20i Domains

Good idea for Nominet ?

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

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  1. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    Your mother scared the bejaysus out of me! :-D

    And joking aside, I will get back to you privately when I've cogitated, ruminated, and digested all available info.

    I don't necessarily agree that the majority think Nominet is a government run agency, but I take your point. And like I said earlier, this is the reason I am personally keen on an educational campaign to enlighten registrants as to the who's, what's, and why's. Regarding my "disenfranchised" comment; I think Jay Daley gave some good reasons why being government run would disenfranchise registrants more than trying to work with a registry that has their collective interests at heart. I know you have your own grievance and its hard to be totally objective when you feel slighted. However, as I said earlier, I will get back to you privately and soon.

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    Well, if you're gonna use the BT analogy, you have to consider that most of the other so-called independent operators are ostensibly linked back to BT's influence and infrastructure. Same thing in terms of internet 'connectivity'; every connectivity road seems to lead back to BT (who owns the backbone). Whilst I may be accused of oversimplying the matter, if you think of BT as Versign (the Registry) and the other operators as Top Level Registrars, then you may see my point which is; that BT still has undue influence on the market, no matter what Ofcom has done or tried to do.

    BT's competitors are so concerned they even formed UKCTA; The UK Competitive Telecommunications Association; which exists to promote greater competition in the fixed-line telecommunications market. UKCTA believes that a level playing field has yet to be established and that current "rules" mean that BT (which is taxed on a completely different basis from the majority of UKCTA members) has an unfair advantage. UKCTA members include Abovenet; AT&T, Cable & Wireless, C.O.L.T., Easynet, Gamma Telecom, Global Crossing, Kingston Communications, ntl, Opal Telecom, Redstone, Thus, Tiscali, and Wanadoo. BT still remains the dominant provider of wholesale broadband services in the UK.

    Further to your reference to "choice"... although people think they have greater choice in the .COM domain, every Top Level Registrar (TLR) is linked back to Verisign. ICANN has just allowed Verisign to dictate prices over the next few years and there ain't a thing all those other TLRs can do about it.

    So when you think the choices are "greater", you have to consider (dare I say again) the bigger picture. ;)

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
  4. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    ...Ah my beloved mother, she certainly can have that effect on some people.:) :)

    ...I ‘think’ we agree on this point. ;) The only thing I was really trying to get at is that in a commercial environment a consumer is able to (again I say it) ‘choose’ what contract they want to enter into. So on a UK level and you want a phone service contract there’s a plethora of them available, this being broadly speaking due to the fact BT has had to ‘relinquish’ a lot of its control, not totally but ‘on the coal face’ as it were it has been fairly well done. On the other hand on a UK level and you want a UK domain contract (for the obvious reasons I stated earlier), the ‘choice’ is err, um, let me think… Ah ha Nominet, Nominet or… Nominet. Hardly in the spirit of the law (both UK and EU) I’d say.

    Now at a guess, I’d say ‘if’ Nominet was to be a Government Agency as Beasty suggests, then a single ‘contract’ (I’m not sure that that’s the right word in context) would be fine. The reason being that in my mind the ‘contract’ as it were would have to follow the laws of the UK and I guess this predominately would be Trademark Law. The other benefit would be ‘true’ accountability, ultimately the ability to go up to the level of Judicial Review, which as I understand it is not an option as it stands at the moment.

    I think my bag is that is seems from my perspective that there are certain elements of Nominet that seem to think that it’s OK to ‘stretch the rules a bit’ in order to get Nominet out of a pickle (this highlighted by the fact that the Nominet Lawyer replied to two of my three letters despite NOT writing to him on any of the three occasions). Now I must say I don’t much like the current contract, but it’s there I live with it even if I believe that certain areas of it are unfair. The bottom line is that a contract is a two way street and someone (and we know who that someone is) is not abiding by their side of the deal. :(

    Accountability, it’s been mentioned a few times on this thread and I believe that it is important (I think it’s probably a general feeling from all of us actually). So is Nominet accountable??? I mean really accountable, ‘on the coal face’ as it were, day to day, not ‘once in a blue moon’ when there’s a ‘review’, or a ‘vote’, or a ‘general meeting’. I think ‘truly’ we all know the answer to that particular question.

    Now a certain individual from Nominet in a public statement mentioned the importance of ‘Quality Control’ within the organisation. I can’t speak for the rest of the outfit but from what I can see (and I know something about Q.C.) the D.R.S. has got little to none!

