20i Reseller Hosting

Bought a dropped .co.uk but Ionos are cybersquatting on the .uk

Discussion in 'General Board' started by Siusaidh, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. dee

    dee Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    Surely this is a contradiction. The whole purpose of the ROR period was to give current .co.uk owners the chance to reg the uk. All registrars contacted the co.uk owners at numerous stages throughout this period explaining the options. They had EXCLUSIVE rights to the uk. The registrar did not. By saying they are 'protecting' the co.uk owners they are registering domain without the rights. They said it ;

    That sentence alone goes against the express rules of the ROR period doesn't it ?
     
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  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. bulkcorn

    bulkcorn Active Member

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    Unscrupulous Registrars cheated. They wanted their hands on those domains from day but we were lucky to have succeeded in getting a 5 year delay. Save for a joint action against them those, I don't see them releasing those names to the ROR owners. Some of my domains that I did not register the dot uks, appear parked/for sale under different owners. My registrar had 'promised' to Reg them on my behalf.

    You seem pretty pissed off enough to take lonos up. Maybe a test case with a name you owned its ROR in court will set a precedent.
     
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  4. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    So... 4 days later, and Ionos had promised they would escalate my issue and get back to me last Thursday, and I have still not heard a thing.

    So I have phoned up again (and as chance would have it, got exactly the same first-line help responder. I re-iterated that (a) the registration of the .uk (along with 50,000 other mass-registrations) appeared to be in breach of Nominet's terms and conditions for registrars, as the designated 'Registrant' had not given consent to the terms and conditions as Nominet says they muct; and (b) since the .co.uk domain holder had surrendered their domain and let it expire, clearly the justification for Ionos holding on to the domain name no longer existed (allegedly protecting the .co.uk holder from cybersquatters) and Ionos themselves were now effectively cybersquatting on the .uk domain in question.

    I have been promised I will be phoned up, by the person who was supposed to phone me back last Thursday, shortly after 9am this morning.

    My claim is that the original registration of the .uk is null and void, because it was in breach of Nominet rules, and I want to know if this was a unilateral action by Ionos or whether Nominet had waived their own rules in advance and facilitated the registrations and consented to them, in advance of these mass-registrations.

    My secondary claim is that they have no just grounds for continuing to cybersquat on domains that they alone were responsible for registering, when the alleged purpose of those registrations was to protect the .co. uk holders from cybersquatters, and with the expiry of the .co.uk's there is nothing left to protect.
     
  5. stitchbob

    stitchbob Active Member Exclusive Member

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    I'm not 100% sure on the DRS process. Does the mediation go to the registrar or to the registrant?

    I can't imagine the registrant would be too happy if, having allowed his domain to lapse, he had to deal with the hassle of a dispute on a domain he doesn't want and didn't know he had.
     
  6. dee

    dee Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    Did they phone you back this morning ?
     
  7. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    On the DRS, I've spoken to Nominet and they rule that out as an option.

    To Dee, yes, they have just phoned back a few minutes ago, via the same first-line responder, who has consulted with their domain team, and this is what they said:

    They are unwilling to release the .uk domain without first contacting the 'Registrant' and getting their permission to release it. If the 'registrant' says 'no' then they say there is nothing more they can do. If the 'registrant' says 'fine' then what they want me to do is transfer my newly registered .co.uk to the Ionos tag, and they will then consider transferring the .uk to my Ionos account.

    That begs a lot of questions. Firstly 'they will then consider...' is not a commitment. I may open an account with Ionos and change my .co.uk tag, and they may still then decline to transfer the .uk (note- I've said I'm willing to pay for the domain at ordinary Ionos rates, even though they paid nothing for it). I've asked for clarification, and when that clarification will be provided, and been told it will be clarified 'shortly' with a status update tomorrow morning.

    There is also the fact that the so-called 'Registrant' wasn't the actual registrant at all. The named 'Registrant' did not ask for this domain to be registered. Nor were they asked to abide by Nominet's Terms and Conditions, and that is a Registrar breach of Nominet Rules (at least, I believe it is).

    And as mentioned before, if the justification for these mass registrations was protection of the .co.uk, that justification is dead in the water when the .co.uk (like many others - it's happening every day) drops and they're left with zombie .uk domains. At that point, they have de facto registered the .uk domain but then washed their hands of it.

    My next question is what happens if the Registrant doesn't even reply to them?

    I have further follow up questions which are broader, and not specific to my own individual interest: are the 50,000 Ionos mass registrations set to auto renew? I don't think they are, I seem to remember reading somewhere that they're not, but that's a pretty important issue if the so-called 'Registrant' never asked for the domain in the same place.

