If you’ve registered even a few domains over the past ten years, you’ve likely received at least a few letters from a company named the Domain Registry of America (DROA).
The DROA is famous for sending snail mail letters out to domain owners, typically around the time one or more of their domains are set to expire, with an offer to “renew” the domain, which was in reality a transfer to them, making them your new domain registrar.
This method of obtaining transfers is commonly referred to as “domain slamming” and it’s made worse by the fact the DROA registration fees were significantly hire than most registrars, currently at $35 for a one-year registration when under $10 is more normal.
However, I recently received word from my good friend and podcast cohost Patrick Okeefe that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the group responsible for the domain name system, has suspended the DROA’s ability to process new registrations (PDF) and may to terminate it completely.
While this doesn’t mean that the DROA is completely out of business, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute, it is a strong blow for webmasters everywhere, even if it raise some serious and uncomfortable questions.Continue Reading