    Finally, the original question was asking about outsourcing the DRS to the Patent Office. My thoughts would are that yes I think it would be better than the ‘status quo’ for all concerned (even Nominet), but of course the ‘contract’ would need to change to better reflect the law and the issue of ‘rights’ in a legal sense, but I guess the Patent Office is in a good spot to fully understand this. Also there would be proper channels available to any disenfranchised party, ultimately leading to the ultimate option of a Judicial Review.
     
  5. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    It seems BT's competitors do not agree with you about "fairly well done". The members of UKCTA (UK Competitive Telecommunications Association) actually compete with each other, yet they are united in their standpoint on what they see as an unfair playing field in the fixed-line telecommunications market. They say the current unlevel playing field gives BT an unfair advantage and stops them offering lower prices to their own customers. Personally, if all these experienced telecoms people are telling me this, I'm inclined to believe they know better than me. One has to trust those with the expertise at some point; a philosophy that could be applied to this forum's apparent dislike for all things Nominet.

    I am struggling with the "choice" issue as you guys see it. The fact is, there is only one .de registry, only one .fr registry, one .au registry and only one .com registry. All these registries do not seem to create the kind of animosity some of you guys show towards Nominet, yet in practice, the only way to truly compete in .uk is to have more than one .uk registry; just as the only way to truly compete in .com is to have more than one too. To suggest; as some people have; that having a multitude of Top Level Registrars (TLRs) is "competing" is a misnomer, when all these TLRs are tied to Verisign as the one Registry.

    Another question I would ask is this; how does it benefit the registrant if he/she has to read through dozens of different TLR Terms and Conditions before deciding which TLR to register through? The truth is, most registrants don't read Terms and Conditions even though it is a legal requirement of domain name registration (.com, .uk or otherwise). The other requirement is, they have to accept the Terms and Conditions and this is the same no matter which domain name extension you register in. Further to that the Australian Registry says that if you want to register multiple domain names, you have to show a "close and personal relationship". There is currently a public consultation (down under) on the issue of domaining.

    I don't get this reasoning. Nominet is legally bound to "follow the laws" of the UK no matter what spin is put on the issue; so when people keep alluding to the alleged law breaking entity that is Nominet, I find myself wondering which country they are in. English Law governs Nominet just as it governs every other English business. I assume your reference to Judicial Review is in respect of the DRS (?) and whilst IANAL, I would suggest there are always avenues open to anyone with a grievance to take it further (in a legal sense).

    How can someone not be abiding by the deal if they are working within the terms of their contract? Nominet is bound by law to work within its own terms and conditions and/or contract. This kind of logic is akin to trying to unfry an egg. Not liking the contract is actually fine; you have a right not to like it; but here's a shock horror suggestion; wouldn't it be more productive; and ultimately more fulfilling; to make suggestions for the changes you would like to see, rather than constantly complain about what you don't like?

    I've said it before and I'll say it again; there are 3 sides to every story; yours, mine and the truth. The truth is the bit that often hurts because it doesn't necessarily fit in with our own subjective viewpoints. What I find ironic is that Nominet UK has always been prepared to listen and change, but some of you guys just won't get involved in the democratic process; you'd rather just continuing with the wailing and gnashing of teeth. As for accountability; how many other companies do you know who spend so much time conferring with government, trading, and consumer bodies, in an effort to stay on the right side of the very complex laws people keep alleging Nominet breaks? How many companies do you know that will set up a committee (PAB) with a mandate to question its own domain name policy and make recommendations for change from a stakeholder perspective? How many companies do you know who will come onto forums like this (eg: Jay Daley, Edward Phillips, Gordon) and try to answer the oftimes volatile and sometimes abusive questions? Yet you give no credence it seems to Nominet's efforts to take every stakeholder's opinion into consideration. Sorry, that's just plain shortsighted and lacking in the fair play you keep demanding for yourselves.

    I don't suppose it ever occurred to the dropcatcher and domainer community that if the government did indeed run the .uk registry, that a government's penchant for fair play might see both dropcatching and domaining being outlawed as a business model? I don't suppose it ever occurred to the dropcatcher and domainer community that the first thing a government run domain name system might do, is regard the practice of registering thousands of domain names that cannot be used by other "user registrants" as not in the interests of the wider community? Some of you talk about 'rights' and Judicial Review like these things are biased to one side only. Rights belong to everyone, not just you, me, or any other individual. What I think you are talking about is privilege not rights and privilege is something successive governments talk about eradicating, because in today's free world, privilege is seen as anti-democratic and a vote loser; it reeks of the old world values of class distinction and prejudice.

