20i Domains

Whose side are you on, Nominet?

Discussion in 'General Board' started by GLYMPSE, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. GLYMPSE

    GLYMPSE Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    Registry floods .co.uk owners with begging emails to renew unwanted .uk domains.

    Nominet has again crossed the line from industry overseer to champion for the registrars that sell .uk domains, warning Brits they should pay to renew names they never ordered and didn't want.

    Tens of thousands of owners of .co.uk domains this month have received an email from the organization warning them that their .uk domain is about to expire and they need to hand over hard cash "if you wish to continue using it".
     
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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Over a million .uk domains were registered in this way by the biggest Registrars. My impression is that though the Registrants of the .co.uk names were named as the 'Registrants' of the matching .uk names, in fact these million+ names were registered by the large Registrars, without the consent of the named 'Registrant'.

    Namesco jettisoned huge numbers in January/February this year - but Fasthosts and 1&1 have a vast number of .uk names in limbo. They have from early June to early September to try to persuade the 'ghost' Registrants to actually claim these domains.

    Technically the right of .co.uk name holders to claim their .uk equivalents expired a year ago, because that was the laid down protocol which would make these names available to the public in 2019.

    The biggest three Nominet registrars are GoDaddy, 1&1, and Namesco.

    These three registrars control more UK domains than all the other 2400 Nominet Members put together. This makes these large registrars valued customers. In my view, the smaller registrars and others with smaller business with the UK's DNS need as much representation on Nominet's Board as possible to balance that commercial dominance and its influence.

    The UK namespace is a vital part of the UK's infrastructure, relied upon by millions, including schools, the NHS, charities, communities and individuals. Policy obviously needs to be driven with this national responsibility in mind, along with very real issues of commercial viability, security against emerging external threats, detecting abuse of the namespace, and fraud.

    It is obvious that the UK's DNS does not exist only for the sake of Nominet or a small number of very large Registrars. That's why I think there need to be checks and balances, and actions like the one I detailed above are worth asking questions about. I want Nominet to succeed and flourish, but it needs to be 'classy'. When people allegedly circumvent the rules to obtain unfair access to domains, then either the Registry must enforce the rules, or if that is not possible then the rules have to be changed.

    In my opinion, tight rules and protocols are really important. I think if a process has been agreed (such as the 5 year limit for claiming your .uk) then that process and undertaking (that the public could have access to fairly use the domains after that date) would have been better being upheld.

    As it is, over a million names have been kept in limbo and, although Nominet's registrar rules state that names must not be registered without the Registrant agreeing to the terms and conditions first, the mass-registrations by the big registrars seemed to me to circumvent that requirement for registration, and they just went ahead and registered this vast number of domains in most cases with zero consent by the people being named as so-called 'Registrants'.

    I don't think that was classy.

    I am not trying to be all negative - I want the UK namespace to succeed. To do so, it needs to be fair, reliable, secure, and it must operate with integrity. Nominet faces very real challenges. I affirm some of the good use of tech it's supported recently (like the Samaritan's Self-Help App). I think it's a shame if any 'laissez-faire' element slips in to enforcement of, or adherence to, its rules and policies. That would not be good for brand and reputation.

    Anyone with a modicum of emotional intelligence would realise this was an own-goal. Companies need feel-good stories, not ones that achieve very little but stir up negative media coverage.
     
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  4. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    This is interesting. Do you think perhaps Nominet gave away large parts of the .UK namespace to larger registrars, as they saw that the uptake over the previous 5 years had been practically zero? Maybe they offered larger registrars .UK registration for free, or significantly reduced cost. More quota, even. On the whim that those registrars could then potentially extend the RoR period another year and inflate the figures. It's all a shambles at Nominet, they don't do anything about anything unless it makes them money, seemingly.
     
  5. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Ben, I think there are plenty of good people at Nominet. I just think the company needs to be tighter.

    The reason over a million .uk domains could be registered by the Registrars (without a Registrant actually saying he/she wanted them) was that Nominet ran a 'free .uk registration' promotion, which of course then facilitated such a vast mass-registration by the big registrars.

    I always watch things like this closely, so of course I telephoned Nominet, and this was what I was told:

    'Nominet knows this is happening, but surely it's better to give people an extra year than for the names to fall into the hands of cybersquatters?'

    My view is that 5 years was enough, and 5 years was the protocol.

    Considering 99% of these 'ghost' registrations have STILL not been claimed by the original .co.uk registrants... suggests to me that very little was gained by the ploy, but what it did do was create negative stories in the media.

    Shouldn't the view have been: 'But we've undertaken to release all these names to the public after 5 years - that's the protocol we made ourselves and told the public would happen... we shouldn't be the ones to circumvent the rules...'?

    Things like this are bad for image, achieve almost nothing, and I just don't think it's classy. The administration of the UK's national namespace SHOULD be classy.
     
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  6. 3gmedia United Kingdom

    3gmedia Active Member Exclusive Member

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    That word 'cybersquater' always makes me feel insulted, dirty and angry.

    This derogatory word isn't used for any other category of collectors/investors.

    :mad:

    Shame on Nominet.
     
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  7. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    Cyber squatter isn't exactly going to be a welcome term on here, but like it or not there are plenty of domain investors who do exactly that with brand-only terms.

    The problem is that it's all Nominet's doing. The .uk extension has proven near completely unwanted and yet all businesses are saddled with the extra costs. I still say that .uk should have been (and should still be) bundled as a zero cost extra.
     
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  8. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    They should have launched .uk from the beginning. But shoulda, woulda, coulda isn't going to help now. But I agree with @Siusaidh on that people had 5 years to register their .uk, if they didn't want to do that, then it's open season on it. Which means, they aren't saddled with the extra cost because they didn't want it for the last 5 years, why is now any different? And during those 5 years that their .uk was reserved, it was free to them was it not? I don't see anybody complaining about people taking up me.uk or org.uk's? So why .uk? Because it's valuable? The same people arguing this point are, on the other hand, saying that .uk isn't worth the paper it's written on (or digital paper these days).

