Brexit & Domain Names, recipe for Chaos?

The short answer is no, depending on the scenario.

While there are many Brexit experts, their views and opinions are not helping when it comes to making business decisions. When it comes to predictions, it might be even better to check the British bookmakers and get a sense of the betting odds if there will be a Brexit or not.

 

However, we can make a few assumptions when it comes to domain names and the Brexit, let us assume the worst scenario; hard Brexit, as in no deal.

The issue
In case of a, no deal Brexit currently slated for March 30th would deem the UK as a third country from a GDPR legal perspective. And it will not come as a surprise for most that the GDPR has a whole set of rules when it comes to data export outside of the EEA, which you can read here.

Transition  Period
There is the option that the Commission will issue some kind of emergency legislation which allows for a smaller transition period as it will be only a few months. Which is not a lot but might mitigate some of the issues.

Solution
You usually have a set of options to transfer data outside of the EU.
Adequacy decisions, data subject consent, public interest, etc.
With domain names, the options become limited due to various reasons.
The most logical solution is the use of standard contract clauses, sometimes called model clauses.
Nominet and applicable gTLD registries would include these standard contract clauses in their contracts which you as a reseller a solid legal basis when it comes to domain name registrations and transferring data to the UK.

Affected TLDs due to the Brexit

.cymru Nominet
.wales Nominet
.blog Knock Knock WHOIS There LLC
.abogado MMX
.bayern Bayern Connect GMBH/MMX
.beer MMX
.boston Boston TLD Management LLC /MMX
.bradesco Banco Bradesco S.A./MMX
.budapest MMX
.casa MMX
.cooking MMX
.dds MMX
.fashion MMX
.fishing MMX
.fit MMX
.garden MMX
.gop Republican State Leadership Committee Inc./MMX
.horse MMX
.law MMX
.london Dot London Domains Ltd./MMX
.luxe MMX
.miami MMX
.rodeo MMX
.surf MMX
.vip MMX
.vodka MMX
.wedding MMX
.work MMX
.yoga MMX
.broadway Celebrate Broadway Inc.

And last but not least, .UK and .CO.UK.

In the above scenario where domain name resellers or registrars in the EU register domain names in the UK for their customers who are in scope of the GDPR (art 2&3), there seems to be plenty of time and not much to worry about.

The not so clear scenario
It becomes very complicated when you create scenarios with domain name resellers in the UK also dealing with customers from the EU, registering domain names in China or Russia or the USA using a domain name registrar located in Europe.
It goes beyond the scope of this article to flesh out every scenario to the core or the bone.

A pragmatic approach to deal with this scenario or other scenarios could be mapping each data flow and check what legal basis you have used pre-Brexit.

Did you use EU adequacy decisions as a legal basis, can you still use them?
Was the legal basis consent? Do you need to update such approval?
If Privacy Shield is the legal basis to transfer data to the USA what are the options?
Even with a transition period, there is much ground to be covered. If there will be no transition period options will be very limited.

The when Satan will ice skate to work scenario
If the ICANN EPDP workgroup who are currently struggling with the EU GDPR would recommend that thick whois registries are a thing from the past and no longer there is a need to send personal data to the registry, then there is of course in the case of gTLDs no issue at all, let alone you require a legal basis.
The EPDP team final report is slated for February 1. The ICANN board would have to accept such recommendations and undo a decision they made in 2012 when they decided all registries should operate a thick whois.
Given the divide within the EPDP team, I doubt we will see much solid recommendations, let alone a speedy process of implementation.

For more information and tools on data protection in combination with the Brexit please visit the ICO website.

3 reasons why your customers should have their blog on a .blog

Nope, this post is not about WHY they should blog, plenty of blog posts about that floating around. Forr example this blog, Dechay Watts has sprouted an impressive number of 19 reasons.  One of my favorites is number 9, It can be fun.

 

Back on topic “3 reasons why your customers should have their blog on a .blog”

1. You can choose a fresh new domain name for you blog

You might have had to compromise when you choose your companies domain name or you want to pick a snazzy name for your blog. With a current number of well over 100k, you can call the number of  .blog registrations still modest. The good news is, there are still quite some great names to register to pick up. For example everythingdomains.blog… oops… taken. Anyway, you surely get the drift.

