Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Archived – July 2017 | Registration Abuse

Last Updated:


Abusive registrations have and continue to be a prevalent threat within the DNS. The ICANN community initiated several initiatives, some of which are still active, to address the most common forms of abuse, as well as, influenced many of the protections designed in the latest gTLD program. This page is dedicated to the topic of domain abuse and the policies instituted to address it.

The RAPWG developed a consensus definition of abuse, which served as a basis to further explore the scope and definition of registration abuse. This definition reads:

Abuse is an action that:

  • Causes actual and substantial harm, or is a material predicate of such harm, and
  • Is illegal or illegitimate, or is otherwise considered contrary to the intention and design of a stated legitimate purpose, if such purpose is disclosed.


  • The party or parties harmed, and the substance or severity of the abuse, should be identified and discussed in relation to a specific proposed abuse.
  • The term "harm" is not intended to shield a party from fair market competition.
  • A predicate is a related action or enabler. There must be a clear link between the predicate and the abuse, and justification enough to address the abuse by addressing the predicate (enabling action).
  • The above definition of abuse is indebted to the definition of "misuse" in the document "Working Definitions for Key Terms that May be Used in Future WHOIS Studies" prepared by the GNSO Drafting Team1.

Common forms of abuse:

  • Cybersquatting
  • Front-running
  • Gripe sites
  • Deceptive and/or offensive domain names
  • Fake renewal notices
  • Name spinning
  • Pay-per-click
  • Traffic diversion
  • False affiliation
  • Cross-TLD Registration Scam
  • Domain kiting / tasting

Working Group List:

Other Material: