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4th December - Drop List Roundtable

Discussion in 'Nominet General Information' started by Whois-Search, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Anne Taylor United Kingdom

    Anne Taylor Member

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    I did, amongst a few others - many more signed up but it was a really low actual attendance unfortunately. It was a useful day in my mind - I was there for the first and last session. There have been under 30 responses to the consultation though and whilst I was there today as See Green and not in my NED capacity, I really would urge people to respond to the consultation. Comments are being taken on board and there are no preferred options or done deals at this stage. I'd be interested to hear feedback here from others who attended...
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Hi Anne, I have been in correspondence with Rowena Schoo. Ask Rowena to forward my paper and proposals to you. Personally I advise delaying any decision on changes to the process until shortlisted proposals have been analysed and costed.
     
  4. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for attending and letting us know Anne. Frankly after the Leeds event I wasn’t going to attend the same lip service twice.

    It has been clear from day one what Nominet want to do with this - they even said it on the slide at Wotton House:

    https://twitter.com/whois_search/status/1122893538449068037?s=20

    I won’t be replying formally to the sham questions on the consultation form.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  5. DarrenTSO United Kingdom

    DarrenTSO Active Member

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    I attended yesterday and like Anne said unfortunately there was zero representation from any one in the drop catching industry.

    There was discussion about harmonising the UK drop process with that of GTLDs, essentially dropping the 'random' element. The auction idea didn't seem well supported at all.

    From what I understand at the moment, the Nominet systems are hammered 24/7 with the hope of catching something good; this random element whilst it doesn't hurt the system as such, does reduce overall capacity for other users. Interesting statistic - out of all of the dropping domains last year, something like 14,000 were 'caught' within a second of dropping.

    Andrew I know you're pessimistic about anything to do with Nominet but I think you have to take these policy forums at face value. I don't think anything is decided at this stage and if you have a strong view one way or the other you should make sure you submit a response but also attend these meetings so that you can share your views with others and potentially bring other people to your way of thinking?
     
  6. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find the main dropcatchers (programmers) live overseas now.

    I take it those present were from ICANN registrars such as your own then ?

    The DAC was built and introduced to be hammered for this purpose. People can only hammer up to the AUP limit on the live or time delay DAC.

    Also if you give people an exact time a domain drops (replacing the need for checking) what stops Nominet’s EPP being hammered even more than it is now ?

    I started this thread asking people to attend.

    I often go to these things on my own and report what was said (Leeds).

    What is happening here is a slow alignment with gTLDs and eventually large Registrars will monetise the expiry stream.

    Will your .uk names from TSOHost.com be ending up on Godaddy auctions (now the parent company) ?

    I don’t know if you still a director or not so forgive me if you have left the company.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  7. DarrenTSO United Kingdom

    DarrenTSO Active Member

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    Ah - I need to change my username, I've not been at Tsohost/GoDaddy for just over two years now.

    I think one of the members there was a member of ICANN, but not 100% on that.

    You're right, this almost certainly will happen eventually and I'm actually surprised it doesn't already happen now. I think the horse has already bolted in this respect though - the ability is already there if GoDaddy et al wanted to do it isn't it?

    I'm interested to see how this develops, the motivation from Nominet seems to be they want to reduce load on their systems. They don't seem to have interest in running auctions or doing anything RoR-style.
     
  8. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Please could one of you define in practical terms what that will mean? How will they monetise the expiry stream? How would alignment with other gTLDs make that happen?

    And is that in the best interests of the widest number of people getting access to domains when they drop?

    I'm trying to pin down the specifics of what you mean.
     
  9. ratboy United Kingdom

    ratboy Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    I'm guessing a cheeky update to T&C to say "when you don't renew, we retain the right to sell on that domain name"

    Then all the registrars under the mega brand pool this info, the backorder system works across their sub brands and you can pay for a "backordered" dropped domain name from where eve for £79 or something

    I've just done it with a .com. Backordered it on one the top brand, another brand caught it, i paid top brand. Worked a treat and cost £79. Job done
     
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  10. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    Ok thanks Darren. I appreciate you no longer work for Big Daddy :)

    Look at what happens in .com and then apply that to .uk. The best names are auctioned off by the registrars prior to them dropping (on about the 30th day of expiry).

