20i Domains

Good idea for Nominet ?

Discussion in 'Nominet General Information' started by domaingenius, Apr 5, 2006.

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  1. Beasty

    Beasty Active Member

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    Alternatively, if you kept in more regular contact - with emails such as those asking for their views on things like any DRS changes - they might be better aware of who you were and why you were contacting them. It might even help prevent third parties scamming renewals and so on - activities which Nominet has policed very well after it has happened, but we'd all agree were better prevented than cured.
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. Beasty

    Beasty Active Member

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    Control for Ordinary Resolutions (over 50% of the voting rights) at the EGM vested in 3 Nominet members - 1&1, Fasthosts and Pipex. With a few more of the larger members voting rights, a small clique would have had the power to pass Special Resolutions (75% of votes cast). One of those Big 3 on their own can block any changes that require 90% approval under Nominet's Mem& Arts.

    So due to weighted voting - and factor in the lack of overall interest shown by the membership even when huge changes were proposed at an EGM - the question of who owns Nominet is not a simple matter of looking at the whole membership list. Even if you do - a quick scan suggests that the vast majority of the 3,000 odd members are involved in registering domains in larger than average quantities either for themselves or (more often) third parties.

    My point is that the nearly 5 million registrants have NO direct say in how the registry is run - nor do they have an alternative means of control via government chanels. They are disenfranchised.

    I am no general defender of government - so I accept your broader point - but I think they do a pretty good job (helped by a few hundred years experience) in managing various aspects of the UK's IP framework - such as Trade Marks and Patents. Things can be changed by judicial precedent (imperfect maybe, but at least handed down by highly experienced well trained people appointed by the state to a position of authority) and changes to the legistlature (see the Gower Review on IP as an example).

    I think it needs to be accepted that registration of a domain name grants an IP (not merely a contractual) right - as has been accepted in the US following the sex.com litigation. The job (and the stakes) are now too high to be left in the hands of a private company holding and controlling a valuable monopoly. Even if many of the same people ended up doing much the same roles based in Oxford, the time has come (as the EGM showed) for a proper review of Nominet and its function to take place. Is that so terrifying?
     
  4. Jay Daley New Zealand

    Jay Daley Active Member

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    There is quite a leap from your first sentence to your second. Don't forget that Nominet, unusually for domain registries, has a direct contract with the registrant, as well as the tag holder. We have fifty members of staff who deal with registrants problems day in and day out. This level of direct contact gives us in-depth understanding of their issues, which feeds directly into the executive view on policy.

    At the same time, many of the PAB members represent registrants, either directly or as part of their take on the issues. JAC for example is a very strong defender of the rights and views of registrants.

    However I take your point that there is no channel similar to that of the Canadian registry.

    I've cut out the legal bits in your message since IANAL ! As to the rest of it -

    I think this is the tail wagging the dog. Whilst the IP/DRS side of things is of great concern to one important community, the rest of Nominet (a much bigger part) is a very stable and respected operation. Even if I do say so myself. So for perceived problems in the DRS to lead to a general takeover by Government is both unnecessary and damaging.

    This is also the very clear view of all those people in Government who deal with Nominet.

    Finally, we are not a monopoly. The basic product is a domain name, which you can use to host a web site or email and so on. You can get a domain name from many different registries, not just us, so no monopoly there. What we have is a strong brand. So yes, if you want a .co.uk then it does have come from us. But .co.uk is a brand not the basic product.
     
  5. netserve

    netserve Active Member

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    50 members of staff to deal with registrants who should be dealing with their domain registrars NOT Nominet!

    If so many people are having to go direct to Nominet for support then the registrars are failing in a big way. Do you really want to take the issues they're seeing as being representative of all registrants?
     
  6. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    If ‘.uk’ was a ‘Brand’ as you say, surely it would be considered a trademark? :???: :rolleyes:

    Not a Monopoly – In a global sense probably not, but taken in a UK sense it is very much so! If I want a UK domain there’s only one fundamental source with only one 'choice' (not a word I like to use as there really isn't a 'choice') of contract, in my mind that’s a Monopoly.

    I’m not an expert on these matters, but if I was to do a search on Google looking for pages from the UK, I’d guess the .uk extension will have some bearing on the results, as you are a D.I.T. maybe you could enlighten me on whether this is the case or not? ;) If it is then for someone to use a different countries extension would be a severe disadvantage, not forgetting the confusion that it would cause for their customers.

    Remember the .uk extension ‘on the whole’ identifies the domain as a UK domain. How many UK businesses do you see with lets say the .es extension? – Answer without even looking = zero!

    I wonder how many other excuses Nominet will use in an attempt to C.T.A.? :(
     
  7. gordon United Kingdom

    gordon Active Member

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    To paraphrase the above:
    Coca-Cola is not a monopoly in the Cola sense but taken from a Coca-cola sense it is very much so. If you want Coca-cola there is only one fundamental source with only one 'choice'. ;)


    Possibly more related to the historic need to be resident in Spain to use that domain. However many many thousands of UK businesses have a com/org/net/info/biz/eu domain.
     
  8. gordon United Kingdom

    gordon Active Member

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    This is a misunderstanding of the Nominet structure, probably due to the use of the word "Board" in the Policy Advisory Boards name. Nominet does not have an "Executive board", it has a very capable management team that are overseen by the Board of Directors (which is different from the PAB). The current board of directors has 1 executive, 1 chairman and 4 non-execs elected by the membership of Nominet.

    The PAB gives advice to the the Board of Directors but does not oversee its actions.
     
  9. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum Gordon :)
    An odd analogy I would say and one I hope is not yet another reason used by Nominet and such like to justify the ‘status quo’.

    It’s like saying if you want to have a phone line with BT then go to BT …Just a little bit too specific.

    Now if you were to say I’d like a phone line in the UK and I don’t want to be tied into specific contract terms, then the choices would be far greater, especially as BT’s Monopoly was broken some time ago :-D


    .uk is designed and operated primarily as a UK service and as such those who use it benefit a great deal in using the .uk extension rather than any other extension (global or othwise) in the UK.
     
  10. Beasty

    Beasty Active Member

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    Not a leap really - no one has a right to a say in how Nominet is run in their capacity as a registrant. They may also be a member - and there may well be genuine defending of their rights by James and others - but the fact remains that they have no legal standing within Nominet's governance.

    I'm sorry if you thought my driving force in this was the DRS. Not so. My concern is that the Internet - and the management of the .uk part of it - is a far more serious question than it was 10 years ago when Dr Black et al appointed themselves the guardians of it. What nearly happened at the EGM - and the control that a few parties demonstrated - brought that into even more stark relief. If we were starting out today, would we set up a private company to run it?

    Some of the blurb that preceded the EGM was right in that change is needed. Nominet proposed an even more liberal private company model. I think we should look at the question afresh and ask whether it is not now time to have .uk in the hands of a properly regulated government agency.
    I'm sorry - but that's even less tenable than saying that Companies House does not have a monopoly on UK companies; or the Patent Office for trade marks and patents. If you are a UK busienss/individual then to designate that online you need a .uk domain. It is a market in itself.

    Even if you argue that .com, .net and .org offer a generic alternative, and .eu a european one - then even in that market on the latest figures I have (which precede .eu) - .uk retains a domainant market share of internet registrations where the registrant is in the UK. Other country codes - as the OFT concur in the .scot report - are of "limited substitutability" for a .uk and should be ignored.

    So I believe - and the OFT hint quite strongly - .uk is a market and Nominet is the only place to get one. The real issue is not whether Nominet has a monopoly or is at least dominant within a wider market - but whether that is appropriate and whether there are any competition abuses going on. As I said earlier in the thread, this is not the time or the place to start analysing that.
     
