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NOMINET the UK's Domain Name Registrar: Just another Trading Company on the make

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Author Topic: NOMINET the UK's Domain Name Registrar: Just another Trading Company on the make  (Read 366 times)
Jonnie Goodboy
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The Gulag Archipelago, - had 'Paradise Islands'.

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« on: November 03, 2012, 01:09:49 pm »

(A very old article dating back to pre-2005.)

"We would guess that most of the best names were registered before August 1996"


" the Naming committee were just glad to get rid of what had become a full time job, no official authority or consent was given".

When we pressed further and asked if there was any legislation that had been passed to authorise them the answer was again no.

The reply was "No, but the Government knows about us and they like us because we have taken a problem off their plate".

So it would appear that Nominet UK have no authority whatsoever to claim rights over domain names registered before they even existed, in fact they do not seem to have any authority at all, other than the powers they receive when someone agrees to their terms and conditions!

In fact they are just another trading company with two differences, they have a monopoly and they think it is o.k. to use that monopoly position to threaten to force registrants of pre-nominet names to give up rights to their own property.

Just imagine if you had bought a new telephone and a new phone company came along claiming monopoly rights and said "if you want to use our network you must give us your phone and pay us a rental for it." What would your reaction be?

What are pre-Nominet names?

When the internet first started to operate people applied to their own ISP for a domain name and the ISP would forward the proposed name to the "Naming Committee" for consideration. If no objection was received from any member of the committee within six days then the name was registered. The registrant or "owner"of the name did not pay a fee to the naming committee but often paid a substantial amount to the ISP for registering the name. The procedure was described in the Pitman case judgement. Nominet UK took over from the "Naming Committee in August 1996.

Extract from the Pitman case
Who is Nominet?
Nominet UK is the body currently attempting to control the UK namespace.

Their web site says:

"Nominet UK is the registry for .uk internet names. We manage the authoritative database of .uk domain name registrations.

We are a not-for-profit company and have members instead of shareholders. Nominet is officially recognised as the .uk domain name registry by the internet industry, users and the UK Government."[/

The bold highlighting is ours, of course. We have requested evidence of this official recognition but so far have seen none. We have been told by an officer of Nominet UK that there is none but that the Government "knows about us".
(Incidentally I find it rather difficult to understand how a user can "officially recognise" a company?)

You will also find the following statement on the Nominet UK website on the "Legal Statements" page: "We are not a regulatory or governing body"
    Nominet Web site

Conversation with Nominet's officer
Why don't we just agree to Nominet's terms and conditions, surely their terms and conditions can't be that bad?
A very sensible question. During the last eight years we have spent many thousands of pounds fighting three legal battles against predatory companies who claimed prior rights to certain of our pre-Nominet domain names and wanted them taken away from us.

It was money we have had to divert from growing our company but fortunately we won in each case. The market capitalisation of the parent companies of the last two companies that tried to stop us using one particular pre-Nominet name were CAN$2.5 billion and US$289 million respectively.

When we won the last case we breathed a sigh of relief. We thought, we own the domain name, the limited company and the trade mark, we can now relax and go back to doing business. (silly aren't we!)

Then along came Nominet with the demand that we sign their terms and conditions and effectively hand ownership of the names to them so that they can rent them back to us on a two yearly basis, and if we do not pay their charges whatever they may be and for whatever reason, the names can be taken away from us.

Also if someone wishes to challenge our rights to the name then we have to submit to Nominet's dispute resolution proceedure. We raised this question with Nominet and they responded that it would not be possible to make a special case for us. We suggested that probably a large number of the best domain names would have been snapped up early, before Nominet's appearance on the scene, and that we doubted that we were the only people with concerns. Nominet refused to tell us how many other names were affected.

[...] cont ... see URL at top.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 01:12:19 pm by Jonnie Goodboy » Report Spam   Logged

"When the righteous become many, the people rejoice; but when anyone wicked bears rule, the people sigh".
Prov 29:2

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