Tuesday, February 17, 2009

.tel delegation policy: what it means

The .tel AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) specifies a certain number of rules regarding subdomain delegation. I'd like here to explain the philosophy behind them. Delegation fundamentally mean a transfer of rights. In .tel, when you buy the domain smith.tel, you have rights to this domain, as well as responsibilities to abide by the Telnic AUP. You are allowed to sub-delegate the responsibility for updating sub-folders in some cases such as to people in your own company or your own family. So for example, should you want to sub-delegate mary. smith.tel and transfer the rights and responsibilities to Mary Smith who may be your wife, then you can only do so consistently with the AUP's policy on sub-delegations:

The registration and/or use of the Extended Name is free of charge to and is only for the use of subsidiaries, business units or employees of the company or members of the association that is the Domain Name Holder, and is not offered as a service to third parties, or, where the Domain Name Holder is a natural person, the Extended Name is only for the personal use of the Domain Name Holder or the family of the Domain Name Holder, is not offered as a service to third parties, and no fee or other compensation is charged in connection with such sub-delegation.


So you are not allowed to provide either paid for or free sub-delegation to people or businesses outside of those parties covered by the AUP (existing businesses or close family members).

What about for-pay directory services?

You are fully allowed to provide a paying directory service as long as you retain the rights and responsibilities of the domain and do not sub-delegate.

Providing a "concierge service" to update contact information is acceptable within the AUP, whether automated through do-it-yourself front-ends, or manual. However, it is assumed that the data published by you is covered by the normal and regional rules and laws for data protection, and you must have the informed consent of the owners of that data (which, as a for-pay service, is the case) unless the data is already freely available from other sources. This would be a legitimate information service that would not be in breach of the AUP.

What about links to other .tel domains?

Separately, a Non-Terminal NAPTR (NTN, i.e. a .tel link) is a pointer to another (sub)domain, and not a record in itself, which means that it simply points to an external domain over which you have no control, and the responsibility belongs to the owner of that .tel domain. That's the same as having links on a webpage of yours that send the user to another website.

5 comments:

Moufid said...

Henry,
Is it possible to let those subscribing to the directory service update their contact information without me having to do so manually?

Rik said...

Sure you can. Look at the APIs on our dev website. You could build a little front-end on your site that calls on the backend your domain's Telhosting server.

So your client changes his info on your website, and then you in turn publish those changes into the Telhosting platform which takes care of all the DNS updates.

deegital said...

So just to get this straight, if I own smith.tel, then I can only give access to family members for free? I cannot create a website to advertise and sell individual records for people who are named xxx Smith for a fee?

Rik said...

@deegital:
You can sell placement on your .tel for a fee, you just cannot delegate responsibility. It's a legal thing: if you own abc.tel, you can't say "well I own abc.tel but I've sold xyz.abc.tel to that person and I'm not responsible for what s/he put under there".
You can sell listings, but you have to keep the responsibility of the domain with you.
Hope this clarifies things.

cf252 said...

I think the confusion lies with
semantics - you can delegate responsibility but not accountability ie. the
responsibility for the content of a dot tel domain can be delegated (leased) to a third party but the registrant remains legally accountable for that
content.

Therefore the registrant, if a natural person, or the directors of a corporate registration are always accountable for a site's content (whether leased or not) and are accountable for any legal action pursued against the
registrant for the content of the site.

Registrants may therefore lease their domains but cannot transfer
(subdelegate) legal accountability for their site's content.