back to article Vote to turf out remainder of Nominet board looks inevitable after .uk registry ignores reform demands

A second extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to fire the remainder of the board of directors of Nominet and replace them with people willing to make long-sought-after reforms now looks like a certainty. The results of a survey carried out by the campaign, which successfully removed Nominet’s CEO, chair and …

  1. don't you hate it when you lose your account

    The sooner

    The better. This has become a farce, the more they push back the more it looks like they have something to hide. Time for a full audit and hopefully criminal charges.

    1. John Jennings

      Re: The sooner

      You would think the board would be just plain embarrassed at this point.

      1. Coastal cutie

        Re: The sooner

        I don't think they are capable of embarrassment or even shame - it's clear their sole interest is in clinging to the gravy train. If the EGM can't get them out, hopefully the next AGM can. Then bring in forensic accountants and make sure the M&AA are changed to prevent a farce like this ever happening again.

      2. m-k

        Re: The sooner

        pecunia non something something, no?

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: The sooner

          It's not the pecunia that stinks, it's the board's behaviour.

        2. onemark03

          pecunia non ...

          ... olet.

      3. hoola Silver badge

        Re: The sooner

        I suspect, that like other people in similar positions they just have not got the faintest clue that what they are doing is unacceptable.

        There appears to be a point at which any sort of behaviour can be justified because they are so disconnected from reality that the people who surround them agree with the.

        Just look at the Greensill fiasco.

  2. richardcox13

    When trying to get out of a hole...

    ... stop digging,

    But this seems to be more of a case of an inwardly facing organisation doubling down on its approach and keeping the internal echo chamber going.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Various commentards have indicated they might move domains they're responsible for away from registrars who supported Nominet. If they have done or do so in the future I suggest they make sure their former registrar knows why they did so. But only do that after the event. An actual loss of custom will weigh more than a prospective. The latter will likely be seen as preventable with inducements such as a reduced tariff. For those like myself whose registrars are on board perhaps a message of support would be a good idea.

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge


      Got precisely that treatment before the vote. Didn't change their mind though.

      Hello to Mythic Beasts!

  4. Whitter
    Big Brother

    Shine a light

    Perhaps should specifically highlight the "How is your registar voting?" section on their website?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Shine a light

      Indeed. This has changed post EGM, and now I can see that my supplier - - have moved from 'undecided' to 'for the board'. I am not amused.

    2. Dabooka
      Thumb Up

      Re: Shine a light


      Thankfully I didn't doubt where Mythic Beasts stands on the issue.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: Shine a light

        Yep, I've been moving my domains from Heart who are part of (please hurry up and) Go (away) Daddy to Mythic!

        1. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Shine a light

          I (misguidedly) moved a domain from LCN to GoDaddy so that someone could use a personalised email address with their M365 subscription.

          After spending nearly 3 hours on a chat and with some GoDaddy droid trying to complete the transfer I was seriously doubting the decision. There stupid system was unable to cope with a new account and a transfer in of no value so it kept failing "Payment declined". The reason is was declined was that there were no payment details. You could not add the payment details because it was zero value. You could not add them with your first order because it was zero value.

          I then ended up transferring it back because the minor detail Microsoft omitted (or I missed) in the personalised email set was that you cannot change the "From" address, that remains as the

          I then put it all back to LCN. The entire process consumed several pizzas and bottles of wine!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shine a light

            GoDaddy got where they are by shaving costs as much as possible, and that includes not coping with anything outside their standard practices. They really are awful in pretty much every respect.

            (Some weeks back I was diagnosing X.509 certificate-chain issues for a customer, and they sent me a collection of GoDaddy-issued entity and CA certificates they were using. I discovered GD had CA certificates at different points in the hierarchy with the same subject name, but different issuers and public keys [and thus different SKIDs, etc]. Allowed, but highly obnoxious and unnecessary. Just another example of how GoDaddy taint everything they touch.)

      2. Blofeld's Cat
        Thumb Up

        Re: Shine a light

        Likewise with Zen Internet, but I'm pleased to see my expectations confirmed.

        1. Dabooka
          Thumb Up

          Re: Shine a light

          Used to be Zen for my actual connection many moons ago. Great outfit

    3. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

      Re: Shine a light

      Isn't the ratio of domains to votes interesting?