    George Bernard Shaw once wrote: "There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it." Be careful what you wish for, it might come back to bite you on the proverbials. ;)

    Regards
    James Conaghan
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  6. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    Is everyone enjoying this? :mrgreen:

    So lets begin:

    …Maybe not, but I bet rather a lot of consumers and end customers do (including me)! :)

    ...I think you knew what I meant Jac, as there can be a fair bit of difference between that what’s written in Statute and that what’s written in a Contract. Oh and by the way, here’s an extract from a comment made on this forum by Ed Philips himself: ;)
    ...You’ve seen the evidence Jac, do you ‘really’ think they’ve abided by the contract???

    ...Don’t worry I will. I won’t be holding my breath though.

    Sorry Jac, have to disagree with you there and with good evidence. Companies House lets the the like of the following company http://www.formationshouse.com/search/readymade.php ‘warehouse’ and sell ‘off the shelf’ companies, akin to the dropcatcher/domainer community with domains. So there would be little reason for such activities that many of these good people on this forum actively partake in to be ‘outlawed’ as you say.

    By the way, do you think a Government Agency would have called a ‘Complainants’ admitted criminal activity in its attempt to obtain a domain ‘irrelevant’?

    …I also see we have at least one other case shown on this forum where it seems that some are willing to go down the criminal route to obtain a domain name. I bet there are many more cases like this out there, especially as it is shown that domains can have some significant value. And yet I have had NO reply from Nominet in how they intend to deal with such matters now and in the future. Maybe it is, and will remain so ‘irrelevant’ to them. :???:
     
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  7. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    Simon, you are extremely selective with your answers and you have totally missed the point I was making! Which is ironic, as it was actually to your advantage. The point being that BT's competitors (in the form of UKCTA) would like to offer even lower prices to a "lot of consumers and end customers"! I'm sure you wouldn't say no to lower prices, would you? That was the point. :cool:

    But I thought you were looking for what was "fair" not what was 'in statute' or 'A N Other' Contract? What is in statute and indeed Law, does not always equate to what is "fair". The Law is not just, it is just legal; and justice ends up being a commodity available to the deepest pockets, not the equitable notion mere mortals harbour. If you are indeed interested in what is fair, then you need to be prepared to look at what is fair for every other stakeholder too, and there's an awful lot of 'em in the wider communities. The trouble with "fair" is that it is a subjective concept and it takes big kahoonas to accept that other people have rights too, especially when their rights may conflict with yours. That's the dilemma for any community led organisation; if the answer was easy, someone would've found it already. All any of us can do is seek a compromise the majority can live with. You either work with it or against it and one of those options makes you feel like you are actually contributing; but; the choice is yours. No individual will ever change the world on their lonesome, but if they can change just one mind at a time, that's a result too (at least, to me).

    If you are referring to your DRS case, here's what I think. I think a decision was made that you don't like and I can understand why you don't like it. Heck, I can even empathise; but with the benefit of hindsight, I think it would have given you more closure if you had gone straight to Court. I say this because I am privy to the information you sent me, and my sensibilities are very much with you on the reprehensible tactics of the other side. However IMHO there are two separate issues here; though I doubt you will be able to accept that. IANAL; but my experience of the courts is that they tend to concern themselves only with the facts of the dispute at hand. They do not as a rule, allow themselves to be sidetracked into secondary issues, no matter how emotive or abhorrent those issues may be; and Civil and Criminal courts are not the same. So, unpalatable as it may be; from the case law available; I personally believe you would have had the same result in Court; but at least you would have had the closure you seem to find lacking in the DRS.

    Why do you think everything I suggest is an attack? I am not the enemy. There are a fair number of Nominet Members who are prepared to listen to people from other stakeholder groups and take their views forward (even those they disagree with). It has been my own experience; and not just with Nominet; that the best way to change a system is from within. Pounding on doors, and banging of heads on brick walls is optional, and sometimes a smack in the gob offends less than the spoken word but the written word can be a powerful tool when it is used as part of an official presentation. Trust me on this; I'm a used car salesman. :cool:

    Sometimes the status quote really is the best option but I can't make you (or Beasty) hear what is being said if you simply close your mind. That said, I'll try again. Here are some figures for your consideration.

