Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

ICA baffled by plan to outlaw domaining in India

Kevin Murphy, July 11, 2023, 17:10:56 (UTC), Domain Registries

The Internet Commerce Association isn’t happy about a plan to ban domain investing in India’s .in domain, saying it will “destroy a valuable and thriving secondary market”.

NIXI, the government-overseen ccTLD registry, already has a policy in its Registrar Accreditation Agreement that bans registrars from “squatting, grabbing, hoarding, infringement, auctioning, drop catch or selling of the .IN domain names at a exceptionally higher price than the published MRP”.

The registry says that registrars are using registrants as proxies to get around this rule, and is now proposing to extend the ban from registrars to registrants as well.

It’s the latest in a series of strange, Draconian policy pronouncements from NIXI, which increasingly gives the impression of being ruled by fiat. Last year, it banned people from buying more than two domains at once.

The ICA, which represents the interests of domainers, has responded to the policy proposal with 10 arguments against it, largely designed to shame NIXI for acting against the Indian government’s pro-market stance, suggesting the change may well be illegal, and pointing out it is probably shooting itself in both feet at once, financially speaking.

On that last point, ICA general counsel Zak Muscovitch wrote:

NIXI will potentially face a dramatic loss of revenue as a result of its purported policy change as affected registrants will be compelled to drop their domain names and thereby not remit any renewal fees or fees for new registrations. In effect, NIXI will be going backwards in time by greatly reducing the number of registrations and its associated revenue thereby possibly having to rely upon new government funding for its operations

The number of affected registrations could potentially be in the hundreds of thousands or millions. You would be well advised to conduct a study to determine the volume of affected registrations prior to making such a monumental decision. After changing the policy, you will likely no longer be “one of the Fastest Growing Domain in the Asia Pacific”, but rather the opposite.

While NIXI does not regularly publish its numbers, it is believed to have well over three million domains under management. It’s a big ccTLD, but relatively small compared to India’s population of 1.4 billion. The only other country with a comparable population, China, has about 20 million .cn domains.

Tagged: ,

Add Your Comment