“Domain Registry of America” Registrar Suspended By ICANN For 90 Days

The registrar BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES INC. (dba NameJuice.com) that has been behind the “Domain Registry of America”  (DRoA) or “Domain Renewal Group” scam was suspended by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) on the 19th of July 2014.

Brandon Gray’s ability to create new Registered Names or initiate inbound transfers of Registered Names is suspended for 90 days pursuant to Section 5.7 of the RAA. The suspension is effective 19 July 2014 at 00:00 UTC and will conclude on 17 October 2014 at 00:00 UTC, or longer if Brandon Gray has not demonstrated compliance on or before 10 October 2014.

The registrar scam sends domain name expiration letters all over the world asking for domain name renewals at the price of $35 per year. The letter comes to your postal address from the public Whois database of registered domain names. The letter seems like a legitimate bill and says something like “Domain Name Expiration Notice”, but it is actually an agreement to transfer your domain from your registrar to their registrar by paying the $35 renewal fee.

Pursuant to Section 5.5.6 of the RAA, Brandon Gray has been in fundamental and material breach of  its obligations under the RAA at least three (3) times within a twelve (12) month period; on 16  December 2013, on 19 March 2014, and on 18 July 2014.

Consistent with Section 5.7 of the RAA, during the suspension period, Brandon Gray must not:

  1. Create new Registered Names for any Top Level Domain (“TLD”); or
  2. Initiate or accept inbound transfers of Registered Names for any TLD.

The latest breach was because of this according to ICANN:

“Brandon Gray’s resellers subjecting Registered Name Holders to false advertising, deceptive
practices, or deceptive notices, pursuant to Section 3.12.7 of the RAA and Section 3 of
Domain Name Registrants’ Rights of the Registrants’ Benefits and Responsibilities
Specification (“RBRS”).”

To demonstrate compliance, Brandon Gray must timely cure all the breaches identified in the Notice
of Breach dated 18 July 2014 and provide the following to ICANN:

1. Confirmation that Brandon Gray and its resellers cease sending marketing materials that are
false or deceptive to Registered Name Holders with domains sponsored by registrars other
than Brandon Gray during the suspension;

2. Evidence of preventative and corrective actions (including implementation dates) to ensure
that Brandon Gray and/or its resellers do not subject Registered Name Holders to any false
advertising, deceptive practices, or deceptive notices;

3. Written confirmation that ,after the suspension, Registered Name Holders will not be subject
to false advertising, deceptive practices, or deceptive notices by Brandon Gray or any of its
resellers;

4. Modify Brandon Gray’s and/or its resellers’ marketing materials to comply with Section 3.12.7
of the RAA and Section 3 of Domain Name Registrants’ Rights of the Registrants’ Benefits and
Responsibilities Specification (“RBRS”);

5. Provide ICANN with copies of marketing material that will be sent to registrants by Brandon
Gray and/or its reseller(s) for ICANN’s review to determine compliance with the RAA, and
modify such materials upon ICANN’s request, until the materials comply with the RAA; and

6. Evidence of preventative and corrective actions (including implementation dates) to ensure
that Brandon Gray’s resellers comply with the RAA.

Failure to demonstrate compliance by 10 October 2014 may result in RAA termination and an
extension of Brandon Gray’s suspension pending final termination.

Notice on Brandon Gray’s Website *

During the suspension period, Brandon Gray must prominently display the following on its website
on all pages where Registrar Services, as defined by the RAA, are offered:

No new registrations or inbound transfers will be accepted from 19 July 2014 through 17 October
2014.

*Today July 21st 2014 the registrar is not yet displaying the message above.

Please be advised that Brandon Gray may be subject to escalated compliance action (including RAA
termination) if ICANN receives additional complaints demonstrating that Registered Name Holders
are subject to false advertising, deceptive practices, or deceptive notices by Brandon Gray or any of
its resellers after the suspension period ends.

Additional Concerns By ICANN

Since at least 2009, ICANN has received numerous complaints from Registered Name Holders,
registrars, and various ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees regarding the
business solicitation practices of Brandon Gray’s resellers.  Such practices were not specifically
prohibited under the 2001 and 2009 RAAs.  Section 3.12 of the 2013 RAA, however, requires
registrars to ensure its reseller’s actions comply with the RAA, as well as the Registrants’ Benefits and
Responsibilities Specification, which protects Registered Name Holders from false or deceptive
practices.  Brandon Gray’s reseller Registration Services Inc. (“RSI”) conducts business through the
brands Domain Registry of America (“DROA”), Domain Registry Services (“DRS”), Domain Registry of
Canada (“DROC”), and Domain Renewal Group (“DRG”).  As detailed below, the domain renewal
notices sent by RSI through its brands deceive Registered Name Holders to transfer domain names to
Brandon Gray.

Furthermore, Brandon Gray and/or its reseller(s) send business solicitations to Registered Name
Holders via postal mail.  The contact information and postal mail addresses used to address these
solicitations is available in public Whois data, however, ICANN is concerned that the collection of this
data violates Section 3.3.5 of the RAA.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

4 comments

  1. Its a pity that who ever is behind that Scam isn’t behind bars. I have seen way too many of those emails and mail and its sickening.

  2. IMO a permanent ban from this misleading advertising would have been more appropriate. No doubt I have received over a hundred such letters or emails from these guys over the years. If they want to offer a first year promo to transfer the name to their registrar, that’s OK from a marketing vantage point as long as they are clear on second year renewals. But don’t tell me my name is about to expire when it isn’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *