Is a reseller bound by ICANN rules? (1 Viewing)

Community Guide
Nov 4, 2020
Toronto, ON
Pro Tip: If you have currently registered your domain name through a reseller, do yourself a favor and transfer your domain name to a registrar instead.If your reseller goes under (shuts down), then you're going to have a major problem with your domain name(s). They're not bound legally to the ICANN rules like a domain registrar is. So, if/when the reseller shuts down, you can't make changes to your DNS, your website may go down, you can't transfer it to a registrar.I'm dealing with a reseller issue right now for a client through our @DNAccess domain recovery service. Reseller shut down and there's no way to change DNS or even transfer the domain name--let alone renew the domain.Since the domain reseller shut down, we're at the mercy of the registrar who is associated with the reseller, and they may or may not do anything since it's actually the reseller's domain name, not the registrar's domain name.So, look to see where you registered your domain name, and if it's at a reseller, transfer it out to an actual registrar.

Seems like we have a disagreement here, maybe someone like @FM can chyme in.
2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement - ICANN

Reading the RAA, it seems that the registrar is responsible for the reseller's actions.

I think Domain Gang is more correct on the policy, but Bill is also correct that it could be a major problem in a practical sense.

1.24 A "Reseller" is a person or entity that participates in Registrar's distribution channel for domain name registrations (a) pursuant to an agreement, arrangement or understanding with Registrar or (b) with Registrar's actual knowledge, provides some or all Registrar Services, including collecting registration data about Registered Name Holders, submitting that data to Registrar, or facilitating the entry of the registration agreement between the Registrar and the Registered Name Holder.

3.12 Obligations Related to Provision of Registrar Services by Third Parties. Registrar is responsible for the provision of Registrar Services for all Registered Names that Registrar sponsors being performed in compliance with this Agreement, regardless of whether the Registrar Services are provided by Registrar or a third party, including a Reseller. Registrar must enter into written agreements with all of its Resellers that enable Registrar to comply with and perform all of its obligations under this Agreement. In addition, Registrar must ensure that:

3.12.1 Its Resellers do not display the ICANN or ICANN-Accredited Registrar logo, or otherwise represent themselves as Accredited by ICANN, unless they have written permission from ICANN to do so.
3.12.2 Any registration agreement used by reseller shall include all registration agreement provisions and notices required by the ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement and any ICANN Consensus Policies, and shall identify the sponsoring registrar or provide a means for identifying the sponsoring registrar, such as a link to the InterNIC Whois lookup service.
3.12.3 Its Resellers identify the sponsoring registrar upon inquiry from the customer.
3.12.4 Its Resellers comply with any ICANN-adopted Specification or Policy that establishes a program for accreditation of individuals or entities who provide proxy and privacy registration services (a "Proxy Accreditation Program"). Among other features, the Proxy Accreditation Program may require that: (i) proxy and privacy registration services may only be provided in respect of domain name registrations by individuals or entities Accredited by ICANN pursuant to such Proxy Accreditation Program; and (ii) Registrar shall prohibit Resellers from knowingly accepting registrations from any provider of proxy and privacy registration services that is not Accredited by ICANN pursuant the Proxy Accreditation Program. Until such time as the Proxy Accreditation Program is established, Registrar shall require Resellers to comply with the Specification on Privacy and Proxy Registrations attached hereto.
3.12.5 Its Resellers' customers are provided with a link to an ICANN webpage detailing registrant educational information, as detailed in subsection 3.16 below.
3.12.6 In the event Registrar learns that a Reseller is causing Registrar to be in breach of any of the provisions of this Agreement, Registrar shall take reasonable steps to enforce its agreement with such Reseller so as to cure and prevent further instances of non-compliance.
3.12.7 Its Resellers shall publish on their website(s) and/or provide a link to the Registrants' Benefits and Responsibilities Specification attached hereto and shall not take any action inconsistent with the corresponding provisions of this Agreement or applicable law.
Registrar shall use commercially reasonable efforts to enforce compliance with the provisions of the agreement between Registrar and any Reseller that relate to the provisions of Registrar Services.
It's a practical problem for sure, but it should be a simple fix by going straight to the registrar and raising hell. And if you don't get immediate results, I'd pull my domains from that registrar too.

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