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Re: [registrars] RE: Call for Constituency statements on Whois tf 1/2 recommendations

I'm going to make a quick comment on the statement purely in my capacity as the co-chair of the Task Force, albiet with some sympathy for some concerns raised by Tim as a member of the constituency:

First, on this portion of the statement:

RE: 2. Registrars must ensure that these disclosures are set aside from
other provisions of the registration agreement if they are presented to
registrants together with that agreement. Alternatively, registrars may
present data access disclosures separate from the registration
The wording of the notice provided by registrars should, to the extent
feasible, be uniform.

Prescribing the form and scope of registrars legal agreements with its
registrants is
inappropriate and without precedent under current agreements. This
clause should be removed from the recommendations.

The statement only seems responsive to the final sentence of the recommendation, and it's a little unclear if the intent is to strike that sentence, or the entire second point.

Also, it seems that the current section 3.7.7 of the RAA is all about specifying the "form and scope" of the registrars legal agreements with registrants. Maybe this should be changed to something about prescribing the manner in which legal agreements are presented to registrants is without precedent?

(However, I'm still not sure that "without precedent" seems like a wonderful argument in any case--a lot of new policy is without precedent. Shouldn't there be some substantive reason why the change is harmful in and of itself other than the mere fact that it's not been done before?)

Today, a Registrar is required to bind a Registrant to a series of
obligations. It is a well known fact that customers do not read
point-of-sale agreements. This is especially true of click-wrap

This is the very point that led the Task Force to make these recommendations. Affirming it only provides further ammunition to those who argue that changes in the way that registrars are notified of (and consent to the use of) the use of their contact information in the WHOIS system.

The driving force behind these recommendations is that registrants DON'T read shrink wrap agreements and hence will not know that their contact information is being made publicly available through WHOIS. Hence, they should be explicitly made aware of this fact separate from the agreement that they're not going to read.

Perhaps the discussion of the difficulty of implementing this should be expanded (with some further explanation as to why it's difficult). It might also be reasonable to argue that there are other, equally or more important, elements of the registration agreement that are not specifically highlighted for the registrant and that it would become trying for registrars to separate each of these provisions from the main agreement.

Overall, it seems that the statement as it currently stand reiterates the problem (that registrants don't read the current agreement so aren't aware of the use of their data) but seems to say "but we're not willing to do anything to fix it". I'm not sure that this is a view that is likely to carry a lot of weight within the task force, and it may be difficult to find the support of any of the other constituencies.


Ascertaining whether or not a Registrant has read and understands those
obligations is beyond the scope of existing registration processes.

It is really only appropriate to obtain a Registrants agreement that
data will be included in the Whois and make this a condition of
in a fashion similar to the other terms a Registrant must agree to prior
undertaking a registration.

Since this is already required in the current RAA in sub-sections,, and, this recommendation should be removed from the
Force recommendations.

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