A couple of days ago I wrote about Nominet’s plans to allow registrations in .uk. Apparently it’s not just me that thinks the ideas are misguided. Every person I’ve spoken to who has any significant dealings with Nominet doesn’t think much of them. Even the UK chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC), hardly known for rocking the boat, agrees.

I was asked on a mailing list to make public some of the highlights of Nominet’s proposals, so here goes:

  • Permit direct registrations in .uk, but with no priority for those with existing .co.uk domain names;
  • Maintain (almost certainly wrongly) that registrations directly in .uk are more secure, more trustworthy and safer to deal with, so everyone with a .co.uk feels they need a .uk as their misguided customer base things they are somehow shifty;
  • Send out a paper form with every .uk registration to verify the registration address – remember certificates & reply forms anyone?
  • Give trademark holders (even non-UK trademark holders) priority over those without trademarks who legitimately use names;
  • Auction domains for which there are competition;
  • Auction domains names that expire;
  • Only permit registrations through a subsection of registrars; and
  • Virus scan ‘domains’ (I think they mean web sites) and award those that pass a ‘trustmark’ apparently proving the site is ok.

In my view this not just a very silly idea, but an attempt to adopt a ‘registry knows best’ model, with Nominet as policeman of what should and should not be trusted, and gives a huge boost to the international trademark lobby. If implemented, it will forever change the nature of .uk and Nominet (mostly in the latter case by making them look stupid, I suspect).

I wrote a longer blog article on this, and submitted an even longer full consultation response. But if you’ve got this far, and agree this is a stupid proposal, please fill in Nominet’s survey here even if you just go to the end and click ‘disagree with everything’. You’ve got until Monday close of business on Monday, I think.