    Whois-Search (Andrew) guestimates the numbers of .uk registrations to domainers as 10% of the total. For the sake of expediency, if we assume this is a reasonable statistic, that still leaves a 90% majority. Now; because I actually believe in the collective rights of the registrant communities, I reach out and talk to as many people as I possibly can (not just Nominet Members). What every other body (except domainers) tells me, is that they regard domaining as an unfair business practice. If you don't believe me, I would be happy to initiate a public consultation on the issue; but as I said before; be careful what you wish for.

    My own suggestion (made in all humility) is that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones; things tend to get broken! My point was that Government has to take notice of "the people" and if the people measures 90% of the relevant communities, I'd say you'd be on a hiding to nothing if you try to test public opinion. But; as I keep saying; that's only my opinion, though it is based on talking to an awful lot of stakeholder groups including those who represent their own agendas on the PAB. (i.e. the Cabinet Office, APIG (All Party Parliamentary Internet Group), the DTI, CBI, FSB and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys).

    I am not the enemy Simon, I am just an individual PAB member pointing out the error in yours and Beasty's thinking. Work with it or against it, but all I ask is that you think about the bigger picture in case you do damage to your own community.

    The short answer is, "I don't know". Do you? The long answer is probably what I said above about Courts and Statute and how they both tend to be pedantic in terms of the matter before them. From what you told me, the criminal matter was dealt with by the Police anyway, as it should be.

    There are approximately 900+ DRS cases a year. Not all of them go the distance but of those that do, the matter before them is the facts of the domain name dispute. No matter how much you protest it shouldn't be, that's what the policy and procedure dictates. If you want to change the policy and procedure I'd be happy to work with you (and Beasty) in an effort to do so, but everybody needs to inject a touch more realism into their individual standpoints in any professional matter. IMHO embarking on character assassination of Nominet and the DRS is not necessarily the most appropriate methodology.

    At the start of your reply to me, you asked if "everyone is enjoying this"? I would ask if everyone understands that for every 'right' they claim, there are 90% more people claiming the same from a different standpoint; and for every wrong they perceive, there are 90% more people perceiving the opposite? Work with it or against it, but I (for one) will be happy to speak up on any point subscribers to this forum want to make. However; I ain't doing it from a standpoint that lacks integrity, and integrity encompasses more than what I personally feel is right and wrong. Some of you guys may disagree with my standpoint, or my terminology, but you can't disagree that rights are not subjective, they belong to all of us; whether we agree with each other or not. That's democracy.

    In closing; "sundeckvip" is the exact trading name of 'the other side' just as "lambertandbutler" was the exact trading name of a particular brand of cigarettes. (Both DRS cases.) SUNDECKVIP.COM had been registered and used since October 2003. You registered sundeckvip.co.uk in January 2005. Had it been the other way round, I would have agreed you had a point; but it wasn't. Be a mensch, shrug your shoulders, and get on with your life. It's too short to waste on 'what ifs' and 'might have beens'.

    Regards
    James Conaghan
    [PAB Member]
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
  8. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    Just a quick reply, before I head off into the sunset.

    …Ah selection, yet another one of those 'choices' that we all make from time to time. ;) On a serious note though, all I was trying to say is, that in this case the first steps in the right direction have been made and as a direct result has benefited us all. I by no means say no to things getting even better, that would be silly. :D

    …Thanks for the empathy, it’s appreciated. I think that you are right that there is two separate issues here, one of which has past and I have moved on from, the other is one that gives me most concern because it relates directly with my (and every one else’s) contract with Nominet both now and in the future. To this end I’ve done my bit and followed and abided by an agreed process/contract… So my questions are:

    a. Has Nominet done so also???
    b. Is Nominet ‘truly’ accountable on a ‘day to day’ basis??? If so, HOW??? ...If not, WHY???
    c. Is there any Quality Control in the DRS??? If so, WHERE???
    d. Does anybody think it’s ‘fair’ for Nominet to demand what amounts to nearly £3,500 (inc vat) to correct a mistake made by Nominet???
    e. Is a 50% rate of 'expert' decisions going to appeal then overturned an acceptable ratio??? ..and WHY???
    f. What measures need to be put into place to correct the above???
    g. The ‘Formal Complaints Procedure’, what’s its purpose??? Especially given what you now know.
    h. As Nominet is apparently considered a ‘Natural Monopoly’ (not quite sure what this means, but anyway) and is ‘supposed’ to be ‘Non-Discriminatory’ to comply with UK & EU Competition Laws, how is it then ‘fair’ for Nominet to demand what amounts to nearly £3,500 to fix their mistake???

