20i Domains

Is 123 renewing expired RoR .uk domains?

Discussion in 'General Board' started by GLYMPSE, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. GLYMPSE

    GLYMPSE Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    As you know, 123 kindly registered a shedload of RoR .uk domains in 2017 as a "protective" gesture on behalf of customers who didn't actually want them. I've had my eye on a number of these names which were evidently still unwanted by customers as they expired and entered the drop cycle. Surprise, surprise! The two I had my eye on which were due to drop tomorrow have today been renewed for another year.

    Has anyone else seen the same thing?
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Spotted tickets.uk has but assumed it was in isolation for the client. Quite possible the same client renewed others too. If they all do then we know 123 are up to their usual tricks!
     
  4. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    How do you know these haven't been renewed by the client?
     
  5. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if some people had somehow got in touch with the person that tickets.uk had been registered for, because that is a valuable domain that is worth - what? £15000? £25000?

    And if so, that might well have triggered the registrant getting 123 to renew the domain.

    If we start to see scores of the best names being renewed in the coming weeks, then that will raise serious questions. For a start, it is the registrant in person who is supposed to renew a name, because the registrar agreement with Nominet says that the 'registrant' must consent to Nominet's terms and conditions in advance, which they clearly can't do if the domain is renewed in their name without their consent.

    Not that that stopped 123 doing it before, or Fasthosts and Ionos doing it last June. In that situation, Nominet took an informal policy decision to let them do that, because they assessed that many people were *still* (after 5 years) unaware of their registration rights, or hadn't got their head round it. So Nominet chose to sanction more time, and registration of the .uk domains unsolicited.

    However, if 123 specifically targeted just the valuable domains in the coming weeks, then I think that is plain exploitation of the system.

    Mass registration this year would not be free, so it's pretty obvious that the big registrars are not going to fork out millions of pounds just to retain mostly rubbish domains on their systems. My suspicion is that, actually, they're not going to systematically renew the most valuable domains. However, I could be very wrong!

    Whatever happens, by July this year the number of .uk registrations will have collapsed by 1 to 1.5 million. Nominet says they are philosophical about that. It's just going to happen. Most people are simply not going to renew the .uk domains that were registered for them without their permission. Almost all of these are zombie domains.
     
  6. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I've just done a quick check, and I'm not seeing any pattern of 123 renewing valuable domains across the board. In fact of 50 that I have targeted in the coming weeks, all of them are still suspended. That includes one that dropped today and one that's dropping tomorrow.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  7. starbird United Kingdom

    starbird Active Member

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    A similar thing happened with antiques.uk, that one went beyond it's dropped date though. That one was with Namesco, I know some domains go past the drop date but a bit suss it was one worth a pretty penny. Renewed at Namesco, no idea if it was Namesco themselves or the registrant.
     
  8. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps some registrars reserve the right to take ownership of these domains if nobody comes forward. Only seems fair.
     
  9. stitchbob

    stitchbob Active Member

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    No it doesn’t. It is entirely against Nominet rules. They already broke the rules by registering domains on behalf of customers without those customers agreeing to the Nominet terms. The domains do not belong to them and they have no more right to own them than you or I.
     
  10. wizard

    wizard Well-Known Member

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    I’m guessing your new when have they ever stuck to the rules :rolleyes:
     
  11. GLYMPSE

    GLYMPSE Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    I don't :) I'm just speculating, hence why I asked if anyone else has seen the same thing.

    Considering the dubious nature of the initial registrations, it just seems odd that names on 123's tag were renewed on the eve of dropping. Does 123 even offer the option to renew names that have been expired for 3 months? I expect that behaviour from domainers with their own tags, but I'm suspicious when it's a massive registrar.
     
  12. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Look, there has been a lot of speculation over the years that the large registrars were registering them to keep hold of and then eventually sell at auctions etc. The reality is (unless mistaken), none of this has happened. The larger registrars I assume in agreement with Nominet, decided to take advantage of registering all ROR domains during the 'free' 2 year sign up period because they then make 100% profit on domains acquired by their rightful owners. We now reach that point where 123 and others have to pay for the domains, and they are not in the same business as the majority of us, so they will expire. Yes we will see a few registered last minute (for a multitude of reasons), but as we've seen over the last few weeks, the majority drop. Do I agree with them exercising rights of owners pre-June 2019, absolutely not, but this is where we are....it just means it is ROR week all over again.
     
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  13. GLYMPSE

    GLYMPSE Active Member Acorn Supporter

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  14. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    As someone who believes policy should be strictly implemented and rules should be complied with, I don't approve of the way some of these large registrars mass-registered .uk names without the consent of the so-called 'registrants' in whose names they registered them.

    Because of the problems over abusive use of domains, and also because it's the set down process, a registrant is meant to be involved in their own registrations and, specifically, according to the rules which Nominet sets out for Registrars, the registrant must give advance undertaking for each registration, that they will comply with the Nominet terms and conditions, for example over abusive use. And Registrars are rule-bound to ensure that Registrants comply before they go ahead with the Registrations.

    These 123-reg name drops (about a million of them) are the result of the free registrations made 2 years ago. They cost 123-reg nothing, but if renewed then they would cost them millions for what is primarily domain trash. I believe GoDaddy have also registered .uk names without reference to their so-called 'registrants' (I stand to be corrected on that one if I am wrong).

    What is definite is that Fasthosts and 1&1 Ionos mass-registered hundreds of thousands of .uk names last June when Nominet's policy of 5 year's opportunity for the .co.uk holders was coming to an end the next month. This was done with Nominet's nod of the head. Nominet knew it was happening, but decided informally to suspend the requirement of registrants to sign consents to T&C in advance, and to allow the large Registrars to go ahead and effectively extend the 5 year period to a 6 year period. Justification: Nominet say their info told them that many people *still* hadn't got their heads around the process. Therefore, rather than the names going to namecatchers and cybersquatters, they felt it was in best interests to let the Registrars retain the names for one year more, which because coincidentally (???) there was a free .uk promotion at exactly the right time, the large Registrars were able to do.

    * * * * *

    My objection is to the informal bending of clearly-stated policy, and waiving of the rules. Over and over again, with other Registries, I've seen how 'laissez-faire' oversight has led (with or without collusion) to abuse of process and a kind of wild-west environment. The .info trademark name release (prior to general release) was perhaps the classic example, with directors of the Registry (Afilias) registering quality names themselves with fake trademarks. ICANN were going to just let the false registration of 100,000+ domains go ahead with fake registrations, until the internet community protested enough, and they re-ran the release of those names.

    Rules matter, because the Internet and its namespace matter, and fair process is really important. That's my objection to what Nominet argue was simply a practical decision in people's best interests. I don't believe it was.

    I expect 123-reg to release these suspended domains, except where the registrant requests the renewal at the last moment. I don't know how each Registrar operates last-minute renewals, but all tag holders can do that, and quite often do, so I expect a few names might be 'saved' at the last minute like that. However, I haven't been convinced that 123-reg are doing that themselves (for example, to auction them later) and I think the vast majority even of good names will drop in the coming weeks. I hope so, because some nice ones have my name on;)
     
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