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Who mass-registered .uk domains in June?

Discussion in 'General Board' started by Siusaidh, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Hi,

    I was a bit miffed to say the least, that Nominet facilitated the mass-registration of .uk domains in June, resulting in probably 100,000s of .uk domains NOT being released to the public after the 5-year period as promised in their own process.

    This was made so easy for registrars by offering effectively free registration for one further year, which was basically offering them an open door to go ahead and do it. What did they have to lose?

    So now, members of the public like myself can only wait a further year, to see whether those names then get released in June 2020, and in exactly what way.

    Of course, like any good and trusty domain watcher, this means I do my homework. So I am compiling lists of the domains that Fasthosts 'reserved' on June 10th-12th, so I can track them.

    If anyone here can give me heads up, what other registrars also carried out mass registrations of .uk domains in June? I know Ionos did, but they are part of Fasthosts group, but anyway:

    Can anyone add to the list of registrars? I'm watching what they do.

    Thanks, please post below if you can,

    Siusaidh
     
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  3. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Okay, call me a bit pedantic, but when Nominet publishes a protocol that stipulates that .co.uk registrants have a whole 5 years to register their corresponding .uks, otherwise the domains will be made available and released to the British public, and then they orchestrate the perfect circumstances for registrars to mass-register those .uks for free, even though the owners of the .co.uks haven't taken up their option... and hundreds of thousands of domain names are NOT returned to the UK public and made available as promised... excuse me for feeling a little bit pissed.

    And that's when I get a bit obsessively pedantic, and exactly the same thing happened when ICANN completely ignored the copyright fake claims being made in the .info roll out during a supposed 'trademarks only' period... only to discover that Afilias directors - who were the Registry administering the .info domain - had themselves submitted fake trademarks to nab desirable domains (Govinda Leopold being a classic example). Not only that, but all over the world registrars and others were faking trademarks to claim the generic domains, before they could be released to the general internet public (not least Konrad Plankenstein who submitted thousands of fake trademarks and was awarded the domains). So I got pissy and started listing the names in detail, and then posting them on my website The Internet Challenge, and I was supported by people all round the world who also identified fakes, and I got called up by the BBC etc etc.

    In the end, the scandal became so blatantly clear that all the fraudulent names had to be returned, and the names released as they should have been to the internet public.

    And to be honest, I'm starting to feel that way about Nominet. That old pedantry is stirring, and I'm making lists of the names that appear to have been mass-registered without any request from the actual people who had the claim to them. And contacting Nominet, it was like the laissez-faire attitude of ICANN all over again, and I thought 'Oh no, here we go again.' You know... "Well these mass-registrations are justified because they are giving people more time to claim their .uks." More time???! They'd had 5 years. And contacting Fasthosts I was given the same spiel: "We are doing it so the .co.uk registrants can have more time. We're protecting them from cybersquatters."

    Riiiight....

    So let us set aside for a moment the fact that this all contravenes the protocol Nominet set before the UK public. Let us set aside the fact that Fasthosts people may have psychic powers, and they have foreseen that hundreds of thousands of registrants actually DID want to register their .uk domains, and in one more year they all would, even though 5 years had passed and they'd shown no such intent at all. Let us set aside the fact that Moninet's free registrations offer was incredibly fortuitous, a bit like saying to a jewel thief, 'Well we'll leave the doors of the Tower London unlocked for a couple of weeks, because we know you would NEVER abuse out protocol."

    Let us set all that aside.

    But, as I say, I make lists. Thousands and thousands of names. Some of you may have been doing it as well. And you can see the mass registrations done in early June by Fasthosts and 1&1 and (if I'm not mistaken - I stand to be corrected - Sitefinders and centraserve... you can probably identify others). Thousands and tens of thousands and more, all psychically registered because the domain owners want them really. Only thing is...

    Because I make lists, I also monitor when the original .co.uks expire. You can see them day after day. Even a quick glance at Domainlore's expiring domain list (though I use other sources) flag up day by day .co.uks registered by Fasthosts and 1&1 etc which are dropping each day. So in other words, tens of thousands of these .co.uk names, which the mass-registrants claim to be protecting, don't even exist with their owners any more. Which begs the obvious question to my innocent mind:

    If all these .co.uk's are no longer registered, presumably there is no longer any need for the .uks to be registered to protect the 'non-owners' of the 'non-domains'. And so of course, with all this social responsibility, Nominet will be deleting the .uk registrations and saying to the likes of Fasthosts "Look old sports, if you really wouldn't mind, could you return the domains so the public can register them?" And Fasthosts, of course, will be saying "Crikey, if the domain owners no longer own their .co.uks, who are we actually keeping the .uk domains for?"

    That's what's happening surely... NO.

    Because I'm watching. And the .uk's, that no longer have any relevance to an expired, dropped, and deleted .co.uk name, ARE STILL REGISTERED to the mass registrants. WHAT IS THE POINT? On behalf of who are these registrars holding the domains? And will Nominet take unilateral action to retrieve these 'lost in space' .uk domains? Because they should. They allowed and facilitated the shambles in the first place.

    And in case there is doubt, I am watching, pedantically. Every day the number of these grabbed domains increases. And as I say, that's setting aside all the rest of the wrongness of the UK's domain registry abandoning its promised protocol in what looks terribly like conniving with some industry friends. Let's face it, it's not a good look. So before I start publishing these names in a kind of bizarre resurrection of the Internet Challenge back from 2001, could someone please inform Nominet that they are now harbouring registrations under false pretences, which need to be summarily returned for availability to the public? And that there are thousands upon thousands of these names, and no, they are not protecting .co.uk registrants if those registrants don't even exist any longer.

    When any .co.uk domain registered by "the mass registrants drops and is deleted, the .uk equivalent which was unilaterally registered by these registrars in contravention of the process should be immediately surrendered and deleted by Nominet.

