RegisterFly update: 16 May

by Kieren McCarthy on May 16, 2007

A deal has been reached by which all of RegisterFly’s domains – including those registered under the ProtectFly proxy system – will be made accessible to their respective registrants shortly.

Full details will follow later today, contingent on the system being in place to deal with what is expected to be a very high volume of enquiries from RegisterFly customers.

The details will be posted on ICANN’s main website and this blog.

{ 109 comments }

Jonathan 05.16.07 at 2:55 am

This is very encouraging news to hear. I hope the solution works.

Erik Stensland 05.16.07 at 3:35 am

Does this include our expired domains????

Berkant 05.16.07 at 4:16 am

Can we able to renew our expired domains after this. And which system we can use later. Registerfly or new one. Thank You.

Mark Foley 05.16.07 at 6:14 am

I tryed to transfer my expired domain with another Register (GoDaddy)

Its of course did not go thru, it is still pending now.

Will it slow the process of renewing our expired domain having it pending with Godaday? Or would it help to cancel this transfer at this time?

What Will help expedite the Renewal process?

Thank You

Mark Foley

Mark Foley 05.16.07 at 6:26 am

When We tryed to renew our expired Domain this was sent to us

In order to complete this transfer we must have the
approval of the administrative contact for this domain
name. However, the administrative email address obtained
from your current registrar does not appear to be valid,
or could not be obtained.

The administrative email address on file at your current
registrar is: Unable to connect to whois.verisign-grs.com

After you update the administrative email address on file
for this domain at your current registrar, you may retry
this transfer.

and our Whois Seems to have Changed

IS there anything we can do to help you to Expedite the transition?

Thank You

Mark Foley

bigfoot 05.16.07 at 6:31 am

Forgive me if I seem cynical, but a deal has been reached between whom?

If this deal is to be a good deal for registrants then a lot of questions need answering in the promised follow-up post from ICANN.

I won’t start to list the questions but point people to the previous threads in this blog about RFly and it’s CEO……..

Kieren McCarthy 05.16.07 at 6:57 am

No, please *do* list the questions. We will try to make sure the answers are ready to go.

Kieren McCarthy
General manager of public participation, ICANN

Abdul 05.16.07 at 7:35 am

BIZ Registry WHOIS Data
Domain Name ***.BIZ
WHOIS records still have wrong andmin e-mail. I am not able to transfer this domain below. Registerfly still don’t correct contact info in WHOIS records.

Domain ID D15509565-BIZ
Sponsoring Registrar REGISTERFLY.COM, INC.
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID 821
Domain Status inactive
Domain Status serverDeleteProhibited
Registrant ID DI_5504422
Registrant Name Default Profile
Registrant Organization N/A:61552413
Registrant Address1 404 Main Street
Registrant Address2 4th Floor
Registrant City Boonton

[Comment edited for length. Remainder of comment contained Admin, Technical contact details showing RegisterFly as the contact in each case]

Tim Kirwin 05.16.07 at 7:44 am

I want to echo Mark Foley from above. I have a transfer pending with another registrar. Would it be better to cancel this and wait for this process to heal itself, or let it be and see if the transfer goes thru?

Mark Foley 05.16.07 at 7:54 am

Who Do we contact to Renew Expired Domains

What Info do we need to complete this in one contact…
via Web with conformation via email

When Will our Domain be Activated (turned on the lights)
opened for traffic

Where New Registrar Webb , Site Support Center

How Step By Step Simple please (like I am a four year old)

Not knowing what to do is far more frustrating that clear and simple instructions

Thank You

Mark Foley

Mike G 05.16.07 at 9:37 am

I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I have to admit that I was overjoyed to see this headline.

I’ll be watching this space several times a day for instructions on how to rescue the two remaining “stuck” domains.

Keep the news coming!

Susan Gilbert 05.16.07 at 9:48 am

I have 50 domains that the records have been changed on, just like Abdul. They no longer exist in my account; and, I have a spreadsheet that outline my proof of ownship (URL, date purchased, reg #, etc). I am hoping that this latest announcement means help for us.

Corwin Grey 05.16.07 at 9:58 am

Will this include unlocking our accounts so that we can log in to the system to do whatever needs to be done? During this debacle they locked my account for ‘risk prevention’ (domain is paid for two years) and of course they don’t answer their risk@registerfly.com email or their phone.

joe peffer 05.16.07 at 10:49 am

I’ve had a tough time with Registerfly over the last couple years and have been pretty fed up, but didn’t realize the situation is as dire as it is until today when my business blog expired, though I thought I’d renewed it.

Now that my site is down, I can’t wait for this posting later today. I hope that Registerfly has made it as simple as possible for me to transfer all of my 41 domains in a single bulk transfer.

I’m surprsised this hasn’t been a naitional news story, our domains have been held hostage. I hope that when it’s all over that the powers that be at Registerfly get what’s coming to them.

WK 05.16.07 at 12:30 pm

Strange. Today Network Solutions do a comunicate about special price for Registerfly users. 9.99

LOL….

Tony Bonnet 05.16.07 at 1:39 pm

Good to hear that some is being made, but when our domains can really be transferred?

When we will have full access to our domains data?

I still get the “Unable to connect to remote API server” when I try to remove the WHOIS protection. WHOIS protection must be removed first to have access to domain information, transfer authorization codes and correct emails, without this, I cannot transfer my domains.

Jeremy 05.16.07 at 2:23 pm

So, here’s my situation… Domain transferred to RF and several years added to the registration… Registerfly only ups it for one year and now it has expired TWO years early despite having paid for multiple years. My domain is pending delete, but should not be because it does not expire until 2009. What provisions are being made for this situation ?

I have documentation which amounts to a screenshot of my account screen at RF. Is that going to be sufficient documentation to prove the expiration date as well as ownership since it is protected by Protectfly ?

Simon 05.16.07 at 5:20 pm

Thats very hearting to hear,

I have over 400 domains being held to ransom by registerfly.

As of yet nor response from either compliance @registerfly or from ICANN .

Ive lost thousands of dollars in double billing no response regarding this either.

So currently have domains sat in the redemption period and in the pending delete state so I hope this all bodes well.

I was greatly heartend to hear that ICANN will not allow domains to expire in the registry and this new information looks like ICANN are completing the earlier statements they made that they would ensure all was sorted once they had a mechanism in place to deal with the volume.

I await more news in eager anticipation

Dave Zan 05.16.07 at 5:58 pm

I’m sure many of the questions will be answered the sooner the details of the deal are posted. I just hope they’ll be easy enough for the “average layperson” to understand. ;)

Anyway, I’ll ask some questions as well:

1. Any give-or-take timeframe as to how soon all Registerfly-held domain names will be unlocked, issued auth codes, etc. like 3 weeks to a month perhaps?

2. Do Registerfly clients need to forward proofs of ownership to them or to ICANN instead?

3. I don’t know if this has been answered before, but has Registerfly’s registrar accreditation been cut off or is it still on-going to give time for registrants to transfer their names out?

One thing I’m sure of is it’s not going to take at least a week or 2 to completely resolve this issue, given its inherent complexities. One can only hope, though, that this will be completely resolved as soon as possible.

Dave Zan 05.16.07 at 6:01 pm

If the domain name’s still unlocked and showing your details as of this post, you might as well finish it.

JP 05.16.07 at 8:21 pm

Let me start by saying, with the amount of time ICANN has taken to deal with the RegisterFly crisis, we would appreciate timely updates. The last blog posted stated details would be posted later today. urprise, no details.

On the important issue at hand, how our domain difficulties will be resolved.

