Domain Manage

Nominet domain expiry policy

Discussion in 'Nominet General Information' started by monaghan, Jul 25, 2012.

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  1. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    Time for you (all stakeholders, not just Nominet members) to provide your feedback, do it now, don't wait until later as you'll forget.

    Please do provide input as this does have the potential for some major changes to the current system and what registrars can legitimately do and potential to impact first come first served.

    http://www.nominet.org.uk/news/latest/?contentId=9423
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    lol very nice for the big registrars :p
     
  4. PoshTiger United Kingdom

    PoshTiger Well-Known Member

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    It really is essential that we all email our comments across..

    If all of these recommendations go through then all the big ISPs will probably setup their own deleting domain auction section and all the good domains will never drop.

    If they want to be more transparent then they should just stop registrars being able to use / sell domains in the expiry period and enforce a 30 day safe period.

    Let's hope it is a real consultation and they'll listen to our views and not just push this through..
     
  5. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    As proven over and over again Nominet will go with the money. This is an excellent way to stamp out dropchasing whilst making some of their 'friends' rich. Thankfully the most valuable names are owned by people who are also registrars.
     
  6. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    All the more reason to raise your voice now. I've raised many objections in the meetings, but I'm just a single voice.

    With HI, DM & 123 all owned by the same outfit, a lot of the registered domains are sitting under the same admin umbrella and through mergers & takeovers there are getting less small and more large umbrellas out there.
     
  7. Bailey United Kingdom

    Bailey Well-Known Member

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    Am I missing a point here. At the moment all the drop-catchers catch all the best drops (often sold to the highest bidder) But some want to complain about the registrars doing the same. (albeit they will be guaranteed all the best domains) Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm sure most are open to a bit of educating including myself

    But I can't help seeing this as a little bit like "the kettle calling the pot black" I would have also thought this would be a way of lifting the UK secondary market prices.

    And a futher thought - Imagine all the contacting of the holders before the drop - Seems to me, the current holders will be a big beneficiary
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  8. tifosi United Kingdom

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    In some ways it is, and some ways it isn't. But leaving that aside, my major concern with this is that it gives the registrars registrant rights to a domain. That's a MAJOR divergence from the current sitiation where the registrars are effectively middlemen with a discount. The contract is between the registrant and Nominet. Period. Changing this will require a wholesale rewrite to the registrant contract. Would this happen at the next renewal or immediately? I can see a great deal of litigation happening!

    I'm also against the ability of registrars to utilise the domain in the 30day renewal period. What about the increasing situations where the registrar will switch nameservers at renewal required and put up adverts on the site that potentially breach a competitors TM's. Who's liable in the case of a DRS?

    Because this is the way .coms and the hedgemonies that engenders work, it doesn't mean that it's the best way and the way Nominet should go.

    There will always be evolution in this sector, and faster than most, but giving the registrars rights to a domain is NOT the way forward.

    S

    An addendum to this is that I can see this being steam-rollered through by the non-execs primarily due to the insipid & vacuous apathy shown by the majority of 'registrars' who only complain after the fact...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  9. PoshTiger United Kingdom

    PoshTiger Well-Known Member

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    Anyone can currently become a catcher and they would have the same odds of catching a domain as everyone else..

    This would mean a couple of large registrars have complete control of the market - when has a monopoly, or erm a duopoly been a good thing?

    I really can't see this lifting the prices of domain portfolios either - people that understand domains and know the value will hunt them out - inexperienced (the majority of) end users will get whatever they can FTR.
     
  10. Bailey United Kingdom

    Bailey Well-Known Member

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    So basically a switch operating 'exactly' as the GTLD (.com etc) has done for many years. And in fairness I don't recall any litigation based on a an American registration service such as Godaddy (the biggest) placing it's adds in the run-up and after deletion. And lets face it if there was litigation to be done - The United States would be up there first.

    Seems to me Nominet have a pretty successful model to go on. I understand the drop catchers woes but, that is where all the resentment seems to be coming from
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  11. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    My issue is that a registrar can T&C control of the domain during the period between expiry and deletion and then do as they wish with these domains. How many people actually read the T&C's? How many non-geeks actually understand the domain registration / deletion process?