      It looks like that somehewre between 140k and 150k domains your votes get reduced on a votes/domain basis and below that your votes/domain are often bizarrely increased (at a cursory glance it doesn't seem evenly distributed).

      Surely the board can't be indulging in panhandling the votes? Who would have thought it?

      Mine's the one with a big /s in the pocket....

      1. Cuddles

        Re: Shine a light

        It looks to me as though it's simply everyone gets 1,365 votes plus the number of domains, up to a cap of 208,154. No idea how the exact numbers were decided, but it doesn't seem to have any obvious shenanigans going on.

        1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

          Re: Shine a light

          >>No idea how the exact numbers were decided,

          Indeed.... and nor does anyone else, except post hoc, becasue the oh so honourable board decided to make the allocation of votes secret...

          If they have nothing to hide, especially as they are nominally, at least, a public body, these things should be open and transparent.

          Which is the problem with the whole affair.

          Beer beacuse I need something to counteract the salty popcorn I am consuming whilst watching the Nominet saga unfold.

    4. iron Silver badge

      Re: Shine a light

      Thanks for the link, have a pint on me.

      I'm glad to see my ISP has supported PublicBenefit (Claranet) but unfortunately my domain registrar does not (1&1 Ionos). My domains are not due for renewal till next year but I will look into moving them this weekend and send explanatory emails to the relevant parties.

      A lot of commentards have mentioned Mythic Beasts so they will be my first port of call. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

      1. Stuart Moore

        Re: Shine a light

        I'm a fan of - never had any problems, and dropped them an email thanking them for backing to which the CEO replied.

      2. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

        Re: Shine a light

        I can compete with <CHOOSE YOUR SUPPORTING REGISTRAR HERE> on price and service - as can any one of the other smaller registrars.

        Over the years I have seen hundreds of customers leave me for the likes of 123-reg and 1&1 - sadly, I don't think most customers care, they just see the 'domains for 1p' and other dodgy claims.

        The problems started long ago - I've been a member for over 20 years and some of my fellow members have been railing against Nominet and the management of it from before I joined, it has been, if not as rotten as it is now, getting a bit whiffy for a lot longer than most people want to admit.

        Nominet have never kicked 1&1, 123 or uk2 to name a few of the big bad ones and I have had to jump through hoops to clean the mess up when receiving domains in - it was not uncommon for domains to come in from the big registrars with registrant details that were wrong and should not have been registered. The likes of the above three didn't care, they'd got the money, they'd also got a lot of clout with Nominet as well. Little fish like me got the grief though.

        I also got a LOT OF GRIEF from Mrs Lunatic because she had to do the paperwork and sort the TS&C's out and jump through hoops with policy documents for Nominet to inspect just so we could become an 'accredited' registrar. I'm expecting a letter from Nominet any day now telling me that they have audited our web site and it's still compliant but our liability insurance is about t o expire so please supply us with a policy number to maintain your accredited status...

        And then you see what a bunch of self serving pocket lining brain dead oxygen wasters is running the board - you may understand why the members are thoroughly disenchanted.

      3. Richard Cranium

        Re: Shine a light

        Worth pointing out that I understand (most?) registrars will accept an incoming name transfer at no cost, until the normal annual renewal so there's no obstacle to moving away NOW rather than await renewal date.

        1. Code Dinosaur

          Re: Shine a light

          Assuming your current registrar allows you to set the transfer tag. If they don't then you have to pay £10+vat to force the transfer through Nominet's system.

  5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    I think the the selection process to find a new CEO, chairman and directors will specify that they are looking for candidates that have recently held positions of CEO, chair and director respectively at Nominet UK.

  6. Potemkine! Silver badge


    That story is probably among the best drama series of 2021. Can't wait for the next episode

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: Popcorn!

      *Shows up as if by magic with a large stall full of munchies, supplies, & an entire section with the banner "Angry Mob Equipment*

      You rang? Can I interest you in a sausage in a bun? Butter for your popcorn? Pitchfork, torch, buckets of pitch, or sharpeners for the aforementioned guillotine? I even have a special on clear plastic rain ponchos for protection against splattering ichor!

      *Calls out to be heard above the mob* MUNCHIES! SUPPLIES! CMOT Dibbler's got it all!


      On a slightly more serious note, I'm tempted to pay for a membership just so I can vote in the EGM. I want to stand at the back of the hall & shout to the idiots at the podium "HEY! Morons! What part of ''FEK OFF'' did you not understand?"

