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  1. #1

    Hidden whois and registrar obligations

    A *.co.uk website has copied a page from my site including text, typos, tables, backgound color and border color.

    There is no contact info on the website and the WHOIS is hidden. Easyspace is listed as the "Registrant's Agent".

    Registrant's Address:
    THE REGISTRANT IS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS ELECTED TO
    HAVE THEIR ADDRESS OMITTED FROM THE WHOIS DATABASE
    Registrant's Agent:
    EasySpace Limited [Tag = EASYSPACE]
    URL: easyspace.co.uk

    I contacted Easyspace (not an easy thing to do, has to be done via challenges and multi-step forms on their website) and asked them to forward my concerns to the site owner.

    Easyspace refused ("we cannot do that") and said that I must use legal channels then contact the webhost as the webhost controls the domain not them. (???)

    Maybe I don't understand the concept of "Registrant's Agent" but I thought that they would act as contact for their client and forward relevant email. I am not asking them for contact info, just asking them as "agent" to forward my email.

    I have not heard back from the webhost and so am following the money, contacting his affiliate-parent and possibly Google Adsense (they have a copywrite-violation process).

    What are the obligations of a "registrant's agent" when domain info is hidden?

  2. #2
    I guess you should go and read some ICANN rules/requirements...
    ICANN web site is available at

    http://www.icann.org/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,974
    Originally posted by apollo
    I guess you should go and read some ICANN rules/requirements...
    ICANN web site is available at

    http://www.icann.org/
    We are talking about a .uk. domain. Like all ccTLD domains .uk domains are subject to national law, not ICANN rules. ICANN does not have the power to enforce law on sovereign states.

    Under our national law private individuals (but not companies) have an absolute right to not have their personal details published - which is why the .uk registry has to provide a Whois opt-out for registrants in the "IND" category (the categories are not visible in the Whois but have to be included in the registration template used by Nominet's registration agents).

    If there is abuse of the opt-out system (i.e., a trader hiding behind the IND category) then the registry will change the Whois entry - I have reported a few dodgy traders, and their Whois entries were usually updated within a week. Just use the general contact address that is provided on the Nominet web site

  4. #4
    Thanks Lubeca,
    I contacted nominet.co.uk last night and they have just now revised his WHOIS to show his address. (uk whois does not show owner's email).
    According to the Nominet rules only "consumers" not "businesses" can hide their details.

    My question remains however...
    What are the obligations of a "registrant's agent" (Easyspace, Wild West etc...) when domain info is hidden?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    Posts
    3,937
    i think that is still unclear asymptote, once we have a few lawsuits it will become clearer, but at the moment... I think it is very arguable.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,974
    Originally posted by kohashi
    i think that is still unclear asymptote, once we have a few lawsuits it will become clearer, but at the moment... I think it is very arguable.

    If - as in this case - it's a .uk registration through a UK-based agent then it is covered by (a) Nominet's terms and conditions and (b) UK Data Protection laws. If a registration agent knowingly abuses the opt-out system then they are in breach of Nominet's terms and conditions and Nominet will have to deal with it (and my experience is that they will).

    However, registration agents are under no obligation to provide information about their customers to third parties - and would indeed be in breach of data protection laws if they were to provide a third party with the name and address of a private individual.

  7. #7
    I understand that they cannot release info to a third party.
    But as an "agent" aren't they obligated to pass on info to the owner regarding disputes?

    PS: the webhost has contacted the owner, who has now pulled all content from his site. Maybe it will come back in another form.

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