Any process ICANN attempts to use must account for the following situations:

1.Domains with no auth code.
2. Domains with whois protection
3. Locked domains
4.Domains registered thru RegisterFly, but showing enom as registrar [Enom has been complicit in permitting RegisterFly's conduct for some time and has even used the situation to extort redemption fees.] I speak for many domain owners when I say I want my Enom based names renewed out of redemption and transferred to another registrar at no expense to me. Enom is legally and morally responsible for its resellers actions while they resold.
5. Domains showing RegisterFly as Registrant, but missing from my account control panels. (registerfly removed my management to many names, despite them still being current and showing my information and dns in whois)
6. Domains with altered whois information. Many do not provide owner info or were alered by registerFly without authorization.
7. Names in redemption, pending delete, deleted and otherwise locked up because we could not renew or transfer while ICANN negotiated (desipite months of complaints) and then proceeded with litigation.
8. Deleted names that have been appropriated by third parties, despites ICANN’s order to make RegisterFly names delete prohibited.
9. Compensation for lost time on our domains. Although the recieving registrar may not be liable for RegisterFly’s actions. It is legally arguable ICANN is responsible, thru its delayed response. I’d like the 6+ months lost on my registration period added to my transferring domains.
10. Improperly transferred names. Several of my names were transferred from Godaddy to RegisterFly. RegisterFly reported the transfer as failed, but the whois shows the registrant as RegisterFly an GoDaddy no longer has the names, so they did transfer successfully. These names do not appear in my control panel.

Step up and take responsibility for your inactions. Your own company emails, internal documents and blog postings show awareness of the situation months before the implosion of RegisterFly. ICANN chose not to take action, thats called negligence: “failure to act where there is a reasonable belief of a damaging outcome”. At a minimum ICANN could have setup a process to collect, organize and address concerns with RegisterFly; instead you chose to simply forward emails to the company [who never complied with requests to begin with] and instructed domain owners to futilely repeat their contact requests over and over , while hoping something would be done. The only saving grace to this mess is the negative press ICANN has recieved. It has galvanized the resolve of many domain owners enough, that once our name issues are resolved it should be easy enough to organize owners to take action against ICANN on both a corporate and personal level. I take pride in saying I’d really like to see a movement to collect damages from ICANN, enom, Registerfly and Kevin Media personally. Evereyone please do your part and file with your Attorney general , state attorneys and consumer bureaus. Then copy those complaints over to all your local media outlets. The truth is, many well established technology experts have pblished the fact ICANN is not necessary for proper resolution of domains to IP’s. The internet would function perfectly if ICANN did not exist. The RegisterFly debacle has just served to confirm this by showing us that there’s really nothing ICANN can do to help us, so why let them politicize the domain infrastructure and protect the few deep pocket registrars that have cornered the market. Remember, ICANN’s not acting to recover our names, they could have done that months ago. Instead their trying to save public face and send the message to registrars that if you dont pay fees, then well take action against you. Until RegisterFly defaulted on ICANN payments, they really weren’t concerned.

Jonathan 05.16.07 at 8:53 pm

“Improperly transferred names” and “Domains showing RegisterFly as Registrant” are two issues that I agree strongly with. ICANN needs to make an appropriate solution available.

Kieren McCarthy 05.16.07 at 9:25 pm

Thankyou for this view, no matter how polarised.

You won’t be surprised to hear that I disagree with the majority of it and what’s more I think there is a large body of evidence that clearly disputes your view of the situation.

But thankyou for contributing. Your comment will be taken into consideration.

Kieren McCarthy
General mananger of public participation, ICANN

Kieren McCarthy 05.16.07 at 10:40 pm

If you are unable to find evidence, I am afraid you haven’t been looking very hard.

You will find, I believe, 24 updates on the situation on this blog alone. There have been a number of official announcements by ICANN, two comment forums and an updated information page on the public participation site.

An extensive FAQ has been produced and regularly updated to answer most questions. There has two, large public meetings on the RegisterFly in which anyone was able – and was encouraged – to contribute. A factsheet gives the background to the dispute. A formal review of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement has been announced, publicly, complete with questions. A report is already running through ICANN system. At least one further public meeting will be held at the upcoming meeting in June.

There is also a very public court case brought by ICANN against RegisterFly in which ICANN has made all its papers available and in which ICANN has received a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and most recently a civil contempt order against RegisterFly.

ICANN also announced – and received expressions of interest in – a moving registrar role in order to get people in touch with their domains. An active response designed for the occasion.

You are confusing frustration and anger over the fact that you cannot gain access to your domain with perceived inaction. Understandable but, I am afraid, incorrect.

Kieren McCarthy
General manager of public participation, ICANN

Fred Boulton 05.16.07 at 10:43 pm

If you open a new account at RF then push your domain names into the new account you should be able to change the Whois details.

This has been a very successful method of being able to transfer domain names.

Good luck!

Fred Boulton 05.16.07 at 10:45 pm

If they no longer exist in your account you could be in serious trouble.

Does the Whois for your domains show RF as the Registrant?

Fred Boulton 05.16.07 at 11:00 pm

Kieren:

I am not wanting to “attack” ICANN in any way. I understand their position to a degree, but I really don’t understand why ICANN doesn’t have the ability/power to approach the Registries themselves, which is where I understand that the Whois details are registered. If I am correct, why does ICANN keep insisting on getting the inaccurate, out-of-date, useless and false data that Registerfly has on their system?

I am certainly concerned now because although I transferred(luckily) all of my domains away from Registerfly, if ICANN now takes the data from RF as being accurate it will show that half of my domains have expired, because although any of my domains are not now registered with RF, their out-of-date data says that they are, because they all still exist in my RF account and I’m still receiving renewals from RF for domain names that don’t expire until 2008.

So how will ICANN know what data is accurate and what is not? Do I risk losing my domain names once ICANN or a replacement Registrar gets hold of the RF data?

Thank you

Rick 05.16.07 at 11:14 pm

Kieren:

I’m aware and have been aware of all the “evidence” you’ve put forward above that ICANN is on top of the RegisterFly situation.

Unfortunately, a reality check comes up with RegisterFly still taking money as we speak and more domains getting lost by the hour.

I’m sticking with my comment above:

If the ICANN executives were really concerned about the 900,000 RegisterFly domain holders they would have moved aggressively months ago to contain Kevin Medina and RegisterFly.

Jonathan 05.16.07 at 11:27 pm

Kieren, I think you are forgetting the importance of domain names and the value they bring to the Internet. ICANN is filled with bureaucracy because the problem at hand is not that ICANN has not done anything to solve the problem, it is that a solution to the problem has not been established in a timely manner. Justifying what you believe to be true by saying people are confusing frustration and anger with “the facts” is showing that you don’t have a domain name registered with RegisterFly. If you did, you too would be frustrated and angry, and all of the communication and “help” from ICANN would not mean a thing. May 16th is a perfect example of that. Where are the full details?

Kieren McCarthy 05.16.07 at 11:28 pm

Hi Rick,

I don’t think you will find anyone that believes the system in place is right, especially with regard to the allegations that RegisterFly has taken payment and then failed to act.

But ICANN was not – and still is not – in a position to shut companies down. There are alot of people who also do not wish ICANN to have that power.

There was a clear path written in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement for dealing with disputes and ICANN was obliged to follow that. The upshot has been an uncomfortable situation for all affected but it will be changed to account for that.

It would have set a dangerous precedent for ICANN to ignore or bypass the contracts drawn up to gel the DNS together. It would have shaken confidence in the contracts and hence damaged the domain name system itself.

I know this is little comfort if you have been badly affected by the RegisterFly situation, but that’s the explanation. Lessons will be learnt and we’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again. Plus, hopefully, use the situation to review possible future issues like this and pre-empt them.

Kieren

Jonathan 05.16.07 at 11:39 pm

“We should all be contacting our Congress and Senate representatives and letting them know exactly what they have allowed to happen.”

This is something that I am going to do. Accountability is key.

Kieren McCarthy 05.16.07 at 11:42 pm

Hi Jonathan,

I’m not forgetting the importance of domain names at all. You’re right though, I have never registered any domains through RegisterFly. I have mine spread across three different registrars, although I did lose one once when a registrar simply failed to renew it (I had assumed it would be automatically renewed or that I would be informed by email of its imminent expiry).

Fortuntately it was not one of the most important of my domains, but even so it was snapped up and I have not been able to get it back. When I lost it, I shifted the remainder of my domains with that company to a different registrar and I also carefully checked out the procedures of my other registrars.

ICANN is not, and cannot, be a consumer watchdog when there are 120 million domains out there (only 80 million of which ICANN has contractual connections with). It is also not filled by bureaucracy but rather is constrained by its limited technical remit.