    There is of course the self interest for catchers and to be honest if we get beaten fair and square to a catch there's no complaint, but there's also the potential confusion for domain owners, registrar A will potentially auction their domain if they don't renew, registrar B will sell it via another route, registrar C will do nothing and leave it for the full 90 day cycle
     
  12. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    While the status quo is nice for drop catchers, given the proposals outlined in the document, the most logically defensible counter argument is to have Nominet auction all dropping domains (with surplus if any accruing to the Nominet trust), and with nobody other than the original registrant having any control over the name until the point of no return (and certainly not the registrar)

    Failing that, it really is a pot - kettle situation...
     
  13. Bailey United Kingdom

    Bailey Well-Known Member

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    I do think it's a debate worth having and in fairness I don't use drop catching services. But lets put this ball back in your court. How many people do think understand the drop-catchers process Monaghan ? (or even the fact that it exists ? outside of domainers circles) . The UK market for domains is becoming a bit ( well lets call it a large bit) of an inbred market. The profile that registrars can bring to the reselling of domains is good thing and the sooner it happens the more the domain holders will benefit. (Yep that includes my self interest) i can't for one moment imagine Nominet making some sort of Rash switch to the new system without a thought-out implimentation.

    Those that know me, Know I'm not particularly money motivated (as long as i cover my needs) but being one that often lets domains go to their last days (of the 92) i also know just how many contacts I get requesting domains entering or in expiry (and I don't list for sale anywhere apart from Acorn, so no obvious email contact) but i would say one or two a month

    And I do lose good domains all the time due to carelessness. The ABC scenerio you talk about above is exactly what happens in the GTLD COM etc market already - don't see much flack there except from domainers like me that forget to keep track
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  14. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    To add to my previous post, here is in broad strokes how I imagine this new process might work:

    1) during registration period: registrant controls domain
    2) day 1 of expiry period: Nominet archives nameserver info, points domain at a page explaining that it has expired and how owner can renew it. Page has a timer in very big bold letters saying exactly how many hours and days remain for them to do so
    3) Nominet updates timer every hour, counting down remaining "renewal time". This goes on for 90 days so that even the dopiest of registrants can't feign ignorance about the need to renew their name
    4) If registrant renews any time during this 90 days, nameserver settings instantly restored to archived values, domain starts to work as normal
    5) If 90th day ends without renewal, name is beyond point of no return and NOBODY can renew it or otherwise affect it. Page is updated to say that the name will be auctioned by Nominet to highest bidder in 7 days (and new timer counts down to auction)
    6) Auction-1 day (ie day 96) Nominet publishes list of all following day's auction
    7) Auction day: bids open for 24 hours. 0 bids - name drops. Bids: auction continues until no new bids for 5 mins, name goes to highest bidder

    The above process makes the expire/loss of control cycle much, much more transparent for registrants - there's no way they can be "surprised" to lose the name after 90 days of explicit warnings. It also protects them, especially if Nominet allows them to renew "direct" ie even if their registrar is messing around, and it doesn't hand over potentially valuable assets to registrars FOC!
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  15. Systreg

    Systreg Well-Known Member

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    You make no point about registrants being emailed, which would be needed, because, as for points 2 and 3 above, I rarely visit any of my sites, so even if it had big letters in font size 30 saying whatever in a timer count down, I wouldn't see it because I don't visit my sites.
     
  16. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    The issues are wider than just the secondary market though. I do agree that there is very little public understanding of the process either on a normal expire/drop cycle or a drop catch.

    My concerns are both for the drop catcher who will generally have no access to a pool of registered domains to "grab" through T&C's. Anything of value will be able to be retained by the registrar rather than going into the pot.

    I often see issues where the small business person comes unstuck when the "web designer" they were using has gone away and the domain can no longer be renewed as the domain was registered under their 123-reg account in the designer's name as neither the designer or the customer had a clue as to what they should have done. Under the proposed changes the correct owner of the domain may well have never even heard of the registrar let alone agreed to the T&C's and they could easily find their shop / site is now owned by someone else within a few days of the usual expiry.

    I accept that those with .com's experience this already.

    Following on from Edwin's post, we have already suggested in the meetings that if the names are to be auctioned, then Nominet should own the process to prevent any single registrar from profiting. Naturally there is likely to be disagreement from some quarters at this suggestion.

