Whois Marketing Restriction Policy

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The Whois Marketing Restriction Policy is a revision to the third-party bulk access provisions in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement that went into effect on November 12, 2004. All registrar access agreements now require third parties to agree not to use the data to permit or engage in any marketing activities in any medium. Third parties must also agree not to sell or redistribute except as a value-added product or service that does not permit the extraction of a substantial portion of the bulk data by other parties.[1]


On February 20, 2003, the GNSO Council accepted and forwarded to the ICANN Board a Final Report on Whois Data Accuracy (two recommendations) and Bulk Access (two recommendations). The latter recommendations did not directly address the issue of access via Port 43 and web-based, which resulted in further discussion.[2] In response to the board's adoption of the Whois bulk access recommendations, some questioned whether bulk access under license was actually only a minor contributor to the use of Whois data for marketing. Others wanted to know about the ability of law enforcement, intellectual property, internet service provider, and individual users to retrieve information necessary to perform their functions and the competitive provision of domain name services and value-added services using WHOIS information in light of the policy proposals.[3]