      Unfortunately I can't afford the plane ticket to get there, so it's all just wishful thinking, but DAYAM is it a strong desire to see justice done!

      *Hands a pint to everyone whom does get to vote*

      Please, for the love of your continued sanity (as over rated as I consider my own sanity) vote the bastards out & replace them with something smarter... FFS, a plastic picknick spork would do!

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Popcorn!

      I can't wait for the episode that is filmed at Oxford Garden Centre with the A34 Southern By-Pass Road in the background.

    3. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Popcorn!

      "That story is probably among the best drama series of 2021. Can't wait for the next episode"

      Fire up the Quattro popcorn!

      - Gene Hunt, probably

  7. Lucien Taylor

    EGM2 will give the board less room to pretend they don’t understand

    A small cabal of board members are refusing to stand aside. Worse, they holding themselves out as the single source of truth in putting across “the company’s view” - see @nominet Twitter. The company is owned by the members, and members clearly spelt out the company’s view in the latest EGM.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: EGM2 will give the board less room to pretend they don’t understand

      The very idea of the registrar being a company – it should just be a bureaucracy – says a lot about this group.

      Manage domains in the best interests of members and their customers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: EGM2 will give the board less room to pretend they don’t understand

        The very idea of the registrar being a company – it should just be a bureaucracy – says a lot about this group.

        You're deeply mistaken. Almost every business on the planet operates as a limited company or LLP so it can have a legal identity to sign contracts, employ staff, own assets and so on.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: EGM2 will give the board less room to pretend they don’t understand

          The legal structure of the organisation is entirely dependent upon the relevant laws of the country: many of which have specific structures for public bodies whether it's Ofcom, British Standards, etc. Ltds or LLP are only a couple of the options.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: EGM2 will give the board less room to pretend they don’t understand

            Please explain how the UK registry could function as "just a bureaucracy" that does not need to have a distinct legal identity overseen by a board of directors (or equivalent). There are bound to be a lot of angry Nominet members who would love to hear your proposal and save the institution a few million quid a year on directors fees.

            BTW both Ofcom and BSI have boards. One's a public body and the other's a private company incorporated by royal charter - neither of which applies to Nominet.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: EGM2 will give the board less room to pretend they don’t understand

              By "bureaucracy" I mean it needs to be focussed solely on adminstering the registry for its members and not, for example, dreaming new revenue sources. The precise legal structure (Ltd, Friendly Society, etc.) should be chosen to suit.

  8. Nifty Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Conspiracy theory alert. Certain .uk sites might find they're having a little trouble with their DNS routing all of a sudden.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    Cheesy music.

    <Gameshow host>

    Aaaannnnndddd NOW it's time for Fill Your Boots.

    Remember folks, the winner here is the board member who can stuff the most cash into their pockets before everyone else gets sooooooo pissed off that they get kicked out.

    The clock starts.............. ONETWOTHREE NOW!

    </Gameshow host>

  10. Fogcat

    I've only got one uk domain with an undecided registrar (easily) - any recommendations on who to switch to?

    And it really really does seem like there's something to hide that they're clinging on so desperately.

    1. Fonant
      Thumb Up

      Mythic Beasts

      Mythic Beasts are good, for all sorts of different reasons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mythic Beasts

        Moved all our domains to Mythic Beasts last year, bar a they can't deal with. Looks like it's time to pull the hosting we have from Fasthosts though - I've been looking at changing it for many reasons, this will be the one I give them.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Mythic Beasts

        "for all sorts of different reasons" but chiefly they seem to be folk who actually care about their business.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Mythic Beasts

          Their "about us" page says Started in 2000 by a group of Oxford and Cambridge University graduates who were dissatisfied customers of other shared hosting providers, i.e. it's itch scratching and dogfooding and all the other metaphors about producing solutions to satisfy your own needs.

          They're technically very good, very fast at responding(*), always improving their service, incredibly helpful to everyone from complete newbies to deep techies, and for me local.

          (*) For my last query they apologised for the delay in responding. The delay was 90 minutes and my query was unimportant. Previous providers I've used would take days to respond to critical problems like no functioning mail.

