The Nominet consultation closed sometime yesterday either at “close of business” or maybe around midnight when we guess their Online Form by Survey Gizmo stopped accepting inputs. Their business hours cease at 6pm and by 6.04pm we had received an automated email from their .uk Policy Secretariat saying it was all over! Whatever! We sense sighs of relief, all round, at their HQ in Oxford!
They did put up a final reminder yesterday on their website but it had no links to any of the differing ways to respond and whilst the first sentence was in the present tense by the third it was all history “.. this process has been very helpful ….” It did update the responses received figure from 650 on 18 December saying that they had now “…..received more than 850 formal responses” so unlike their new domain registrations over the holiday season (which tend to collapse) the response rate actually improved!
BUT at 0.0083% of their principal stakeholders (their 10,276,759 domain registrants) it is numerically pitiful and gives them no mandate for change irrespective of the responses content.
The executives remit from the Board was “ … that as many stakeholder views as possible be gathered in order to properly inform any decision.” We don’t believe that reasonable efforts have been made by them, in particular in that:
- They did not contact directly all registrants (their principal stakeholders) to inform them of the consultation using the contact details available to them1
- The wider members of the Internet Community (UK internet users) of whom there are over 40 million were not informed of the consultation using either online or mainstream media advertising campaigns.
This is the main thrust of our response to the consultation (pdf). In the pdf we’ve used Nominet’s (slightly faded) purple to indicate their content and traditional black for our responses!. We have done a little redaction and added a date in the About You section. Pages 10-15 contain most of our response. We apologise for its general inelegance and any inadvertent errors or omissions but, we maintain, this is due to the rather cumbersome methodology used by Nominet in gathering their responses. There was a horrendous amount of copying involved!
In addition to the above points we are also vehemently opposed to Registered Trademark holders having any prior rights over existing domain registrants and believe if ANY .uk issue takes place it should only go to existing domain name registrants.
We thought describing the Nominet phraseology “Domain names registered in the third level may constitute an unregistered right” as oxymoronic was particularly appropriate and considered adding something about an omnishambolic process but decided that was a step too far!
If any other respondent out there would like a platform to publish their full response (with minimalist About You only redaction) then subject to our review we would be happy to do that with a brief (200-300 words max say) summary. We will also keep an eye out for other published responses to link to.
Use the Contact form, Comments facility or DM us on twitter if you would like to follow this up.
We can, already, boast that we have published over 0.1% of all the responses!
1 We also just picked up this little snippet from an old release concerning the Short Domain consultation Nominet undertook back in 2010 prior to an issue relating to a little over 2,800 short domains. “Nominet also wrote to the holders of approximately 20,000 trademarks corresponding to the character sets potentially subject to release ……” So they contacted directly 20,000 POTENTIAL stakeholders as part of that consultation but not the ACTUAL 10,276,759 stakeholders this go round. hmmmmmmm
A further point on the non uniqueness of registered trademarks can now be derived from the short domains release. We calculate from our information that in the short domain release there were 727 names (ie strings) such as 1-9 a, b, c etc so on average per name/string there were over 27 registered trademarks. This is one of the reasons we vehemently oppose, and perhaps goes some way to explaining Nominet’s preference for, giving registered trademark holders prior rights!
UPDATE – LINKS TO CERTAIN PUBLISHED RESPONSES