Discussion in '.UK Domain Name Consultations' started by websaway, Oct 1, 2013.
Can Nominet legally dish out .uk domain names to anyone THEY choose ?
Yes as they have shown in the past they can do what ever they want (my opinion)
Yes of course they can. They're a private company and as such can do whatever they like.
Once they have set their minds to it, there are only two and a half ways to stop them:
A) legal action - likely to be on a case by case basis for individual domains or individual classes of domain owners (eg the ll domains)
B) Government intervention (but it's unlikely that anyone in government would be interested in picking that particular fight if they've not been willing so far)
C) Massive, persistent, widespread media condemnation aka "trial by public opionion" - this is the "half" since I don't see that happening (but you never know)
Remember, there is a mountain of difference between something being possible and it being right. Nominet clearly can hand out .uk to whoever they like (possible) even though that may not be fair (right).
They cannot give anything of value to the Government without the Government going through proper public procurement. I cannot buy lunch for clients in the public sector.
That may be factually true, but it's only relevant if anyone notices and holds them to account - otherwise they will "get away with it".
Individual domain names
It is a good question. Can they do so legally? And if not legally, then with impunity?
It will be interesting to see how things unravel on the legal front when Nominet start to panic and award individual domain names to those companies affected by .UK that scream most, i.e exert most political pressure.
Those of us present at the .UK consultation after this year's AGM may remember the hasty retreat by Nominet when the lawyer from the Independent Newspaper http://www.independent.co.uk spoke up to ask about independent.uk (independent.uk is currently reserved for the government site http://www.independent.gov.uk, which is used by a number of independent government inquiries).
The case around independent.uk will be worth watching.
(An aside: independent.uk is a prime example of why the direct.uk proposal should not be permitted to go ahead - the potential for misdirected emails, as warned by the ICO is too great).
In my view there is likely to be a series of dubious and preferential awards of domain names by Nominet (either outright or via DRS), which may be capable of being challenged in court by companies for whom such exceptions are not being made. Just my personal view - I am not a lawyer and may be completely wrong.
For all of the as yet unknown disputes that will crop up, the DRS is going to be exploited as the mechanism to address them. Expect to see some ridiculous DRS decisions setting some very questionable precidents'!
Look at the currently active .uk domains, and its obvious Nominet can do what they like.
and a couple more I can't think of, as the coffee hasn't kicked in yet
Which may be exactly what needs to happen from a few high profile companies that would stand to "lose" a .UK to either a competitor or the Government.
Nothing like firing off an email to a large Corp legal department to push them in the right direction...
Nominet would (and could) not handle 4 or 5 Corporate lawyers showing their teeth - the delays and legal bills may be too much for Nom to take on...
Plus I presume if they then have to use company money to defend, would it not have to come out to a vote to 'members' anyway? More delays...
I am convinced some of these may find themselves without rights to a domain that's important to them
On a big scale I think they can launch .uk if 'they' the board of Nominet choose to do so.
Some very good arguments put forward in the responses as to why .uk should not go ahead and some alternative ideas which would need exploring before implementation, but I'm not confident Nominet can accept they have got it so wrong twice. Especially as lots of the reasons against V2 were actually supplied in V1 feedback.
After the first attempt there was a media article by a Nominet Director which stated that .uk V1 was just a way of getting ideas of how the UK namespace should develop, with so much spin, I believe after seeing that, Nominet are capable of any distortion of reality.
The different reality Nominet live in can be seen for the reasons given for .uk;
Started with 'anecdotal' demand - no proof, no volume and very weak indeed
Need for more Security - did not produce loaded questions in survey that lead to that conclusion and did not consider effect on existing 10m registrants
Now in V2 ICANN is the reason - this was raised in V1 by TinkyWinky
Nominet in the last year have shown a 'we know best attitude' and dismissed any dissent as they must be 'domainers' protecting the value of large speculative UK domain portfolios.
I do not think Nominet will make individual exceptions to allow individual domains to be treated differently, although I did not think they would try to give a few non-government organizations .uk, so what do I know!
A judicial review of any decision by Nominet if they decide to introduce .uk as proposed is I believe the only way to 'stop' as other legal action on individual domains is going to be too late. I'm making progress with the groundwork on the review but it is not clear cut that it could happen due to the structure of Nominet but also it is not impossible that it could work.
Another potential outcome to prevent .uk under the current proposal is the DCMS taking over Nominet but that involves politics and it will depend on what gains they will make, it is only after seeing the DCMS feedback on .uk to Nominet, will we know if this is in any way likely.
Separate names with a comma.