          1. Majikthise

            Re: Mythic Beasts

            All the above seconded - I moved email to MB last year from gmail and an domain to MB from 123reg. Should have done it years ago. Everything works well, there's no fuss and even their web front end is pleasant to use and free of the usual clutter.

            I'm a very happy customer of MB and - on behalf of my two domains - very happy to register my happiness that they support Public Benefit.

      3. Spiz

        Re: Mythic Beasts

        Another +1 for Mythic Beasts.

        No nonsense, no frills, no 5Mb per page web interface, great support. Just works.

    2. Minimaul

      Mythic Beasts are a great choice for a UK registrar that gives a shit and provides great support.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Forget how they are voting with nominet, I can't think of a single reason to keep anything with easily since they changed ownership.

      Their systems used to be a little rough but worked reliably, what's there now might work today but might have all new settings tomorrow (mainly auto-renew turned on even though you have turned it off many times)

      or the ability to renew domain names being blocked out if the renewal date falls within the next few weeks

    4. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Simon Blackler's business, Krystal, are good.

      (Just a happy customer)

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Nominet’s board has dug in and effectively dared their own members to force them out"

    Challenge accepted !

    Quash those cockroaches once and for all. And make sure they can never be elected/appointed to such a position ever again.

    1. Electronics'R'Us

      Re: "Nominet’s board has dug in and effectively dared their own members to force them out"

      We need the equivalent of RAID.

      Spray on and wait for them to...

    2. Rol

      Re: "Nominet’s board has dug in and effectively dared their own members to force them out"

      Sadly that will never be. Having left the expensive school their parents paid for, with nothing more than an O level in cookery, it will be their birthright that carries them forward in the world, and into a directorship, where the only task they have to do is get dressed in the morning, turn up on time, and say "yes" to everything the chairman utters.

      How else can the 1% keep their inept hands on the steering wheel of an entire nation, because if directorships were dished out on a merit basis, the 99% would soon be in the driving seat, and the status quo shattered to its core.

  12. Dabooka

    Well I predicted this the other day

    Surely those who were genuinely on the fence have been swayed a little now. Surely.

    I also like to think that some who may have voted for the board at EGM1 may have turned completely now. I'd question the reasoning for anyone who didn't to be honest, and wonder what kind of preferential terms are they on to continue supporting such a crooked little gang.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Well I predicted this the other day

      You'd think that but you'd be mistaking big company management for people who give a shit.

  13. Howard Sway Silver badge

    How this might end?

    "It's day 17 of the siege at the Nominet HQ, as the standoff continues with the board demanding a helicopter and suitcase full of gold each or else they will delete the internet in the UK. An unidentified shirtless board member was briefly spotted at a window with his tie around his head, feasting on what looked like a severed arm. Despite loudhailer calls for them to give themselves up, they still insist that they have the support of 50.000001% of members and that their plans to convert the domain registry into a feudal monarchy outside the reach of all national laws have received the enthusiastic backing of GoDaddy and the Illuminati."

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are companies supporting the nominet board?

    What I don't understand and haven't seen any explanation of is why some companies are supporting the nominet board?

    I've seen lots of stuff explaining the problems and presumably all the companies have seen that too. So what have they seen, that I haven't seen, that persuades them to support the status quo?

    It's not as if this is a default position. They can abstain if they don't feel they know enough or don't want to get involved. This is an active decision to support what is clearly a corrupt establishment. What induces them to do so?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are companies supporting the nominet board?

      Back handers?

    2. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: Why are companies supporting the nominet board?

      At least one person put their head above the parapet.

      “To be honest, the EGM makes no sense to me,” he told The Register. “If people aren’t happy with how things work, there should be a dialogue – not a double-barreled shotgun.”


      "Nominet is not a perfect organisation, and if this EGM achieves anything it should be to send the clear message that people are unhappy. But not all the members are. There is a very clear segment of members that are unhappy but I’d like to see some level of engagement and for this EGM to force Nominet to address these things.”


      “Do you file for divorce every time you have an argument with your wife?” he asks rhetorically. Firing five board members at once will be “hugely disruptive” he argues and notes that he “wouldn’t be surprised to see staff leave if the execs are removed.”


      “Registries are meant to be boring and stable. I don’t want drama. In many ways, I don’t need to know how [the registry] works, it just needs to work.”

      Basically anything for a quiet life. He's right in that registries are supposed to be boring and stable, but glosses over spending £££ on irrelevant M&A like autonomous driving.

