Lead Networks, an Indian based registrar, has been sent a “notice of breach” by ICANN.
The letter goes into details of how the registrar has failed to meet its requirements under the RAA and also its obligations under the UDRP.
Seemingly Lead Networks’ registrants have attracted no less than 61 separate UDRP proceedings and their lack of cooperation with WIPO led to a letter from WIPO being sent to ICANN. WIPO’s letter goes into some detail about how Lead Networks may have been involved in what has been described as “contributory cybersquatting” ie. helping registrants to act in bad faith towards trademark holders.
According to DotandCo Lead would appear to be the registrar of record for about 130 thousand domains and judging by the IP blocks they’re using is probably relying on someone else to handle some of their backend processes.
ICANN’s letter does not leave much room for misinterpretation – they’re clearly not impressed, but they are granting Lead a 30 day “stay of execution”. Whether Lead Networks will be able to show ICANN’s compliance team that they are going to “behave” or not at this juncture remains to be seen, but based on the body of evidence cited in both ICANN and WIPO’s letters it’s doubtful.
On a positive note the wider community should welcome the fact that ICANN is taking action against registrars who do not “play by the rules”. Of course not all of the rules may be perfect, but they’re the only ones we have at the moment.