My thoughts on “direct .uk”

My vote is not to fix what ain’t broken.

The offered security features:
– DNSSEC can already be implemented for .co.uk (or any other domain)
– malware/virus scanning is superfluous and others (Google, Symantec, Kaspersky) perform it an order of magnitude better than Nominet could ever possibly do.
– UK address requirement is a step backwards from the global experience of ccTLD domain registrations, when all other registries are removing residence restriction instead.
– issuing graphic badges for ‘compliant’ websites to provide consumers with the perception that these businesses should be more trusted than the others, sends a wrong message, especially as they don’t gain any more trust to their business by having ‘curated’ domain name. Does Nominet have resources to fight lawsuits when things go wrong with those businesses?

It all smells of a real suffering Nominet had to endure attempting to invent just something to justify charging 800% per year more (2.50 -> 20) and fix this whole ‘scheme’ up.

I don’t see why there is a need of such cherry-picked .uk offering.

Of course I have my own interests for this never to be introduced, considering the quality of .co.uk portfolio I’ve built over the years of catching expired domains. But even thinking from the consumer point of view, from other businesses point of view, there are just too many controversial things laying on that plate.

Like, 1: Why TM holders would have a preference over current .co.uk holders?

Trademarks live in a wholly different world than domain names, even though they often interconnect.

Lets take this as an example.
I am a registrant of domain name radio.co.uk. I treasure it as one of the greatest domains in my portfolio. In our days radio is still very relevant. Internet didn’t kill it but transforming it (to online radio). And here we need a domain name to rule online radio. I have great expectations for this domain name, no matter whether I am going to sell it or develop.

Now, there are just a handful of trademarks to the word ‘RADIO’. Of course, as Radio can’t be trademarked? Correct, it can’t. Unless trademark relates to something absolutely unrelated. Like, for instance, perfumery or leather products.
That’s exactly what this company holds a RADIO trademark for and Nominet is proposing to give them a preferential chance to Radio.uk!

Does it make any tiny bit of sense??
The company would happily obtain this domain name as there are no other contenders (and I, as a legitimate holder of .co.uk, which until few days ago considered as a sound and secure business investment (good enough to base mortgages on or put one`s all finances at stake to develop it into something big) – am I going to hopelessly watch how Nominet helps to expropriate this value from me? And what this leather company is going to do with Radio.uk? Waiting for the large paycheck, of course.

Nominet should call their scheme a ‘redistribution of wealth’ (which some consider the term to be euphemism for theft).

Any why it wouldn’t, unless Nominet gives a fair offer to existing .co.uk holders?
Why Nominet, a not for profit organization, wants to auction these new domains and earn massive profits during the process? £3m they took from short domain sales last October seems to have triggered some kind of a greedy switch in their minds? The sort-of-a-charity trust they invented to administer all this money and pour where *they* think they should flow, just doesn’t add up with a non-profit spirit and makes it confusing for their real intentions. .uk registry doesn’t need to have this ‘money trust’ to operate, why then make domain registrants pay up through their noses? If there are more than 2 contenders for the domain, and you are non-profit — do something else, draw a lottery then.

Give TM holders x tickets, .co.uk holders y tickets and maybe 1 ticket to others who could qualify. Then generate a random number sequence with random.org (so that everyone could see there was no foul play) and attribute the names.
It still wouldn’t be fair to existing .co.uk businesses without trademarks, but at least it will be much more fairer than their current proposal.

I know Nominet hates domainers, but it’s domainers who largely helped them to earn 3 million on x & xx.co.uk sales; it’s domainers who register and keep renewing domains which are not even worth registering (how many of those are out there? 5%, 10% of the total .co.uk registry?); it’s domainers who make a secondary market busy, while Nominet is earning £10 for every electronic domain transfer…

The price increase of .uk registration to 20 pounds per year already would make it inefficient to hold large portfolios. That alone should have helped to solve problem of having too many domains in the hands of domain investors. (Or shall we say, ‘speculators’? No, these terms are not interchangeable. I believe anyone who has technical skills to be considered a developer, can’t be classified as a speculator. Every lucky (and skilled) catch in my portfolio is almost always a future candidate for the development. Sorry, but I have an idea almost for every domain I own and that what makes parting with them truly hard.

It’d have been also much wiser for Nominet to see what happens with new vanity .name extension coming next year and then think whether it makes sense to open up .uk.

But looks like their desire is fueled by negative emotions: run for novelty without a real substance, fear of losing .uk registrations to new extensions, and smell of money to be made on auctions and registrations.

Denys
About the Author

Denys

View Posts →