2. Your blog will be easier to maintain

If your blog has its own .blog  you can maintain it more easily, no more dependencies of a tech department. Once your preferred blog CMS software is installed and everything has been set up, you’re good to go. Just write and publish to your heart’s desire.

3.  A .blog linking to your company website gets you SEO brownie points

Backlinks are, next to content, King when it comes to SEO value. With your own .blog you can create valuable backlinks to your company’s website. This will certainly drive your SEO ratings up. And that is exactly what you want, don’t you? More potential customers visiting your website.

So, if you if you still haven’t got a blog, create one. For the reason WHY I refer you to blog posts dedicated to that particular topic. If you already a blog, make sure your next blog post is about “X reasons why you should put your blog on a .blog

Happy blogging and domain selling!

4 tips to effectively boost your TLD sales

At Realtime Register, we aim to empower our partners’ businesses by providing an extensive collection of TLDs to choose from. But with thousands of new TLDs released over the last few years and many more still to come, it can be tricky to market all of them effectively. Below you’ll find 4 tips to help you push your domain selling business from good to great!

Already inspired? Go to our domain page!

 

Tip #1: Present suggestions & categorize

Harsh but true: sometimes the domain name your customers have their eye on is taken. As a reseller, you can help them by offering relevant alternatives that otherwise may not have been considered. For instance, if their perfect .website domain name is taken, .site or .online might be an interesting alternative. Another way to help your customers find their perfect domain name even faster is by grouping related TLDs together in categories.

Tip #2: Showcase your offering

Sure, you know the ins and outs of your TLD portfolio, but how about your customers? There are all kinds of ways to get the word out and showcase which great TLDs you have in store, including using a marketing kit! For example, our brand-new .FUN marketing kit includes everything you need to develop a multi-faceted online promotion strategy!

Tip #3: Gain a competitive edge

Keeping your customers’ wallet happy is always a good idea. Sign up for our monthly price update newsletter to know which TLD promotions are coming up (or ending soon), so you can offer your customers the best deals. If you’re interested in getting volume discounts, be sure to check out our Domain Growth Program!

Tip #4: Use original holidays for marketing

Many organizations use mainstream holidays such as Christmas for marketing purposes. But why not try something different? There are lesser known holidays for almost every day of the year that you can use to create unique and memorable TLD campaigns. For instance, World Health Day is perfect for promoting TLDs like .healthcare, .fitness, .dentist or .clinic. Or how about using Nature Photography Day to highlight .camera, .pictures or .photos! Even though unusual holiday campaigns can be a good way to keep customers engaged during slow times of the year, it is important not to overuse them. Our advice: stick to holidays that align with your business personality.

Can’t wait to get started? Sign up for free!

Get ready for the IRTP-C

Familiarize yourself with the upcoming transfer policy changes by reading the Realtime Register IRTP-C newsletter and the checklist below.

How this policy will impact your business

Once the IRTP-C is in effect, the impact will be noticeable for resellers and their end users. The most important changes are:

  • It will no longer be possible to change the registrant of a domain name with a simple domain modification request;
  • Any Material Change of the registrant’s details of any gTLD domain will invoke a (branded) request for approval, unless the reseller acts a Designated Agent;
  • After the Material Change has been completed, the affected domains cannot be transferred to a new registrar for the next 60 days (transfer lock) unless the old registrant has opted out.
  • After a Material Change has been completed, the old and new registrant will receive a branded confirmation email informing them about the completed change.

Checklist

  1. Make sure your Terms Of Service are in line with the Realtime Registers’ Terms and Conditions;
  2. Update your branded email and web form templates at https://dm.realtimeregister.com/branding/ ;
  3. If you have integrated with our API, go to the Domain Manager to get familiar with the additional API commands and add them to your integration.

Pro’s and Cons of being a Designated Agent

A Degisnated Agent is an entity which has explicit permission from the old or new registered domain name holder (registrant) to change contact information at the registry on their behalf.

Pros

  • In most cases a shorter path for updates;
  • Fewer emails to the registrants;
  • Less approval required from old and new registrants during the transfer or update process.

