Domain names: changes ahead with the new Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA)

Illustration nom de domaineThe liberalization of the domain name sphere will be accompanied by major changes regarding the registration of domains.

After acrimonious negotiations between the different protagonists, the “final proposition” for a new accreditation contract between ICANN and registry operators was opened for public consultation from April 22 to May 13. It will be compulsory for new extensions to be administrated by this proposed contractual Agreement. As for existing extensions established under previous RAA versions (2001 and 2009), the application of “RAA 2013” changes in their case is under negotiation.


As a result, to register a domain name, companies will have to modify certain behaviors:

  • The accuracy of data will be monitored 

The domains registered can be suspended or terminated if the e-mail address or telephone number has not been confirmed with the registrar within 15 days. This rule will also apply to registrants of existing domain names who modify previous data;

  • Contact information must be kept up-to-date

The registrar must be notified of any change in contact information within 7 days. The failure to reply to a request from the registrar for up-to-date information within 15 days can lead to the domain name(s) being suspended or terminated.

  • Data will be preserved

After the deletion of a domain name or its transfer to a different registrar, the data will be retained for 2 years by the former registrar. However, this provision may need to be adjusted if it infringes national laws relating to the protection of personal data.

  • Rules will now apply – at last – to proxy or privacy services

Until now, no rules governed these privacy services. From now on, where a proxy registration is concerned, the registrars will be required to forward a copy of the operator’s data to a fiduciary agent. This preserved data may only be accessed in the event of the possible bankruptcy of a registrar or their loss of accreditation. In reality, it is not uncommon in the event of registrar bankruptcy for ICANN to be totally unaware of the operator’s identity, with the same being true for the new registrar in charge of the domain name.


However, the new Agreement could still be modified after the period of public consultation if deemed necessary. The ICANN board will then have to approve the text before registry offices can sign contracts linking them to ICANN. Furthermore, the American Authority wishes to see these new rules in force by January 1st 2014.

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