But what I hope happens, and what I am sure ICANN will support, is someone (or lots of people) that sets up a registrar rating system where consumers can get a better idea of what they are signing up to and so make an informed choice.

Kieren

Kieren McCarthy 05.16.07 at 11:51 pm

Forgive me for having to give a bit of a non-answer but there’s not much I can say to this.

What I will do is make sure your concerns are heard. I am sure that the data will be carefully and thoroughly reviewed before any actions are taken.

Kieren

Mike Brown 05.17.07 at 12:33 am

“Full details will follow later today…”

So, where are the details?????

bigfoot 05.17.07 at 12:36 am

A lot of posts ago (I’m in a different time zone and sleep when the US is awake in the evenings) I said there was a long list of questions.

Kieran asked for that list so here is my additional contribution:

1 How will domains be dealt with that are registered with RF and have invalid contact e-mails? Many domainsl have expired, some of which will have been used as part of a contact address for other domains registered at RF.

2 A number of domains were ‘hijacked’ by RF changing domain contact details. These are of particular concern as they are often what are thought of as ‘valuable’ domain names. Will historical data be available to enable the temporary registrar locate the rightful owners.

3 A large number of domains are now in redemption, grace or even post-redemption periods. How will these be dealt with? It is often the case that purchases of domain names are spread to spread the cost of renewals. It is unreasonable (IMHO) for registries to expect extra payments to get domains out of grace, redemption or post-redemption periods over and above the ‘normal’ renewal fee. This is the case because in many cases attempts were made to pay (and some even thought they had paid because RF took the money) many times before expiry.

4 Auth codes are needed for only some domains. Some country code domains don’t use that system. How will these be dealt with?

5 Some registrars don’t currently accept incoming domains from certain country codes. Will the ‘chosen’ temporary registrar be able/willing to deal with all the registries that RF offered?

6 Of most concern is the domains, but missing money that was taken to pay registries is also a concern. In March a large number of RF accounts had money removed from their accounts. Whilst ICANN aren’t a watchdog, are they going to be able to be in a position to prove to Federal or Local enforcement authorities that this took place and pass that information over to them? Would this be allowed within the laws of the US/Florida and the enforcement orders that ICANN have so far obtained?

7 Another question revolves around the accuracy of the data. Many of RF registrants have moved domains out. How will this be reconciled with the data held by RF and obtained by ICANN?

8 Domains that expired whilst still with RF and Protectfly have ‘expirefly.com’ e-mail addresses. RF appears to no longer own that domain. How will this be dealt with if underlying data is unavailable?

9 What level of proof will be required to ‘prove’ ownership of domains?

10 What dispute procedure will be implemented if two RF customrs ‘claim’ the same domain name?

11 How much co-operation can registries offer? Some will be restricted by their own privacy or other laws. How will this be dealt with?

12 …. I could go on even more, but as I originally said many have been asked before. Answers will now be different as we reach the (hopefully) final phases of this RF problem.

bigfoot 05.17.07 at 12:42 am

Oh, one final question…

12. Some domains were registered via RF as a reseller for eNom, TUCOWS INC and possibly others. How will the bulk transfer work for these domains? Will the existing ‘registrar of record’ keep the domains? Will the new temporary registrar have a working relationship with these registrars who are, under normal circumstances, competitors?

kym 05.17.07 at 5:39 am

hurry up with this !
have lots of client domains that have expired and unable to renew
a major catastrophe that we are absolutely waiting to be resolved

Justin 05.17.07 at 5:58 am

Kieren,

I have a registrar rating system set up and in place but there is confusion that you could clear up about who’s a registrar and who isn’t.

With 800+ Registrars, I’m finding that there are some companies who own 100 of those and one supposedly owns close to 200 of those ICANN accredited Registrars. I’ve sent a letter to Mike Zupke asking that this be clarified as to who owns which Registrar and of course he didn’t respond. When setting up a Registrar rating system, it’s important to rate the company that owns the Registrar. Likewise, the list of Registrars needs to be updated in full discloser. List the companies and then underneath the companies list each registrar they own. This would clear a lot of things up because we don’t need to rate 800 registrars if there are truly only a handful of owners.

Next question… which was also asked to Mike Putzke and not responded to… Why does Enom own 100 accredited Registrars? Is this to abuse the domain tasting system? That’s the only answer I can come up with because ICANN has failed to answer my requests.

I feel ICANN needs to be upfront and honest and also firmly believe that if the domain tasting mechanism is being abused by Registrars, that is cease and there is full disclosure as to the reason for multiple domain Registrars and who owns them. This may have been a game to ICANN and the Registrars at one time however, it’s literally crippling the future of the internet.

The general public needs to know these things.

Kieren McCarthy 05.17.07 at 6:21 am

Hi Justin,

First of all, having seen things first-hand, I have to stick up for Mike Zupke. I have the luxury of being able to dip in and out of the RegisterFly issue and get on with other work, but this whole thing is Mike’s area and he has been working non-stop for months to try to deal with as much of this as he can.

People appear to have an odd vision of ICANN as a vast conglomerate but it is a small company – purposefully small because of its limited technical role – so this RegisterFly issue has meant an absolutely enormous increase in work for a few individuals.

If you want to propose to the Internet community that they need to fund a huge increase in ICANN staffing to deal with issues like this, you are welcome to try, but you will be met with a stiff response.

But getting to your request. Yes, the issue of registrars is not transparent and this point was specifically raised by the CEO when he announced a review of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. Currently people can act as resellers for reigstrars, and also companies can pick up registrar status by simply purchasing an existing registrar. This is a loophole that ICANN has asked the Internet community to review.

If you think the Net community should also review the rules on the interaction between resellers and registrars, then you should raise it within ALAC or the GNSO.

It has to be remembered that the system in place is purposefully very free-market and as a result it has led to an incredibly competitive market. This is why you can buy a domain name in seconds for just a few dollars. Considering the technology required to do all this, that is an amazing thing.

RegisterFly has shown up a flaw in that system which needs to be fixed but people are also cautious that the changes don’t go too far and start damaging the market for domain names.

You should get involved in ICANN’s processes. There will be a big public meeting in Puerto Rico at the end of June on this and I am in charge of making remote participation work, so do please turn up and contribute. Because otherwise your voice won’t be heard.

As soon as you have a registrar rating system ready to go, would you mind emailing me the link?

Kieren

Luigi Frigo 05.17.07 at 6:38 am

I am happy to hear the ruling, but now the time I have spent and the transfer time, and settleing the websites that were running in their server, plus the money I have lost from the sites broken and not able to do business. I want to suit them for damages. My business has decrease by $10,000! in the last 3 months for clients not paying for work due the sites not working in registerfly servers.

I have 40 domains with registerfly, and I have few using their servers. It’s a total mess hard to quatify. I have had domains down for over 2 months, domains have expired even after I have paid. I have documented everything, and include ICANN in the process, but still 2 months have gone bye with no results. When domains are created, they should have an additional signature that Icann can track, and even own. Registrant have to be responsible when they trusted with domains that have to do with the health of a business. I have lost up to $10K

Thank you!

Luigi

Luigi Frigo 05.17.07 at 6:42 am

Expired domains according to whom? I have paid for domains that show a different date on registerfly; they kept the money, because the date on the who is shows as expired.
Check on who is and compare to registerfly, make a list of those names, registerfly must return your money, or renew at once.
Cheers!
Luigi

Susan Gilbert 05.17.07 at 6:45 am

I tried the push tactic Fred, and because the domains don’t appear in my old account, I was unable to push them to a new account.

This is what appears in whois for one of the domains:

Registrar: REGISTERFLY.COM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.registerfly.com
Referral URL: http://www.registerfly.com
Name Server: NS1.ELVSOFT.COM
Name Server: NS1.EMIRYS.COM
Name Server: NS2.EMIRYS.COM
Status: ok
Updated Date: 15-mar-2007
Creation Date: 03-feb-2007
Expiration Date: 03-feb-2008

The “Updated Date” is the date I tried to transfer them to another registrar which is when they disappeared from my account. The Name Servers are my servers and the site it still live.

