ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement 2013 – Deconstructed

We had covered the changes in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement in one of our previous posts. Today, in this blog post, we will list down the policy details and the implications it has on you so that you can ensure that you are compliant with all the items listed as part of the current Reseller Master Agreement.


Here’s a list of key points from the Reseller Master Agreement , Section 4 : Obligations Of The Reseller,  that are applicable to you, and a simplified summary for each one of them.

(1) The Reseller shall be responsible for providing customer service, billing support, and technical support to their Sub-Resellers, Lower Tier Sub-Resellers & Customers.

What it implies: It is part of the reseller’s responsibility to provide assistance to his sub-resellers and customers with technical support etc.

(2) The Reseller acknowledges that in the event of any dispute and/or discrepancy concerning any data element of an Order, Sub-Reseller, Lower Tier Sub-Reseller or Customer in the OrderBox Database, the data element in the OrderBox Database records shall prevail.

What it implies: In case of a disagreement concerning any data element in the OrderBox Database, the data element in the OrderBox Database shall be considered accurate and final.

(3) The Reseller acknowledges that all information of the Customer in the OrderBox, including authentication information is accessible to Parent and its Service Providers

What it implies: All sub-reseller and customer information present in the database is accessible to the concerned Reseller’s parent as well as its Service Providers at any given point in time.

(4) The Reseller will not make any changes to any information or configuration of an Order without explicit authorization from the customer of that Order

What it implies: A Reseller must not modify/manage/renew an order on his/her customer’s behalf, without the concerned customer’s consent or approval.

(5) The Reseller shall comply with all other terms or conditions established by Parent and/or its Service Providers from time to time.

What it implies: A Reseller must adhere to all the terms that are part of the Reseller Master Agreement as well as specific conditions laid down by respective domain registries.

(6) Reseller acknowledges that Parent Products may be obtained through Service Providers, and as such, changes in structure or contracts may occur, and as a result services may be adversely affected. Reseller acknowledges and agrees that Parent shall not have any liability associated with any such occasion.

What it implies: A Reseller must not hold the concerned parent liable for any issue with a third party services/product that has been provisioned through OrderBox.

(7) The Reseller agrees that Parent Products under this agreement may be made available to Customers, Sub-Resellers and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers only after they enter into a legally binding agreement which is no less protective of Parent than this Agreement and which contains the requirements contained herein applicable to the Reseller. The Reseller acknowledges and agrees that the Reseller will be responsible for ensuring Customers’, Sub-Resellers’ and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers’ compliance with such applicable terms and conditions and shall be responsible for any liability resulting from Customers’, Sub-Resellers’ and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers’ noncompliance with such terms and conditions.

What it implies: A reseller must ensure that all his sub-resellers and customers enter into a binding agreement for all applicable products provisioned by the Parent and abide to all the terms and conditions laid out in the Reseller Master Agreement. A reseller must take full responsibility for any liability resulting from Customers’, Sub-Resellers’ and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers’ noncompliance with such terms and conditions

(8) The Reseller agrees to provide, maintain and update, current, complete and accurate information for all the data elements about the Reseller in the OrderBox Database.

What it implies: A Reseller must maintain accurate and up-to-date information concerning various data elements at any given point in time.

(9) During the term of this Agreement and for three years thereafter, Reseller (himself/herself/itself or by its Agent/Authorized Representative) shall maintain the following records relating to its dealings with Parent, Sub-Resellers, Customers, Prospective Customers and/or their Agents or Authorized Representatives:-

  1. In electronic, paper or microfilm form, all written communications with respect to Parent Products.

What it implies: A Reseller must preserve relevant records of all communication held with respect to domain registration/management and payments.

  1. In electronic form, records of the accounts of all, current / past Orders with the Reseller, including dates and amounts of all payments, discount, credits and refunds.

What it implies: A Reseller must preserve relevant order details that include payment history, receipts & invoices of all the orders

(10) 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.

What it implies: If the reseller is using their customized domain registration agreement then they need to identify the registrar of the domain name and include provisions required by ICANN 2013 RAA.

(11) Reseller shall identify the Sponsoring Registrar upon inquiry from the customer.

What it implies: If a customer inquires about the sponsoring registrar of his domain name then the reseller must identify the relevant sponsoring registrar.

(12) Reseller shall provide the Registrant with the unique “AuthInfo” code within five (5) calendar days of the Registrants initial request.

What it implies: If the registrant of a domain name contacts reseller and requests for the domain transfer authorization code to transfer their domain name to another registrar, reseller are obligated to give them the auth code within 5 business days. ICANN has mandated this in the Inter Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP policy).

