ICANN sends notice of breach to Lead Networks

Having received a letter of complaint from the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the World Intellectual Property Organization regarding the India-based registrar Lead Networks Domains Pvt Ltd, on June 10 2009 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) sent a notice of breach to Lead Networks. 
The notice of breach of ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) highlights the generally uncooperative attitude of Lead Networks and its failure to implement Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy decisions with regard to such domain names as 'boyscoutofamerica.com' and 'itunesdownload.com'. ICANN launched an investigation into Lead Networks in April 2009, during which it requested Lead Networks to provide its records. However, it did not do so until June 9 2009. Given that Lead Networks' RAA was set to expire on June 15 2009, ICANN has now granted Lead Networks a 30-day extension to allow it to review the data supplied. 
Lead Networks holds over 45,000 domain names for its clients. The dilemma for ICANN in considering whether to terminate (or not to renew) any registrar's RAA centres around concerns that all domain names held by the registrar in question will be transferred in a secure and orderly manner to the new registrar. To deal with such situations, ICANN has established a De-accredited Registrar Transition Procedure, which sets the parameters for either voluntary or involuntary bulk transfers. However, as the demise of the registrar Registerfly in 2007 showed, there is a grave risk of loss of domain names (in Registerfly's case, hundreds, and possibly thousands) if registrars do not maintain and provide ICANN with accurate data records. Hopefully, this will not be the case with regard to Lead Networks.
David Taylor, Lovells LLP, Paris

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