ICANN vs Local law - our hands are tied

A couple of weeks ago I posted at length and in detail about our issues with ICANN and the new contract.

Unfortunately the situation still hasn’t been resolved.

We are still unable to sign the new contract and are, therefore, unable to offer new TLDs. So if you want to register a .photography or .sexy domain you cannot do it through us.

ICANN has, however, “offered” us the opportunity to sign the new contract, as our 2009 one is due to expire in the next couple of months.

So I replied to them:



We cannot and will not sign this contract unless you either:

– Grant us a waiver as previously requested (our requests go back until September of last year!)


– Accept that we will not be complying with the data retention clauses as written due to the conflict with EU and Irish law, as previously communicated to you on numerous occasions. –

We cannot and will not be forced to sign a contract that is illegal under Irish law.



I knew that wouldn’t get much of a reply so I’ve been informed that I’ll get a reply at some point from them .. I doubt it will help..

And their latest reply to our waiver request?



Hi Michele,

In an effort to reach agreement on the appropriate scope of potential waivers of data collection and retention requirements, we would like to have ICANN’s outside counsel reach out to your attorneys in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the matter.

Would you please confirm that we have your permission to have ICANN’s outside counsel contact the law firm that provided the legal opinion you submitted, and provide the name and contact information for the specific attorney with whom we should communicate?

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Yeah – that’s a really helpful reply .. ..

So what had we actually requested that it would take this long to resolve?

Here’s the full text of our waiver request as prepared by our external legal counsel as a PDF:


This situation should never have arisen, but ICANN let it arise and seem to be incapable of dealing with it.

The next ICANN meeting is being held in Singapore next month. I’d love to not have to spend the entire meeting fighting to NOT break Irish law.

ICANN – you need to sort this out NOW!



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