[linux-elitists] Domain name registrar for BOFHs?

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Mon Jun 19 01:45:19 PDT 2000

begin  Doc Searls quotation:
> My cheapest and therefore best registration experience was with a 
> service Tucows had where they charged me $10. I think this is now 
> DomainDirect.com, which is not so cheap.

They offer a fairly amazing service that essentially re-sells access to
the domain registration services, called OpenSRS,
http;//www.opensrs.org/ .

I found http://www.domainnamebuyersguide.com/ to make very enlightening
reading.   It was largely on the basis of their analyses that I decided
to try DomainDiscover, which has been OK so far.

Here are my draft notes on the domain-registration situation, in case 
anyone's interested:

ICANN-accredited regitrars
have authority to register open generic TLDs (gTLDs) .com, .net, .org .

.gov domain: [USA's] Government-Wide Registration Service, http://www.nic.gov
.mil domain: [USA's] Department of Defense NIC, http://www.nic.mil 
.edu domain: Network Solutions (only), http://www.nsi.com
.int domain: IANA, http://www.iana.org/int.html
Country code TLDs (ccTLDs):  Established by ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency,
   http://www.din.de/gremien/nas/nabd/iso3166ma/ , run by
   representatives of French, USA, UK, German, and Swedish standards
   groups, plus five international organisations.  List maintained 
   by IANA, http://www.iana.org/cctld/cctld.htm .
.us is one such domain, and is administered by IANA, delegated in part
   to state and local governments.

Where does ICANN get its authority?

DNS was developed under the supervision of DARPA, SRI, and Jon Postel.
With the shutdown of ARPANET in 1990, National Science Foundation took
over DARPA's role.  NSF gained USG (United States Government) statutory
authority in that role, and, on Dec. 31, 1992, delegated DNS supervision
to Network Solutions, Inc., under five-yearcommercial contract -- which
expired Sept. 30, 1998.  Network Solutions's current contract, which
introduces competitors for some key functions, expires Septmber 30,

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) works as a
"global consensus entity", aiming at transition away from USG technical
coordination of DNS, and was formed in response to a US Department of
Commerce January 30, 1998 Green Paper,
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/domainname130.htm , and a
June 1998 White Paper,
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/6_5_98dns.htm , calling for
formation of such a non-governmental group to supervise an open,
competitive DNS-registration system with international participation,
with transition to be completed before year 2000.  US Department of
Commerce then indicated its backing of ICANN in a Memorandum of
Understanding = MoU on Nov. 25, 1998,
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/icann-memorandum.htm .

ICANN is taking over the functions of IANA, set up long ago by DARPA 
and run as a research project by Information Sciences Institute
("ISI") of USC's School of Engineering under DARPA contract, to
establish, implement, and oversee IP-allocation and assignment policy, 
to do likewise for DNS, assign technical protocol parameter numbers and 
maintain their assigned values, and oversee operation of the DNS root
server system.

Advisory groups for ICANN are
Domain Name Supporting Organization, Address Supporting Organization, 
and Protocol Supporting Organization.  

Who runs the root servers?

There are 13 of them.  About half are USG-maintained.

A-ROOT-SERVERS.NET NSF-NSI, Herndon, VA (Network Solutions, Inc.)
   This is the "primary root server".  Network Solutions continues
   to function as root-zone administrator on an interim basis, 
   unless and until instructed otherwise by the USG Department of
B-ROOT-SERVERS.NET DISA-USC, Marina del Rey, CA (Information 
   Sciences Institute, University of Southern California)
D-ROOT-SERVERS.NET University of Maryland, College Park, MD
E-ROOT-SERVERS.NET NASA Moffett Field, Sunnyvale, CA 
F-ROOT-SERVERS.NET Internet Software Consortium, Palo Alto, CA
G-ROOT-SERVERS.NET DISA=Boeing, Vienna, VA (Defense Information
   Systems Agency)
H-ROOT-SERVERS.NET US Army, Aberdeen, MD (Army Research Laboratory)
I-ROOT-SERVERS.NET NORDU, Stockholm, Sweden (NORDUnet)
M-ROOT-SERVERS.NET WIDE, Keio, HI (possibly Tokyo, Japan?)

