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Towards More Efficient Registry-Registrar Relations

Pinkard Brand

On the morning of Wednesday 15th October, the The Domain Name Association (the DNA) held an important working group meeting during ICANN 51 Los Angeles. The topic was to discuss several operational issues between registries and registrars. The meeting's unofficial ongoing name is the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group.

The meeting was a continuation of an inaugural meeting that was held back in June of this year, and covered in a Industry Association: An Implementation Model circulated by the DNA from September 17, by Executive Director Kurt Pritz.

The rationale behind the inaugural meeting as well as Wednesday's meeting was to formulate discussion between the groups on how to improve the domain name registration process for registrants and businesses, as well as discussion of other operational issues between registries and registrars. These issues and discussion points were brought to light by several members of the group, such as GoDaddy, Donuts, ARI Registry Services, Neustar, Google, 1&1, TLD Registry, and Rightside.

The meeting was held and the discussion points were raised because of two main issues within the registry-registrar relationships and how it affects the registration process. Kurt Pritz's CircleID article stated that those issues are (1) Registry-registrar operational issues are being solved on a one-off basis as each new registry operator paired off with its set of registrars, and (2) resolving these issues in an industry-wide collaborative manner is preferable in order to create operational consistency and save time.

Wednesday's meeting highlighted several points of emphasis, such as developing concepts for formal registry-registrar collaboration methods, how to implement those concepts and action points, and the actual issues that need to be worked through as a basis for the creation of the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group.

The concept for formal registry-registrar collaboration raised produced action items that the working group has undertaken to implement into the methodology. It was noted that there is arguably an urgent need for more efficient collaboration between registries and registrars due to the increasing pairs from new gTLDs (there will be millions of permutations). It was also noted that the DNA's registry-registrar operations Working Group essentially creates what may become a "best practices" guide between registries and registrars.

The implementation process needs to have a community approach, circulate fast-acting discussion and provide leadership and participation within the community as well. The DNA's momentum is strong, and is delivering across a multi-stakeholder group. The DNA encourages both DNA and non-DNA members to participate in the working group, which creates a sense of neutrality for the DNA which and guides discussion in a non-biased manner.

The main issues can be worked through by harmonizing premium name services between the registries and registrars, standardizing the registry implementations, and find common ground on operation models, such as tiered billing and differential renewable pricing.

The next steps for the Working Group will be to further discuss potential issues, and to prioritize those issues in order of importance. Leadership positions will be selected and general objectives will continue to be discussed. The next meeting will be held on Nov. 4, via a DNA conference call.

By Pinkard Brand, Managing Director, FocusNua USA. More blog posts from Pinkard Brand can also be read here.

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, Policy & Regulation, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains


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Arn't Registrants missing to this meeting? Jean Guillon  –  Oct 17, 2014 10:07 PM PDT

Hello there,

I read: "formulate discussion between the groups on how to improve the domain name registration process for registrants and businesses, as well as discussion of other operational issues between registries and registrars."

Registrants are not invited to participate to the DNA: in these discussions: aren't Registrants concerned here? Shouldn't they have been able to join?

ICANN has the exact same problem: it listens to service providers, not end users. If the DNA can help change that, I suggest they allow more participation from real users, starting with allowing them to participate.

Hi Jean,The DNA is an industry association. Pinkard Brand  –  Oct 23, 2014 9:03 PM PDT

Hi Jean,

The DNA is an industry association.  As you know its members are groups, businesses, and individuals involved in the provision, support, and sale of domain names. This includes such organizations as domain name registries, registrars, resellers, and registry service providers. 

In my view it's a given that the DNA's participating organizations are actively listening to their customers (registrants) and striving to improve their overall experience. Otherwise those that don't, and ultimately our industry, will suffer. 

Therefore I don't see the DNA as needing to specifically include registrants in the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group, no more than the National Pharmaceutical Association needs to include patients.

End users decide... Jean Guillon  –  Oct 24, 2014 2:12 AM PDT

...and Registrants are end-users. It is one the reasons why many want to break the monopoly of ICANN today: Registrants and other end-users are not served the way they could.

The DNA looks like it wants to shape the new gTLD business to organize how to make the best profit from it. Note that I have no problem with this because end-users do what they are offered to do and an attorney will register a .attorney domain name because 1) he won't want to have his name squatted and 2) because he would loose credibility if this happened. In the end he doesn't really have the choice so our Industry will grab hiw money anyway. Shouldn't he be offered the option not to pay for this? Shouldn't this be a subject the DNA works on and offers solutions for?

If end-users (Registrants) were welcome to participate to this "Industry Association", they would explain that they don't want to be forced to pay for something they do not want nor need and we both know that there are solutions to block this from happening but unfortunately this goes against "profit".

I want to underline that I am no sniper here: I earn money from this industry but I am an end user too. The recent Volkswagen.company UDRP is the perfect example of what an end user is forced to pay for when this could have been avoided.

I read "the DNA's participating organizations are actively listening to their customers (registrants)". My opinion on this statement is different.

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