ICANN: Proposed Renewal of .BIZ gTLD Registry Agreement

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): ICANN is posting today for public comment a proposed agreement for renewal of the Registry Agreement for .BIZ. This proposal is a result of discussions between ICANN and Neustar, Inc.
Current Status: The .BIZ Registry Agreement is scheduled to expire 30 June 2013.
Next Steps:After review of the public comments received, the ICANN Board will consider the proposed .BIZ Registry Agreement for renewal.
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose:

ICANN is posting today for public comment a proposed agreement for renewal of the Registry Agreement for .BIZ. This proposed draft is the result of discussions between ICANN and Neustar, Inc., and will be considered by the ICANN Board after public comment. The current agreement is scheduled to expire on 30 June 2013.

The current registry agreement for .BIZ, like other registry agreements, provides for presumptive renewal so long as certain requirements are met. The agreement also provides that upon renewal, changes may be made to render the terms similar to other comparable agreements. The proposed renewal agreement includes modified provisions to make the agreement in line with other comparable agreements, as well as additional provisions that are currently proposed in the final draft of the New gTLD Registry Agreement posted for public comment.

Included in the proposed renewal agreement are the following provisions:

  • Threats to Security and Stability: A new provision has been added to allow the registry operator to temporarily prevent the registration of one or more names in the TLD in order to respond to an imminent threat to the security and/or stability of the TLD or the Internet.
  • Use of Registrars Accredited Under the 2013 RAA: A new provision is included to require the registry operator to amend its Registry-Registry Agreement to require registrars to use the 2013 RAA if registrars representing 67% of the registrations in the TLD sign the 2013 RAA. If the remaining registrars do not sign the amended Registry-Registrar Agreement requiring registrars to become a party to the final 2013 RAA within a certain time period, then the registrars’ access to the TLD registry system will be suspended (that is, those registrars will not be permitted to add new registrations). This requirement is dependent upon the registry operators of identified comparable gTLDs also submitting similar requests to amend their Registry-Registrar Agreements.
  • Emergency Transition provisions: A new provision proposed in the New gTLD Registry Agreement is included in the renewal agreement to provide for emergency transition in the event the registry is unable to sustain certain critical registry functions for a period of time.
  • Code of Conduct: The registry operator will be required to comply with the Registry Code of Conduct as proposed in the New gTLD Registry Agreement.
  • Resolution of Disputes: The dispute resolution procedures were updated similar to the New gTLD Registry Agreement to require the parties to attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation before they may initiate arbitration.
  • WHOIS: The WHOIS output is required to be compatible with ICANN’s common interface for WHOIS (InterNIC), and if requested by ICANN, the registry operator must provide a link on its website to a webpage designed by ICANN containing WHOIS policy and education materials.
  • Cross-ownership Restrictions: The renewal agreement lifts restrictions on cross-ownership of registry operators and registrars or registrar resellers.

Posted for public comment are both clean and “redline” versions of the agreement and modified appendices as follows:

(Note: Redlines for Appendix 2, Appendix 9 and Appendix 11 are not included because there are no proposed changes to current versions.)

Contractual Compliance Review: As part of the renewal process, ICANN conducted a review of recent performance under the .BIZ Registry Agreement. The compliance review covered areas including: Timeliness and Content of Monthly Reports; Add Grace Period Limits Policy; Bulk Zone File Requirements; and Payment of Required Fees. Neustar was found to be in compliance with the .BIZ Registry Agreement in all areas reviewed by ICANN. The assessment can be found at: www.icann.org/en/resources/compliance/reports/operator-neustar-biz-03jun13-en.pdf [PDF, 67 KB]

Section II: Background: 

ICANN and Neustar, Inc. entered into Registry Agreement on 8 December 2006 for operation of the .BIZ top level domain. The current registry agreement for .BIZ may be viewed at: www.icann.org/en/about/agreements/registries/biz

Section III: Document and Resource Links:
Current .BIZ Registry Agreement and Appendices: www.icann.org/en/about/agreements/registries/biz
Comment / Reply Periods

  • Comment Open Date: 3 June 2013
  • Comment Close Date:  24 June 2013 – 23:59 UTC
  • Reply Open Date: 25 June 2013
  • Reply Close Date: 15 July 2013 – 23:59 UTC
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