Those ultimately define standard, consensus DNS.  Registries outside
that system include AlterNIC (http://www.alternic.net/) and eDNS 
(http://www.edns.net/).  USG policy opposes creation of competing
root-authority systems, but these outside registries are outside its

Who else has been a player in the sundry bureaucratic machinations?

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA),
   an agency of the USG Department of Commerce
IANA, http://www.iana.org/, authority supervising IP allocation, 
   definition of Internet protocol standards, and managing the DNS, 
   including delegating top-level domains and overseeing the root 
   name server system
Internet Society (ISOC), http://www.isoc.org/
International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC or Ad Hoc Committee)  (failed),
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
International Telecommunications Union (ITU), http://www.itu.int/
Federal Networking Council (FNC)
Council of Internet Registrars (CORE), Switzerland, http://www.corenic.org/
Policy Oversight Committee (POC)  (proposed, failed)
APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre), http://www.apnic.net/,
   the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) distributing IP addresses
   in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, Korea, China, and
RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens), http://www.ripe.net/, the Regional Internet 
   Registry (RIR) distributing IP addresses in Europe and surrounding
ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers), http://www.arin.net/, 
   the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) distributing IP addresses in
   North America, South America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa.
   ARIN took over this duty from Network Solutions, Inc.
National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences
Internet Engineering Task Force, http://www.ietf.org/ , which also 
   runs Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), 
   http://www.ietf.org/iesg.html and Internet Architecture Board (IAB), 

Who were ICANN's first five new "testbed" registrars for the Shared
Registration System?

America Online, http://www.aol.com/
CORE (Internet Council of Registrars), http://www.corenic.org/
France Telecom/Oléane, http://www.oleane.com/
Melbourne IT, http://www.internetnamesww.com/
register.com, http://www.register.com/

Who are ICANN's subsequent, "post-testbed" registrars for the Shared
Registration System?