I can prove ‘in a court of law’ that these domains belong to me via all the registration emails and data on file.

Most of these domains were private registrations under ProtectFly proxy system.

ICANN – I hope the new system that is being put into place takes into consideration accounts like mine where the domain names no longer exist.

Justin 05.17.07 at 7:46 am

Thank you Kieren for your comment. I was going to get more involved with the GNSO and submit an application but it seems that there is a lot of red tape around it and referrals from other within the industry.

As far as being heard, Registerflies has been the voice that has pushed the issue at hand and it’s going to continue to be heard.

Tasting domain names. I don’t think this is good for the future of the internet. I’m going to discuss why it isn’t but if you want to taste, pay the $7.00. If you make a mistake during registration and misspell the name you want, shame on you, there should not be anything in place allowing a return of a domain name. Deletion, yes but refund, no.

I have a registrar rating system ready to go. The problem is the time it takes to whois every registrar and dig up the information on all the registrars to see who owns what. It’s got to be accurate and I’m going to need the help of ICANN to provide a list of who owns what. That list should then be updated on the internic site. Have Enom with their address and the list of Registrars they own. I’m most certain that Enom didn’t buy other registrars out that carried the name of Enom1, Enom2 and so on.

One question, in domain tasting, is a company like Enom abusing the system to taste domains over the course of a year or more? Is that the advantage of owning 100 accredited Registrars?

Rick 05.17.07 at 7:54 am

Here is the contact page for the House Commerce subcommittee charged with Internet policy:

Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet

http://energycommerce.house.gov/Subcommittees/telint.shtml

The committee needs to hear about the RegisterFly/ICANN situation and hold hearings on the loss to 900,000 domain holders.

Kieren McCarthy 05.17.07 at 9:00 am

I’m very glad to hear you’re going to get involved Justin.

Do me a favour and email me off this blog about your experience with joining the GNSO and any issues and ideas for improvement.

Domain tasting is the subject of an issues review within ICANN as we speak. This is the power of the model. ALAC has requested it, now ICANN staff are looking at it. This is how the system should work.

Although it strikes me that the timelines are very short, but that’s something I need to raise with lots of people.

Why does Enom have lots of registrars? Sounds like a question that would be good raised in a public forum in an ICANN meeting next month.

Kieren

HK 05.17.07 at 9:29 am

I don’t know if anyone has made this point up until now: How can a business based in the United States get away with such gross negligence and malice? Read the Terms and Conditions set forth in the Registration Agreement:

Limitation of liability:

YOU AGREE THAT REGISTERFLY.COM WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY (1) SUSPENSION OR LOSS OF THE DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION IN YOUR NAME, (2) USE OF YOUR DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION, (3) INTERRUPTION OF BUSINESS, (4) ACCESS DELAYS OR ACCESS INTERRUPTIONS TO OUR SITE OR THE WEB SITE(S) OR SERVICES YOU ACCESS BY THE DOMAIN NAME REGISTERED IN YOUR NAME; (5) LOSS OR LIABILITY RESULTING FROM ACTS OF GOD (6) DATA NON-DELIVERY, MIS-DELIVERY, CORRUPTION, DESTRUCTION OR OTHER MODIFICATION; (7) EVENTS BEYOND REGISTERFLY.COM’S CONTROL; (8) THE PROCESSING OF THIS APPLICATION; (9) LOSS OR LIABILITY RESULTING FROM THE UNAUTHORIZED USE OR MISUSE OF YOUR ACCOUNT IDENTIFIER OR PASSWORD; OR (10) APPLICATION OF THE DISPUTE POLICY. REGISTERFLY.COM ALSO WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF ACTION WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF REGISTERFLY.COM HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. IN NO EVENT SHALL REGISTERFLY.COM’S MAXIMUM AGGREGATE LIABILITY EXCEED THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR REGISTRATION OF THE DOMAIN NAME, BUT IN NO EVENT GREATER THAN ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100.00). BECAUSE SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, IN SUCH STATES, OUR LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

That pretty much sums it up. I am willing to guess that a very small minority of people who purchased their domain names from RF even bothered to fully read and understand the obligations of their contractual agreement.

Kevin Medina wouldn’t have the motivation to do what he did if his lawyers didn’t advise him that he is covered by this agreement.

Frustration cannot begin to describe the feelings of the people who were wronged by the actions, or lack thereof, on the parts of RF and ICANN. However, contracts are contracts, and such issues need to go through the process. It is the way it is to protect the integrity of law in and of itself.

I smell antitrust, where is the FBI?

-HK

Danny Younger 05.17.07 at 9:44 am

Re: Why does Enom have lots of registrars? Enom is one entity among many that have established “phantom registrars”. By my count ICANN has issued accreditation credentials to more than 500 such phantom entitities. Why are registrars pursuing this course of action? Simply put, to gain more
access to the batch pool to better game the domain name after-market. The big picture questions are these: (1) will the upcoming roll-out of new gTLDs be adversely impacted by these phantoms choosing to game the new gTLD landrush cycle? (2) what is to stop potentially rogue players from purchasing one of these phantom accreditations in much the same manner as RegisterFly bought their accreditation?

Mark Emanuele 05.17.07 at 10:03 am

I have a 3 letter domain that RF ‘hijacked’. The DNS still works, but the whois info says that I am not the owner. It has someone in russia as the owner and I am affraid that as soon as the floodgates open, I will loose access to my web site as the new “Owner” will sell it to the highest bidder…

JP 05.17.07 at 11:05 am

[This comment has been deleted for breaching the ICANN blog comment policy, specifically:

Libel, conjecture, nonsense

Likewise, we will delete – without notice or appeal – blog posts that contain unsubstantiated claims, libellous accusations, or accusations of conspiracy. The ICANN blog will not deal in wild claims. We are a professional organisation and will remain entirely disinterested in anything that has no factual basis or useful, practical point.”

Note from the Blog editor: “JP, I considered your response in detail and intended to write a response outlining a long series of factual inaccuracies, disputing a variety of unsubstantiated allegations, refuting an extensive list of wild conspiracies but then decided to simply delete it because it had ‘no factual basis or useful, practical point’. The ICANN blog is a place for intelligent discussion and commentary. Please post this sort of material elsewhere.”

captainproton 05.17.07 at 2:24 pm

We can sit here and tell this all to ICANN, but I feel the only way we are going to get truthful answers is if they sit down and give their depositions.

captainproton 05.17.07 at 2:26 pm

I too had a domain name stolen and given to someone overseas. This name did not delete. It was stolen. I would like to see this issue addressed with the “improperly transferred names” issue.

captainproton 05.17.07 at 2:28 pm

I meant to add it was also a three character domain name. Stolen.

friendly stranger 05.17.07 at 6:25 pm

Well I had 4 domains with registryfly and after repeated failed attempts to renew one, it lapsed into expiration. Enom was the actual reseller for registryfly @ that time. So I transfer all including the expired one to enom so I can transfer them elsewhere.

To my dismay, enom now is wanting $160 to renew the expired domain!!! WTF!!!! I’m being extorted because of registrerfly’s incompetence!!!??? And enom is gouging me….What a croc.

Does anyone know who I could report this extortion to:???

friendly stranger 05.17.07 at 6:26 pm

Well I had 4 domains with registryfly and after repeated failed attempts to renew one, it lapsed into expiration. Enom was the actual reseller for registryfly @ that time. So I transfer all including the expired one to enom so I can transfer them elsewhere.

To my dismay, enom now is wanting $160 to renew the expired domain!!! WTF!!!! I’m being extorted because of registrerfly’s incompetence!!!??? And enom is gouging me….What a croc.

Does anyone know who I could report this extortion to:???

8-(

Dave Zan 05.17.07 at 6:46 pm

Although largely my opinion, I can answer some of them:

2 A number of domains were ‘hijacked’ by RF changing domain contact details. These are of particular concern as they are often what are thought of as ‘valuable’ domain names. Will historical data be available to enable the temporary registrar locate the rightful owners.

That’s something only Registerfly can answer. And that’s if they did keep historical data to begin with, or never messed it up anytime.