  11. Beasty

    Beasty Active Member

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    OK - point taken - sorry if I misunderstood - though as you say it is a rather unique structure. I'm guessing from your knowledge of it that you may be part of it. If so - who is responsible for overseeing a decision by the executive/management in Mr Cheese's case that appears to have no basis in authority under the DRS.

    In fact it seems from what I understand - and he can obviously correct me if I am wrong - to have resulted in the revising of a DRS Decision that no one seems to have the authority to change once it has been passed to the parties and posted online. Whose job is it to look after someone like him - who complains in accordance with the rules about a DRS Decision that from what he said made no sense as it was contradictory - and finds in response that he has been given a substantially different Decision with the contradictory sentence removed?

    I'm not asking for comment on the merits of his case - but on the principle it raises and what structures and safeguards are in place. Alternatively, perhaps someone can put minds at rest by pointing at the authority under which this was done.
     
  12. gordon United Kingdom

    gordon Active Member

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    The Board of Directors oversees the Executive.


    If there is a complaint then I'd recommend the person that has a grievance follows the formal complaints procedure. Details available at:
    http://www.nominet.org.uk/about/complaints/
     
  13. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    Oh dear… Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt… Not once, not twice, but three times a lady! ;) ...And the result, well even the spare ended up in the gully, with a zero points score – how does that happen? :rolleyes::???:
     
  14. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    LOL.

    If only it was a game, but it ain't.

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
  15. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    Does "practical" enter into your thinking at all Beasty, or do you just seek to impose on others what you couldn't possibly hope to achieve in your own work environment? And no, I am not being sarcastic or faceteous, I'm simply looking for the practicalities in your rather idealistic notions.

    The fact is (and I talk from experience) even if a customer or registrant gets an email, it often gets blocked by their own spam filters. I have even been reported to SpamCop for 'spamming' my own customers for gawd sake! I have even had customers call me on the phone and ask me to block my own email address from sending to them! (I kid you not!)

    The point is, if the client doesn't know who they signed up with, it ain't necessarily Nominet's fault or mine or any ISP's. Those are the practical type things I would like you to acknowledge and either you do not understand these internet quirks or you simply don't care that they exist. It's all very well suggesting a problem is somebody else's but that's as much abdication as you are accusing everyone else of. You can't have rights without responsibility and each registrant actually has responsibilties too. Responsibility isn't a one-way street! Sounds like you want Nominet to spoon feed the UK domain community, which is simply not fair, not reasonable, and not practical. Herein endth the sermon. ;)

    However, as you rightly point out, I firmly believe an educational campaign should indeed be embarked on to enlighten people who (lest you conveniently ignore it again) have a responsibility to look after their own registrations too. If I remember correctly, this will be one of the responsibilities (that word again) of the new Director of Marketing and Communication at Nominet.

    Dare I say, just as well someone is being responsible in the community! :cool:

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
  16. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    Using your logic nearly 80 million don't have a direct say in how the Government is run. Indeed, it seems the government doesn't even have a direct say in how Tony Blair is run ;) but let's be fair. These are all arguable points, and there are 3 sides to every story; yours, mine and the truth. The truth is you cannot disenfranchise someone by giving them the right to contact the registry at any time by email, letter, or phone, and the stakeholder can indeed contact Nominet anytime with their comments, suggestions, complaints or otherwise; and all responses to public consultations are welcomed and taken into account.

    If by "IP" you are talking Intellectual Property, this has very little to do with the domain name system or the internet infrastructure and more to do with matters of law. In terms of government led internet initiatives here's just one reason why you really need to rethink your opinion on who should run the .uk Domain Name System (or Internet). Companies House has to shut down its mainframe system on a Sunday because it is basically too old and needs to be rested; so no-one can connect to their database on a Sunday. Given that Companies House is an Executive Agency of The Department of Trade and Industry, it seems just slightly bizarre that this is the case. Conversely, everyone who wants to, can connect to Nominet on a Sunday. Strange eh? ;)

    Nothing is so terrifying than someone who thinks the way they do things in the U.S. is good. I cite the FCC and the censorship that body imposes on television, and especially Internet Television stations. The Federal Communications Commission is apparently an independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. Er; independent and directly responsibile to Congress? Here's how independent it is. It is directed by 5 Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for 5-year terms.

