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French registrar gets Whois data waiver

Kevin Murphy, March 14, 2014, 13:54:26 (UTC), Domain Registrars

The French registrar OVH has been told by ICANN that it can opt out of a requirement to retain its customers’ contact data for two years after their domain names expire.
The move potentially means many more registrars based in the European Union will be able to sign the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement and start selling new gTLD domains without breaking the law.
OVH was among the first to request a waiver to the 2013 RAA’s data retention provisions, which EU authorities say are illegal.
ICANN said last night:

ICANN agrees that, following Registrar’s execution of the 2013 RAA, for purposes of assessing Registrar’s compliance with the data retention requirement of Paragraph 1.1 of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA, the period of “two additional years” in Paragraph 1.1 of the Data Retention Specification will be deemed modified to “one additional year.”

It’s a minor change, maybe, and many EU-based registrars have been signing the 2013 RAA regardless, but many others have resisted the new contract in fear of breaking local laws.
Now that OVH has had its waiver granted, it’s looking promising that ICANN will also start to allow other EU registrars that have requested waivers to opt-out also.
ICANN has been criticized for dragging its feet on this issue, and I gather the OVH is still the only registrar to have been given the ability to opt out.

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Comments (2)

  1. Kevin
    OVH were not among the first registrars to request a waiver. They didn’t submit their request until December, which is two months after most of us requested ours.
    I don’t see why you would think this is “hopeful”
    All the EU registrars I know of how have submitted waiver requests did so in good faith and provided full documentation. Their requests are being delayed so much that the delay at this juncture is the equivalent to a denial. Forcing us all to pay even more legal fees so that our legal counsel can have the same conversations with Jones Day plus their local representative is hardly helpful.
    A very angry Irish registrar

  2. Karl says:

    Sue ICANN!
    European registrars have lost a very high amount of money the past 2 months.
    Almost only US based registars have been used for 2 months to register new TLDs due to this delay by ICANN!

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