Tag Archives: Britain

London Joins Cities To Apply for gTLD

London has joined cities such as Berlin, Paris, New York, Cologne, Munich and Vienna in announcing they will apply for their city name as a generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) when ICANN opens its three month window and begins accepting applications on 12 January next year.

The City of London through London and Partners, the official promotional agency for London, is currently identifying the benefits the London gTLD could bring to the city and investigating how it could succeed.

There will also be consultation with the city and its boroughs, city services, brands and commercial organisations regarding the uses of second-level dot London domains. There will also be consultation and engagement with the community and potential customer groups.

In addition to enhancing the promotion of the capital, London & Partners is investigating what opportunities the ownership of the gTLD licence could bring in terms of harnessing commercial revenue streams and new job creation, whilst ensuring value for money.

Nominet Seeks Feedback on Plans To Suspend Domains Connected With Serious Crime

Nominet logoNominet is seeking feedback from stakeholders on how the registry should deal with domain names used in connection with criminal activity.

Nominet formed an issue group that has met three times to discuss ‘Dealing with domain names used in connection with criminal activity’. Issues considered and discussed the issue of the suspension of domain names associated with criminal activity with research, stakeholder contributions, and discussions raising a range of complex issues across private, public and criminal law.

The group has sought to consider how a Nominet policy should enable the company to act in a transparent and consistent way, whilst addressing through contractual means possible liabilities that may arise. In examining this issue, the group has considered the range of views on how Nominet can act in a socially responsible manner and, in doing so, meet its public purpose.

In the issue group’s report, the issue group agreed that Nominet should have an abuse policy that specifically addresses criminal activity in its registrant terms and conditions. The strong consensus of the issue group was that Nominet should not itself be expected to determine criminality in any case. However the policy should enable Nominet to act swiftly where it has received a properly authorised request from a UK public law enforcement agency to suspend a domain. This would be over and above the evaluation process that Nominet would conduct when in receipt of any request for suspension from any party.

The group recognised that a Nominet suspension process operates alongside other mechanisms including requests for domain or account suspension directed toward registrars and ISPs.

The report also notes that the issue group acknowledged that court orders are the preferred method by which suspensions of domain names for criminal activity should be made, but that in urgent cases this may not be possible or practical in order to prevent consumer harm.

The issue group therefore recommended that, before Nominet acts on a request, the policy requires law enforcement agencies to provide a declaration that the suspension is proportionate, necessary, and urgent and in accordance with this policy.

The draft recommendations as outlined in the issues paper are as follows:

  • Nominet should have an abuse policy that specifically addresses criminal activity in its terms and conditions.
  • Nominet should be able to act under an expedited process to suspend domain names associated with serious crime when requested by a law enforcement agency.
  • An expedited procedure to suspend domain names should only be available where a) it is the last resort in dealing with the domain name, following requests with registrar, ISPs etc in the first instance or b) it is the most viable option to prevent imminent or ongoing serious consumer harm.
  • The policy should exclude suspension where issues of freedom of expression are central aspects of the disputed issue.
  • Nominet should consider establishing a registrant appeal mechanism.
  • When the policy is operational, Nominet should set up an independent panel to review how the policy is working.
  • Nominet should exclude civil or third party requests from this policy (which is focused on criminality), but these merit further discussion under the policy process.
  • Nominet should communicate the outcome of its policy development to Government to inform its own deliberations in this field.
  • The draft document published last week outlines guiding principles for policy in this area, building on where there is broad consensus within the group.

The issue group will meet to discuss the draft recommendations on 21 September 2011, and feedback from all interested stakeholders is welcome. For more information, see www.nominet.org.uk/news/latest/?contentId=8617.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .UK domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Nominet Reviews .UK Domain Expiry Policy, Surveys Customer Satisfaction

Nominet logoNominet have established an issue group to review domain name expiry policy while also launching two customer satisfaction surveys.

The review will take into account issues relating to the expiry period, post expiry and the renewal of expired domain names more generally.

To get discussion going there is an issue brief available to outline the focus of the group’s discussions.

The issue group process is designed to allow stakeholders to continue to give us regular input as the issue group discussion progresses.

The group brings together expertise and experience from within and outside the domain name industry with participants who will form the core of this issue group, chaired by Gordon Moir, a lawyer and former Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Task Force on Telecoms and ICT. The group’s first meeting will take place on 27 September 2011.

For the customer satisfaction surveys, they are designed to measure the level of satisfaction with the support services that Nominet offers. These surveys are being carried out on Nominet’s behalf by an independent market research company called The Leadership Factor. The findings from both these surveys will be published once the research and analysis is completed.

The member and registrar satisfaction survey will help Nominet measure service levels and identify areas for improvement through a short telephone research interview for members and registrars, who have recently used support services.

The second survey is a registrant satisfaction survey for registrants who have used support services. For this survey an email will be sent inviting participation.