    …I never thought you were Jac, come down to Salisbury and I’ll buy you a pint. You could invite Beasty to join us too, quite the trio we’d be supping our pints down at ‘La Rouge’. :cool:

    …’mensch’ had to look that one up being the simple soul that I am. On to your point; I guess 'one needs' from time to time, as and when the situation arises to say “no thank you” and NOT obligingly bend over and take it up the proverbial, enough said me thinks. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
  9. Jac

    Jac Active Member

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    I am happy to answer your questions in a personal capacity but I will also ask them of the PAB and Nominet too and get back to you with their answers as soon as I can do this.

    However, I need to address your last point first :cool: because an understanding of 'Natural Monopoly' is essential to the rest. A natural monopoly occurs in a situation where for technical, social, or community reasons, there cannot be more than one efficient provider of a product or service. Hence, many public utilities are considered natural monopolies; like Companies House might be (there is only one). Some economists argue that the cost of producing a product or service is lower (due to 'economies of scale') if there is just a single producer; other than several competing producers. In the case of .com, .de, .fr or .uk, there can only ever be one, so the argument about natural monopoly in terms of Registries is kind of academic.

    I answered this in a previous post; I said that Nominet is bound by English Law to work within its own contract terms and its Terms and Conditions. I am not saying these terms etc cannot be improved; I am just saying Nominet is bound by Company Law and indeed, consumer law, et al.

    Personally, I believe Nominet is accountable and wants to be so; it actually sets itself up to be so. That said, how you view it will largely depend on your 'truly' qualifier. Being accountable and being right are of course two separate things and no-one is ever right 100% of the time. So, it behooves Nominet (and the PAB and membership) to remember who they serve. As an aside, I think members have a problem separating their community responsibilities (as members) with their commerical and capitalistic pursuits as Tag Holders. The two are intertwined but at odds with each other and I think some clarity between the 2 roles is necessary.

    It would be easy for me to say "yes there is Quality Control", but I accept you may think there is not enough. So I'll take that question under advisement and get some feedback from the PAB and Nominet itself.

    I'm not sure you're being completely fair yourself, when you talk about correcting "mistakes". This assumes there has been some. However, even in a Court of Law, the judgement may include the right to go to appeal or clauses that suggest the Judge is not 100% convinced by some of the arguments; but he still makes a decision. That said, the £3,000 plus Vat fee for DRS appeal is one of the questions I want to address myself and I will do so as soon as I see the DRS Review as promised by the board.

    The short answer is "I don't know". The long answer starts with my comments above. I doubt you can have any system (DRS, Court, or Arbitration) where a percentage of the decisions will not be appealled. However, where did you get the 50% figure from? Sounds high to me (though I haven't checked back yet).

    This depends on the answer to e above! :D

    For info: www.nic.uk/about/complaints/

    I think the formal complaints procedure is a necessary part of customer service and transparency. I would hope its purpose is clear; to take a complaint as high up the hierarchy as one feels necessary to get a satisfactory response or conclusion to a grievance. Are you saying you do not believe it works?

    I'll start looking for a bullet proof vest then! ;) .

    Regards
    James Conaghan
    [PAB Member]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2006
  10. Hazel Pegg

    Hazel Pegg Active Member

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    Seconded. Please do contribute to the public consultation - on whatever point(s) you feel to be important.

    Hazel
     
  11. Hazel Pegg

    Hazel Pegg Active Member

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    I take your point and have often thought that the UK internet should be run by a Govt Agency accountable to the ballot box.

    But then I think about the potential of the Internet and the potential for a Govt to abuse that (have you checked out what is going on with ID Cards?)

    So far I have come down on the side of a UK internet independent of the Govt (whilst being aware that a quick flick of a Ministerial pen could change that reality).

    Nothing that has happenned/been said to date has changed my gut instinct that .uk is better for all as a NFP than as a Govt quango.

    Hazel
     
  12. Hazel Pegg

    Hazel Pegg Active Member

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  13. sneezycheese

    sneezycheese Active Member

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    I hope it's not a trick question Hazel, anyway here's the info: http://www.nominet.org.uk/disputes/drs/appeals/?contentId=1581

    A total of 12 appeals, of which 6 appeal decisions 'Overturned' the orgininal 'expert' decision. So 50% deemed OK, 50% not. ;)
     
  14. Hazel Pegg

    Hazel Pegg Active Member

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    Nope - not a trick question at all. I'm just a bit tired after a two week holiday with the kids. Thanks for giving me the info I should have been able to source for myself.

    Hazel
     
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