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uk Rules Consultation

The Name


New Rules

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Infringing Third Party Rights

How to use WHOIS

  A fundamental problem with the '.me.uk' domain which cannot be remedied without a major change of direction is the fact that while it was intended to be a domain for private individuals, it is in fact an open domain, open to all comers whether the name in question is their own name or not. The only restriction is that if you are a limited company and do not have the consent of a person whose name is the name you have registered, any complaint lodged by somebody with rights in the name will automatically succeed. [Incidentally, the way that that clause is currently drafted is going to cause difficulties and needs to be re-done.]

In an ideal world, one would start again from scratch, make the domain a closed domain open only to private individuals of the name in question and only for private/personal use. In that event, disputes could be readily disposed of very cheaply on the basis of birth certificates, passports, letters from utilities etc, so far as competing claims to the name are concerned. Deciding whether or not a use is a private use or business use should not be too difficult.

A modified form of that would be to allow businesses (in addition to individuals) of that name to register in the domain and allow the domain to be used for business purposes. Again, disputes over competing rights to the name could readily be resolved by a pre-determined list of documentary proofs. In the case of two parties, both with rights to the name, the first to register would prevail.

In my view, nobody should be allowed to register names in the domain other than those entitled to the name. If an agency is doing it on behalf of a client with rights to the name, the individual customer should be identified at the time and the individual should appear on the Whois as the registrant.

If the object of making complaints cheaper to deal with is primarily to accommodate private individuals, then I see no reason in principle why complaints by private individuals should not be priced at a lower level than complaints by companies. After all private individuals are the people for whom the domain was designed.

Tony Willoughby

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