The CEO of the .ie Domain Registry has rejected criticism aimed at his organisation by a group of domain registrars planning a campaign to overhaul existing IEDR policy which they claim is too restrictive.
Curtin, who took the reins of the IEDR in 2002 when it was almost bankrupt and made it the profitable organisation it is today, told Siliconrepublic that he doesn’t believe the views of the group – which includes SpiralHosting.com and WebWorld.ie – to be representative of the overall community of registrars in Ireland.
The group has invited registrars to attend a meeting in Dublin next Friday 30 March where they will be calling for an overall of the domain space in Ireland.
They have argued that the current domain prices for .ie domains are too expensive and that the current system does not protect them sufficiently from domains being transferred against their permission.
They also assert that businesses find the policies too restrictive and a "barrier to growth."
Protecting registrants and registrars of domain names
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com tonight Curtin said: "I think it’s a pity that they have not engaged with us before calling this meeting on prices and domain transfer issues.
“Firstly I would like to point out that we have a very secure system for transfers. The registrant has protection and the registrar is protected in what is one of the most secure and safest systems in the world. We would look for authorization from the administration contact and representative of the legal owner of the domain who must consent for transfer of the domain – this method counters illicit means of transferring domains.
“Secondly when a registrar has been dealing with a customer we put a lock on the domain so that up until when the payment comes through from the registrar the domain cannot be transferred.
“This method protects both registrants and registrars of domains and there is no such protection in the wider dot.com space," Curtin said.
The IEDR, which maintains over 170,000 .ie domains was named last year by McAfee as one of the five safest TLDs in the world.
On the issue of price Curtin explained that last year the IEDR dropped the price of registering a .ie domain by two-thirds for a period of six months that ended in October.
“We saw a brief increase in registrations during that time – a blip – but nothing of the magnitude that would suggest we should permanently keep the prices down."
Curtin said that he is also certain the views of the group of registrars is not representative of the registrar community as a whole because he can guage the situation from the numbers of complaints he is getting from registrars.
“I haven’t had the kind of engagement that would suggest registrars here are unhappy.
“I would acknowledge that the price of registering a .ie domain is higher than a .com but we as a country don’t have the economies of scale that .com has.
“In the overall context of setting up a website and registering a domain I don’t think the price of the .ie domain is restrictive or is in any way deterring or slowing down commerce. Certainly not," Curtin told Siliconrepublic.com.