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Small Web Host Calls out Bullying Registrars

Bullying Registrars

For some time now, large and prominent internet registrars have been accused of blocking domain name transfers initiated by smaller web hosting firms. While the registrars make the claim of enforcing these blocks to prevent fraud, more hosting providers are stepping up to attest that they are being taken advantage of by these aggressive corporations.

Unlawful Domain Blocking

Tiger Technologies, a web hosting firm based in Berkely, California, recently accused a number of large domain name registrars of stopping customers from transferring their own domain name from one registrar to the next by blocking the request. Under policies set in place by the ICANN ( Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers), the rules clearly state that legitimate domain holders have the right to transfer those names to a different registrar should they choose to. Unfortunately for customers of Tiger Technologies, this hasn’t always been the case.

Robert Mathews of Tiger Technologies noted several instances in which customers who desired to transfer their names have encountered major problems, being met with resistance from industry leading internet registrars that include GoDaddy, Network Solutions and Register.com. According to Mathews’ harsh words, “dedicated thieves” such as these bullying registrars can circumvent security measures that are put in place for a reason. On the company blog, he made the claim that Tiger Technologies has contacted the ICANN on numerous occasions regarding the arbitrary rejections of its customers domain name transfers, but the main acting body in the domain industry does not appear to be too concerned about its complaints. While many registrars temporarily block transfers due to changes or suspicious activity on a particular account, Mathews hints that these companies could be doing so just because they can.

Register.com was not available for comment on the matter, but Network Solutions did have a response to the accusations. Shashi Bellamkonda, a spokesman for the company, stated that some domain name transfers are blocked to prevent fraud, stressing that Network Solutions does not believe in forcing customers to stick around. He said that transfer locks are applied when a certain account shows signs of being compromised but can easily and quickly be removed if a legitimate domain holder contacts and verifies their identity through the support staff. Bellamkonda also stressed that Network Solutions fully cooperates with several ICANN-accredited domain registrars to facilitate inbound and outbound requests to make the transfer process a seamless transition for the customer.

As it stands now, the Generic Names Support Organization, an internal division of the ICANN, is currently working on the matter of Tiger Technologies vs. the big domain name registrars. However, this is only one of many problems the ICANN has on its plate. In a very short time, the number of domain name extensions could multiply significantly as the ICANN is considering introducing new designer top level domain names that allow businesses to get more creative with their internet identity. While nothing is final, this move could open the door for more domain disputes when trademark infringement and full fledged fraud come into play.

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15th September 2009
Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Web Hosting News

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