This coming Monday, Nominet's consultation on a .uk domain ends. We are asking everyone to respond and say 'no'.
Nominet were told to stop creating new second level domains (like .co.uk or .me.uk) because they are a monopoly, and instead an independent consultative group decides when new .uk domains are needed. This group also decides who controls them, to avoid Nominet simply inventing new new second level domains (SLDs). This is important, as many people want to own all the domains potentially associated with their personal or company name. Only really new and non-confusing SLDs should be added, so that this problem is avoided.
Nominet have circumvented this attempt to stop them printing money and demanding new registrations from UK domain owners, by asking to allow anyone to own a top level .uk domain. This means you will now be faced with registering not just mydomain.co.uk and mydomain.org.uk but also, if you want to control the name, mydomain.uk – resulting in a windfall for the cash-rich Nominet, but plenty of problems for everyone else.
For instance, in the future, how will you know if someuniversity.uk is a real Univeristy, or just another commercial outfit posing as an HE estblishment? Will thelawcommission.uk be a government body, or a private entity?
Aside from this confusion, Nominet's consultation makes an extraordinary attempt to argue that it needs more cash because it operates in the public interest, so more cash means more public interest activities for the public.
This is the standard argument for a tax, not a new round of domain registrations. Nominet are not entitled to make such a tautologous argument, their public purpose is to provide a secure and trusted domain registry service.
If their new registry policy does not serve that – and they don't manage to argue that it does – then they cannot simply say that more cash for Nominet is a great reason to charge UK domain owners for new domains.
Say no to the Nomitax!