ICANN Policy - Locking Not Required

Nov 10, 2004 - 2:22 pm 0 by
Filed Under Miscellaneous

I know this is not search related but there is a ton of buzz going on at all the forums on the latest news by ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers). People are think that this new policy states that if someone initiates a transfer for a domain name you own, and you do not respond within 5 days, that the domain name will automatically transfer to the person who initiated the transfer. No questions asked. This seems to be a misunderstanding of the policy ICANN released. I spoke with my registrar this morning, and I spend top dollars to ensure I have a registrar I can call and get through to, and they said that the transfer will not go through if I do not act.

What happens is that I will receive an email from the person requesting the transfer. If I do not respond to that request then nothing will happen. However if I do respond with a yes, then that registrar (the one initiating the transfer) emails my registrar to give up the domain name. Now if my registrar does not respond, then it will go though within 5 days automatically. You see, I (the owner of the domain name) still needs to respond, if I don't then nothing should happen. This information is from my registrar and seems to be accurate.

A thread at WebmasterWorld has an excellent post summarizing this explanation on the 3rd page. I will quote that single post here to save your time:

Woah woah woah woah WOAH! Take it easy, everyone. Look carefully at the document ... here, I'll help:


The relevant blurb:

If you wish to transfer your domain name from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another, you may initiate the transfer process by contacting the registrar to which you wish to transfer the name. This registrar is required to confirm your intent to transfer your domain name using Initial Authorization for Registrar Transfer. If you do not respond or return Initial Authorization for Registrar Transfer, your transfer request will not be processed.


Note: The second document predates the first ... but it is of no consequence.

The relevant blurb:

Failure by the Registrar of Record to respond within five (5) calendar days to a notification from the Registry regarding a transfer request will result in a default "approval" of the transfer.


In document #1, we see that "If you do not respond or return Initial Authorization for Registrar Transfer, your transfer request will not be processed."

In document #2 it seems to be limited by the relevant blurb. But people ...

this is a two-part process! Yay! :)

In document #1, it says that YOU, as the Administrative Contact of Record must agree to the transfer by responding to an email sent to the Administrative Contact of Record.

Next, FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF AUTHORIZATION TO TRANSFER FROM YOU, document #2 says that if the Registrar of Record does not respond within 5 calendar days, then the transfer will go through, as the default action.

It's a bonus for us!

Now, your transfer won't be crapped on by the failure of your CURRENT registrar to acknowledge the email sent by your FUTURE registrar. Previously, a registrar could "forget" or "miss" an authorization request, and keep your domain. Now, in addition to your permission, which you have always needed to give for a transfer and will continue to need to do, if the registrar "misses" or "forgets" to respond to the transfer request, your transfer will go through just as you intended.

If YOU reply in the negative or don't respond to the initial Administrative Contact of Record email (because you initiated the transfer and then went on vacation or because it's a bogus request), you'll never get to the second step involving the current registrar, and the transfer will NOT go through.

If YOU reply in the positive, by clicking on the link to authorize the transfer, THEN it goes to the current registrar, and if they respond in the affirmative or do not respond at all within 5 calendar days, your request goes through per your instructions.

Do you really think that ICANN would make it easier to hijack a domain?

The automatic locking of all domains by NetSol and others is a move on their part to make it more difficult for us to move to a lower-priced registrar. Don't fall for it.

Get some sleep tonight, folks. :)


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