New ICANN Domain Transfer Policy Effective on December 1

ICANN LogoDid you know there is a new domain name transfer and registrant change policy that is being implemented by ICANN on December 1, 2016? You can read the full transfer policy on ICANN’s website.

In addition,  OpenSRS published a blog post about the policy change. Here is how the company stated that these changes will impact its customers:

Any changes to first name, last name, organization or email address fields for the owner of any gTLD domain name will now start a trade process
The process involves obtaining explicit confirmation from current and new registrants before a change can be completed
After a change of registrant has been completed, previous and new registrant need to receive notifications about the change, with no option of reversing the change
After a change of registrant has been completed, the domain is by default locked for transfers to a new registrar for the following 60 days

I believe this change is going to impact many of us who regularly buy and sell domain names.

One of the most obvious ways this will impact my business is when I want to re-sell a recently acquired domain name. If a buyer of mine wants to transfer the domain name to a different registrar within the first 60 days after buying it, the domain name will be locked. Based on what Open SRS stated in the blog post, it appears that I can push it to their account at the same registrar, but the domain name will then be locked down for an additional 60 days when the Whois changes.

This is not going to be a huge change for people who do much of their business at GoDaddy. I believe the company already has a similar policy to this in place. The only difference is that the GoDaddy lock may be able to be removed before the 60 days are up, but it requires an approval. Now that this is an ICANN policy, this 60 day transfer lock won’t be removed.

Finally, from what I can see, the policy looks similar to the policy on new hand registrations, which are also transfer locked for the first 60 days.

I have not fully read the entire ICANN transfer and registrant change policy, but I wanted to make you aware of this change.

Thanks to Nat Cohen for sharing this information with me.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. well its hard to say how it will work with each registrar. sure godaddy has always had a 60 days rule but now in addition to that you will have to click a link in an email address two times just to change a name or email address of your own domain. this will also lead to more phishing emails.

    also you better hope no one has domains out there with outdated email address they no longer have access to them or those domains are going into a black hole come december 1st..and of course there are thousands out there in this situation who will have no clue this new rule is coming into effect.

    on top of all of that, i certainly hope there will be bulk options. if i want to change the email address associated with 1000 or 1000o or 1000000 domains i certainly hoope i won’t have to deal with 2 emails with 2 links for every single domain.

    a poor not very well thought out burdensome solution to the problem of stolen domains.

  2. ICANN needs to stop spending on travel and use some of the contention money they got
    from the ngtld .tld auctions, and use it on a proper whois info system. Patching the current
    flow will only generate frustration because all these bright new ideas are bound to fail
    when you allow registrars to lock, unlock and who knows what else; it becomes a black hole imho.

    • Precisely. I might be wrong but I feel that a lot of RegistrArs and Drop&Catching services have way too much influence on ICANN.
      So much for equal stewardship… if only it was true that one person = one vote was an actual truth within ICANN then any of us should have a fair shot on catching names without Registrars + Catch&Drop services/Intermediates. ( and perhaps ICANN wouldn’t be under so much pressure from uninformed legislators, as the one vote = one public would certainly defend them ).
      The fact that you need an accreditation ( 30k/year ) to be able to “catch” seems like
      a major factor on the fact that they cannot get the whois thing right.
      Thanks for your continuing posting of things like this.

  3. How will this affect companies like NameJet and GoDaddy who auction off expired (but not dropped) domains? Will they be able to change the whois without getting consent from the original owner?

  4. The already caves to OiC, a Muslim facist supporting group and are already going to start supporting anti-depressants speech moves to keep from offending Muslims. Obama just destroyed the U.S freedom even more!!

  5. I’m thinking this will be if only if a registrant makes a change, not if it is the registrar doing it. Several registrars change stuff like this as party of the expiry cycle or auction process, privacy on/off etc.

  6. Registrars can enable you to opt out, but I’m guessing many won’t since this “feature” is really designed to keep you from leaving and make them more money. Registrars love to say ” ICANN made us do it”

    It’s a good time to run your own cred. 🙂

  7. Interesting that a change in policy affecting every registrant on the planet does not require advance notification. See example below.

    I suppose frequent flippers would have to have an account at the buyers registrar to first transfer then push to get around the lock.

    If any “change” constitutes a “change in registration” I wonder if in UDRPs it would be viewed as “a new registration”

    What’s the point in notification of the change after the fact if there is no “option” of reversing the change?
    If a seller agrees to designated agent at Sedo or Afternic and a mistake in transfer is made, the registrant is simply duped?

    In Davis v. Talk America,
    The Ninth Circuit disagreed heavily with the original ruling, saying that it was not reasonable to expect Douglas to check the company’s web site every day just to see if the terms of service had changed. “Parties to a contract have no obligation to check the terms on a periodic basis to learn whether they have been changed by the other side,” wrote the judges. “Indeed, a party can’t unilaterally change the terms of a contract; it must obtain the other party’s consent before doing so… This is because a revised contract is merely an offer and does not bind the parties until accepted.”

    But what if the original user agreement involved signing away rights to be notified of subsequent changes? There is some question as to whether this ruling would also affect that type of agreement, but as Eric Goldman of the Technology & Marketing Law Blog says, it’s relatively safe to assume that the decision applies to this situation, “despite contract provisions putatively permitting unilaterally posted website amendments which put the onus on users to check back frequently for updates.”

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