    Add to that characters like Jerry Fallwell who dictates (and I mean dictates) his fundamentalist brand of Christianity to everyone else no matter what their creed, religion, race or persuasion (and God help you if you are gay, black and crippled) and you have one of the greatest crusades ever. (And in case you don't know, the crusades butchered tens of thousands of so-called non-believers.) I was born a Catholic but I would no more force my beliefs on anyone else than I would tolerate them doing the same to me; but as they say, only in America.

    Here's a quote from one U.S. citizen about Mr Fallwell: "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." Well, forgive me for being blunt, but I distrust people who know so well what they want from the Internet and how it always coincides with their own desires.

    Freedom is not the right to do as you please Beasty, it is the liberty to do as you ought; and you 'ought' to think about the rights of the 5 million stakeholders you will most definitely disenfranchise by imposing a government run domain name system on them.

    Think again Beasty, and not just from your own standpoint! That's what the internet should be about; the people; and that doesn't mean just you and me!

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  17. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    Hi Jac, just wondered why you don’t want to talk to me any more. I have tried emailing a couple of times, but with no reply. You were ever so keen in the beginning ;) …could you kindly tell me what’s happened to change this?

    I ‘think’ I’d be right in saying that it’s more than likely that the majority of .uk domain holders think Nominet is a government ran agency. I know the majority of the people I’ve ever spoke to regarding the subject were shocked to hear it wasn’t! I’m not sure therefore how they would get “disenfranchised” :confused:
     
  18. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    What I wrote on my website is about education. Why? Because it has been my own experience that many registrants, no matter how much mail or e-mail correspondence you send their way, still don't pay enough attention to detail nor understand the registrar/registry relationship. Some of them don't even remember who they registered what through. Spookily enough, they don't much understand it in the .COM arena either. I constantly get emails asking who XYZ Top Level Registrar is and "why are they sending me a reminder"? I usually have to say, "because you ignored mine". And as I said in a previous post, this is not necessarily mine or the registry's fault. The point is, doing something is always preferable to doing nothing, and an educational campaign will help. It's better than allowing the current lack of knowledge to flourish and cause even more unnecessary problems.

    Practicalities Beasty, practicalities! One must view what is possible and what is practical with a large dose of realism. Just not you it seems! ;)

    I have no problem with any organisation being investigated by the OFT; it is often beneficial for the sake of transparency; but no matter what was said and done, you simply dislike the conclusions that were reached. If I remember correctly, Nominet had already started to review its SLD procedure before the OFT investigation, so this was less to do with Nominet being duplicitous (as you seem to suggest) and more to do with Nominet reviewing its systems and making them fairer, if possible. They do this periodically anyway, as they are now doing with the DRS (but you'll never convince all of the people all of the time). Now that they've made the SLD procedure fairer, you still choose to dispute that they acted in good faith. Isn't that bigotry?

    Then strike tolalitarianism and insert authoritarianism. Either way, so what?! People still have a right (amidst all the legalese and legislation) to choose their own direction and/or destiny within their given field of endeavour. Or do you want to dictate their right to choose too?

    Firstly; I never said or inferred that the stakeholder community is just the Nominet Membership! The stakeholder community is every single person who registers a .uk domain name. Indeed, this is why Nominet refers to it in its mission statement; i.e. "the interests of the relevant stakeholder communities". You continue to argue Patent Office et al but as I have already said, you cannot make such comparisions because Nominet is a private company limited by guarantee. A different set of rules apply and Nominet is bound to act on its fiduciary duty as defined by Company Law. I shouldn't have to teach you to suck eggs in this respect but you continue to misrepresent it by innuendo and inequitable analogies. However; if indeed these things were to be tested, you are right; it would be by someone with greater power than either of us. In the meantime, please stop misrepresenting what currently exists.

