[GNSO-TPR] Staff action item: origins of NACKing categories MAY, MUST, and MAY NOT

Emily Barabas emily.barabas at icann.org
Thu Mar 17 13:11:47 UTC 2022

 Dear Working Group members,

Following the most recent WG meeting, staff had an action item to research the origins of the terms “MAY”, “MUST”, and “MAY NOT” as categories related to denial of transfers in general and specifically as it relates to I.A.3.9.5.

Going back to the 2002 ICANN DNSO Transfers Task Force Final Report & Recommendations<http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/20030212.NCTransferTF-gaining-and-losing-registrars.html>, recommendation 24 lists circumstances under which a Losing Registrar MAY deny a transfer. Recommendation 25 provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances under which a transfer MAY NOT be denied (the language specifically states: “Instances when the Losing Registrar may not deny a transfer include, but are not limited to;”). The list includes “e. General payment defaults between Registrar and business partners / affiliates in cases where the Registrant for the domain in question has paid for the registration.” This same language is currently reflected in I.A.3.9.5.

The introduction of a category of circumstances under which a Losing Registrar MUST deny a transfer came with the implementation of recommendations associated with IRTP Part C<https://gnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/filefield_34607/irtp-c-final-report-09oct12-en.pdf>. The updated policy went into effect on December 2016<https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2016-06-01-en>.

In short, the “MAY” and “MAY NOT” not categories were the two originally introduced, with the “MUST” category following via later policy development work. Staff did not find any documentation of why it was decided to use the term “MAY NOT” as opposed to “MUST NOT” in the 2002 report.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Caitlin, Berry, Julie and Emily

Emily Barabas
Policy Development Support Senior Manager
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
Phone: +31 (0)6 84507976

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