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ICANN Terminates RegisterFly.com's Accreditation
15 days notice
Brett_Tabke




msg:3284529
 6:30 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

[icann.org...]

ICANN has issued a letter to RegisterFly [PDF, 902K] indicating that it will cease operating as an ICANN-Accredited Registrar on March 31, 2007. Under the terms of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), ICANN must provide 15 days written notice to RegisterFly of its intention to terminate.

Effective immediately ICANN has terminated RegisterFly's right to use the ICANN Accredited Registrar logo on its website.

Between now and 31 March RegisterFly is required to unlock and provide all necessary Authinfo codes to allow domain name transfers to occur. Any and all registrants wishing to transfer away from RegisterFly during this period should be allowed to do so efficiently and expeditiously.


 

pontifex




msg:3284686
 1:11 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow, a lot of work for some people, i guess!

ember




msg:3284687
 1:11 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have one domain name with these guys and need the AuthCode to transfer it. I wrote them three days ago to see how/where to get it so we can move the domain to another registrar and so far have heard nothing from them.

cmarshall




msg:3284691
 1:24 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

The story of RegisterFly is a Geek Melrose Place.

We'll miss the drama.

luckystrike




msg:3284710
 2:31 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

well I have all my domains registered with them! This is worrying news for me...does this mean that I will have to switch to another provider now?

asg2004




msg:3284818
 5:19 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good luck to everyone! These guys simply do not answer their phones! I wonder if ICANN will do something about this. Half of the authorization codes are missing, and it seems like they have all domains set on "automatic lock".

God, this is a horrifying scene!

jtara




msg:3284856
 5:41 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

First, for those worrying about their domains: in the ICANN announcement, they said that they will bulk-transfer all RegisterFly domains to another accredited registrar after March 31, unless RegisterFly authorizes them to do so earlier.

What I don't know is if they have the ability to actually do that without RegisterFly's cooperation, and whether authorizing information (i.e. passwords) will be included. Without authorizing information, establishing ownership and control of the domains is going to be one huge mess.

This is a good time to point-out what YOU can do to protect YOUR domains. I've lobbied here for webmasters to take a few simple steps to help insure continuity in the case of the failure of a registrar. It's usually been met with "that's not going to happen". Now the worst-case scenario has occured, and a major registrar has failed. There are a few things you can do:

1. Do NOT get hosted services from your registrar, or (conversely) register your domain with your web host. This is putting all your eggs in one basket. What if you have a billing or TOS dispute regarding your website? You may not be able to move your web hosting to a different host, and, worse, your domain name may now be in jeopardy. What if the company fails? You may now have nothing - no web site, no domain name. At BEST, you might get things straightened-out after an extended down-time.

2. Do NOT use DNS services from your registrar or from your web host. Use a third-party DNS provider. By using a third-party DNS provider, you retain the ability to make DNS changes should your registrar fail, and a nimbler recovery should your host fail.

If the registrar fails, your domain name is still registered - at the TLD registry, which is distinct from the registrar. (Lord help us if a registry ever fails...) However, you may not be able to make changes at the registrar, which means you may not be able to change DNS records (if you use their DNS services) or you may not be able to change NS records (if you use DNS services through a third-party or through your web host). Indeed, this seems to be the case for many users in the present situation.

Since you may have to live with your NS records as-is, without being able to change them, for some indeterminate period, you want them pointing to a reliable provider, and preferably one that is NOT your web host. (Same issues regarding disputes - don't put all your eggs in one basket.)

3. Make your that you can be contacted through your listed WHOIS email address. Test it! In the case of a failure, the registrar, ICANN, or the registry will probably need to contact you. Make sure that they can.

4. Privacy is nice. Establishing your ownership and control over your domain is more important. Consider whether using a privacy service is really as prudent as your think it is. Most webmaster that use a privacy service use a privacy service provided by their registrar. Now, what happens if the registrar fails? Oops.

If you feel you need privacy, it can be done without using a privacy service. U.S. Post Office Boxes are cheap (dunno about other countries). I am referring to a real U.S. Postal Service box, not the private companies, which are MUCH more expensive. A phone number that goes to voice mail can be obtained for very little or free. (Hint: look at VOIP services that have "dial-in" numbers - nobody says you actually have to USE the VOIP service...). Ditto inbound FAX services. If you have a company name, use the company name rather than a personal name. If you have serveral domains registered, this is a cheaper approach than most privacy services.

