But not, I suspect, no Salary. So if we can up the sales by flogging loads more entirely unnecessary domain names the money will just have to go, well, I'm sure you can imagine...
Nominet is seeking Brits' views on its proposals for slightly shorter .uk domain names with some layers of security thrown in. The non-profit company, which controls the .uk domain registry, hopes to introduce a new service for businesses called direct.uk that could, by ditching the .co and the .org from .co.uk and .org.uk, …
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My first reaction was "No! I *like* UK's third-level domain name set up as it's easier to distinguish betwen entities", but after thinking about it, I think it could actually be better, or at least a useful alternative? If there's one thing that winds me up it's companies not adhering to the proper designations and signing up for .net or .org.uk addresses...
They wanted to get some structure into it.
For example in Germany I think most universities used to have *.dp.de with dp standing for "Deutsche Post", the German postal service also (back then) responsible for telephony and Internet.
I remimber seeing state-based second level .us domains, too. It just was an interresting idea way back then. If you have a hirarchical system you might as well code some structure into it.
DNS is supposed to be a hierarchy. The existing JANet name system was reversed (quite literally in this case) into DNS. Technically we should have a .gb name space, but .uk was preferred against the relevant standard. Nominet did the right thing and used the hierarchy to set up a sensible name space, and manage it in a way that is genuinely better than any other country registry that I am aware of. Now they seem to want to throw that all away.
"But it's likely that down the line"
I don't see anywhere this has been suggested, and quite the reverse they've said the more regulated short form will just sit beside .co.uk to compliment it.
So basically a company that wants to keep .co.uk is free to do so and I dont see that changing. Those who want to pay more for the short version with the 'security' features of it can do if the really want. End user is probably not going to care either way as .co.uk is as wired in everyone's minds as .com
Can all of the registers please stop fucking around with the naming please.
Every bloody week there is a new money making scheme and it is just going to end up confusing everyone and of course end up with every company having to maintain vast libraries of registrations (yes I know thats the point).
is it time for the registers to be become non-profit companies? I think they've started to lose sight of their purpose!
The idea was that .co.uk was to be commercial, .org.uk was to be non-commercial (charities, non-profits, etc.), .ac.uk to be seats of learning (schools, highers, universities, etc), and so on, leaving police.uk, mod.uk, etc, available to the government. The thinking was that by having a .whatever.uk suffix, you'd know the site was here in Blighty. The problem is that it never really got that popular in the early days, and only when all the really good and fun .com and .org names were filched up, did folks begin thinking of the .co.uk and .org.uk domains. It's called "Snobbery", I think ;-)
Unfortunately, there was nobody policing the names, so anybody whether they were a company or not, was allowed to register a .co.uk address. I had a long email exchange with Nominet about what I regarded as a cyber-squatter who had registered a name that matched a company I owned (beating me to it by a matter of hours which was suspicious as I had used a 'free' service to check it was available before I tried to registered it myself), and who didn't use it, or even have a real name-server serving it for several years.
Even though mine was a limited company, which was set up specifically to be clever and have synergy with a domain name, and the person who had registered the name I wanted did *not* represent a company and was not using it, Nominet would not allow me to start an appeal.
It is partly my fault for being slow in registering the name myself, but it was amazing that as soon as I made an attempt to check it was available (and it was), it suddenly became unavailable. Oh well. All ancient history now, as is my company (I got fed up with the bureaucracy of running a company in the UK).
"As soon as the .uk addresses become available"
You mean, As soon as the .uk addresses become available AGAIN.
if you care to visit www.police.uk you'll see this is nothing new, and Nominet have actually spent a good 10 years trying to stamp out the last of the .uk domains.
"Can't they just apply all these security features to the existing domains?"
Indeed. The most disturbing aspect of this proposal is the implication that DNSSEC might be something you have to pay extra for in the UK. Do Nominet intend to drag their feet over signing the existing second level domains?
I feel conflicted about the idea of scanning for malware. I like the idea of dealing with vulnerabilities at source rather than hoping that granny will keep her browser patched and her antivirus software up to date. We know that approach doesn't work. Presumably, if found to be delivering malware, a site would be unreachable. Its traffic would probably be redirected to a page telling its users that the site admin is presently sitting on the naughty step.
