Nominet the UK registry for all domain names ending in .uk is currently consulting on a new registrar agreement. The draft proposed new registrar agreement can be found here. The consultation which we urge you all to reply to is open until 12 September 2013.
In summary Nominet plans to split the registrar base in to three classifications of registrar and to start charging for accreditation:
- Self Managed Tag Classification
- Channel Partner Tag Classification
- Accredited Channel Partner Tag Classification
However it is also proposed the highest “accredited” classification will be given free access to transfer customers expired .uk domains under clause 5.3.6:
5.3.6. You may, no earlier than 30 days after the expiry of a domain name on an Accredited Channel Partner Tag, take steps to transfer the domain name into your name, provided that you have previously informed the Registrant that you intend to do this and obtained their explicit consent to your doing so. Even if you transfer a domain name in these circumstances, the original Registrant of the domain name must always retain the right to renew the domain name in question as set out in paragraph 2.1.12 above;
This clause will therefore allow registrars to take control and taste traffic on a customers expired domain from day 30 of expiry and auction it from day 90 of expiry. The bigger the registrar the more expired domains they will have expiring and inturn the bigger the revenue stream. This will leave smaller registrars with very limited access to expired domains (nothing of value) and will put so called “drop catchers” out of business.
Under the current Nominet renewal/transfer policy registrars CAN NOT transfer a .uk domain name to themselves without making a registrant transfer and paying £10 + VAT which the registrant has to agree to.
At present then there is a level playing field and expired .uk domain names become available on a first come first serve basis – we therefore urge you to sign this petition against this proposal.