Domain Manage

Open letter to Kieren McCarthy Re: Nominet

Discussion in 'Nominet General Information' started by Whois-Search, Jun 12, 2010.

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  1. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    Dear Kieren,

    I note with interest your article which appeared on The Register yesterday:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/11/new_nominet_chair_speaks/

    I would like to point out my disagreement with this part of your article:

    First of all I believe the "small group of determined domainers" doesn't exist - we are all individuals with completely different interests and lives. Many maybe "friends" in the indsutry (as are members on all sides of the fence) however as I have pointed out to you on previous occasions, you do not get elected to the board of Nominet or the PAB unless you have wide support including that of large registrars.

    Secondly if the lower prices statement were to be true, why would 'domainers' want to devalue their own assets? If you were to spend time speaking to real successful 'domainers' they really don't care what the price is. Many of them however are extremely upset and concerned about what the future holds for their investments due to articles like yours.

    In my opinion what domainers are really frustrated with is the way in which they have been 'lumped' together when they have varied business interests. Please see the comment by The Rt Hon. Lord Lucas during the second reading of the Digital Economy Bill:

    Source: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2010-01-12a.402.6&s=nominet+segment:20490247

    Also the "carpet bagging" episode actually took place during the 1999 election and had nothing to do with "domainers".

    Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/network-nominet-set-to-demutualise-1104463.html

    Therefore please could we have debate on the topic of "domaining" rather than continued stories like the one above?

    Yours Sincerely,

    Andrew Bennett
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. grantw United Kingdom

    grantw Well-Known Member

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    <edit...again> Thought I'd mis-read the article but hadn't, so post reinstated :)

    Where does he get crap like this from?? A large proportion of the domainer membership are on this forum and I haven't seen anyone campaigning for lower prices! Is Kieren a member on here? If not maybe he should be so he can get our actual views rather than writing articles based on secondhand information.


    Grant
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  4. GreyWing

    GreyWing Retired Member

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    It comes from people trying to create an enemy that only they can destroy. The more powerful the enemy you describe to people the more of a superhero you become by trying to dismantle it.

    Like most super villians they don't actually exist except in people's heads.
     
  5. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    My reply to Kieren's questions

    Hi Kieren,

    Thanks for your reply...

    I am happy to answer your questions publicly:

    1. You don’t lose three Board members and two key members of staff without there being a pretty big disagreement. So what would you say that was?

    You can find the answer to this question online including the El Reg website:

    Angus Hanton: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/13/nominet_director_resigns/
    Jim Davies: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/26/davies_nominet_resignation/
    Bob Gilbert: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/30/nominet_gilbert/
    ***** Taylor: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/24/nominet_taylor/
    Jay Dayley: http://lists.nominet.org.uk/pipermail/nom-announce/2009-June.txt

    I know nothing more than the information provided there - have you tried asking the people involved for an interview?


    2. I think we can at least agree that the Board felt threatened – why do you believe that to be the case?

    If you go back in time to around October 2008 you can read David Hendon's first letter here: http://www.nominet.org.uk/digitalAssets/31728_BERR-Letter-October2008.pdf
    That would be enough to put the wind up any organization?


    3. Why do you believe that the UK government went to the extraordinary length of sending public letters to Nominet and then actually enacting legislation in order to ensure that it could take over Nominet if it felt it was needed?

    In my own personal opinion this has to do with new gTLDs coming to the UK and Internet growth/control - governments like reverse powers (many other examples from around the world exist).

    Also see this recent article:
    New powers to regulate domain name registries - June 3 2010
    http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=eb85afa4-498d-44c6-9096-ab3acbfc215e

    As a journalist have you tried putting in a FOI request to get more correspondence between BIS and Nominet?

    Also please note the board fight came after Hendon's original letter - see dates above.


    4. And since you are campaigning publicly, can you please provide examples of the "difficult questions" that you advertise you will be asking if elected in your campaigning statement?

    Well since the election only kicked off on the 10th June I haven't had many....

    However I did answer this one by Rob Taylor (PAB member) on Acorndomains:
    "How do you match your gtld support to the interests of .uk domainers - as this is what this forum is all about?"

    Answer Requires login:
    http://www.acorndomains.co.uk/nominet-general-information/71003-dont-forget-vote.html#post256452


    5. I would also be interested in hearing your philosophy for how to "bring people back together".

    I would like to see a "debate" (maybe at the AGM) on current issues rather than trying to destroy a particular business model through the media. In words of another Nominet member just posted (yet again) on Acorndomains:

    I couldn't have put it better myself.