#1 Domain Names International, Incorporated (WV, USA), www.1dni.com
1stDomain.Net, a division of G+D International LLC (HI, USA)
2Day Internet Limited dba 2Day.com (New Zealand), registrar.2day.com
7DC, Inc. (Korea) www.7dc.com
7WAYS (France) www.tldnames.com
9 Net Avenue, Inc. (NJ, USA) www.9netave.com 
A+Net (CA, USA) www.names4ever.com
A Technology Company (Canada) www.dotpower.com 
ABC Telemedia AG (Germany) www.tmag.de
Active ISP (Norway) www.activeisp.com 
Affinity Hosting, LLC (CA, USA) www.affinity.net 
Alabanza, Inc. d/b/a Bulkregister (MD, USA) www.bulkregister.com 
All West Communications (UT, USA) www.AWRegistry.net 
Alldomains.com (CA, USA) www.alldomains.com
American Domain Name Registry (United States) 
Animus Communications, Inc. (OK, USA) www.animus.net 
AT&T (United States) www.att.net 
BB Online UK Ltd. (United Kingdom) www.bb-online.co.uk
Capital Networks Pty Ltd. (Australia) www.TotalNIC.net
CASDNS, Inc. (United States) www.casdns.net 
Catalog.com, Inc. (United States) www.catalog.com
CommuniTech.Net, Inc. (United States) www.communitech.net
Computer Data Networks (Kuwait) www.cdn.com 
Concentric Network Corp. (United States) www.concentric.net
CSL Computer Service Langenbach GmbH (Germany) joker.com
Cydian Technologies (USA) www.cydian.com
DADA (Italy) www.dada.it 
Datasource Network Australia Limited (Australia) www.datasource.com.au
Deutsche Telekom AG (Germany) www.telekom.de
Domain Bank, Inc. (United States) www.domainbank.com 
Domain Direct (Canada) www.domaindirect.com 
DomainPeople, Inc. (Canada) www.domainpeople.com 
Domain Registration Services (United States) www.thewebsiteinc.com
DomainRegistry.com (United States) www.domainregistry.com
Domainsite.com, Inc. (United States) www.domainsite.com
DomainZoo.com, Inc. (United States) www.DomainZoo.com 
Dotster, Inc. (United States) www.dotster.com
Eastern Communications Co., Ltd. (China) www.eastcom.com
Easyspace Ltd. (United Kingdom) www.easyspace.com
EnetRegistry.com Corporation (United States) www.enetregistry.com
eNom, Inc. (United States) www.enom.com 
EPAG Enter-Price Multimedia AG (Germany) www.epag.de
ExtremeNames.com (United States) www.worldsubmit.net
FloridaNet, Inc. dba ValueWeb (United States) www.valueweb.com
FreeYellow.Com (United States) www.freeyellow.com
Gal Communications Ltd. (Israel) www.galcomm.com
GANDI (France) gandi.net 
GetDomain.com (Canada) www.GetDomain.com 
Go Daddy Software (USA) www.godaddy.com
HANGANG Systems Inc. (Korea) www.hangang.com
HKNet Company Limited (Hong Kong) www.hknet.com
IBI Company Ltd. (Republic of Korea) www.topregistrar.com
iDirections, Inc. (United States) www.idirections.com
iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com (United States) www.iHoldings.com 
Info Avenue Internet Services (United States) www.infoave.net 
InfoBack Corporation (United States) www.infoback.com
InfoNetworks (USA & United Kingdom) www.infonetworks.com 
infoUSA.com, Inc. (United States) www.infousa.com
InnerWise, Inc. d/b/a ItsYourDomain.com (United States) www.itsyourdomain.com
InterAccess Company (United States) www.interaccess.com
Interactive Telecom Network, Inc. (United States) www.itninc.net 
Interdomain, S.A. (Spain) www.interdomain.org 
Internet Domain Registrars (Canada & United States) www.registrars.com 
IDR (Internet Domain Registry) Ltd. (Israel) www.idregister.com
Internet Fr SA (France) www.internet-fr.net
InterNeXt (France) www.internext.fr 
interQ Incorporated (Japan) www.interq.ad.jp; www.discount-domain.com
Intuit, Inc. (United States)
iTool.com (United States) www.itool.com
Marksonline, Inc. (United States) www.marksonline.com
Marvin Enterprises/Global Knowledge Group (United States) www.gkg.net
Melbourne IT (Australia) www.internetnamesww.com 
Mr. DomReg.com, Inc. (Canada) www.mrdomreg.com
MS Intergate, Inc. (United States) www.msintergate.com 
NameEngine Inc. (United States) www.nameengine.com
The Name It Corporation (United States) www.nameit.net 
NamesDirect.com (United States) www.NamesDirect.com
NameSecure.com (United States) www.namesecure.com 
Name.Space (United States) www.name-space.com 
NetBenefit (United Kingdom) www.netbenefit.com 
NetNames (United Kingdom) www.netnames.com 
NETPLEX LLC (United States) www.ntplx.net
Network Solutions (United States) www.networksolutions.com 
Nobel Networks (United States) www.nobelnetworks.com
Nominalia (Catalonia) www.nominalia.com 
NORDNET (France) www.nordnet.net 
Omnis Network, LLC (United States) www.omnis.com
OnlineNIC, Inc. (China and United States) www.OnlineNIC.com
pair Networks, Inc. d/b/a pairNIC (USA, United Kingdom and Germany) 
Parava Networks, Inc. (USA) www.nAAme.com 
Port Information System (Sweden) www.domaininfo.com 
ProBoard Technologies (United States) www.e-names.org
PSINet, Inc. (United States & global) www.psi.com
PSI-Japan (Japan) www.psi-japan.com 
PSI-USA (United States) www.psi-usa.com
RCN Corporation (United States) www.rcn.com 
REACTO.com Ltd. (United Kingdom) www.REACTO.com
register.com (United States) www.register.com 
Research Institute for Computer Science, Inc. (Japan) www.rics.co.jp
Schlund + Partner AG (Germany) www.schlund.de
Secura Company (Germany) www.thefreeclassifieds.com
Shaver Communications Inc. (United States) www.web2010.com
Signature Domains, Inc. (United States)
Siteleader, Inc. (United States) www.siteleader.com
SiteName (Israel) www.sitename.com 
Speednames, Inc. (United States, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden) www.speednames.com
Stargate Communications, Inc. (United States) www.stargateinc.com
Talk.com (USA) www.Talk.com
Techdogs (United States) www.techdogs.com 
TelePartner AS (Denmark) www.telepartner.dk 
The Direct Connection Ltd. (United Kingdom) www.dircon.net
TierraNet Inc. (United States) www.domaindiscover.com
Total Web Solutions (United Kingdom) www.totalwebsolutions.com 
Verio (United States) www.verio.com 
Virtual Internet (United Kingdom) www.vi.net 
Virtualis Systems, Inc. (United States) www.virtualis.com
Web Express, Inc. (United States) www.webex.net
WebTrends Corporation (United States) www.webtrends.com 
World-Net (France) www.worldnet.net 
Xin Net Corp. (China) www.chinadns.com 
YesNIC (Republic of Korea) www.yesnic.com 

