Nominet changes 'fail to cut main cost of domain name disputes'

Asserting rights still expensive, says expert


The body in charge of the .uk internet domain has announced changes to its dispute resolution policies that will make it cheaper to win unopposed disputes but will not address the high cost of preparing cases.

Nominet has published the policy changes that have resulted from two consultations. One of the main changes allows undisputed cases to be settled in a summary judgment with a reduced fee.

"In cases where there is no response, the complainant is given the option of obtaining a summary decision from an expert, at a cost of £200," said a Nominet statement. The cost of a full judgment is £750. "The expert will not be required to write a full decision with reasoning in these cases, but only to certify that Rights and Abusive Registration have been made out by the Complainant."

The change is intended to deal with the 52 per cent of cases which are not opposed.

The proving of those rights and that a registration is abusive can be an expensive process, though, because lawyers are often involved. The cost will not be significantly reduced unless that is addressed said disputes expert David Barker of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.

"The summary judgment is a step in the right direction, but it does not deal with the main cost, which is the substantial work involved in setting out your rights and explaining that the other party doesn't have rights," Barker said. "It is advisable to get a lawyer to do this, which is what pushes the costs up."

Pinsent Masons participated in the consultation with a suggestion that summary judgments for trade mark holders be made without the need for extensive documentary submissions. Under the proposal, a claimant would provide only a trade mark number as evidence of rights in a disputed name and state that the domain name's registration was an abusive registration, without supporting evidence. If the registrant indicated an intention to defend, the claimant must then file a full claim, together with evidence.

That proposal was not adopted by Nominet, which still requires a full submission even in cases which will end up with a summary judgment.

Other changes have been made to the policy, which acts as a mediation service to save disputes always ending up in the courts. Either party can appeal Nominet expert decisions through the courts system.

The new rules will clarify that some behaviour, such as parking domain names with services which display advertising, are not necessarily abusive uses of a domain.

"We have clarified the Policy to confirm that certain activities are not in themselves an Abusive Registration, but that cases of this kind will depend on their particular facts," said Nominet.

The policy will also make clear that storing domain names for sale is not necessarily an abusive use of the addresses.

"Trading in domain names for profit, and holding a large portfolio of domain names, are of themselves lawful activities. The Expert will review each case on its merits," says the new policy. "Sale of traffic (i.e. connecting domain names to parking pages and earning click-per-view revenue) is not of itself objectionable under the Policy. However, the Expert will take into account the nature of the Domain Name; the nature of the advertising links on any parking page associated with the Domain Name; and that the use of the Domain Name is ultimately the Respondent’s responsibility."

The new policy will come into effect on 29th July.

Copyright © 2008, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • US, UK, Western Europe fail to hit top 50 cheapest broadband list
    Syria, Sudan, Belarus, Ukraine came top. Are you starting to see a pattern?

    In an analysis of 3,356 fixed-line broadband deals in 220 countries, price comparison website Cable.co.uk found that the UK has the 92nd cheapest internet, beating the US, which came in 134th place.

    Based on 41 packages, the average cost per month for broadband in Britain came in at $39.01. Stateside, this rose to $55, from 34 packages measured.

    For these bulwarks of western democracy, 92nd and 134th place isn't particularly impressive. But if you really want to shave the dollars off your internet bill, you have a number of options.

    Continue reading
  • The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility
    A bolt of lightning has caused me days of misery, because the fix requires too much proprietary tech

    Column I heard an electric discharge, a bit like a Jacob's ladder, immediately before a deafening crack of thunder. I'd never been so close to a lightning strike! All of the lights in the house went bright, then dimmed, then went back to normal. "Uh-oh," I thought, "I'm in trouble now." Everything in the house had been hit by a nasty surge and the oft-spoken aphorism that broadband services are now a utility to rank with water and electricity was suddenly very, very, real to me.

    But it was electricity I worried about first. I use top of the line surge protectors so my most sensitive devices – computers and monitors, of which I have many – all seemed fine. But I'd overlooked two other connections that come into nearly every home: the antenna and the phone line.

    My television seemed to have taken a direct hit. It still worked – mostly – but appeared unable to receive any digital broadcasts. That circuit, lying on the other side of the antenna lead, likely took a big hit from the lightning strike. But the rest of the television seemed fine – at first. After a few days, and several spontaneous reboots, I began to intuit that devices don't always immediately fail when hit by lightning. Sometimes they gradually shed their functions and utility.

    Continue reading
  • Telecoms growth forecast for 2022 may be optimistic
    Analyst view: 4Q21 drop plus strains from war mean component shortages drag on

    The telecoms kit market had a good 2021 with revenues close to $100bn, up more than 20 percent since 2017, but growth is now slowing, according to analyst Dell'Oro Group. Huawei is also starting to feel the effect of sanctions, but still leads the global market by a fair margin.

    However, the Dell'Oro Group's prediction of slightly less growth for 2022 may turn out to be optimistic amid warnings that the Ukraine war is already having an impact on the fragile supply chain recovery.

    Dell'Oro's analysis is based on the telecoms market sectors it monitors, including Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core Network (MCN), Radio Access Network (RAN), and Service Provider Router & Switch.

    Continue reading
  • Fibre broadband uptake in UK lags behind OECD countries
    Not very 'world-beating'

    Optical-fibre internet now makes up 32 per cent of fixed broadband subscriptions across the OECD countries, and is the fastest growing broadband technology. However, there is a mixed picture with cable still dominant in the Americas and the UK still predominantly DSL.

    These figures come from an update to the OECD's broadband portal, indicating that fibre subscriptions grew by 15 per cent across the OECD countries between June 2020 and June 2021, with demand for faster internet speeds as employees worked remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions cited as one reason.

    Fixed broadband subscriptions in OECD countries totalled 462.5 million as of June 2021, up from 443 million a year earlier, while mobile broadband subscriptions totalled 1.67 billion, up from 1.57 billion a year earlier.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022