    Finally....

    Now you are based in San Francisco - are you supporting England or the USA in the Football ? :)

    Best Wishes,

    Andrew Bennett
     
  6. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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  7. crabfoot United Kingdom

    crabfoot Active Member

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    It doesn't matter if things are fair, anyone in a position of power is a valid target for an anarchist ...
     
  8. Retired_member41

    Retired_member41 Retired Member

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    Can I be cheeky and ask what it is you intend to do if elected?

    And as you mentioned in another post about you answering questions in public, if you wouldn't mind answering mine when you get a minute that would be fab. I have obviously given my opinion underneath, not that it means anything, just for information purposes etc

    Do you think nominet members who are active domainers and members of nominet for means to an end purpose only, and agree to this, should lose their voting rights?

    My answer, Yes.

    Do you think there should be a controlled two tier membership, 1. for interested parties in nominet and its aims, and commercial companies with a UK domain/internet interest. and 2. A membership solely for the purpose of catching domains. Obviously you would have to have some clauses for the numerous domain registrar companies that sell to the public through websites and the like, clauses that say any registrar cant have more than say 5% registered to themselves or their directors, so we know who are the real domain registrars and who are just domainers with a domain registration shop window?

    My answer, yes

    What are your thoughts on companies that offer drop catching services that use members dac and epp accounts to register domains, and further these companies that take a revenue share from what its customers catch or are forced to sell under contract at auction?

    My answer, I think they are ok and althouh not something i would do myself, but still a valid business.

    Do you think nominet should share information on how to better catch domains, including free catching software and information on locations to better connect with nominet and therefore have an equal chance to catch. Eliminating the small group of catchers who seem to catch all the valuable domains?

    My answer, yes I think nominet should share this information, and give a better playing field for its other members, but also believe if a company invests in the best equipment and has the best expertese they should be rewarded and if sucessful, should suffer no penalty.

    Do you think the high resale values requested by some domainers are leading to stagnation in the UK internet online business world? And also, do you think parked domains that offer advertising via ads and banners etc are bad for uk online commerce?

    My answer, Yes I do, like rows and rows of houses bought by investors which blight areas, I think these domains should be developed or released, ok it would be hard to manage, but i'm sure the clever people I have read articles from in the last 24 hours are capable of doing it.

    Do you think if a domain has not had a valid website on for the period of its two years registration, it should be taken back by nominet and resold or let drop, websites excluding pages solely filled with ads, like those at parking companies.

    My answer, yes, although with submission from the owner with a valid reason to hold awaiting development, it should be extendable in blocks of years. Again hard to run and lots of red tape, but it could sort some of the problems out.

    Do you agree with parking uk domains at parking companies, or would you prefer them to sit idle until developed?

    My answer, I do lke the sales sites where you park domains, but I would prefer to see no ads. There are many great alternatives, lots developed by members of this forum.

    Are you in favour of deleting forever domains which could only be used for illegal use and displaying content that is illegal?

    My answer, Yes, its unfair that nominet allows such domains in the first place, and once reported the domains should be instantly deleted forever once identified as wrong.

    Are you in favour of public drop lists issued by nominet for all domains dropping on a certain day?

    My answer, yes obvioulsy :D

    It would be great if all candidates answered obviously, but I value your opinion so would be grateful if you could answer as best you can.
     
  9. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    First of all remember i'd be a non-executive director subject to a specific contract with Nominet:
    http://www.nominet.org.uk/governance/board/nonexecdirectorscontract/

    So once i'd digested all of those clauses...

    I'd then ask Nominet if I could go on a non-executive course:
    http://www.bvca.co.uk/Training/NonExecutiveDirectorsProgramme/

    Then of course I would have the 26 days of board meetings + events.

    Despite rumours i'd try and be a carpetbagger etc i'd just give my opinion and input to the decisions made at Nominet.

    Any policy decisions hopefully would be made by the new policy stakeholder groups and would come through as recommendations.

    Interesting idea however at the moment domainers only become members to get the £5 discount and access to the DAC.

    Therefore for this to work registrars would need to be seperated from the membership and given the same discount.

    The DAC and other online tools would need to be licensed differently and paid for separately.

    To be honest with you I can't see this happening given everyone is using the current structure.



