Thursday, 20 November 2008

a problem like Nominet

The bitter infighting on and off the board of Nominet has now got to the point where it is not just being reported on The Register but in the Gruaniad.

I am am going to make two things clear before I carry on:
  1. I work in the industry, in fact the company I work for is a member of Nominet, but everything written here is my opinion alone; and 
  2. I have nothing personally against there being a secondary market in domains and people making money from it.

However it isn't about what I think, the reason BERR are involved is that they of course represent 'Business'[1] as much as they represent 'Government' and 'Business' doesn't want to have to deal with domainers. You don't see a large company with millions or more in turnover going to Frank's second hand cars of Walford when they need a hundred more vehicles for the fleet.

It can be very hard to explain to a client that they are going to have to pay significantly more for the domain that they consider should belong to them, right or wrong under IP laws and the DRS because someone else is sat on it and even then they often feel that domains that have been parked with adverts on are tainted.

So it may seem that the domainers will have a choice, if they keep having this temper tantrum in public then Daddy Mandelson may take the toybox away (which I am sure no-one really wants) and then they will almost certainly lose their business model. Where as if they let Nominet make the governance changes it wants to make the industry they have created will probably still be there even if it has to do things in a slightly different way.

[1]In my head I hear that being said in the tone it is by Sam the Eagle in the Muppet's Christmas Carol.

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