As first advised in August 2014 (/story/consultation-paper-additional-provisions-relating-resellers), the Domain Name Commission proposes amending the Roles and Responsibilities Policy (RAR) to include additional provisions around the management of .nz domain name resellers.
Clause 3.15 of the RAR currently states that all registrars:
Be responsible for all actions of any person or organisation acting as a reseller through the authorised registrar. Resellers are required to meet the same obligations and standards as registrars in their dealings with domain names and registrants. If a registrar does not offer registry services to what the DNC, in the DNC's sole discretion, may decide is the public, or any section of the public however that section is selected, then all users of the registrar's services will be resellers for the purposes of the .nz policies. For these purposes "the public" can include government departments, offices or agencies. Ensure that any organisation, whether a reseller or not, working in any way through or with the registrar's systems operates in a manner consistent with the .nz policies.
It is proposed to amend this to read that all registrars:
3.15 Be responsible for all actions of any person or organisation acting as a reseller through the authorised registrar. Resellers are required to meet the same obligations and standards as registrars in their dealings with domain names and registrants and registrars will be responsible for monitoring the activities of their resellers to ensure they are compliant. Where resellers are not meeting their obligations and standards the following process will apply:
3.15.1 The registrar will raise the issue with the reseller as soon as possible after the breach is identified setting out the reasons they are in breach and what remedies are required. They should also specify the timeframe the reseller has to remedy and the consequences if the remedies are not completed within the required timeframe. The registrar is encouraged to seek the guidance of the DNC before specifying such activities.
3.15.2 The timeframe to remedy the breach or breaches must be reasonable and reflect the seriousness of the non-compliance. That is, more urgent changes will be needed if the breach actions are serious with major consequences for the registrants.
3.15.3 Where the breach has not been remedied by the deadline, the registrar will advise the DNC of the situation and apply for approval to proceed to invoke the consequences of the non-compliance. Such consequences may include transferring responsibility for managing the .nz names involved from the reseller account to the direct responsibility of the registrar.
3.15.4 Transferring responsibility of the names from the reseller to the registrar is a significant step that impacts the relationship the registrant has with their provider so will only be considered where the registrar can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the DNC that:
18.104.22.168 the resellers actions are in breach of the .nz policies such that registrants are being negatively impacted; and
22.214.171.124 the reseller has been advised of its breach or breaches of the .nz policies, what it needs to do to remedy the situation by a defined timeframe and what the consequences are of failing to make the remedies in the timeframe; and
126.96.36.199 the timeframe given is fair and fits with the seriousness of the non-compliance; and
188.8.131.52 the registrar has a contract / agreement with the reseller that sets out the possibility of the control of the names transferring to the direct control of the registrar in the case of a breach.
3.15.5 In exceptional circumstances, even if no formal agreement between the reseller and the registrar exists, the DNC may order the names transferred to the direct control of the registrar. This action will only be undertaken after the DNC has also taken steps with the reseller to assist them in becoming compliant and after following due process in any investigation that could lead to their names being transferred to the registrar.
3.15.6 For the purpose of this policy, any organisation or person working in any way through or with the registrar’s systems in registering or managing .nz domain names on behalf of a third party can be considered a reseller and be required to operate in a manner consistent with the .nz policies.
The DNC will be developing a standard agreement that registrars will be able to use with their resellers. This agreement will include provisions that enable this policy to be enforced if the process is followed and will also incorporate a clause that the agreement between the registrar and the reseller may be enforced by the DNC. This contract will be developed even if the other policy proposals, as set out in this document, do not proceed.
Submissions on this proposal closed midday on Tuesday, 27 January 2015, and are published below.