4 Auth codes are needed for only some domains. Some country code domains don’t use that system. How will these be dealt with?

One answer is it’s the ccTLD manager who has the “final say”. ICANN provides technical assistance, but they don’t decide policies on how to handle certain issues unless the ccTLD asks.

5 Some registrars don’t currently accept incoming domains from certain country codes. Will the ‘chosen’ temporary registrar be able/willing to deal with all the registries that RF offered?

It’s a business decision depending on the registrar. Some can only handle the gTLDs while others can deal with those and certain ccTLDs.

I’d imagine there’ll be more than one registrar ICANN will eventually decide, depending on their qualifications and how they’re able to meet ICANN’s objectives.

6 Of most concern is the domains, but missing money that was taken to pay registries is also a concern. In March a large number of RF accounts had money removed from their accounts. Whilst ICANN aren’t a watchdog, are they going to be able to be in a position to prove to Federal or Local enforcement authorities that this took place and pass that information over to them? Would this be allowed within the laws of the US/Florida and the enforcement orders that ICANN have so far obtained?

Obviously I’m not speaking for ICANN, but they definitely are. However, everyone else is in a position to do this as well.

Given the amount of work ICANN has to deal with this, it might make better sense for the end-user to send details of this nature directly to the relevant government agency tasked to deal with consumer issues like these. That’s one thing they’re there for, anyway.

7 Another question revolves around the accuracy of the data. Many of RF registrants have moved domains out. How will this be reconciled with the data held by RF and obtained by ICANN?

One thing I suggested (however silly I guess it appears) is for ICANN to request people to notify them what domain names they’ve successfully transferred out. But that’s if people are largely interested.

10 What dispute procedure will be implemented if two RF customrs ‘claim’ the same domain name?

While an alternative dispute resolution process might be formed, that won’t stop one from going to Court and possibly getting a favorable decision.

JP 05.17.07 at 9:24 pm

Real surprise, no posting of details today either.

Jason Collins 05.17.07 at 10:01 pm

Well today RegisterFly stole 170 domains from me and changed the WhoIs to this:

Registrant ID: DI_3007259
Registrant Name: Whois Protection Service
Registrant Organization: RegisterFly.com – Ref-R 35028494
Registrant Street1: 623 Eagle Rock Avenue
Registrant Street2: Suite 7
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City: West Orange
Registrant State/Province: NJ
Registrant Postal Code: 07052
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: 1.19737362545
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX: 1.19737361355
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email: tha7jct2n6hu1c4@protectfly.com

The telephone number listed has been disconnected.

Boy, ICANN has really dropped the ball on this one. What use or good is a body like ICANN if they can’t prevent people from loosing their domains?

Mike Brown 05.17.07 at 11:01 pm

Was the statement “Full details will follow later today…” relating to EST, Pacific Time, GMT or ICANN Time?

Please get a move on.

Kieren McCarthy 05.18.07 at 3:28 am

Rick,

FYI. You were picked up by the site’s spam software because you tried to post the same link about a Senate committee four times in as many minutes.

The software then designated you a spammer and also killed your recent comments of which the one above was one.

I think I have corrected it now and your comments should appear but please don’t mass-post to the list or the software will pick it up.

Kieren McCarthy
General manager of public participation, ICANN

JD 05.18.07 at 7:22 am

Friendly Stranger,

If you renewed the domain in time you can send enom proof of the renewal from registerfly and they will renew your domain for $19.95. However if the the domain is in RDP status that means your domain expired over 30 days ago. I have the same issue with one of my domains that it didn’t get renewed automatically by RF and now it’s in RDP mode. Send enom an email about this and they will send you the instructions to get it out of Redemption.

GTN

JD 05.18.07 at 7:25 am

Kieren,

Is there any status on the RF deal? It would be nice if you guys at least told us what is going on. Not keeping us updated is what makes us think ICANN isn’t doing anything.

GTN

Kieren McCarthy 05.18.07 at 7:35 am

Yes, I know, and it’s my fault for posting the news of a deal when I did. As far as I was made aware, it was all agreed, solid, and ready to go.

I don’t know the status of the deal at this moment. All I know is that there are alot of people working on it.

I might as well apologise to you all as well, having apologised to others for posting the fact that a deal had been agreed before everything was completely finalised.

We will keep you up-to-date and informed as soon as there is something absolutely solid. The danger of doing otherwise is clearly demonstrated by this post.

Kieren

Erik Stensland 05.18.07 at 7:47 am

Thanks for the update! We appreciate all you are doing to help in this difficult situation.

JP-again 05.18.07 at 7:50 am

That’s ok, blog editor. I really didn’t expect that you, or ICANN, would let my post stand. It is interesting how you summarily removed it for factual inaccuracies and unsubstantiated allegations, etc; in light that most of my post contained specific links to the ICANN policies I referred to and directly quoted ICANN’s own discussions as support for my statements. (I even mentioned I would make the materials available to those who asked) Apparently supporting my statements with such facts isn’t enough to have ICANN let them stand and be discussed. I definitely disagree that there is no practical point to my discussion, however, it provides the highly critical view most people aren’t posting. I don’t really care, like most of RegisterFly’s customers I’ve stopped expecting ICANN to be fair or logical. Thankfully though, my state attorney is scheduled to begin reviewing the documentation I have collected, including those I directly quoted, and he sure thinks the material merits discussion. Guess he found some factual point to my claims after all. I suggest other affected RegisterFly customers do likewise and report the difficulties they have encountered. Report all problems to your Attorney General, State Attorneys and , if credit card malfeasance was involved, the FBI. ANd no I dont expect you’ll let this response stand either, but then that only validates one of the points I made in my erased post, that ICANN will erase material they find critical or inconvenient.

Kieren McCarthy 05.18.07 at 8:21 am

The fact that you do not believe your previous post was full of inaccuracies, unsubstantiated allegations and wild, even ridiculous, claims of conspiracy is to be expected since you wrote it.

However in order to maintain this blog’s open comment policy we decide it was important to discourage half-baked and inaccurate commentary. There are plenty of other places on the Internet where you can seek to persuade people of your particular perspective. If there is any truth in them, I have little doubt they will be dealt with formally.

This blog’s aim however is to encourage useful and realistic debate, rather than act as a megaphone for any one individual’s personal views.

If you wish to contribute to that debate with useful observation, review or suggestion you will be more than welcome.

Kieren McCarthy
General manager of public participation, ICANN

Sam Flanders 05.18.07 at 9:04 am

Kieren:

Does ICANN or a 3rd independent party now posess accurate data from Registerfly that you believe to be intact? If not, what makes you think that Keven Medina will provide it to you? He certainly has the option fo destroying or corrupting the data before you get it. Can the data be recreated externally (from the TLD central registries)?

Secondly – how will you resolve situations where Registerlfy failed to populate the owner’s information in the WHOIS for the domain properly. I have a domain listed as being owned by Registerfly, not from the ProtectFly feature, but because the transfer completed to Registerfly, but they never populated my information as the owner. All I have are screenshots showing the domain in my Registerly account. It seems like a tall order to have a 3rd party registrar research and arbitrate these matters. Who will do this?

JP 05.18.07 at 12:54 pm

1. When will the system that was to be announced on 5/16/07 be in place? Its been two days with no further updates. I realize its a monumental endeavor, but we’d all like to know whats going on.

2. I’d still like a response to my comments on using the inter registrar transfer agreement to force my domains out of RegisterFly. The agreement is in place between ICANN and its accredited registrars and it says I can submit transfers that would default to accepted if the losing registrar (RegisterFly) fails to answer [which they won't since their systems aren't working]. Why can’t I use this and why isn’t it being discussed? This is an important topic for those who have verifiable proof of domain ownership and can comply with the Agreements requirements (ID, whois details, etc). It would let us salvage names while waiting for ICAAN’s transfer process to be launched.