Do NOT use fake information! Make certain that in the case of a registrar failure, you can establish legally that you are the owner of the domain, using only the public WHOIS information.

jake66




msg:3284967
 8:33 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

jtara, just about everything you mentioned i am guilty of!

though to present, i've only had downtime issues with my registar/host.

although i do not want my site to disappear at any time, i am most concerned about losing my .com, rather than anything else. (i keep backups the website & database, etc. on disks away from the host)

all of my whois information is proper and correct. do i need to worry about the registar holding me hostage for my domain, like registerfly customers seemed to have fallen victim to?

night707




msg:3285038
 10:21 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

jtara, much respect for a good summary.

Regfly <snip> have made me also learn about how precious it can be to have at least two registrars and not to leave all domains with only in one basket.

In fact my other registrar had been a good advisor.

ispy




msg:3285100
 12:44 am on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

A domain name is an important piece of your online business. Did you actually secure it from someplace with "fly" in their name and a picture of a fly there? Sam for Daddy.

stu2




msg:3285124
 1:18 am on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hints on transferring out...

If your Registerfly registered domain is with eNom, then call or email elida.flores@enom.com. Registerfly CANNOT help you with domains they control registered at eNom.

If you have problems with protectfly. Open up a new Registerfly account and push you domain to your new account ensuring you click to "change contact info" (or whatever it's called) button. This will strip the protectfly privacy.

If you have problems with locking. try locking and unlocking the domain and checking and outside whois with the status, every 12 hours (for up to a week). Bulk unlocking doesn't work.

If you have problems with Registerfly registered domains Auth Codes, there isn't much you can do. Some people have had some luck with the new account. Some people have had luck with contacting Mike Zupke of ICANN, he might have other mail addresses but the one I got off the ICANN blog website was, transfer-questions@icann.org. Try calling registerfly (you might just be surprized, but unlikely). Email registerfly at compliance@registerfly.com

Remember, always be polite, even if you are steaming. It's not the fault of the person your are talking/emailing to.

Finally, wait for ICANN to bulk transfer the domains to another registrar. It's going to be a mess. So make sure you have screenshots of the domains in your account, renewal receipts, that you have correct whois info (by removing protectfly, even if it means moving to a new account).

potentialgeek




msg:3285367
 11:00 am on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow. I always wondered what would happen if a registrar ever tanked, simply because of bad business, if nothing else.

Supposedly there are 2 million domains in the balance! "New Jersey-based RegisterFly controls around two million domain names for 900,000 different owners."

That would make it one of the top ten registrars? Behind godaddy, register.com, enom, etc? Wasn't RegisterFly.com one of those discount registrars? Is that how they got so many domains?

Glad I never registered over there! The damage has already been extensive:

"The split between the founders of Registerfly.com, the leading domain name registrar, took a tawdry turn last week . . . the corporation that owns Registerfly.com, made some shocking allegations against ousted CEO Kevin Medina. . . The complaint . . . alleges that 75,000 domain names were lost in January 2007 alone due to failure to remit registry fees." [theregister.co.uk...]

p/g

[edited by: encyclo at 4:34 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

draggar




msg:3285402
 12:38 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmm, they were one of the hosting companies I looed at a couple of months ago, I'm glad I didn't go with them!

trillianjedi




msg:3285448
 1:41 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

It appears that the RegisterFly website may have been hacked. The content of that is not relevant to the thread - let's leave RegisterFly to resolve it, please.

Thanks,

TJ

luckystrike




msg:3285453
 1:49 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

No its not relevant - so tell me what's relevant!? - registerfly has been hacked and my domains (i.e. on which my livelihood) are at the mercy of hackers! this is a mess.

trillianjedi




msg:3285456
 1:56 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

registerfly has been hacked and my domains (i.e. on which my livelihood) are at the mercy of hackers!

Understood, and if that is the case (I think only members of RegisterFly see this) then that's a fact, and relevant.

But the content of that hack is not relevant. From what I've seen of it, it's 99% name-calling. That is not the subject of this thread. We do not need to see what the hackers wrote.