Cons

  • You may need to make some changes to your Terms of Service to become compliant with the policy;
  • Updating your API integration will take some time.

Whether you want to act as a Designated Agent or not, is completely up to you. Either way, Realtime Register provides the branding tools to implement the mandatory communication with your customers.

 

The approval process

The approval process in relation to the IRTP-C process contains a branded email with a link to the mydomainprovider.com approval page. Once both the old and new registrants have confirmed the change, the initiated operation will be executed.

To limit the number of times we need to email your customer, we combine the approval email with the FOA email (if feasible).

The approval email contains the details of the old and new registrant, your brand information and a space for your own text. With this optional text, you can add additional information to inform your customers.

The approval page contains conditionally:

  • A check box to accept the terms and conditions;
  • A check box for validating the new registrant information;
  • An option to accept or reject the transfer and or registrant change;
  • Option to opt-out for the 60-day lock;
  • The affected domain names.

IRTP-C Glossary

IRTP-C
This stands for Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy extension phase C. This policy was designed to prevent domain name theft. Below you will find a short summary of this policy.

The policy in short:
If the registrant data is changed in such a way that the ownership might transfer to another person and / or organization, both old and new registered domain name holders are required to accept the changes first.

However, both old and new registrants can appoint a “Designated Agent” to act on behalf of the registrant. This consent must be given explicitly. The Designated Agent is authorized to approve a change of registrant. After this change is completed, a notification will be sent to the old and new registrant. 

You will find the official policy at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2016-06-01-en

Registrant
The registered domain name holder.

Old Registrant
The registered domain name holder (according to the WHOIS information) at the moment a contact update, domain update or (internal) transfer is requested.

New Registrant
The registered domain name holder after the contact update, domain update or (internal) transfer is completed.

Material Change of the registrants’ details
Any change to the registrants’ name, organization or email. Other details, like phone, postal code or country, are NOT considered as material changes.

Designated Agent
An entity which has explicit permission from the old or new registered domain name holder (registrant) to change contact information at the registry on their behalf.

60-day lock, opt out
After a material change of the registrant information, the domain names affected by this change are under a 60-day transfer lock. During this period, the domain names cannot be transferred to another registrar. However, the old registrant can choose to not use this lock (opt out).

Notification email
An email that is sent to the new and / or old registrant to inform them about the material change of the registrant information. Realtime Register customizes this notification email in such a way that it matches the contacts’ brand.

Validation
The familiar validation of the registrant information resulting from the ICANN RAA-2013.

ICANN
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.

Transfer request (internal)
A transfer request for a domain that is already under the management of Realtime Register.

Transfer request
A request, initiated by the reseller to transfer one or more domains to Realtime Register.

Update Domain request
A request to attach another contact handle to the one or more domain names.

gTLD
Generic top-level domain

Form Of Authorization (FOA)
The registered domain holder is required to accept the FOA to authorize the transfer to another registrar. Realtime Register sends this branded FOA according to the contacts’ brand.

Calendar: upcoming new TLD’s in General Availability

It is hard to keep up with all new TLD’s . Check out our GA calendar to know which new TLD enters General availability at what day and time. As we go along more TLDs and Registries will be added.

.storage 2016-01-10 16:00 UTC Self Storage Company LLC Look what we’ve got in store for you. Registration is unrestricted.
.moi 2016-11-29 00:00 UTC GMO Registry, Inc. Who? Me? The French TLD that’s for yourself. Registration is unrestricted.
.shopping 2016-09-28 16:00 UTC Over Keep LLC Shoppers will love this TLD Registration is unrestricted.
.shop 2016-09-26 15:00 UTC GMO Registry, Inc. The ultimate e-commerce TLD we have all been waiting for. Registration is unrestricted.
.games 2016-09-21 17:00 UTC Rightside Registry For all gamers and game producers worldwide. Registration is unrestricted.
.닷넷 (xn--t60b56a) 2016-08-30 00:00 UTC Verisign Sarl The Korean version of .net Registration is unrestricted.
.닷컴 (xn--mk1bu44c) 2016-08-30 00:00 UTC Verisign Sarl The Korean version of .com Registration is unrestricted.