    The .uk namespace is IMO an intangible, just as IMO a domain name is; but for the existence of an entry in a database it wouldn't exist. However, if the .uk namespace is indeed a national asset, it is in the altruism that it belongs to the people (aka the stakeholder). Nominet holds this quasi-asset in trust for the UK community just as The Government (for instance) holds Stonehenge in trust for the UK community too. However, whilst Nominet seeks to protect the .uk namespace, the Department for Transport is planning to widen the A303 highway that runs close to Stonehenge which effectively means a 4 lane dual carriageway cutting through the heart of this World Heritage Site. Whilst the stone circle itself will not be harmed, the landscape setting will be badly damaged and other important archaeological remains could be destroyed.

    So forgive me all over the place if I prefer Nominet's responsible management of the .uk namespace to the Government's lack of respect for the 5,000 years of history that is Stonehenge. If you want to talk government responsibility for the .uk namespace, you need to talk the reality of responsibility; not the obscure rationale of idealism; no matter how well intentioned your motives.

    As "Gordon" pointed out in another post the PAB has no authority over the board. All the PAB can do is advise and make recommendations in its collective capacity. However, this does not mean that one or other PAB member cannot ask his/her own questions, which is part of the democratic way in which Nominet is run in the interests of, guess who? The Stakeholder. For the record, I chose to initiate contact with Sneezycheese privately a few weeks ago and I am happy to ask questions on his behalf privately; but I am not going to be coerced into breaking confidences on this or any other public forum and not least of all because you have already formulated your opinion in the matter and it seems clear you have closed your mind on the issue.

    There's more to being right than just thinking it and there's more to justice than what you want for yourself. Justice is based on decisions handed down, yet you bandied the word around (in a former post) like you have some predetermined right that no-one else has. I won't play politics with right and wrong. The one thing I strongly agree with you on is this. Justice will be served by "someone with greater power than either of us", but power without responsibility is tyranny.

    In the case of the DRS, I would not be so presumptuous as to suggest I could outguess people with more expert or legal knowledge than myself though I reserve my right as an individual to ask the hard questions and establish the reasons why a thing is (or was) done in a certain way. In that respect, I will get back to sneezycheese privately as soon as I feel I have considered all the answers I have received.

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  19. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    There are many reasons why registrants may go direct to Nominet. One of these being the inevitability of market forces that dictates one or other registrars or ISPs go bust each month. I remember a particular case last year where one mid sized ISP went bust leaving over 5,000 users without DNS or mailservice. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters or Nominet UK?

    As an aside, we all know there are indeed registrars failing their customers (registrants) in one way or another; on tag transfer requests for instance; and this is another reason Nominet gets contacted on a daily basis. Please do not tar and feather the majority of good people with the bad. Incidentally, the Raising Industry Standards consultation seeks to address these issues and there's still time to make your comments known by responding to it.

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
  20. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    ...Thanks Jac, I look forward to your reply. :)

    Regards,

    Sneezycheese.
     
  21. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    If you mean me (Jac) then I am grateful for your objectivity. A previous poster accused me of not showing my true colours; but Jay Daley is right (and I thank him for saying it) I am indeed a very strong defender of the rights and views of registrants; even those I vehemently disagree with. I'm that kind of democrat. :D

    I'm equally sure Beasty has every good intention at heart, but he is stuck in a very objective standpoint. What I have learned in my years as a Nominet member (and PAB member) is that you have to look at the big picture if you are trying to be fair to each and every stakeholder. Much as I would like to wave a magic wand and make everybody's personal wish come true, there will always be some grievance somewhere because of the very nature of FCFS and Nominet's attempts to remain impartial.

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
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