RE: [DNS] Registrant Agreements revisited

RE: [DNS] Registrant Agreements revisited

From: Bruce Tonkin <Bruce.Tonkin§>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 02:45:16 +1000
Hello Ron,

> You're confusing the issues.  In the domain name space, the 
> contract is between the registrar and the registrant - the 
> reseller does not exist.
> In respect of domain names, a reseller acquires registrar 
> customers, not customers of their own.

The domain name licence agreement is between the registrar and the

I would expect that you would have a service agreement (either explicit
or implied) between the reseller and the registrant, with respect to the
domain name.

E.g A solicitor might establish a business registration, or a trademark
for a client.  In both cases the registration is not between the
solicitor and the end user, however the end user does have an agreement
with the solicitor to assist with renewals, change of address etc.

If you want to be an issuer of domain name licences, become a registrar.
Note the previous model consisted of one licence issuing authority
(Melbourne IT), and many resellers.  Now we have a choice of issuing
authorities (registrars), and the ability of any company to become a

Your ability to service your end customer should not be affected.  If
you are a reseller you are a service provider with respect to the domain

It is a case of focussing on what you are good at.

Likewise in the telecommunications industry you can be a licenced
telecommunications carrier, or you can become a reseller of those

If you are a reseller of say a Microsoft software licence, the licence
is again between Microsoft and the end user, but the reseller provides
customer service, advice, assistance with configuration etc.  You would
often have a service agreement with the reseller to provide technical
support etc.

> In peripheral services (hosting, websites et al, the contract 
> is between the reseller and the registrant, and the registrar 
> doesn't exist.  In this respect, the reseller acquires his 
> own customers.

There are mutiple customer relationships here (and hence agreements
whether written or implied).  As mentioned above you still have a
customer for your services as a reseller.

Again in software licences the licence provider typically tracks the
licence holder, and can provide information on software updates etc.  As
Vic mentioned, a reseller normally takes advantage of the brand of its
upstream supplier.   E.g mobile phone resellers make clear which
telecommunications carrier they are using.

> The weakness is that you (as in a registrar - not necessarily you as
> Enetica) say that you never approach a reseller's customer 
> directly by way of direct marketing.  But you can (and are 
> obligated to) contact registrants with respect to domain 
> names.  Now how do you deal with that?  

What's the big deal?  If you separate marketing from providing what I
would call systems messages, there should be no problem.  If a purchase
a Telstra mobile phone through a reseller, I still get messages
associated with the Telstra service from Telstra.

If I purchase a Microsoft software licence, I still get information
about updates to the product etc from Microsoft.  In many cases the
software itself refers me to a Microsoft website when I seek help.

I can only see a problem where a reseller attempts to deceive a customer
by misrepresenting themselves as a registrar instead of a reseller.
There are plenty of instances of this in the gtld environment.  E.g If
you were selling Microsoft software, and removed all the Microsoft
branding, and then claimed that you had written the software.

You use that vehicle 
> to direct _your_ client (the registrar) to your website, 
> where you can now regail _my_ client with offers of hosting, 
> email services, websites etc - in other words, you are 
> immediately my competitor.

If a purchase any product (telecommunications, software, etc), I can
always go to the website of the upstream supplier - but usually this is
done for information.   I would assume that you provide value over and
above what is available from the upstream provider.

> I'm not suggesting that registrars are crooks, nor am I 
> suggesting that resellers should band together to become 
> registrars.  I'm groping for ways to redress a fundamentally 
> flawed model, in which in the process of getting business for 
> myself I am compelled to hand it over to a competitor.

Then become a registrar.  I don't see how the auDA model is any
different from most other licencing arrangements.

Received on Fri Oct 03 2003 - 00:00:00 UTC

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