I appreciate this must be an unbelievably nerve-wrecking time for RegisterFly members, but we need to keep this thread on track and factual.

gpmgroup




msg:3285479
 2:24 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Excellent advice from jtara

I would add

Don't leave it while the last minute to renew - Always be paid up for at least a year in advance, multiples of years for names that are important.

That removes deletion cycle worries if it all does go wrong because sorting out the mess as this shows, is likely to be weeks or months.


Wow. I always wondered what would happen if a registrar ever tanked, simply because of bad business, if nothing else.

ICANN and the GNSO should take note of what has happened because if the same thing happens to one of their "proposed in the name of competition new registries" the fallout could effect 10 times as many people down the line.

Vamm




msg:3285504
 3:22 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

The _exact_ content is not relevant.
I understand the situation as follows:

There are two men (groups) fighting to control the server.
When party "A" has control, they post some swearing, name calling, and so on.
When party "B" has control, they revert things party "A" does.

So far, none of them interfered with the primary control panel functions. Unless someone wipes the data feeling their time runs out, as a last measure of revenge, system will remain functional. I.e. so far noone shown any interest in taking it down as a whole.

Hope that clarifies.

Additional edit: the "hackers" are not from outside the company. They appear to be the employes (2nd director?) of RegisterFly or like that.

[edited by: Vamm at 3:25 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]

PowerUp




msg:3285527
 4:04 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

2. Do NOT use DNS services from your registrar or from your web host. Use a third-party DNS provider. By using a third-party DNS provider, you retain the ability to make DNS changes should your registrar fail, and a nimbler recovery should your host fail.

If the registrar fails, your domain name is still registered - at the TLD registry, which is distinct from the registrar. (Lord help us if a registry ever fails...) However, you may not be able to make changes at the registrar, which means you may not be able to change DNS records (if you use their DNS services) or you may not be able to change NS records (if you use DNS services through a third-party or through your web host). Indeed, this seems to be the case for many users in the present situation.

Since you may have to live with your NS records as-is, without being able to change them, for some indeterminate period, you want them pointing to a reliable provider, and preferably one that is NOT your web host. (Same issues regarding disputes - don't put all your eggs in one basket.)

Can someone explain this to me? I don't quite understand. What's a DNS service / DNS service provider?

wildbest




msg:3285557
 4:57 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can someone explain this to me? I don't quite understand. What's a DNS service / DNS service provider?

Theory is one thing and practice very often is something quite different.

Having one registrar/domain registration provider, another web host provider and a third-party DNS provider is a bad choice. Too often such a situation would result in support request loops...

If your domain is not resolving for some reason you send support request to your registrar. But what about if they say that everything seems okay at their end and you should check with your hosting provider?! Your hosting provider would claim the same and that you should check with your DNS provider. Your DNS provider would send you back to your registrar or hosting provider... :)

jtara




msg:3286003
 7:29 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

There's some additional information available on an ICANN blog:

[omblog.icann.org...]

Good news: ICANN has taken steps to prevent RegisterFly domains from being dropped by registries while the mess is being sorted-out.

Bad news: It appears my suspicions about ICANN's ability (or inability) to bulk-transfer RegisterFly's domains without their cooperation were on the mark. ICANN is now taking legal action in federal court to attempt to get copies of RegisterFly's databases containing customer data. First, ICANN has to prevail in court. Then, they have to actually get their hands on the data. Given the volatility of the situation, that certainly is not a given.

The only good that can come from this is that ICANN will now be forced to develop procedures that will insure that the NEXT time a major registrar fails, the transition will be handled smoothly and without loss of domains, and will develop procedures insuring that ICANN has access to copies of customer data as part of routine operations, without requiring action and cooperation on the part of the registrar.

An alternative future is that it slowly dawns on all what a bad idea the multiple-registrar system is as currently designed. If ICANN has to collect all customer data as a part of routine operation, in order to safeguard against registrar failue, doesn't ICANN then become, in effect, a single central registry? So, do we then go back to where we started many years ago?
-----

In answer to PowerUp's question and wildbest's concerns regarding third-party DNS:

A DNS server is a name look-up service. You give the DNS server a domain name, it gives you an IP address. DNS servers have a core role in the Internet - that of allowing sites to be looked-up by name.

Part of your registration data is the address(es) of your DNS server(s). (You are required to have at least two DNS servers.) This is most often referred to as your "nameservers".

You are free to provide DNS service in any way you want to. You can provide your own DNS servers. You can use DNS servers provided by your web host. You can use DNS servers provided by your registrar. You can use DNS servers provided by a third-party service provider. It's up to you.

DNS servers are NOT a part of core registration services. A registrar is NOT required to provide DNS servers. Most do, as a convenience to their customers. Some don't. As well, many web hosting companies provide DNS service as a convenient freebie. So, many webmasters have two FREE choices. So, am I insane suggesting that you PAY somebody else to provide a service that two companies are already offering you for free?

Really, I think we'd all be better off if none did. It's confusing, and many webmasters are of the erroneous opinion that DNS service is part of registration service. It isn't. It's a convenient freebie. IMO, you gets what you pays for.

I disagree that using third-party DNS is likely to result in "support request loops". It's easy to disgnose where a failue to access a site lies - with the registry, the DNS provider, or the web site - and every webmaster NEEDS to have to knowledge and tools to do so.

I hope it's not a violation of the TOS here to mention that dnsreport.com provides a through, free, online instant evaluation of DNS-related problems. Give it your website address, and it will give you a detailed report indicating any problems that it found. Do it now. I'll bet it finds problems for 10-20% or more of you.

Between dnsreport.com, whois, and nslookup/dig, you should be able to diagnose any DNS-related problem.

Blacksheep




msg:3286883
 3:55 am on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jatara Thank-you for the DNS recommendation.

I have spent the last 30 days trying to get a domain transferred from register-old to register-NEW after three failed attempts and not knowing who to "Blame" (Old or New) I decided to try the transfer with register-3

Made the request 10:00PM SATURDAY Transfer was completed 5:00PM Monday Just 43 hours later.

I had already decided to KEEP my domains and Hosting separate, but had never thought to keep the DNS control separate also.

Thanks for taking the time to educate this newbie!

[edited by: Webwork at 6:14 am (utc) on Mar. 20, 2007]
[edit reason] WebmasterWorld TOS - Please, no "sticky me" posts [/edit]

phranque




msg:3286929
 8:04 am on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Between dnsreport.com, whois, and nslookup/dig, you should be able to diagnose any DNS-related problem.

i often use a treasure trove full of links to free/online/instant tools (such as dnsreports.com) that was created by Gunter Ollmann, currently Director of Security Strategy for (recently acquired by) IBM Internet Security Systems:
[technicalinfo.net...]

[hint]i can't imagine why there isn't a home page link to a similar set of tools on WebmasterWorld[/hint]

crobb305




msg:3295429
 2:47 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I tried to create an excel list of my domains, and I kept getting an error. I guess you have to enter these domains one at a time, manually, at your new registrar? This is a ridiculous mess.

simonuk




msg:3295440
 2:58 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

With all this going on it is quite shocking to see the site carrying on as if nothing has happened.

crobb305




msg:3295449
 3:08 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of my domains is locked and the system will NOT let me unlock it. Therefore I can't transfer it. Support has not replied to my ticket on the issue.

night707




msg:3295555
 5:02 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

With all this going on it is quite shocking to see the site carrying on as if nothing has happened

Indeed, amazing that the regfly site can still sell services though there must be a lot of domain owners that have become victims of regfly activities.

Why does no one stop that?

crobb305




msg:3295597
 6:07 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

What is going to happen to domains that I can't transfer? Also, the transfer of several dozen domains is very expensive; it should be FREE, paid for by registerfly. They still have the ICANN logo on their site and it looks like it is business as usual. They have no notices up, nothing. They are just ripping people off at this point.

night707




msg:3296997
 3:26 am on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Now ICANN, Enom and registerfly are getting sued by irate customers. I also wonder, why no FBI or police has moved in to prevent further damage and losses

[theregister.co.uk...]

crobb305




msg:3297918
 10:18 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are there any registrars out there who are working with webmasters to make bulk transfers as painless as possible? Time is running out and I have had a very difficult time getting things unlocked and transfered. I get authorization failures, etc. Registerfly will not let me unlock some of my domains. They need to get the pants sued off them, and put away if anyone loses their domains and livelihood.

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40 ( [1] 2 > >
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