    I think we can all agree that .uk has been milked for every drop of its worth.
     
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  9. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    99% of businesses still don't know .uk exists. I've just advised a new client to register their .UK for security / ransom protection reasons, they had no idea. This happens all the time.
     
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  10. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I find it most difficult trying to explain that .uk is not .co.uk. "Yes I've got my .co.uk" ... "No, John, I'm talking about your .uk" ... "Yes, I have it!" .. "No, John, you don't. You have .co.uk" .. "That's what I said!" ... "I know that's what you said, but I'm talking about your .uk".. "Well what's that then?" .. "It's a completely different domain name" .. "Oh I'm not bothered about that, I have the .co.uk. and that's enough!" ... "BUT JOHN, WHAT ABOUT YOUR .UK"

    No idea why I picked John as the protagonist in my tale, but he doesn't want his .UK either way.
     
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  11. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    The thing I usually worry about is if I verbally mention one of my.uk domains, that the person will go home and look it up, and not find it, because they assumed I meant .co.uk

    Most people in the country are really not very interested in domains.
     
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  12. Chris Holland

    Chris Holland Active Member Exclusive Member

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    Nominet are 'on the side of' making as much money and benefits for their directors and senior management that is humanly possible.

    If you look at the dramatic double figured annual increases for Nominet directors' pay and extrapolate to around 2022/3 and Russell Hayworth should comfortably trouser a cool million pounds.

    Primarily enabled of course by the Chief Non-Executive Brown Noser Dave Thornton himself whom we foolishly voted for and who sits on the Remuneration Committee rubber stamping virtually whatever Russell and Emily put before him. Generous First Class travel / 5 Star hotels only expense accounts, opaque, unnecessary and undeserved bonuses and funky LTIPs. For running an unregulated, unaccountable and out of control monopoly. Lesley Cowley was a saint compared to these extraordinarily well fed rotund cats.
     
  13. super-whois United Kingdom

    super-whois Active Member

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    There is no need to write in the third person. Didn't you have your late grandmother signed up as a Nominet member in order to have some extra voting rights?
     
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  14. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    "When registrars submit registration requests to us, they are required to have the authority of their registrants to do so, and to commit those registrants to Nominet T&Cs of registration."

    In the case of the mass-registrations, did the registrars 'have the authority' of the registrants?

    The lack of that authority contravened Nominet's stated rules for registrars, because those rules say that domain names must not be registered unless the registrant agrees to abide by Nominet's terms and conditions, for example, not using that domain for crime, fraud, abuse.

    That *matters* and how could a 'ghost' registrant agree to keep those rules, if they weren't even involved in it being registered, without their consent, in their name?

    (I won't be continuing this discussion here and now. I have work in the morning and it's 1am. I've messaged you and perhaps you would like to privately identify yourself. I like to know who I'm talking to. By 'classy' I mean ἀρετή - a concept an individual or organisation either understands or they don't.

    My view is that this episode fell short of class, ἀρετή, excellence or virtue. And that is a real pity, because I want the UK to have the best registry in the world, and when I join the Board that is what I will be working for: for Nominet to flourish and build on its amazing platform. We're talking about vital UK infrastructure, which millions of us depend on.)
     
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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  15. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    On reflection, I'm not going to continue this conversation unless you identify yourself. As I'm standing to join the Nominet Board, I'm going to rein this conversation in. I have more to say in my candidate statement. When it's released, read it. I have very positive intentions towards Nominet but I will always ask questions if they need to be asked. That's just common sense. If you work for Nominet you are serving the nation, not just your own interests. You have to do the right thing. It's only my personal view, but I believe the mass-registration of 'ghost' .uk domains should have been called out. I think allowing that to unfold was a mistake, and was poor judgment. And an own goal, because really, what has been achieved? Some people at Nominet could plainly see what was happening. We all could. When a million .uk domain names are mass-registered, you can hardly not notice it. There should have been intervention. And if it had already happened once, why open up the opportunity again, just before the 5 year limit, which enabled, facilitated, these large registrars to mass-register even more? All that I've said on this thread are my personal views.

    To repeat, this is not just about big tech companies. This is the UK's namespace. We have a duty to make it worthy of our country. Some of the really good public benefit work recently enhances the Nominet brand, like the support of the Scouts and the Samaritans. That was great. That's part of 'class'. If you think the .uk mass registrations were 'classy', I beg to differ.
     
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  16. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    "if you want to be taken seriously by some others..." ...bit patronising. I'm an open person. You're hiding. Sometimes people have to, for their own safety, I understand that. But others are 'drive by' snipers. As I have simply no idea who you are, or whether I'm being sniped at, I'll leave the conversation here. I think it's disappointing if you won't even privately tell me who you are, but it's your call. I have credibility in my life. I'm out in the open. People take me seriously. I've always worked in the interests of other people. That's who I am and what I have to offer. I'm not a negative person. I'm a team player. Always have been. But I'm certainly not a corporate shill. I don't work for a big tech company. I don't have any vested interests. It will be interesting to see if Nominet members share my values... and want Nominet to be 'classy', working without clique or favour, for the millions of people who rely on the DNS, in communities, in business, in schools, in hospitals... small registrars and businesses, and ordinary internet users, all of whom deserve representation. Of course, I'm standing on my terms, not yours. Let's see what happens.
     
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  17. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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  18. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    The return of David Thornton
     
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  19. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    That's the spirit. My vote has already been cast.
     
  20. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    @Siusaidh - be sure to let us know when we should vote
     
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