(13) Reseller acknowledges and ensures that the identity and contact information provided by the customer of any privacy or proxy registration service offered or made available by reseller in connection with each registration will be deposited with Registrar held in escrow or, alternatively, display a conspicuous notice to such customers at the time an election is made to utilize such privacy or proxy service that their data is not being escrowed. Where escrow is used, the escrow agreement will provide, at a minimum, that data will be released to registrar in the event reseller breaches our reseller-master agreement, and such breach is harmful to consumers or the public interest. In the event that ICANN makes available a program granting recognition to resellers that escrow privacy or proxy registration data as detailed above, and reseller meets any other criteria established by ICANN in accordance with its Bylaws, reseller shall be permitted to apply to ICANN for such recognition.

What it implies: This will not be an issue if a reseller is using the OrderBox platform. If the concerned reseller is using API and his/her own control panel then he/she is required to deposit the relevant contact information that is submitted to him/her by the customer with our registrar. The Registrant information stored in Orderbox, will be deemed as the Registrant on record and the underlying customer information will not be escrowed by the Registrar.

(14) Reseller shall provide a link to the ICANN webpage that identifies available registrant benefits and responsibilities (https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/benefits-2013-09-16-en) on the site where the Reseller operates for domain name registration or renewal

What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website, he/she must display the Registrant Benefits and Responsibilities link on their website. Supersite 2 currently displays the link in the ‘Legal’ section.

(15) Reseller shall provide a link to the ICANN webpage that identifies registrant educational material (https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/educational-2012-02-25-en) on the site where the Reseller operates for domain name registration or renewal.

What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website, he/she must display the Registrant Educational material link on their website. Supersite 2 currently displays the link in the ‘Legal’ section.

(16) Reseller acknowledges, agrees and ensures that the Registrant accepts the “Registrar Registrant Agreement” before purchasing domain names. The Reseller shall display the “Registrar Registrant Agreement” before collecting payment from the Registrant.

What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website, he/she is required to make sure that the registrant agrees to our “Registrar Registrant Agreement” before placing the order.

(17) Reseller agrees to display domain registration, renewal, transfer and restore fee on its website for all the TLD’s offered by them during the term of this Agreement.

What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website then he/she is required to display domain registration, renewal, transfer and restoration fee on his/her website.

(18) Reseller agrees that it will display the communication and notification methods on their website to communicate with the Registrant. Reseller shall include domain pre and post expiry notice details and how the registrant will be informed about expiring domains. Reseller will ensure that the Registrant contact for expiring domain names will receive renewal reminders at least 30 days and 7 days before expiry. A third reminder will also be sent immediately after the domain name expires.

What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website then he/she will be required to display the following information on the renewal page — a> how will a domain expiry notification be communicated to the concerned registrant; b> approximate time lines when the reminders will be sent.

(19) Reseller has to 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. Reseller agrees that proxy and privacy registration services may only be provided in respect of domain name registrations by individuals or entities Accredited by ICANN pursuant to their Proxy Accreditation Program. Until such time as the Proxy Accreditation Program is established, Resellers shall comply with the Privacy and Proxy Registrations specifications outlined by ICANN at http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/raa/approved-with-specs-27jun13-en.htm#privacy-proxy.

What it implies: ICANN’s 2013 RAA mentions that resellers providing Privacy or Proxy services need to do so in accordance with the Privacy and Proxy Registrations specification. However, a reseller can only use the privacy protection service provided to him/her via the OrderBox platform which is already compliant with ICANN specified specification. Under no circumstances is the reseller allowed to use his/her own proxy service.

(20) Reseller agrees to comply and co-operate with the Parent for any Audit programs initiated and conducted by the Parent to ensure compliance to the obligations mentioned above. The Resellers chosen for the Audit program will be given a reasonable notice, at least 15 days, to provide requested data for verification. Resellers who fail the Audit program will be given an opportunity to fix the deficiencies before any escalated action is taken by the Parent. Failure to fix the deficiencies within a reasonable time allotted by the Parent may result in suspension of the Reseller account and subsequent termination of the Agreement.

What it implies: Resellerclub is working on our own reseller audit program to ensure that our resellers are fully compliant with our Reseller – Master agreement and ICANN guidelines. If we notice any deficiencies then our team will work with the resellers and assist them to achieve full compliance.

 

Please note that the above mentioned implications of the RAA are applicable to our business with you as well as your business with your sub-resellers and customers. However, any audit related process that we may conduct, will only be applicable to you.

We hope this post has clarified all your doubts regarding the implications of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement on you. If you have any queries that haven’t been covered in this post, please get in touch with us and we would be happy to assist you.