    Names expiring from Godaddy owned Registrars (123-reg, TSOHost, Heart Internet) end up on Godaddy Auctions:
    https://uk.auctions.godaddy.com/

    Names expiring from Web.com (Networksolutions, Register.com) owned Registrars end up on Snapnames:
    https://snapnames.com/

    Names expiring from United Internet (Fasthosts , Ionos , 1&1 etc) end up on:
    https://sedo.com/

    Enom / Tucows used to have Namejet.com but now they go to Godaddy:
    https://domainnamewire.com/2019/04/...-from-namejet-to-godaddy-for-expired-domains/

    Only the scraps left are dropped by Verisign at 2pm EST each day. Usually SEO traffic names where normal people can’t see any value.

    Nominet will see the companies above as owning most (90%) of the .uk database.

    So if you have five companies selling most of your product what better way but to get the same companies to increase re-registration of expired names?
     
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  11. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    The stakeholders that Nominet should be putting first are end user registrants. I've come to the conclusion that the best possible release mechanism would be to run a lottery for all expiring domains:

    • All entrants limited to a single entry per domain - submitted via Nominet's website manually with no automation allowed
    • Entry remains open for the whole life of a domain registration
    • Entrants submit evidence of any 'claim' to the name if/when a lottery is started (when a name expires), along with a £100 credit card authorisation and details of the tag they'd like to land it on
    • Prior to auction, if any entrants have claims (trademark, trading name, product name, etc.), these are reviewed.
    • If any entrants have valid claims, only their claims be considered and all others dismissed
    • The winner being picked at random from the remaining selection and paying the £100 rate.
    This would set a truly even playing field for all and put the need of real end user registrants first. The £100 rate would cover the cost of administering the auction and claim validation process.
     
  12. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Thanks Ratboy and Whois-search - really appreciate that.

    So you're suggesting the best names actually WILL end up in an Auction model, just a model administered by the Registrars not by Nominet?

    I'm just trying to clarify - is that what you're saying?

    Wouldn't it be financially better for Nominet to take the profits themselves in that case?

    Otherwise all those £79 or whatever (or much more in the case of more valuable domains) will just go to the Registrars, who aren't even the registrants of the domains.

    Why wouldn't Nominet prefer to channel that money to its charities for example (or, of course, to themselves)?
     
  13. ratboy United Kingdom

    ratboy Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    What's been said before is basically Nominet would rather deal with 10 customers than 10,000
     
  14. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    Yes but that will depend on either happening:

    (a) if the explicit consent clause (E.3.6) is changed in the Nominet Registrar Agreement to allow the large registrars to take the names to auction BEFORE they drop (without 30 day consent).

    or

    (b) Nominet produces a timed drop list (so all names drop at a set time) but at the same time increases the EPP create limits for larger Registrars (like the ROR drop). That means technically the names still drop but the big registrars have the capacity to catch more and auction them. Or to fulfill their backorders at £79.

    Either way Nominet is facilitating the names going to the bigger registrars and more eyeballs.

    The backorder or auction profit will go to the big Registrar groups. Nominet will just get the renewal or registration fee.

    The large registrars will take all the risk and deal with the customers (as Rob said above).

    Nominet is only interested in keeping its renewal figures high with all the .uk names dropping.

    The Nominet Trust went a long time ago. What they have now is a rather expensive in-house PR programme.

    There is little money for them in selling a few expired domains per day.

    The real money for them is increasing the cost price , spinning off cyber security and then making millions out of new ventures.
     
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  15. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Strange profit-making company that would rather distribute profit to its customers than take the extra revenue itself...

    Also, is the administration of the nation's DNS to be developed for the convenience of its guardian, or for the convenience of the whole population?

    Clearly the present chaotic system - where no-one knows when dropped domains will leave 'warehouse' state and be put up for sale, and where the general population are locked out of immediate access to the 14,000 domains a year cited above by Darren - is sub-optimal.

    The question should be: how can all dropping domains be made most easily accessible, at the point of dropping, to the general public?

    Also, are there any potential conflicts of interest involved in relation to those in Nominet who will determine the final decisions? For example, are any of these big Registrars in situ on the Board or elsewhere in Nominet? I'm not implying they are. I just would like to know. Or are there other reasons why a decision favouring windfall profit for those big Registrars on expired domains might benefit Nominet rather than the nation at large?
     