The registrant satisfaction survey measures the level of satisfaction delivered by Nominet’s registrant support service. The survey results will be used to make further improvements to our systems and services.

Previous years surveys are available here.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .UK domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Domain Names Give Away News International Sunday Newspaper Ambitions

The recently registered domain names sunonsunday.co.uk and thesunonsunday.co.uk have been transferred to News International reports The Guardian following speculation about who registered them after the controversial closure of Britain’s largest selling Sunday newspaper News of the World.Mired in phone hacking allegations of murdered teenager Millie Dowler by people acting on behalf of the NotW and attempting to wrest control of the 60 per cent of BSkyB it does not own, News International decided to close the newspaper to deflect some of the problems.The domain names were registered on behalf of an unnamed registrant “the day after the Guardian revealed that a private detective acting for the News of the World hacked into the murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s voicemail, but before News International announced that it was to close the paper after 168 years when advertisers and politicians turned against it.”The Guardian also reports that News has not taken control of all the relevant domains having not “so far acquired control of what could be seen as a related domain, Sunonsunday.com, which was created much earlier, in September 2007, and is owned by Marco Milani, the bassist in the group Sun on Sunday. Thesunonsunday.com is owned by an unnamed British individual, and was also registered on 5 July.”

Olympics Committee Social Media Guidelines For London 2012 Include Domain Names

There are not many organisations in the world that are as vociferous in their control of their trademarks as the International Olympic Committee. With the London Olympics scheduled for 2012, the IOC has issued social media guidelines for participants and other accredited persons.

The guidelines also refer to domain names that include “the word ‘Olympic’ or ‘Olympics’ or any similar words related thereto (or any foreign language equivalents thereof) are not allowed unless approved by the IOC beforehand.”

The IOC gives the example of[myname]olympic.com which would not be permitted while [myname].com/olympic would be allowed, but only during the period of the Olympic Games during which these Guidelines are applicable. The guidelines also note that “participants and other accredited persons may not create stand-alone Olympic-themed websites, application or any other feature to host coverage of the Olympic Games.”

On social media such as Twitter and Facebook, the control continues. The guidelines state “the IOC encourages participants and other accredited persons to post comments on social media platforms or websites and tweet during the Olympic Games, and it is entirely acceptable for a participant or any other accredited person to do a personal posting, blog or tweet. However, any such postings, blogs or tweets should be in a first-person, diarytype format and should not be in the role of a journalist – i.e. they must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons, or disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organisation. A tweet is regarded in this respect as a short blog and the same guidelines are in effect, again, in first-person, diary-type format.

“Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of Olympism as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images.”

For the guidelines in full, click here [PDF].

Update on Nominet’s .UK short domains process

Nominet logo[news release] Following the closure of the Landrush application phase for the 2,640 remaining .uk short domains on 15 June, Nominet received payment for a total of 10,663 applications. This follows the allocation of 178 domain names in the registered and unregistered rights “sunrise” phases which enabled rights holders to register domain names prior to general availability.
599 domain names have a sole applicant and will be registered in the name of the applicants on 23 June. If you have registered one of these domains you will be contacted by your registrar.

1,327 domain names have more than one applicant and will therefore go through to the auction phase of the process. The domain name will be awarded to the applicant which places the highest bid. The net profits from the short domains release process will go to the Nominet Trust.

All domain names for which there were no applicants (713 .net and 1 .me) will be made available on a first come first served basis from 27 June 2011, subject to the rules of registration.

Nominet is currently reviewing the auction schedule with its auction partner, NFPA . Parties involved will be notified of the schedule, together with instructions for participation, directly by NFPA in the week commencing 27 June. Auctions are scheduled to start on 20 July. Due to the volume of auctions being held, it is anticipated that they will be held over several weeks during July, August and September.

The five most heavily applied for domain names are: bb.co.uk (43 applicants), ip.co.uk (40 applicants), dj.co.uk (37 applicants), dr.co.uk (35 applicants) and cv.co.uk (33 applicants). The most heavily applied for single character domain is 1.co.uk (32 applicants).

You can see the status of the domain name using Nominet’s Sunrise WHOIS tool.

