Domain name transfer to get easier

Transferring your domain name between registrars should become a whole lot easier following next week's ICANN conference in Rio De Janeiro.

In a predicted breakthrough for consumer rights in the domain name market, the meeting is expected to see the acceptance of proposals that will force registrars to remove all unfair constraints on transfer.

In the current situation, 'losing registrars' (which registrants are seeking to transfer away from) are allowed to hinder the process by imposing inordinate fees or long grace periods on transfer requests. Such restrictions will be forbidden by the proposals and registrants will no longer be allowed to use a website lock to enforce payment of fees for future periods of registration.

The proposed regulations require that transfer be "easy, fluid and transparent" and should be effected within about 72 hours. They even state that registrars are encouraged to automate the transfer process as much as possible.

Ken Sorrie of Icann-approved registrar Internetters said he was delighted by the proposals as they were all to the benefit of the consumer. "They acknowledge the fact that transferring domain names is all about freedom of choice."

The ruling will apply to all registrars of global top-level domains (.com, .org, .info, .biz and .net).

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