  16. RobM

    RobM Retired Member

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    It's simple. If it all goes as mentioned above (because Nominet board members past and present sit on the boards of big registrars and have friends/family there to funnel them profits outside of the nominet structure) then domains *won't* drop. The registrars will take over the domain once the expiry period hits. They will then have 92 days to decide whether to auction them, try and get hold of the previous registrant, sell them, whatever. If they decide a domain is far too rubbish to monetise they will allow it to drop for everyone else to fumble over the scraps. Look at the .com model for dropping domains. That is where it'll be headed. The money they lose from most tagholders not keeping their tags will be far less than the money they will make both directly and indirectly.

    If however they want to try and *pretend* that it's fair (to tagholders) they'll simply adopt the model of domains dropping at a set time and all tagholders trying to EPP create. But, like the uk drop, they'll most likely allocate creating quota/speed depending on how much money you have deposited with them or... how many domains are already on your tag... Think who that benefits (hint: see above :p) Although quite how that is fairer than a lottery is beyond me - there are people on this forum with tags who will never catch a domain this way and surely they should have the same chance as everyone else...

    But such is life. It's been a fun run this past 17 years but as nominet have become more corrupt and greedy over the years and been allowed to get away with it then it was inevitable things would go this way. We adapt or leave. I, of course, will be leaving. Others may choose to pay for scraps or invest 6 figures to get a good quota. I don't see how that is justified by the pitiful low prices uk domains get in the aftermarket anyway. Might as well start playing a different game with the .com big boys. The 90k needed to take part in the ror drops would be far better used on buying 2 or 3 .com domains and would probably make far more than you'd get for uk scraps. What is apparent is the introduction of the uk (unasked for but made *some* nominet members a LOT of money both on and off the books) has effectively destroyed the uk namespace anyway.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  17. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I would suggest that a process where EPP create limits are banded in favour of some to the disadvantages of others could be viewed as not a level playing field, and arguably contrary to fair competition. The DNS is not meant to be carved off at any point to a cartel of big players - there should be equal and fair access for all. I'd imagine that would be picked up by The Register and possibly wider media, and Nominet really does need to get these processes right because at some stage (obviously not in the present political mayhem) they are at risk of being called to account. The country's DNS is key to national infrastructure and commerce. There are significant principles being played out here - not just the opaque whims or machinations of a relatively minor company.

    Usually, on domain name issues, the fine detail is too obscure for the general public to understand, which is what has made it possible for some cartels of Registries and Registrars to build their own fiefdoms. Most people just don't understand the issues, and are not really interested as long as the web page they click on opens up.

    However, Nominet will be well-advised to get things right, and be able to justify their decisions if/when they are subjected to scrutiny. My personal correspondence with Nominet leaves me with the impression that nothing is ruled out and every possibility is still on the table. You can call that naïve but I do think they want to change the status quo, and if they have any sense they won't rush into anything.
     
  18. RobM

    RobM Retired Member

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    Nominet don't *want* people to have 'equal and fair access'. They never did. They always wanted to figure out how to take the millions the NON PROFIT organisation was making and get it into their own pockets. By removing their 'charity', increasing their bonuses, and doing things to benefit certain registrars (I guess for kickbacks or profit *outside* of nominet) they made it easier and more open. As well as funnelling profits into ludicrous private 'businesses' (wonder who owns those) that are 99% rubbish and unnecessary. I can't believe people are still so naive. How they should run and how they do run are two different things. Once you see past your own ideals you can predict the path they will take and so far predictions have been spot on. Handed a monopoly with nobody to answer to. You do realise Siusaidh that there is nobody that can stop them doing whatever they want? Because statements like 'Nominet will be well-advised to get things right, and be able to justify their decisions if/when they are subjected to scrutiny.' suggest you don't know their history.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  19. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Surely Nominet should be putting members wants and needs at the forefront of any decisions. It doesn't seem like it is this way, but it should be. If anything like the proposed happens or turns out to be like RoR where I need 90K in my account, I won't be renewing my Nominet membership.
     
  20. Lovekraft United Kingdom

    Lovekraft Well-Known Member Full Member

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    See Robs post above.. None of this comes as a shock to me personally. Disappointing yes but I think most people who have been in this industry for a while have come to expect nothing less and have given up even trying to engage with Nominet as they always do what they want regardless of their members opinions.
     
  21. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Yeah, I agree. When someone above mentioned nobody going to this meeting representing the dropcatching industry, I wasn't surprised - they probably don't see a point. Seems we're left in the dark. I'm by no means involved in the workings of Nominet, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going on.