In a perfect world, this would be a great benefit to us all. But security software is never perfect. Anti-virus software packages have yo-yo-ed between good and bad over the years because the threats they are there to protect against are constantly evolving. When found to be bad, we have the option to switch to those found to be good. In this case, we don't.
Would I want to trust my reputation to a piece of software over which I have no control? Especially if I were trading on it? What if after an update to detect a new exploit of a long standing vulnerability in IE, my site starts generating a false positive? I'd be chuffed if it worked 99.999% perfectly, but initally, I'd not host anything more than a forwarding page.
Part of the consultation asks what you think is an acceptable period from the owner being notified of malware being on their site to nominet making the site inaccessible. So it sounds like they're not just going to be shutting access to such sites down immediately, they'll be making the owner aware first and giving them a period of time (days/weeks) to fix it.
"they'll be making the owner aware first and giving them a period of time (days/weeks) to fix it"
But the scenario raised by the OP was "false positives". In this case, the software that needs to be fixed would be Nominet's scanner and consequently it wouldn't matter how long *you* were given to fix it.
More secure websites? What about all those .gov.uk sites hosted abroad and the vulnerabilities this introduces in terms of who can access waht thanks to legislation that exists in those other states?
Perhaps Nominet's time would be better spent trying to encourage the UK government to host UK government websites in - shock, horror - the UK?
If this isn't about money and actually about simplifying customer choice, then they would give all current .co.uk/.org.uk/.net.uk/.ac.uk registrants first pick of having their name in the .uk top level.
It would be easy to offer that priority through the Nominet online account system. But since this is about money, they probably won't do that. They can charge more for .uk as well, like many other ccTLD registries do.
On a marginally-related rant, I hate not being able to manage my domain contact details with my registrar and having to do it directly with Nominet. So there.
Whichever registrant registered theirs first. Though the creation date of domain names does tend to get munged when you transfer registrars. Maybe whoever linked their domain with Nominet's online system first.
Or a closed auction between the two parties. Not ideal but better than an auction between 000s of parties. And better than just losing the domain to some other turd as at least you would have a say, even if you decide you can't afford it.
When you can have example.uk.com and example.co.uk and example.com all registered by different entitites, many end users won't spot the difference and phishing gets rife. The more alternative ways there can be for expressing a name with something similar, the more end user brand confusion you are likely to get.
If they restricted the sale of .uk domains to registered UK data controllers only, then the user will be confident that the rights afforded them by the DPA98 will apply when doing business with a .uk website. For example, Amazon.co.uk has a European data controller, not a UK one. As such, we as UK data subjects lose a lot of the rights granted to us by the DPA when registering with Amazon.co.uk; including the right not to receive marketing. This is why Amazon's new Kindle Fire comes with advertising by default; because the data controller is based in Europe so we don't have the same rights. If Amazon.co.uk had a UK data controller then you could easily opt out of all advertising from Amazon or take them to court if they refused.
Because the mess (and killing) ICANN (and their chosen cronies) are making?
Every time I see something like this, I wonder. What, exactly, is stopping us from going totally flatspace? This hierarchical set-up is clearly Math Hard[tm] for all the internet Barbies[tm] out there. Just shell out a few quid for another TLD, and be done with it. N'mind that all the good ones will be gone by the time you get around to registering something, I'm sure some squatter will be delighted to sell you something for much more than you'd anticipated. Free market, see? What's with the subdomains and the artificial monopolies, the silly rules and the awkward procedures, anyway?
What's the point of rules if you can't come up with a good and proper plan, anyway?
Dunno. Maybe it's the reason that "andysplaice.com" (one of my domains*) hasn't had any offers yet. Good name for a fish-and-chip shop, run by a bloke called "Andy", methought.....But no.
Subdomains? Well...mahatmacote.com is taken, but matatmacote.org isn't.
Neither is theregister.cn. (There IS a God....)
*domain? Sounds a bit pretentious. "Pretentious, Moi??"
Nominet already support DNSSEC: http://registrars.nominet.org.uk/registration-and-domain-management/dnssec-and-our-registrar-systems and scan for phishing sites: http://registrars.nominet.org.uk/registration-and-domain-management/epp-notifications#abuse notification so not a huge improvement. As I work with their systems then .uk would be beneficial to the company I work for (more sales) but I'm not convinced about a wider need.