3. In the interests of openness I’d also like to ask why the R-Team archives and other customer complaints are missing? I think its a fair question as the missing complaint emails, etc can be used by State attorneys, etc to further filings against RegisterFly and Kevin Medina.
It would be a great help if ICANN made direct customer complaints searchable, such as providing how many claimed domains were misappropriated, etc. Individual customer details could be kept private until requested by formal law enforcement; but the totality of the complaints and their details (such as showing charges with no services provided, etc) would go a long way towards helping RF customers file in their respective jurisdictions. Someone mentioned the idea of a registrar rating system. Equally helpfull would be a complaints database. Many times poeple won’t review a registrar but will file a complaint with ana gency, such as ICANN. Up until recently the main news and internet review sites did not make much mention of RegisterFly, yet ICANN was recieving a disproportionate amount of complaints (as stated on your ombudsman’s blog). If these complaints were more public or tied to registrar reviews more people would have known what was going on. The best solutions would be a quality score and seal each registrar must display on their front page and next to each cart purchase button. Similar to a secure site seal or squaretrade approval. If the seal were dynamic, ICANN could even use it to transmit information ONTO the registrars site. Such as when it became evident RegisterFly was taking payments but couldn’t actually register names, ICANN could have “pushed” a new seal warning customers before and at the point of purchase.

4. Whats been discussed about real time registrar information submission? The real mess will be caused because RegisterFly defaulted on providing timely registration data. Months later we’re still trying to get data. Registrations should have two steps. A confirmation from the registrar, then the data would be transmitted real time to ICANN’s “backup” data center; at which point ICANN would send the final email confirmation of the purchase saying the data had been successfully accepted. Such a scheme would serve major purposes, 1. We know ICANN would always have timely and complete backups in place so it wouldn’t matter if the registrar did not comply or went under. 2. The person registering the name is assured it was actually filed (unlike RF’s taking payment and not submitting names for registration)

5. Lastly, how are the registrar agreements being modified to have some real “teeth”. This debacle occurred because of relying on faith that a registrar would not act against his own business interests, rather than having a strong agreement in place ICANN could have yielded against RF. Filing civil motions is not an option, that can take months between venue changes, appeals, motions, etc. Coupled with a two step system as I mentioned above, where ICANN would have registry data in real time, the registrar agreement should have a clause for failure to perform. This should cover two types of circumstances, short intermittent problems and complete registrar implosions, such as RegisterFlies. Customers who do not get a timely resolution (say two weeks with 3 contact attempts) would be able to automatically submit a complaint form which would pull their data from the ICANN backup and immediately force a transfer to another registrar. This could be put into practice by having the client setup a recovery pass or question when registering a name, that would have to be submitted with the complaint form to authenticate the “emergency transfer”. This would keep registrars on their toes, as they either service customers or lose them. Such emergency transfers should have a minor charge (like .50 cents) and simply change the domain(s) over to the accepting registrar with the same renewal period in place. The small charge would cover the nominal fee ICANN charges and give the receiving registrar a few cents for the trouble of accepting the client (which actually only costs pennies since the process would be automated). The process should be universal with all registrars participating so the wronged customer can choose where he’d want his name sent. Barring that, the names
should automatically roll over to a random registrar chosen from the top 5 ranked (by customer satisfaction) registrars. The second situation such a system could help with would be large scale failures and preventing them. ICANN should have rights in the agreement to automatically transfer away ALL domains to a backup registrar if a certain threshold is passed like more than 5% off all the registrars customers complain or a sustained increase of a certain amount of complains over a certain time period (eg 20% growth in complaints received for 1 week straight) . Regardless of the method used the onus should be on consumer protection, not registrar protection. As it stands now ICANN has to try and act under the agreement, but the registrar can appeal, further delaying. Then they have to comply with ICANN’s order, etc. It should be taken completely out of the registry’s hands so ICANN has real leverage to keep them behaving and complying. ICANN should be able to immediately initiate bulk transfers. These policies should also include measures to reflect unconscionable or blatant exploitation by a registrar, such as Enoms biliking customers to recover names. Up until Enom provided RegisterFy notice of termination as a reseller, Enom should be liable for resolving domain issues at their cost.

mso 05.18.07 at 3:00 pm

I wouldlilke to know why RFly has not responded to any of the emails regarding my acct that you have sent them. Also, why you directed me to this sight when I asked you VIA email to request RFly to perform for the PAypal receipt presented to you. Since it is the choice of RFLy to take our money and do nothing to renew my names, and now the anems are in redemption, what are you going to do about it? You don’t honestly expect your consumers to pay $59.00 to another registrar when this is a FAKE REDEMPTION Period you have created by allowing RFLY to carry on.
Additionally, it seems to me that if you are the organ that allows RFLY to continue to sell names….and therefore are allowing the shopping cart to take our money for fraud that you would be an accessory to this fraud and that by telling registrants that they had to pay additional monies to recoup these names that you would also be capitalizing on these consumers in supporting this fraud to continue.
I would like to know according to the rules why you have not been citing rules to the consumers oin each instance for the consumers to point out to the authorities each and every infraction against these people who are taking out money, locking us out fraudulently, not renewing our names and now creating a bigger monetary scam…
Surely you should make a public statement assuring each and every consumer that NO RFLY NAME should be touched or released for sale until RFLY actually respinds to emails, responds to your emails for performance, and produces absolutely ALL customer correspondence, trouble tickets and any /all proof of transactional data….
When is RFLy going to respond to the emails you have sent them?

mso 05.18.07 at 3:27 pm

Let me suggest that everyone write the Judge involved int his case asking him for relief to be made to the consumers. The address is listed on the court documents which you can find whether here or online.Surely the Judge will require Icann to provide for the consumers since Icann’s job was to be to protect the consumer from unscrupulous acts of the registrars.

I think that what may happen is STate agencies will take over just like business name registration…I think legislation will occur protecting the consumer because this has just gotten out of hand….WHY? Because the players in this seem to be the competition between Registrars at the expense of the consumers…whether the other registrars are legitimately engaged in this competiton or the underhanded fraud and transfer of names and names selling on auction before they are even out of date has been speciifc individuals in positions of priviledge from their jobs… And I think people other Kevin Medina may go to jail.IF KEvin Medina doesn’t hold foreign citizenship/dual citizenship ….seems like wire fraud to me, over and over and over again….HAs Kevin Medina become incompetent and/or has his empoyees been engaged in specific acts of corruption, extortion, fraud, embezzlment…isn’t this embezzlement?…….and hasn’t Icann as well as PAypal been a PArty to this, especailly knowing that this is ONGOING?..Seems the Attorney Generals offices of all states involved should have this site shut down with only an email allowed to be contacted, as all items are presented to the registrants for review and audit before anything goes forward. Doesn’t that make more sense than allowing this site to function?

red 05.18.07 at 5:39 pm

well…!! it seems they are not returing anything. They are just accepting money and issuing funny receipt for misc. services. No renewals with that money however.

red 05.18.07 at 5:58 pm

Hi ..I don’t believe that your ownership of domain names has been changed even though registerfly shows up as tech and admn contacts on whois. It appears that they have unilaterly signed up domain names they have in a service called protectfly under the pretense of keeping your personal info private. Doing so, they have replaced your emails and info with theirs. Technically you should be able to change the info on whois by yourself to your info but it appears that registerfly has removed that option from their “my settings” area .

red

Manex 05.18.07 at 9:32 pm

I think at this point something bad happened and the best thing would be to not distract ourselves with threats and reprecussions because these will most likely just slow everything down from people starting to spend more time protectng themselves than from resolving the issues at hand.

It’s going to be the third day since there was supposed to be an agreement. Like many, each day DOES matter to me as I have to keep making excuses why sites don’t work or can’t change.

So – first order of business, give the customers back access to the domains. After that point – worry about everything else. I’d be happy just to get my domains moved over to godaddy and forget about this whole nightmare.

gllen 05.18.07 at 11:26 pm

I, for one, am going to send flowers and/or beer to the customer service rep that finally gets my domain transfered.

I’ll probably cry too.

Mike G 05.19.07 at 5:59 am

I agree. This will be a long term problem for ICANN in that they have to try to take precautions that this doesn’t happen again.

Let’s just get our domains back.

bigfoot 05.19.07 at 6:06 am

I’ve just discovered that a number of .info domains that had ‘expired’ due to Rfly being unwilling or unable to transfer or renew them are now registered to someone else. Previously they had been registered to me.

