ICANN: Locking of a Domain Name Subject to UDRP Proceedings – Initial Report

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): The Generic Names Supporting Organization Working Group tasked with addressing the issue of locking of a domain name subject to Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) Proceedings has published its Initial Report for public comment.
Current Status: The Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group has published its Initial Report and is soliciting community input on the preliminary recommendations contained in the report.
Next Steps: Following review of the public comments received, the Working Group will continue its deliberations and finalize its report for submission to the GNSO Council.
Detailed Information

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose: 

In its Initial Report [PDF, 883 KB], the PDP Working Group presents eleven preliminary recommendations, which are expected to usefully clarify and standardize how a domain name is locked and unlocked during the course of a UDRP Proceeding for all parties involved. Amongst others, these recommendations include:

  • A definition of ‘locking’ in the context of a UDRP Proceeding – the term “lock” means preventing any changes of registrar and registrant [without impairing the resolution of the domain name]1 (Preliminary recommendation #1)
  • Proposed modification of the UDRP rules to no longer require that the complainant sends a copy of the complaint to the respondent to avoid cyberflight2 (Preliminary recommendation #2)
  • Requirement for the registrar to ‘lock’ the domain name registration within 2 business days following a request for verification from the UDRP Provider (Preliminary recommendation #3)
  • Clarifying how to deal with changes to contact information and/or lifting of proxy / privacy services (Preliminary recommendation #7 and #8)
  • Clarifying the process for the unlocking of a domain name registration following the conclusion of a UDRP proceeding (Preliminary recommendation #9)

In addition to these recommendations, the WG has put forward two possible options in its report to clarify the process in case a settlement is reached and is requesting community input on these two options or possible alternatives.

It is important to emphasize that most of these preliminary recommendations codify existing practices in line with the UDRP and are not expected to require any changes to the existing policy. However, should these recommendations be adopted in their current form, minor changes may need to be made to the UDRP rules and/or UDRP Provider supplemental rules.

Those interested in providing input are strongly encouraged to especially review section 5 and 6 of the Initial Report in order to obtain a further understanding concerning the WG‘s thinking and rationale with regards to these recommendations as well as further details with respect to the preliminary recommendations. In addition to input on the preliminary recommendations, the WG is also interested to receive further feedback on the expected impact should these recommendations be adopted.

The WG would like to encourage all interested parties to submit their comments and suggestions so these can be considered as the WG continues its deliberations in view of finalizing its report and recommendations in the next phase of the policy development process.

1 The WG is considering adding the bracketed language and would welcome community input on the proposed addition.

2 Cyberflight in this context means changing the registrant information with the intent to escape from the dispute.
Section II: Background:

The “locking” of a domain name registration associated with UDRP proceedings is not something that is literally required by the UDRP as written, but is a practice that has developed around it. As a result, there is no uniform approach, which has resulted in confusion and misunderstandings. To address this issue, the GNSO Council decided to initiate a Policy Development Process on 15 December 2011. As part of its deliberations, the WG was required to consider the following questions:

1. Whether the creation of an outline of a proposed procedure, which a complainant must follow in order for a registrar to place a domain name on registrar lock, would be desirable.

2. Whether the creation of an outline of the steps of the process that a registrar can reasonably expect to take place during a UDRP dispute would be desirable.

3. Whether the time frame by which a registrar must lock a domain after a UDRP has been filed should be standardized.

4a. Whether what constitutes a “locked” domain name should be defined.

4b. Whether, once a domain name is ‘locked’ pursuant to a UDRP proceeding, the registrant information for that domain name may be changed or modified.

5. Whether additional safeguards should be created for the protection of registrants in cases where the domain name is locked subject to a UDRP proceeding.

Section III: Document and Resource Links:

Comment / Reply Periods

  • Comment Open Date: 15 March 2013
  • Comment Close Date: 26 April 2013

Important Information Links