The whole system has been laughable since '85 with the USA even claiming legal authority over all .COM addresses instead of the .US TLD.
Without an actual REAL standard thats applicable acrosss the board and with the .co.cc debarcle being allowed by Internic we are left with anything to do with TLD's just being a money grab.
That they describe themselves as a not for profit is also laughable, as someone above says, you can bet that does not mean not for Salary
about domain names?
Don't most people just use a search engine anyway? Even more so now that browsers seem to have done away with the separate field for search.
The point being, that you just type what you want in the URL field, and and your search-engine-of-choice takes you there with just one further click.
And, when was the last time you saw a domain name on a print or TV advert?
Because that SLD is (was) strictly policed so you HAD to be a ltd co to use ltd.uk (btw Google delivers 780,000 results, that's not 780K domains as there will be multipl epages in the results).
One problem was if the status of the company changed they had to drop the ltd.uk SLD losing screwing up their web traffic and email addresses. I heard of one that grew into a PLC got the corresponding plc.uk domain (86,000 on google) then split into two LTDs one recovering the ltd.uk name once more losing the web and email addresses associated with the PLC.
Another problem is that nobody expects to see ltd.uk, don't know what it implies, zero recognition factor.
... what happens when there are too many different domains and subdomains. A particularly egregious case is that some noob registered National Schools Film Week at nsfw.org whereas nsfw.com is a well known porn site.
You can argue (and I would) that the person responsible for this error should be given a stiff talking to. But the more different options there are, the worse the situation becomes. The problem is, we need Nominet and their ilk to be motivated to rationalise and improve for the sake of the internet users, but they seem to have all become vehicles for enriching their staff.
As a member of the wider community commenting on this FARCE of abject stupidity in the Nominet game, this is a SCAM, will NOT secure anything, but will RAISE money for the registrar.
Country codes, E.G. .co. .fr .ie are the area international standards bodies. Internet naming is built from direction of ICANN and why the heck Nominet has come up with this idiotic idea we do not know.
We DO know you should comment against it, or chaos will ensue.
I've thought of at least one way this is a piece of fail.
So, the virus scanner spots that my site example.uk is full of malware (according to itself). They de-activate the domain. So what happens to all the emails flying around my company, or between me and Nominet, which are addresses @example.uk? Nominet don't run my DNS, so they can't turn off A www.example.uk but keep MX example.uk. They can spoof my domain, but then DNSSEC will trip them up. They can do the DNS on their own authority, but it will trip up anything that expects my DNS to be signed by me. And even if they proxy DNS to my servers so that MX example.uk still works, what if everyone in the company uses http://www.example.uk/webmail for mail instead?
So such a domain cannot be a primary domain for a company, because the chance of having your email go down is just too big a risk. Which means it will only be a vanity thing - ie just another tax the marketing department has to pay.
This will be a bonanza for the "legitimate" domain name providers, for the dubious domain name traders and the legal profession.
The reason we could have .org.uk, .net.uk, was to separate non-profit organisations from internet service providers and businesses. example.org.uk and example.co.uk could happily co-exist.
The proposed .uk is intended for business use and so effectively replaces .co.uk, names under .org.uk .net.uk etc should be unaffected.
Reading the bumph the current owner of example.co.uk is up the proverbial creek. A legitimate trade mark holder could lay claim to example.uk and a "dispute resolution process" would decide (£££).
I've got a premium .co.uk domain name bought the first day of the switch from the old naming committee to Nominet. There are people who use the same word as a trade mark (bear in mind that under trade mark legislation it is OK two companies to use the same name as a trademark as long as they are using it for different categories of product so both might have a "legitimate" claim to the name). Last weeks valuation of my name around £50,000, today? anyone's guess but certainly less. Reading the FAQ it seems that trade mark holders are to be given priority over "those with unregistered rights" - who are those? "Existing registrants may have an unregistered right".
I see they are making mention of "sunrise periods" - been screwed on that one before with .eu (paid a premium to sunrise my ltd company name as a .eu, at the end of sunrise they sent an email to say rejected, no reason given, no opportunity to fix. Immediately attempted to buy post-sunrise but a speculator had got in first. As it was not a common name, nobody else in Europe was trading under that name, the only conclusion was that the people handling sunrise applications had a nice little earner running.)