    And did Nominet specifically tell them, 'Yes, it's fine, we'll waive our own rules about proper use of domain etc being contracted by the registrant in advance of registration'? Because if so, that seems to me quite surprising, in the context of misuse and abuse of domain names, and I don't understand why or how that important condition of registration (a rule Nominet requires of registrars - they have to get that Registrant consent) would be waived. Why would Nominet have agreed to that? Personally I suspect that there was no specific permission granted to waive that rule. But it happened, and when I phoned at the time back in June, a Nominet representative was aware of what was happening, but defended the action on the grounds that it protected .co.uk holders from cybersquatters.

    You can't protect a .co.uk holder if they are no longer a .co.uk holder. At that point you become part of the problem, not part of any (alleged) solution.
     
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  8. bb99 United Kingdom

    bb99 Well-Known Member

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    Once you've exhausted things with Ionos, I think your next port of call would be a complaint about them to Nominet (see "Complaining about a registrar" here: https://www.nominet.uk/complaints/ ).

    They only seem to accept complaints in relation to the RRA, so looking at that they may fall down on #2.8.1 / #3.2.3 of the RRA.

    But having said that, surely all this was raised with Nominet at the time and Nominet decided it was all fine, so maybe not!
     
  9. stitchbob

    stitchbob Active Member Exclusive Member

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    Can Nominet unilaterally refuse to accept a DRS? They might well be able to advise that it is highly unlikely to succeed on the facts presented, but as a governing body, I don't believe they should be allowed to pick and choose which cases to accept at such an early stage.
     
  10. super-whois United Kingdom

    super-whois Active Member

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    One can only "rule out" a DRS with an expert opinion, i.e. a DRS application. Was this an attempt to fob you off, as they don't want a DRS to sent a precedent...
     
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  11. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Stitchbob and super-whois, when I say they rule that out, what I meant was that they said that my action would not have a realistic chance of succeeding - and I'm not sure I want to pay for that process in that case.

    I am more tempted to find out, separately, whether the mass-registrations factually contravened Nominet rules for Registrars. I believe that protocols in the UK's DNS system should not be broken (for transparent and unbiased administration of the country's namespace). Were these registrations legitimate, and in concordance with Nominet's own rules?

    A complaint along the lines that bb99 mentions may be the way to go.

    However, first I want to see how Ionos proceeds. I want a specific and defined chain of events on which to base any such complaint.
     
  12. bulkcorn

    bulkcorn Active Member

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    I doubt that you will remain the owner of the couk if you transfer it to their tag.
     
  13. Trauiner United Kingdom

    Trauiner Active Member

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    I hate how these companies hide behind the fact that they did it for the good of their clients and to protect them.

    The reality is, is that they were registered so the average person would feel obligated to keep renewing as it was in their account. They saw it as easy money. This sort of practice should not be legal.

    If was about 'brand/name protection', you could argue that they should automatically register all domain extensions where possible. Just because someone bought a .co.uk doesn't mean they don't target other countries also and therefore should be 'protected'.
     
  14. stitchbob

    stitchbob Active Member Exclusive Member

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    I could be wrong, but I believe the process is free up to the mediation stage. The £750 charge only applies if you want to progress to adjudication.
     
  15. jasman United Kingdom

    jasman Active Member

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    Don't be surprised if the registrant, having got wind that someone wants the domain, will now opt to keep it in the hope they can sell it for a good profit.
     
  16. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Update:

    Ionos promised to contact the previous registrant of the .co. uk who is now, without asking to be, the designated registrant of the .uk

    Predictably, the previous registrant has not replied.

    Ionos will do nothing.

    The domain remains a zombie domain.

    "We registered without asking the person", (and without their consent to Nominet's terms and conditions) "to protect their .co.uk from cybersquatters."

    How can you protect a domain that has expired?

    The designated registrant has played no part, and given no consent, for the registration done in their name.

    This contradicts Nominet's own terms and conditions for registrars.

    "But Nominet told us in advance that it would be alright for us to do it."

    So I am left waiting until next June to see if the .uk will be released then, or auto-renewed to extend its zombie life.

    And as the new .co.uk registrant of the name, after it dropped, I am NOT protected from cybersquatters, because in effect, in my opinion, Ionos ARE the cybersquatters. They registered it. They caused the name to be 'zombified'.

    It is annoying, because it's a site I want to use for charity, but I want at least the chance to register the .uk

    Nobody else seems to want it.