Current status of all registrars is summarised at
http://www.icann.org/registrars/accredited-list.html .

How does the Shared Registration System (SRS) work?

The USG Department of Commerce required Network Solutions, under
Amendment 11 of its Cooperative Agreement
(http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/proposals/docnsi100698.htm , 
effective Oct. 7, 1998) to set up a protocol and software to allow
competing, certified registrars access to the shared registration

Amendment 11 allows Network Solutions to charge for its registry
functions "no more than a dollar amount per registration/year to be
specified in a further amendment reflecting NSI's costs and a reasonable
return on its investment," plus adjustments to reflect certain
"demonstrated changed costs".  Network Solutions nontheless continues to
contest the amount of this fee with ICANN and the USG Department of 
Commerce, and most recently (Amendment 13 to its Cooperative Agreement)
set a registry fee of $9 per domain name per year.  

Network Solutions, as registry, maintains a gratis, public TCP port 43
rwhois service at rs.internic.net, to furnish registration-status
information (with a Web-based front end) for second-level domains.
Accredited registrars are allowed write access to the rwhois database:
the "Registry Registrar Protocol".  (Note that the rwhois database
consists of static files that currently lag the working registry
database by about a day.)  Network Solutions also offers bulk access to
.com, .net, and .org zonefiles as described in

How does ICANN accreditation work?

Registrars must agree to follow ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute
Resolution Policy, http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp.htm , with arbitration
provided (if needed) by the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution,
http://www.cpradr.org/ .  Other requirements and arrangements are
described at http://www.icann.org/nsi/icann-raa-04nov99.htm and
http://www.icann.org/registrars/accreditation-process.htm .

In order to get access to the registry database, registrars must
also sign a licence agreement with Network Solutions:  
http://www.icann.org/nsi/nsi-rla-04nov99.htm .  The firm maintains
an information site on its registry role at http://www.nsiregistry.com/

To be written:

Look into OpenSRS,  http://www.opensrs.org/
Service for bulk providers of SLDs registering 25 or more SLDs per year.
Thus, second-level providers such as JumpDomain.


info@domainpeople.com says:

The registrar you are transferring to makes a request to the NSI
Registry (where all domain names are registered and pointed). The NSI
Registry then emails the registrar you are leaving (in your case NetSol)
and lets them know a request for your domain name to be transferred has
been made. If NetSol has any objections, then they have to write back
saying so, if they agree to the transfer they have to write back
indicating that as well. Now, normally (and we all know NetSol doesn't
follow the rules of normal) Netsol will let the transfer take place if
no moneys are owed to them for that domain name, nor are there any
pending disputes with the name. Having said all this, if the NSI
registry does not get an answer from the leaving registrar (NetSol) in 5
days, the transfer goes ahead any ways. After it has been transferred-
NetSol can send you notice after notice for non payment, but it does not
matter as you are under the management of a different registrar. 

Contract change in mid-term

Unilateral cancellation

Alternative TLDs.

Cheers,                        "Censeo Toto nos in Kansa esse decisse."  
Rick Moen                                                  -- D. Gale
rick (at) linuxmafia.com

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