    In my view ALL the mass registered .uk's should be surrendered and deleted.

    Thank you for enduring my rant...
     
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  4. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Because I'm sure that within the next year nominet will allow registrars to keep the domains they want and/or auction them. I also expect them to introduce a chase quota based on either volume of domains on a tag or according to money deposited with them (this uk drop was a dry-run in my opinion). The money stays amongst the few and the corruption is quite apparent - doubling of pricing and introducing an unasked for extension was pretty obvious. Look into friend/family ties with the top registrars and nominet board and also which companies benefitted from the channeling of money to 'new tech companies' that used to be put into a charitable trust. You'll be very interested in what you find. Be careful of naming names though - that enters the realm of libel.
     
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  5. Katch!

    Katch! Active Member Full Member

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    I sure hope not. But I can see how this monopoly would be of benefit to "those in charge". It would suck for lower end registrars though, and would force people to use certain dropcatchers.
     
  6. armistice United Kingdom

    armistice Active Member

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    This is the key point.
    All those bulk registrations had to be done on behalf of the rights holder.
    Its the rights holder that owns the .uk not the ISP.
    If things continue as now, those .uk's will drop as normal in a years time unless the original rights holder decides to keep them.

    The fact that some ISP's have not automatically allocated those registered domains to their customers account is concerning. There is absolutely no reason technical or otherwise not to do that, in fact I would think they legally would be obliged to.

    If Nominet allow a rule change to enable Registars to take ownership of expiring domains, that's the point at which, for me, the line is crossed.
     
  7. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I agree with you, but my short-term complaint was that since thousands of the .co.uk domains are dropping, day by day, right now... clearly the .co.uk former registrants no longer have any claim on the mass-registered .uk equivalents... and therefore, why are these .uk domains not deleted immediately?

    Even if a (in my view very dubious) justification has been made for mass-registering the .uk domains, what possible justification can there be for retaining these .uk domains if the .co.uk domains drop (as loads are dropping each day), because then the excuse that you're protecting their brand becomes entirely superfluous.

    Shouldn't Nominet intervene, to insist such domains are surrendered immediately?
     
  8. anthony United Kingdom

    anthony Well-Known Member

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    Surely the way to look at this is to say that the .uks were registered during RoR period, and as RoR no longer exists, then whether or not the .co.uk is dropped, the registrant now retains the .uk domain separate to the RoR they had via the .co.uk. The link between the two no longer applies! I don't see how expecting Nominet to intervene will get you anywhere in that case.
     
  9. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I understand your argument Anthony, but I don't agree, because the agreed protocol has been abused.

    So it's okay for a registrar to grab domain names before they are released to the public and keep them? Do domains exist for the registrars or the public? If they retain domains that are no longer defending a brand (because the .co.uk has dropped), then they have stolen an advantage over the British public at large, and gained the domains in early June, when they were due to be released in a perfectly clear process at the beginning of July.

    If the Registry and Registrars wish to claim any integrity in this process, those .uk domains should be made available to the public (as they were supposed to be) immediately.

    Whether Nominet will listen is a moot point. Having experienced ICANN's shenanigans and laissez-faire philosophy, I am very well aware how they may turn a deaf ear.

    In the end ICANN had to recall the fraudulently obtained .infos (thousands of them) because enough fuss and evidence and media attention forced them to back down.

    Sorry, but you can't run the UK's namespace this way. There has to be proper process. Maybe people have just become resigned to the idea that Nominet can do what they want.

    That may not be the case.
     
  10. armistice United Kingdom

    armistice Active Member

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    I think your missing the point, No its not OK for a registrar to grab domains and keep them.
    Those domains could only have been registered on behalf of the entity with a right of registration.
    The Registrar does not own them.
     
  11. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    The registrars in question will argue that they were looking after their registrants' interests. In truth, they've only been able to do it because Nominet incentivised them to through zero-cost RoR promotions to bump registration numbers.

    In a lot of ways - and providing that the names aren't set to auto-renew (which I understand they aren't allowed to be) - it's just good customer service.

    Your argument is that a RoR should be treated the same as a domain name, but should that be the case?

    Given the need for brand protection because of the obvious potential for confusion between .uk and .co.uk, I'd argue that the registrars did the right thing in the circumstances (it was free to do it).
     
  12. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Martin, if it was the right thing to do in June 2019, wouldn't it then also be 'the right thing to do' in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, and onwards?

    The .co.uk domain name registrants had FIVE years to safeguard their domains. That was the agreed process.

    And returning to my sub-point: all the .co.uk domains that are dropping this August, and in September, October, November etc...

    Whose brand are the Registrars protecting when the .co.uk no longer even exists?

    Surely, when any Fasthosts .co.uk domain drops, any .uks mass-registered to protect that domain, should be immediately returned to public access and availability...

    Because at that point, the Registrar is not holding on to the .uk domain to protect the now non-existent .co.uk, they are holding on to them to protect an invisible dead domain, or in reality, they are just holding on to the domain, full stop.

    Anyway, lets see how things unfold. I'm tracking these .uk domains to see when they are returned to public availability (which was meant to happen in July 2019).

    best wishes, I respect your right to a different view.
     
  13. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    I'm not disagreeing that Nominet have royally screwed everything up - that much is a given. In a perfect world, .uk either doesn't exist at all or is permanently paired to .co.uk.

    And I don't disagree that where the .co.uk drops, it makes no sense for the .uk to remain registered when it was an unrequested RoR.

    But I'd side with real-world registrants of in-use domains over domain investors every time. Unpopular on here, I know!

    Edit - 2020, 2021, etc. renewals will likely depend on whether Nominet gifts them to registrars or not. I suspect not.
     
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