OVH Groupe: Why can’t you register the domain name you want?

In the first article of this series, we introduced you to what a domain name is. Then, in the second, we illustrated what is the life cycle of a domain name through the creation of pokegpu.com.

While .com domain names have no restrictions, this is not the case for all existing extensions. Obtaining and owning a domain name is associated with legal obligations such as:

  • The actual use of a domain name. For example, a .Travel the domain name must be related to the tourism industry

  • Eligibility criteria. For example, the contact owner address of a .eu must be located in the European Union. Or one .Fr domain representing a city name requires providing a descriptive reason why the client wants this domain name

These conditions are set by the extension operator, the registry, and vary according to the extensions while evolving over time.

In this article, we will explain the roles of the different interlocutors linked to a domain name and some examples showing the extent of the diversity of the eligibility rules.

contacts

Many eligibility requirements are linked to contacts. A contact is a legal person (legal or physical) linked to a domain name with a given role. It contains information about the contact’s identity, such as name, address, email address, and phone number.

There are generally 4 types of contacts:

  • Registrant: the legal owner of the domain name

  • Administrator: the domain administrator. They have the ability to perform all possible actions on a domain name (change of DNS records, renewal, transfer, etc.)

  • Technical: a technical contact only has the ability to modify technical data on the domain name such as DNS records. However, they have no influence on the life cycle of the domain.

  • Billing: The account responsible for all billing-related matters such as invoices and payment. By default, this is the account that created the order

By default, the technical and billing contacts are the same as the administrator.

As a customer, you can configure the holder, administrator and technical contacts when ordering a domain. The billing contact can be modified later in the OVHcloud Manager.

At OVHcloud, the holder is unique to a domain name. The modification of its properties is local to the domain name to which it is linked. However, technical and administrative contacts are worldwide. Changing their properties will change the properties of any services using those contacts, such as other domain names or web hosting you have ordered.

As an individual who wants to buy a domain to host a blog, you will often provide the same contact details for all 4 contacts. This is the simple case.

But there are situations where the four contacts can be different. Here are some examples:

An individual person

A company purchased the domain name directly from OVHcloud

A company has delegated the domain name via an OVHcloud reseller (the company is not our client)

Incumbent

You

The company itself, with the name of the CEO

The reseller’s client company

Administrator

You

Individuals with responsibility for domain name lifecycles in the enterprise. Often the CTO.

The reseller company

Technical

You

Operations engineer managing production changes to the website or service using the domain name

The reseller company

Billing

You

The company’s financial department

The reseller company

Data validation

As explained earlier, although each registry has its own rules for registration, you must provide up-to-date and accurate data to the registrar when creating your domain name. This way, you must provide at least an accurate name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. If you fail to comply with this requirement, your registration may be canceled by the registry. The control of the validity of the data provided by the holder can take place at the time of registration or during the life of the domain name. In any case, inaccurate data may lead to the suspension or even the deletion of the domain name, according to the rules of the Registries. Thus, being the link between the holder and the registers, the registrar is subject to these different rules and must ensure that the holders comply with them in this regard.

Thus, as a registrar, we may request specific documents from you. For example, the .that is to say which asks the declarant to upload certain specific documents to finalize the registration of your .that is to say domain name. This may be your VAT number (in the case of a legal person) or a copy of your Irish passport (natural person). Thus, the register requires the provision of a document appearing on a list so that the declarant can prove his link with Ireland.

In this logic, a client wishing to record a .EU must be a European citizen or prove that he resides in the European Union. Due to Brexit, the registration conditions have changed, preventing a British citizen residing in the United Kingdom from registering a domain name in .EU. The only exception being a UK citizen residing in the European Union – they are eligible to register for a .EU domain (more info here)

The other registries and therefore the extensions are affected by these specific conditions of eligibility for domain name registration. We’ll give you one last example. Indeed, if you wish to record a .Fr domain representing a city name, AFNIC asks you to provide a descriptive reason why you want this domain and/or supporting documents. If you are the mayor of a municipality and you wish to register a domain name in the name of this municipality, for example, you will have to prove your position. Following the explanations, AFNIC will authorize or not the recording.

Finally, there are certain extensions for which the registry reserves the right to cancel the registration because it does not meet the registration eligibility requirements. For example, this is the case of .Travel. This extension is open to all people, organizations and businesses related to travel and tourism. Thus, any player in the travel and tourism industry can register a .Travel domain name as long as it demonstrates a real link with the industry. When registering your domain name, you will only have to accept the special conditions concerning .Travel in the very last stage of your order, by validating your affiliation with this sector, before payment is made.

If any of the above applies to you, you will need to update your contact information when registering your domain name. the manage my contacts The feature is accessible in stage 3 of the order funnel. You just have to click on “Manage Contacts/Owner” in order to modify the Owner’s information or directly create a new profile respecting the eligibility conditions of the extension. Please see below:

And last but not least, as we explained above, there is also data verification after the creation of the domain name. Indeed, we may contact a particular registrant at the specific request of the registry when there is suspicion of inaccurate data. In addition, we also verify our customers’ data annually by sending an email to validate their email address and update their data if necessary. This is the ICANN process called WDRP for Whois Data Reminder Policy. As registrar, we reserve the right to suspend the domain if a problem is detected during these checks.

Conclusion

Customers have legal obligations and are required to comply with the rules provided by the registers. Often these rules are related to the registrant, one of the contact types associated with the domain name, but they can also be related to the use of the domain name.

This series of 3 articles is now over. It was an introduction to the world of domain names at OVHcloud.

We have a lot of topics to cover. In the next articles we will talk about technical and commercial issues.
For example, we can talk about the EPP standard, the most widely used communication protocol between registrars and registries. And how we test our system when some registries do not provide testing platforms.
We can also talk about the value of brand protection and the value of having a domain name for a business (even for offline activities).

See you next time

Registry Liaison Manager at @OVH – Domain Name Brigade

IP Specialist – Relation Registrar-Registry – @OVH Primary Contact at #ICANN