Aside from that, sunrise = £££ so I and anyone else who'd like the name, legitimate or not, splash a few hundred to be entered into the lottery...?
If Nominet would like to break with their history (no room for those stories now) and act with integrity (Nominet if you're reading this the word may be unfamiliar. Google for [define:integrity]) they would disallow purchase of example.uk to anyone other than example.co.uk, if example.co.uk don't want to pay then example.uk should be frozen.
The existing owners may be quite happy with example.co.uk If they switch, people will be able to save 3 keystrokes - at the expense of adding confusion just as the .uk.co second level domain does. It sounds like they will be forced to try to buy it for no other reason than to protect themselves. Or to put it another way, it's a protection racket. It's just like those phone calls and junk mail all domain owners get trying to sell you the equivalent of your-domain.com in some other TLD.
Registrants are not important, to Nominet, this is about making money for Nominet Members (registrars) by screwing more out of registrants.
Nominet argue that they will now check a registrant has a UK address so the quality of registrations will improve. Or to put it another way, current registrants will be able to pay extra so Nominet can make up for their past failure to do anything more that trouser the fees.
Clued up registrants MAY be OK, what about those who don't get the message in time or don't understand the implications (probably small businesses). If for one reason or another, example.co.uk fails to secure example.uk and Nominet now allow his competitor to register example.uk there's clear case of passing off - call the lawyers, find £50,000 to start a civil action...
I expect Nominet will say "we will contact all .co.uk registrants". No they won't, the quality of their existing database is not good enough, how many small-biz that registered 10 years ago have carefully updated their contact info? I've got a real life example. A friend called for advice. They had a secondary domain name pointing at their primary web-site, it had stopped working. My first response was "have you paid the domain name renewal fee?" - Yes nearly a year till expiry. So I investigated. Nominet had found a minor irregularity with registration details (all the data was correct just one bit was in the wrong field) so they cancelled the name at 14 days notice. The problem was the "notice" was to an expired email address. Hadn't tried using post or phone or checking on the web site. OK, the expired email address should have been updated but email isn't the most reliable system, all kinds of over aggressive spam filters out there. And compare 14 days notice with the notice given if renewal not paid on time, several months. The name was back on the open market, friend immediately re-purchased what should have been their own rather than waste time and effort battling bureaucrats.
Sure the current Nominet .co.uk situation is poor, but this proposal isn't a solution, it benefits nobody but registrars and creates more problems than it solves. It opens up more names for cybersquatting, though the owners will have to pay more and do more.
If I want the other "benefits", daily malware scan and digital signature, I can buy those services now for any domain why must I be forced to? I can stick a "quality
While this may be presented as a way of making more names available it does nothing of the sort. If I managed to get microsoft.uk before someone else (!) I'd not have long to wait before their lawyers were in touch. If I was struggling-small-business.co.uk and a speculator got struggling-small-business.uk it would be a matter of paying his ransom fee. If it was a competitor rather than a speculator then what?
Nominet Membership is made up of domain name registrars and although Nominet is a not for profit organisation those registrar businesses are commercial and an 8 fold increase in turnover probably sounds like "a good thing" - for them at any rate.
I notice that one uk registrar, 123reg, has recently started offering "Site Scanner", 5 pages for £3.50 a month. I wonder if this is in anticipation of the change, the Malware Scanner Nominte speaks of - and I wonder if it's telling us that Nominet's proposed "£20 a month plus registrar markup" might imply that the registrars will then point out that the included scanner only covers 5 pages so you'll need the upgrade...£££
ACTION: how would this kind of input be regarded if submitted as a response to the consultation? Will Turkeys be voting for Christmas? Best lobbying MP, Vince Cable, FSB, e-Petition?
There are 125 Nominet members calling for an EGM over this according to that.co.uk They have set up the site as an action page to campaign to non domainers to try and stop this madness
Nomient looks to have woken members up with this, something nobody has been able to do for many years. It could be too late for them to row back now even if they drop it
This may see the end of Nominet's clan rather than the .co.uk