Industry News

News > April 2007


ICANN Domain Battle With RegistryFly

Legal proceedings were launched recently by ICANN against RegistryFly have used malicious practices resulting in a number of people losing control over their domain names. reported "Controversial US domain registrar RegisterFly has been ordered by a US court to hand all its customer and domain name data to ICANN, the internet’s governing body for Domain Name so that they can be transferred to other registrars".

Domain owners have accused RegisterFly of losing over 75,000 domains. Accusations that company money has been spent on Miami penthouse apartments, escort services and a $6,000 chihuahua have fuelled a legal tussle between owner Kevin Medina and John Naruzewicz (Medina’s business and personal partner for10 years). Earlier this year two parallel RegisterFly sites were in operations, (one at .com and the other at .net). Naruzewicz controlled the .com site, but was ordered to hand control of back to Medina by a New Jersey court.

ICANN (The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has won a temporary court order instructing RegisterFly to transfer data so that it can be sent to other registrars. Thousands of Domains have lapsed due to customers being unable to renew them using RegisterFly in recent weeks, and there is a long history of consumer complaints.

ICANN has received complaints dating back to 2005, including overcharging or suspended accounts. According to reports, over 75,000 domain names were lost in January. ICANN had said previously it could not hold RegisterFly to account over their responsibilities in ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreements, but eventually filed a lawsuit seeking the company’s domains be transferred.

The US Federal Court for the Central District of California issued the temporary restraining order (TRO). A hearing will take place in April to determine if the order can be extended. The order instructs RegisterFly to supply ICANN with all customer domain registration data within 48 hours and supply weekly updates for the information.

"With current and accurate registrant data, ICANN will be in a position to initiate a bulk transfer to another registrar, either with RegisterFly’s cooperation while the company remains an ICANN-accredited registrar, or unilaterally if RegisterFly’s accreditation is terminated. In addition to seeking a Preliminary Injunction, ICANN will continue pursuing RegisterFly in the Central District of California for, among other things, breach of contract." stated an ICANN statement.

RegisterFly is also being sued by Anne Martinez, who alleges the company defrauded customers trying to register or renew domain names. Martinez claims the company is likely to cause loss of (which is attached to a business and she claims supports herself).