    Ordinary Resolution 4(a) was passed at the EGM in February:
    http://www.nic.uk/digitalAssets/40704_EGM2010-results.pdf

    So if elected I would have to see what plans there are already in the pipeline on this.

    I can't see there ever being specific memberships for "domainers".

    However I can see the membership being opened up to wider stakeholders.


    In my view this was dealt with by Nominet during my time on the PAB back in 2007 - 2008.

    You will also find the policy statements online here: http://www.nominet.org.uk/policy/pab/policystatements/#D

    Scroll down to "Domaining" and "Domain name re-registration"

    I agree with the policy statements, even now.

    I can't see this happening at Nominet myself.

    However there has been talk of a waiting list service for many years now.

    2003 http://www.nominet.org.uk/about/consultations/previous/waitlist/


    I agree with your analysis on this however "domainers" haven't got the resources to develop them all.

    I'm working with a large domainer at the moment on www.storage.co.uk and it is taking alot of resources.

    Recently it has been suggested to me your better off developing 10 domains than paying to renew 1000.



    No and their will be contractual / legal reasons why you can't do that.


    Well it is a business model and one promoted by large registrars - therefore many people do it:
    http://www.123-reg.co.uk/domain-names/domain-name-parking.shtml

    I myself am trying to make mini sites: www.carp.org.uk


    Nominet has implemented the lock state for this purpose: http://www.nominet.org.uk/registrars/antiabuse/

    I was on the PAB sub-committee that looked at it in 2008:
    http://www.nominet.org.uk/digitalAssets/34393_PABSept08_Lock_state_sub_committee_report.pdf


    I think you better read my register of interests on my campaign website lol

    However other ccTLD registries now have drop lists online:

    Ireland: http://www.domainregistry.ie/DeletedDomainsList.php
    Australia: http://www.auda.org.au/domains/drop-list/
     
  10. Retired_member41

    Retired_member41 Retired Member

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    Thanks Andrew, you are certainly a clever guy and would be great working with nominet again i'm sure.

    However, I was sort of looking for straight forward answers, not links to past decisions and policy matters from 2007 etc Those answers would be fine for people in the know, but for your average new member, left me a little lost.

    The links were informative though, but still left me without knowing your own opinion on the questions I asked.

    Felt a bit like a question time in the house of commons, I refer to an answer I gave earlier lol

    I'm pretty certain you will do fine in the nominet election, but if not, maybe a career in politics awaits you.
     
  11. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply Caz - glad you at least found it informative :)

    Nothing like a bit of bedtime reading at 3am...

    Sorry about all the links - i'm an academic and I like quotes, facts and chronological dates of when things happened etc.

    Once things have been dealt with at Nominet like lock states for example they don't usually come back up again unless there is a new threat/problem to the company.
     
  12. rob

    rob Founding Member

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    How do you propose to solve this 'problem'?

    As Caz touched on, and I have mentioned to you before, you should say what you think as thats what your nom-steer posts have been based on before so dont change it.

    I realise big members or smaller domainers might not vote for you depending what those views are but better to lose like that than sell your soul to gain a few votes ;)
     
  13. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    I take your point Rob.

    However I was actually trying to answer the question and did agree with Caz. The comparison with "rows and rows of houses bought by investors which blight areas" is a good one. However how to you stop people from buying houses and or buying/selling domain names? Even if there were to be greater regulation / restrictions people would still find a way e.g. buy the company and assets instead?

    The Norwegian registry tried a quota system prior to 2001:
    http://www.norid.no/regelverk/rammer/kvoteanalyse.en.html

    Also see the graph: http://www.norid.no/statistikk/vekst/index.en.html

    I can't see Nominet wanting to affect its registrations stats like that (reverse)?

    Therefore in my opinion the re-sale of domain names is here to stay and we need to get the online business world to embrace it.

    We need people like Sedo (Nora current Nominet non-exec) to write more articles like this:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/5767130/Domain-names-jump-in-value.html

    I am not a big fan of parking pages myself and my Masters project has been about developing mini-sites from web 2.0 content. I can understand though why people use parking pages (quick and easy to upload a list of names) but in my view PPC revenue is already dying out.

    Nominet needs to monitor the situation and listen to parking companies / Sedo etc but at the same time has to consider all stakeholders and business models when making policy decisions.

