN contract and policies, expanded requirements for reseller agreements, additional audit and data escrow requirements, more explicit requirements for providing contact information, and new notice requirements and termination provisions.
In addition to approving these amendments, the GNSO constituent groups have committed to an ongoing review process where additional amendments will be considered and a registrant rights charter will be drafted.
The new form of the RAA will be implemented over time. All new registrars will be required to sign the new agreement, as will any existing registrars that renew their accreditation. Existing registrars also have the option to voluntarily enter into a new five-year agreement prior to their current renewal date.
The new Registrar Accreditation Agreement:
Full details on the consultation process:
A chart showing the approved amendments: