[DNS] Domain Name Management and renewal process

[DNS] Domain Name Management and renewal process

From: Bruce Tonkin <Bruce.Tonkin§melbourneit.com.au>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 18:46:55 +1100
Hello Mark,

You have asked a good series of questions about the processes for renewing a
domain name or for changing the reseller associated with a domain name.
This will be a long response, but I hope it will clarify things for you.

Domain names in the Melbourne IT registry database for ".com.au" domain
names can be tagged with the name of a reseller.  The domain name
registrants of names that are not tagged with a reseller's name are assumed
to be direct customers of the Melbourne IT retail operation, and receive
domain name renewal notices direct from Melbourne IT.  Domain name
registrants that have names that are tagged with a reseller's name are not
directly contacted by Melbourne IT unless the domain name has not been
renewed before the expiry date.  The reseller is assumed to be "managing"
the domain on behalf of the registrant.

Melbourne IT has an automated system to allow resellers to renew domain
A reseller of Melbourne IT represents and warrants that it is duly
authorised by the domain name registrant to request any renewal of the
domain name registrant's domain name.

A reseller can use an "add" command on the reseller interface to add a
domain name to their account.  This command can act like a "transfer"
command in the gTLD context where the name is moved from one reseller
account to another reseller account.  When an add command is executed, an
email advice is sent to (1) the reseller-transfer loser (2) the
reseller-transfer winner, and (3) the administrative contact for the domain

If an add command is executed at the time of renewal (ie shortly before the
expiry date of the domain), a renewal fee is charged to the reseller's
account.  It is the resellers responsibility to obtain payment from the

It is common for a reseller to execute an add command after they have
received payment and signed authorisation to renew a domain name.
Unfortunately often the person that has made payment knows very little about
the domain name industry, and the existence of multiple domain name

Since the introduction of the automated renewals system this year, Melbourne
IT has received complaints from the registrant administrative contact when
they receive the email advising them of the change in status of their
domain.  This seems to be a result of a person in a company that is not the
"administrative contact" paying for a renewal through a different reseller
to the one used previously by the administrative contact.

In response to complaints, Melbourne IT advised resellers that if there are
3 or more requests to renew a domain name or have the domain name listed on
their account for future renewal, without the authority of the domain name
licence holder, then Melbourne IT will require a signed authorisation from
the registrant for any further requests.

Since this process, all complaints to Melbourne IT have been investigated,
but so far a signed authorisation has been provided by the reseller as
evidence that they have permission.  It is unfortunate that some registrants
do not read what they sign carefully.

To tighten the security of this procedure further, Melbourne IT will soon be
requiring the registry key of the domain name registrant to be used by the
reseller to perform the add or renew operation as a method of authenticating
that the registrant has authorised the transfer.

If a registrant receives an email advising them that their domain name is
now being managed by another company which they did not authorise, they
should contact our accounts department and the matter will be investigated.
I am particularly interested in hearing from registrants that have accepted
the offer of a free listing in a directory, and then received an email from
Melbourne IT informing them that their domain name "is now being managed by
<companyx> for the purpose of licence renewal".

In answer to the question about the registry key:

Only the registrant can request the registry key.
See http://www.inww.com/help, under the topic Australian ".com.au" domains,
and then under the sub-topic Registry Keys.  The normal procedure for
responding to an online request for the registry key, is for the key to be
sent to the administrative and technical contacts.
Of course if a domain name registrant allows their reseller to use the
reseller's email address for the administrative or technical contacts, then
the reseller would be able to get the registry key this way.  It is very
poor practice for a registrant to not receive directly information meant for
the administrative contact.  If a registrant does not have accurate
administrative and technical contact information, they can also request the
registry key through filling out a form and sending it to Melbourne IT with
appropriate authorisation from the registrant (e.g a director of the
company, CEO, Company Secretary etc).  

Bruce Tonkin

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Received on Fri Nov 23 2001 - 07:49:43 UTC

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