The current registrar is showing as ‘Wild West domains’ – and the latest update is shown as being on the 15-May-2007.

It is now showing the expiry as 20-April-2008 although the original expied early on in this mess on 27-Jan-2007

How is this sort of thing to be prevented? Afflias were ‘supposed’ to have locked things down so that this couldn’t happen.

A number of other .info domains seem to have mysteriously transferred to ‘Wild West Domains’ – is this another move by Kevin M to circumvent the system and retain the domains?

JD 05.19.07 at 9:33 am

I am still waiting on some of my domains to be transfered. I have successfully transfered all my domains that still had enom as the registrar. If you want some answers you can post a question on our blog and we will answer it with as much info as we know since ICANN isn’t responding.

http://www.greenthumbnetworks.com/blog/

PPN Hosting 05.19.07 at 10:18 am

I have only one question more or less:

What is going to be done with those domain names that RF allowed to expire even AFTER they were renewed (i.e payment made, but RF never actually renewed) and have now go into redemption or pendingDelete?

Is there going to be some process in place where we gain control of our names, are allowed to transfer to either a registrar of our or ICANN’s choice and not, i repeat, NOT have to pay any MORE fees? (we’ve already a) paid for renewals through RF, b) paid for transfers to another registrar)

david 05.19.07 at 9:50 pm

RegisterFly charged me the auto renewal fee and ‘hijacked’ my domain, which shows “expired” in my RF account, and also “locked” from WHOIS research result.. Are you all in the same boat?

Florin 05.20.07 at 12:33 am

Hi ICANN staff,

I want to tell you that we all understand that is very difficult to handle this situation, so we appreciate all the efforts you’re making to help us.

But I also think that you, being the authority for domain names, shouldn’t have let something like this happen. I hope that you will make sure that, in the future, when a shuts down, the registered domains are SAFE! This is the most important lesson we all must learn. Don’t give the accreditation to anybody, because you will then have to handle all the problems if they just disappear.

When I choose to register my domains with a ICANN accredited company, no mater how small, I must be protected by ICANN, and I must be sure that my names are safe!

Be aware that you are responsible for your accreditations! Don’t give them to anybody. Control them!

Now, my question to you: I have successfully transfered all my names out of the RegisterFly mess. They still appear in my RegisterFly account, although they are now with another register (whois updated, extra year added). Can I be sure there will be no problems after you finally get all the data from RegisterFly?

Good luck to all of you trying to escape from RegisterFly, and my support for everybody losing lots of money and time because of a company closing down.

ICANN: make sure this will not happen in the future!

All the best from Bucharest, Romania!

Andrew Staroscik 05.20.07 at 3:42 am

Can someone please give me a straight answer to this question:

What exactly does the clientTransferPrhibited in the two status fields below mean?

Domain Name: ***.COM
Registrar: REGISTERFLY.COM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.registerfly.com
Referral URL: http://www.registerfly.com
Name Server: DNS1.EXPIREFLY.COM
Name Server: DNS2.EXPIREFLY.COM
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 27-apr-2007
Creation Date: 26-apr-2003
Expiration Date: 26-apr-2008

Is this status a result of the court order? Is it permanent until another register takes over and I can get the domain back?

Any clear, simple answer would be welcome.

Thank You

Pete Parker 05.20.07 at 4:38 am

HOW ABOUT A REAL UPDATE ICANN?

DEALING WITH ICANN IS GETTING ALMOST AS BAD AS DEALING WITH REGISTERFLY.

Kieren McCarthy 05.20.07 at 9:23 am

Pete,

I understand your frustration but shouting on this blog isn’t going to help matters.

When you say “dealing with ICANN”, have you been trying to contact ICANN apart from this blog post recently? If so, what has been the upshot?

As soon as there is something solid to announce, please be assured it will appear on this blog and ICANN’s main site.

Kieren McCarthy
General manager of public participation

lw 05.20.07 at 9:47 am

you can’t transfer or change ownership.

this is typically the 60 day “no moves” after a transfer, but since it’s RF, who knows for sure.

You might do a whois at a “trustworthy” whois source or two and see what the “real” whois info is, since the RF whois is generally wrong.

try verisign.com or dnsstuff.com

-larry

ScottD 05.20.07 at 12:02 pm

What will be done with false renewals, when another person picks up those domains??

I had 2 domains that I had set on “auto-renew” at regfly. Both showed up in my account as renewed. However they didn’t actually get renewed and went into redemption, where it looks like someone else picked them up. These domains STILL show in my account, but they are now under enom. When I called Regfly at the time, they said “Oh well you shouldn’t have used the auto-renew function, it hasn’t worked all year” and told me they could do nothing, it was out of their hands.

What can I do??

Sender 05.20.07 at 2:41 pm

Appears there is still no update as promised on Thursday. Interesting. Thanks for letting my domains remain inaccessible over yet another weekend. Good form.

Seems to me this would be one of those situations where you are so close to a “deal” that it would be time to push through a weekend of work to get people back up and running. Afterall, for some of us this is our livelyhood.

Where do we write to complain of current ICANN management and practices?

Jeremy 05.20.07 at 5:29 pm

Something should have been solid before someone came and posted that some sort of deal existed, only for them to come back and say that no such deal exists.

Seriously, before the original post was made, checks should have been done to make sure that the deal was concrete.

Justin 05.20.07 at 8:03 pm

Kieren,

I sent you an email as requested but I never heard anything back from you. Please take a moment to respond to my email.

Thank you,

Registerflies Admin

Jen 05.20.07 at 11:07 pm

This has been a nightmare for me, too, but I am grateful that there is SOMEONE trying to do something to help me get this mess sorted out (soon…?). It’s been frustrating and embarassing to try and explain to my customers why our sites are gone and why I can no longer receive email at my regular addresses and I have definitely lost a lot of money because of this, but the last thing I have energy for is getting mad at the only people who might be able to fix it. Just please help us, ICANN. You’re our only hope!
P.S. Kevin Medina and anyone else who might be to blame at RegisterFly really need to do some jail time.

Judy 05.21.07 at 10:56 am

I got the same error message on a few of my domains. I found them on enom.com. Try logging in there to get your authcodes.

Andrew Staroscik 05.21.07 at 11:39 am

“When you say “dealing with ICANN”, have you been trying to contact ICANN apart from this blog post recently? If so, what has been the upshot?”

I’ll give you an answer to this. I send an email to: transfer-questions@icann.org

This is the response I recieved:

“Thank you for your message. ICANN has forwarded your message to Registerfly and asked them to assist you.”

How helpful is that?

STILL WAITING 05.21.07 at 3:25 pm

200 domains still in rf limbo. Thanks for all your help ICANN.

STILL WAITING

Pete Parker 05.21.07 at 5:17 pm

I have some real questions here. I would like to post them in this public format to see if we can get some answers. I am sure I am speaking for many others, in my same situation.

What happens to our domains that we cannot control and expire? Are they locked so no one else can register them? At one point it was published that they would be in a dormant status so they could not be stolen by scalpers.

What happens if we cannot snap them up from pending delete when they expire? Is ICANN going to protect us?

What happens if someone else does register a domain that we lose? Are we able to dispute such a transaction?

Would you all answer these questions for us?

Toothless ICANN 05.21.07 at 6:18 pm

>>I really don’t understand why ICANN
>>doesn’t have the ability/power to
>>approach the Registries themselves,
>>which is where I understand that
>>the Whois details are registered.

This is a false assumption. For .com and .net domains, there is very little information held at the registry level. The registrant is never stored by VeriSign – the only information is registrar, create date, expiry date, etc.

The model assumed by the “thin registry” model is that all definitive information is stored at the registrar. There is no recourse for a bad actor in the registrar camp – which RegisterFly clearly became.

My understanding is that certain data has been delivered to ICANN, but that in all deliveries of data, the domains under ProtectFly status showed ProtectFly, not the underlying (real) registrant data. The only way to resolve that mess is to either secure the help of Kevin Medina (assuming even he has the underlying data), or go through a lengthly process whereby claimants can offer evidence and have the matter adjudicated. For any person thinking it will be simple – think of this as the publicly available indication of roughly 200,000 pieces of property that may be worth thousand to tens of thousands of dollars – up for grabs for the person who can produce or fake the best claim.