    That is why i'm pleased to see Lesley as a speaker along side you Rob in August: http://www.meetdomainers.co.uk/speakers/
     
  14. rob

    rob Founding Member

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    Right, so you agree with Caz and see it as a problem, likewise need to consider all stakeholders (and steakholders mmmm BBQs) - but what do you think should happen?

    Its good you have stated an opinion ie. domainers are slum landlords (I disagree btw!) but what is your answer to it?
     
  15. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    Speaking as someone who has a few hundred .uk domains for a moment....

    Domainers are only perceived as slum landlords or as the Nominet "super-villain" as Greywing puts it. Whilst many "domainer" Nominet members see themselves as entrepreneurs or web developers.

    What really should happen is we all start working together as domain owners to try and help each other develop names. Positive sales stories and PR need to come from companies like Sedo instead of this sale has gone wrong etc.

    As you know I once tried doing this with the "Domain Name Association" we setup however it never got off the ground. Hopefully something might come out of that event in August....
     
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Nominet themselves openly accept that "Trading in domain names for profit, and holding a large portfolio of domain names, are of themselves lawful activities." That's baked into the DRS policy, and they have made other similar positive noises about the secondary market in other documents, such as past State of the Market reports.

    As such, I don't see that they're trying to vilify domain portfolio holders. Indeed, since I had a stand right next to Nominet's at Internet World 2009 I had ample chance to talk to various representatives at the highest level of their organisation; all of them without exception confirmed to me that they were happy to see a professional approach being taken to the secondary market.

    It's therefore HUGELY important to make a very clear, very definite distinction between those engaged in potentially "abusive" registrations and those savvy investors who have accumulated quality portfolios of generic names entirely legitimately, often at considerable expense and effort.

    Any other approach smacks entirely of sour grapes by those who "missed the boat" completely first time around!

    On second thoughts, it's ridiculous (and frankly pathetic) that we're having this debate on here, in 2010... There's only ONE acceptable position on this issue!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  17. Hazel Pegg

    Hazel Pegg Active Member

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    Yes, I think that's correct. I don't like domainers any more than I like buy-to-let landlords. But I'm an old socialist who'd like to see the overthrow of capitalism so can be safely ignored on that front :)

    Seriously, Edwin is right. It is very important that the respectable part of the secondary domain market distance themselves from the dodgy chancers on the fringes. I can't see the secondary market disappearing any time soon but we could have done without some of those in Govt not being able to distinguish between savvy investors and those whose business model is only one step removed from blackmail.

    Though it would help perceptions all round if the web wasn't polluted by endless parked pages offering nothing but generic ads. If you want to 'monetize' your portfolios whilst waiting to sell names on, then set up mini-sites that at least have some relevance to what the searcher may be seeking. There is a business opportunity there for anyone able to churn out such mini-sites at a minimal cost.

    Hazel
     
  18. GreyWing

    GreyWing Retired Member

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    This is where I would disagree with you Hazel, for us Domainers to distance ourselves from these characters would be like admitting we were somehow associated with them in the first place anymore than any other member of Nominet, I have never met these people so not sure what I could do about them. Secondly it implies that we have any control over them in the first place.

    I think it’s up to those that keep implying this to stop, those in the media, those who are in the press and those that talk to politicians. Let’s face it, what can we about people like the person that registered derrickbird.co.uk anymore than you or other members.

    http://www.acorndomains.co.uk/general-board/70525-breaking-news.html

    Parking is all but finished, the revenues are worthless to most people. You should find that as domain values grow, the balance between domain holders parking them and selling them will swing and these domains will re-enter the developed world.
     
  19. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    I disagree - See Hendon's speech as far back as November 2008 where it all started:

    Source: http://www.nominet.org.uk/digitalAssets/33411_uk08_A_Government_Perspective.pdf

    However now that changes have been made to Nominet's governance model....

    I really do welcome and support your efforts at Internet World though Edwin http://www.memorabledomains.co.uk/iw-2008.html, it really is people like you we need to move the secondary market in the UK forward - even if everyone else is 10 years behind.
     
  20. retired_member12

    retired_member12 Retired Member

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    Andrew, your PM box is full!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  21. ukdomains

    ukdomains Active Member

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    I think the secondary market is for the select few . However i wouldn't want it closed or downgrade by some in fight which wants to pick on the secondary market . We don't want the secondary market used for political gains for some indidvuals who want to be macho at nominet.

    Andrew good luck
     
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