      Also makes the very fair point of:

      There is another problem with a member-forced vote that throws out the CEO and chairman, he argues: there’s nothing to stop it happening again. “I can’t see how this EGM will fix anything,” he notes, discussing in some length Nominet’s unusual legal structure. “And then what’s to stop the same thing happening again in six months?”

      Changing the board is insufficient. Ultimately a structural change is required, with legal articles binding the organisation back to it's founding principles.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are companies supporting the nominet board?

      "What I don't understand and haven't seen any explanation of is why some companies are supporting the nominet board?"

      Because they don't give a shit about what happens in the boardroom. That will only matter if it affects the core registry operations. One of those registrars pretty much said that in one of the articles that was posted here before last month's EGM.

    4. Blofeld's Cat

      Re: Why are companies supporting the nominet board?

      Perhaps these companies need to be reminded that Nominet's attempts to break into new markets were unsuccessful and caused a drop in operating profit.

  15. Ex-PFY

    America's turn?

    About time, now for ICANN.

    The .org situation highlighted the farce nicely.

    1. R Soul Silver badge

      Re: America's turn?

      How? ICANN has no jurisdiction over ccTLDs.

  16. Dacarlo
    Thumb Down

    Its time... bow out disgracefully. Self serving muppets the lot of em.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Its time...

      Grace appears to be one of the qualities that they lack.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would not be surprised if...

    ..there was a sudden increase in new domain account registrations at Nominet (likely from outside UK) sufficent to provide a 10%+ increase in support for existing management.

    Watch for new account promotions such as free X months sufficent to provide required support for zero visible outlay before next EGM

    I am guessing on "outside the UK" because the cost of maintaining the accounts might otherwise be prohibative given that a valid and credit worthy address outside the UK is easier to spoof.

    I used nominet myself, years ago, but shut it down when I discovered that actually having a UK address was not a requirement for a domain registration.

    I would be interesting to hear the percentage of accounts supporting existing management within the UK against outside as I think it might be revealing.

  18. Alan Brown Silver badge

    If shifting registrars

    It would make sense to shift to one which is not already at a vote cap

    Just saying....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Vote

    I am the registered 'owner' not my registrar, why isn't it up to 'owners' to vote, like any election. Can't see why it should be down to the registrar to whom we pay a fee to decide who runs Nominet. Demand 1 domain = 1 Vote! (or something like that). Those who don't vote are not counted, like any election.

    1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

      Re: My Vote

      > I am the registered 'owner' not my registrar,

      You would be surprised to see how many domains I have had from the big boys where the registered owner is the large registrar themself. I've not had one come in since Nominet started making a fuss about it a few years ago but it was very common. Admittedly some of the smaller registrars were sloppy but the big ones were worse simply because the registrant was ignorant and was guided through the requirements.

      And the one domain one vote was tried - but it was realised that it would only take a couple of the largest registrars to collude and there would be mayhem - couple this with the lare registrars not being UK based and you basically have no teeth.

  20. Glennda37

    Time to remove my last domain from TSOHost/Godaddy

    And i'll ensure to let them know why!

  21. Mark 15

    Glad for the support

    I am near the end of my career and feel that we have things running just right. I want to be in a position to hand over a business that ticks along nicely. The idiots at Nominet are an abomination in an industry filled with generally good people and cause endless frustrations. It wasn't always like this, it used to good. Our company uses 20i and for good reason. We have tried others, many others, and just wished that everyone played as nicely as 20i.

    Clearly, reading The Register and following the work of PublicBenefitUK, we can see that there is still some good left in the world. I wish all those supporting Public Benefit the very best.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are the Board Members clinging on with such ferocity?

    Why are the Board Members and Eleanor Bradley (deposed Director but now elevated to interim CEO, still pulling strings?) clinging on with such ferocity??

    1) Whilst in “power”, they can resist calls to open up their books, produce board meeting minutes/details of past Directors bonus schemes, reveal co-marketing funding activities with the big players who staunchly support the board.

    2) It’s a bleak world out there for job opportunities in the real competitive world (not the cossetted world of a cash rich monopoly) for “soiled goods” failed/ousted Directors who oversaw a grubby shabby campaign.

    3) Besides, it’s a wonderful life. Why give up the gold-plated gravy train.

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