    Status Quo is nice, however, as it was pointed out, now that it is public knowledge that some registrars T&C's allow this to happen, it would not be a surprise if the other big players did a deal with an auction house or setup their own auction platform, so in reality there is no neutral option.

    Plenty of discussion, but who has actually written to Nominet yet?
     
  17. Bailey United Kingdom

    Bailey Well-Known Member

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    Nominet do send fairly frequent emails at the moment - right upto the last knockings, and of course it's only domainers that tend to ignore them. Usually depending how warm the credit-card is that month.

    I understand the reluctance to see the registration services becoming the beneficiary of the forward sale and profit. But cutting them out of the loop dosen't strike me as much will change. sure a slight increase in reselling prices, The trouble is end buyers want domains as and when they want them not when a countdown clock dictates. I appreciate the dilemmas - But the argument about monopolies on registration services dosen't hold if there are bigger profits to be made - services start to add value or be known for rock bottom pricing with more entrants into the market - If the .com model is anything to go by. Plus the profile of what a good domain is actually worth to its market is not dictated by the time of the sale.

    I take all your points above Monaghan but, you do seem to be painting a "very worse case scenario" as a measure. If your site stops working for 90 days and it was my business usage - I'm pretty sure I'd be aware. Yes we need Nominet to be able to step in within those 90 days - Same as they do now, What I think we all agree on is NOT some varying deletion stage as with .com (IE internal redemption as in Godaddy unless you have say an Exec account status)

    I honestly think we have some good heads at Nominet and lets face it they've got plenty of working-models and pitfuls to base their planned developments around. so really no excuses for getting it wrong
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  18. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Sorry, it was late and I skipped a few steps to paint a broad picture. You're spot on, of course.

    In fact, I believe that Nominet should step into the communication process earlier to provide a little more protection for registrants. For example, they could email domain owners whose domains are due to expire in 7 days. That way, even if the registrar is bad at communicating, they are guaranteed to have at least some warning! Perhaps they could also snail-mail 14 days into the expiry period, as well as more emailed warnings.

    That way, domain owners would get AT LEAST:
    - 1 emailed warning before expiry
    - 1 postal warning during expiry
    - a number of emailed warnings during expiry
    - the clear, lucid, explanatory warning page that was up for 90 full days during which time their site/email aren't working

    On top of the above, of course, they would also get however many/few communications their particular registrar supplied - I've only described Nominet's part of the process. But with all of this in place, it should be impossible for a registrant to mount a credible "but I didn't know" defense when their name gets "taken away from them" (as they perceive things).

    The problem isn't Nominet. I've been to some of their focus meetings, and it's clear the problem lies in the fact that different constituents have radically different and competing points of view - and Nominet's role lies in trying to steer an acceptable middle course that doesn't disturb anyone TOO much. In other words, there are much fewer "wrong" scenarios than you might at first imagine! They're only wrong for a particular group...

    ----

    Separate to all this, but also relevant, it would be interesting to see Nominet mandate that the ultimate owner of the domain name must EXPLICITLY be the registrant i.e. to outlaw (through changes in their T&C and code of practice) the scenario of web design firms etc. buying in their own names on behalf of their clients. Adds yet another layer of protection for registrants.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  19. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    So people are happy with registrars providing their own T&C's that negate Nominet's published customer info (keepyour.co.uk)?

    Not picking on 123, but these (http://www.123-reg.co.uk/terms/expired-domains-terms.shtml) allow them to do as they like after 16 days and park after 3 days!

    If we keep quiet T&C's like these will feed anything of value into a few large companies and the secondary market will be captured, after all, a lot of the big players are likely to be hosting the domain so will have traffic figures available.

    My financial model will survive as domains are just a part of the overall picture, will yours?
     
  20. foz

    foz Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Their are a good 80-100+ domains that expire each day that have "no registrar".

    Is their currently anything "in policy" preventing registrars taking ownership of a domain ~1 minute before the 90 days transpires?
     
  21. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    As I read the registrar agreement,

    you may only make changes with the explicit approval of the registrant, the "grey area" is whether the override in some T&C's grants the right to change the contact details and transfer the domain. Whether this is done 1 minute after expiry or 1 minute to deletion or any period in between is not an issue.
     
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