This Nominet news release was sourced from:

Europe Registry logoTo register your .UK domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

FTC Bans Online US Electronics Retailer from Deceiving Consumers with .UK Domains

The Federal Trade Commission announced it reached a settlement putting a stop to the deceptive tactics of a Californian internet marketer that allegedly tricked British consumers into believing it was based in the United Kingdom by using websites with CO.UK domains. Under the settlement, the company also is banned from charging consumers for goods until they are in hand and ready to be shipped.The case was brought by the FTC under provisions added to the FTC Act by the U.S. SAFE WEB Act of 2006. SAFE WEB confirmed the agency’s authority to sue U.S.-based wrongdoers who harm consumers abroad, as part of a strategy to prevent the United States from becoming a haven for fraud.According to the FTC, California internet marketer Jaivin Karnani, his company, Balls of Kryptonite, and several associated companies, sold cameras, video games, and other electronic goods to thousands of British consumers. Because the defendants used websites with domain names such as bestpricedbrands.co.uk, bitesizedeals.co.uk, and crazycameras.co.uk, consumers believed they were buying from a company operating in the United Kingdom, and were therefore protected by manufacturer warranties that were valid there.The FTC’s complaint, filed in 2009, alleged that when consumers received the goods, they discovered they had been charged unexpected import duties, were left with invalid warranties, and would be charged draconian cancellation and refund fees if they attempted to return the merchandise. The defendants promised fast shipping dates, but usually did not meet those dates. Without the prior consent of consumers, as required by the FTC’s Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule (Mail Order Rule), the defendants allegedly shipped the goods much later than promised. When customers tried to cancel these delayed orders, they were met with stiff resistance, no response at all, or otherwise had difficulty obtaining refunds.The FTC also charged the defendants with deceiving consumers about their participation in the EU/US Safe Harbor Framework – a voluntary international program that provides a means for U.S. companies to transfer data from the European Union to the United States, and to assure European customers that they secure the customers’ personal information as required by EU law.The settlement order prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting: the location, quality, quantity, characteristics, and model numbers of products they sell; their compliance with or certification by government-sponsored information security programs; their policies regarding cancellation, exchange, or return; the existence of product warranties; and the total cost of the products sold.The FTC settlement order also prohibits the defendants from violating the Mail Order Rule, and it imposes a $500,000 judgement, which is suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay. If it is determined that the financial information the defendants gave the FTC was untruthful, the full amount of the judgement will become due.More information is available from the FTC website here.

British Police With Nominet Help Shuts 1,800 Websites

British police with the cooperation of Nominet, the registry for .UK domain names, have shut down 1,800 websites selling counterfeit or non-existent goods, BBC News reports.According to the report, “the websites were offering items including Premier League tickets, Ugg boots, Tiffany jewellery and Timberland clothing.””Shoppers who paid for the goods either received faked items or nothing at all.”The websites were often run by organised crime with the Metropolitan Police saying there had been an upsurge in websites selling counterfeit goods over the Christmas period.Det Insp Paul Hoare said: “The removal of these websites will have prevented numerous victims from falling foul to this type of offence.”As a general rule, if something looks like it is too good to be true, it probably is.”

Nominet Commences .UK Sunrise for Short Domains

Nominet logoNominet commenced a Sunrise period for short .UK domain names at midday (GMT) on 1 December with a Registered Rights Sunrise phase for trade mark holders.

The Sunrise phase consists of a two-stage application process where:

  • stage one: allows for trademark rights holders to apply for a domain that matches their trade mark via a Nominet registrar before midday on 17 January 2011
  • stage two: applicants will then need to have their IP rights checked by CMS Cameron McKenna, the validation agent Nominet will be using for this process. Applicants will need evidence of using the trade mark in the UK prior to 1 January 2008. The deadline for applying to CMS Cameron McKenna to have IP rights validated is midday (GMT) on 31 January 2011.

Where there are two or more applications for the same domain, an open auction process will be used with any profits going to the Nominet Trust.

To check the status of any application under this process, there is a Sunrise WHOIS tool.

Once the Registered Rights Sunrise phase is complete Nominet will begin an Unregistered Rights Sunrise phase. Any potential applicants not eligible for any of the above phases can apply during the final Landrush phase. No dates have been given for either of these phases and they will be announced when each of these phases open and Nominet will publish information on how to apply in 2011.

For more information visit www.nominet.org.uk/go/shortdomains.

Europe Registry logoTo register your short .UK domain name, or any other .UK domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

CN Domain Registrations Slip Even Further

CNNIC logoThe number of .CN domain name registrations have slipped by over one million in the two months to 30 June according to statistics published on the China Internet Network Information Center’s (CNNIC) website this week.

The latest figure is 7,246,686 compared to 8,254,681 at the end of April. CNNIC, unlike many registries, often posts registration figures several months late. Others such as DENIC (.DE) and Nominet (.UK) have real time statistics.

The dramatic reductions are the result of the end of promotions that lasted for much of 2008 and 2009 where domain names could be registered for a few cents and the introduction of restrictions on registrants.

The latest figures mean .CN is still is the third highest ranked ccTLD behind .DE with 13,765,490 registrations as of 7 August and 8,654,260 for .UK (United Kingdom). .NL (Netherlands) is fourth with 3,981,555 registrations while .EU (European Union) is fifth with 3,227,644 registrations.

Europe Registry logoTo register your domain name for any of the above ccTLDs, or any other, check out Europe Registry here.