I believe the delay is that ICANN is trying to determine a solution that minimizes its own legal risk and/or expense. Unfortunately, ICANN is the last recourse and will likely have to assume the burden.

Toothless ICANN 05.21.07 at 6:25 pm

the multiple registrars are each owned by a separate legal entity – either a company (usually Delaware) or limited liability company.

It’s very difficult to unring the bell – to go back and change the eligibility for a registrar credential. As it stands, it is one entity – one credential. Under liberal financial measure (i.e., any where you would likely consider doing business), it is trivially easy to establish a new legal business entity.

the reason for the multiple registrars is for drop catching – when a domain expires, VeriSign limits the chances to “catch” a domain to one shot per registrar in a round robin. Having more registrars provides you with more chances.

It’s pretty much irrelevant for any other purpose. Should not be a factor for pretty much any retail purpose, unless you are a domainer (and there, it should be buyer beware).

Kent 05.21.07 at 9:06 pm

Yep, this is really irritating. I wish I listened to my thoughts a while back and transferred all my domains a long time ago. Registerfly has been a pain in the neck since the beginning.

Although I have many domains still there, 2 were needing to be transferred but I was unable to do it as ICANN suggested. Registerfly’s site worked to an extent but not to allow for transfers in the April to May era.

Those two domains defaulted to Registerfly on May 17. At that time the registerfly dns changed to point to their parking system. Ever since then Registerfly has been making money off my sites. I really hope they can’t keep this money, however, I know I will never see it in my pocket. Although it is only hundreds of dollars up to a thousand, it is alot to me. Of course, it will be much more if this major problem is not rectified soon.

Still, someone has to sort this out and I am glad I am not the one to do it. It sounds like a thankless job. Hindsight is 20-20…just keep that in mind when you read many of these comments. I trust that the problem will be rectified…I only hope sooner than later.

Unfortunately, I think some users will get the short end of the stick just knowing the past of Registerfly. I hope I am not one of them.

Mark Emanuele 05.21.07 at 9:49 pm

I had spoken at length with Rep. Mike Ferguson’s (R) NJ (The home state of RF) Office on this matter, and I can say that his aide for telecom affairs is EXTREMELY INTERESTED in this whole mess. During that conversation, It was discussed that after the ICANN’s Meeting, the Congressman would review what ICANN was proposing to fix this and may even hold hearings.

Mark Emanuele 05.21.07 at 10:00 pm

Kieren, Thanks for all the trouble you are going through to try to keep us all informed. I hope you do know how much all of us appreciate it. If you have any inside contacts at ICANN, Please make sure they are aware of all of us who had some VERY Valuable domain names STOLEN by RF, and to please take this in account when coming up with a plan to fix this MESS. Thanks again

Mike Brown 05.21.07 at 10:05 pm

Kieren,

Although you have apologised for posting this statement prematurely, I have to say I think it’s highly negligent. Doesn’t ICANN realise that there are literally $millions being lost by businesses around the world every single day over this?

People have acted on the information you’ve provided and it’s proved highly damaging as that information was untrue.

Again, I ask that ICANN reaches agreement with Verisign to set all Registerfly expired domains to Active status until such time that the transfer mechanisms are fully in place.

I have an email from Verisign saying that the only reason they won’t do this is because they’re ‘waiting for a decision from ICANN’. I have asked repeatedly that someone senior at ICANN speaks with Verisign to try and get agreement to this. If Vint Cerf or any other senior member of ICANN reads this, please act immediately!

Whilst this move would not completely fix all of the problems, it would go a long way to reducing the impact of the RegisterFly farce and bring thousands of domains back online in an instant.

Without prejudice, unless ICANN can demonstrate that it has had this dialogue with Verisign within 48 hours, we will have no option but to begin proceedings to sue ICANN for negligence.

Mark Emanuele 05.21.07 at 10:07 pm

Kieren, I hope you realize that the VAST majority of us victims of RF do appreciate all that you are doing. Just remember that no good deed ever goes unpunished 8^)… But it also eventually gets rewarded. Again thanks for all your hard work during what must be a time that tries anyone’s patience.

Syed Raza ALi 05.21.07 at 10:17 pm

Hello Everyone,

That is great that peoples are now able to transfer domains from registerfly to somewhere else. I have transfer my all domains to other registrar. But what about the money peoples have in there accounts. We have put the payment there by trust in ICANN logo in registerfly.com , And Now Who will be responsible for the money we have there. I have $210 there this is not a little funds , Who will give me this funds , You should also care about peoples to get back there funds that have in there accounts. Otherwise i will thing that ICANN have taken all money and funds.
Thanks

Kieren McCarthy 05.21.07 at 11:32 pm

Hindsight comes with 20:20 vision.

Kieren

Andrew Staroscik 05.22.07 at 2:31 am

ICANN,

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE answer Peter Parkers questions. PLEASE! Those and similar questions have been asked repeatedly on this blog with no reply. I am trying not to spew vitriol toward you but your actions (or lack there of) are making it more and more difficult to resist. Take this blog post for example. It is the 22nd for crying out loud isn’t it time for a detailed update?

It would help your reputation if nothing else to provide us with more frequent and detailed updates. Why can’t all of your activities in this mater be more transparent?

Paul Thompson 05.22.07 at 6:33 am

Any chance of an update – It was 6 days ago since you said that we would get a full update.

Dissapointed !

Mark Foley 05.22.07 at 6:51 am

We were out of Business the moment our doman Expired

Still wating please reset to active then work out how to deal with the rest.

Every is sorry .. and working and still ???????

ChiTown 05.22.07 at 7:30 am

That’s GoDaddy, call them about it..

Bob J 05.22.07 at 7:42 am

This is frustrating for all involved. The fact that peoples businesses are suffering because Registerfly is uncooperative is unacceptable. You have a court order approved, the deal is not “done” as originally stated. Excercise the order and help everyone involved.

Obviously Registerfly cannot be trusted. Your “send an e-mail” every two business days is not a solution. You as a governing orginization need to steup up to the plate and resolve this matter or lose your credibility.

If I had .uk domains I could force the change througn Nominet, their governing body. It’s a shame that those of us using domains governed by ICANN are powerless in this situation.

ChiTown 05.22.07 at 7:44 am

ICANN has a slight problum with time it seems.
They said the Registra would be anounced 2 Fridays
ago on the telephone and still no cake.
They said it would be anounced later that day either
on their site or this blog quite awhile ago too.

The last I looked at Regfly I had 1121 domains there
with over 300 expiring weeks ago.
If things don’t get better shortly I’ll file a lawsuit against
Regfly, Verisign, Aplus & Icann and freeze everything!

I’ve lost enough money to feed every starving child in
Africa and haven’t complained about it, sh*t happens!

But now it seems like everyone is blowing smoke up my butt and doing a CYOA bit.
(That means cover your own a-s)

Someone needs to get on the ball or let someone else that can do something before Hillery finishes her 2nd term!

Beelissa 05.22.07 at 11:46 am

I do think it would be nice if ICANN could post something more current. The post I’m commenting on says that something will happen “later today” and that was a week ago now.

People have questions as to whether they should go ahead trying to transfer their domain(s) to other registers or if they should just sit tight, and people have questions about whether domains that are currently expired under Registerfly will be handled differently. Mine is listed as expired, but they took my money to renew it. It’s been listing as “pending” renewal since April 8. But yet I have a friend who renewed theirs after I did, and their transaction went through just fine. I’ve put in support tickets that have not been answered and I’ve even tried calling them and just got an answering machine.

I feel really bad for those who have lots and lots of domains at Registerfly.

bigfoot 05.25.07 at 1:05 am

They have now updated their blog with further (but not full) details.

I hope your friend has indeed renewed, but get them to check carefully as RF’s information doesn’t tally with the real world’s.

Use dnsstuff.com or who.is or one of the many other whois lookup services – even ‘fake’ a purchase at another registrar. If it is available your friend will truly get it, and if not your friend will be given an up-to-date report on why they can’t.

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