With the recent Nominet .uk Proposal several discussions have popped up on popular domain forums along with private discussions I’ve had with people at different levels of the “online” industry that is domains and web development. I have to agree on the most with people that proper guidelines to who gets what names in the sunrise period however I do disagree slightly with a lot of people that just because they own the .co.uk they have the right to the .uk, I don’t believe this to be the case.
When reading online it’s mostly large portfolio holders of domains that seem to have the main issue with this and I can see why they are slightly annoyed about this, say Mr. Bloggs owns 5,000 .co.uk domain names, if the .uk domains were to come into action, instead of people finding his names via type in’s or the search engines and paying a premium for them they could simply go onto a domain registrars site and find the same name available for £20. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve held a small portfolio of domain names for sale in this way since I started in the domain industry but I don’t feel this gives me a right to register the .uk before anyone else, infact I feel like If I’ve spent the last two years sitting on the name in the hope to sell it and haven’t and had no intention to develop then it gives me no right at all to the domain name.
The problem I’ve discussed with people at length and that can not be agreed upon is how they determine who get’s what names at what stage, The suggestion is that trademark holders would get first “dibs” on the names, this would normally be fine, and worked well during the LL.co.uk domain name auctions, the problem with such a vast amount of trademarks registered and such a wide array of domains available is it as simple as saying the trademark holder gets the right to a generic term.
An example of this problem would be the trademark registered for the term “tickets”, As you would think I imagine companies like ticket master, see tickets and ticket line would love to have a chance at getting this name, however with the current discussions going on, the trademark holder of “tickets” for the class of “scented candles” in the British Virgin Islands would have the first opportunity to the name. For me the major problem is the broadness of the names, and the differing situations, be it large portfolio holders parking names for sale, small portfolio holders with a set of names in development or Joe Bloggs down the high street with his shoe shop.
I’m torn between the .uk and .co.uk situation, I develop websites for a UK based company that own several premium .co.uk domain names all in the same sector, all of these are due for development and three of them have been launched or redeveloped recently. I’d hope that we could apply and be in with a shot at the .uk equivalent domain names. I’ve discussed with a colleague whether the .uk would effect our .co.uk brand, He this that it would have a pretty big effect and I’m not so sure, I just don’t think the general public are as aware of things of this nature as we are and I don’t think they are as quick to learn, I’d go as most “non techy” people probably already think .uk exists.
I’m of the thinking that if your ranking for the terms you want to rank for, and pushing the site socially yourself then people are going to visit YOUR SITE whether its on the .co.uk or .uk domain name, people more often that not only visit your site from the search engines (where they couldn’t get the domain names confused), from links you’ve provided via email or social media (where they couldn’t get the domain names confused) or from a bookmark (….you can see where I’m going).
I’d probably have to welcome .uk domain names being released as I believe there is money to be made from the domain names, talking to people they are concerned about their own .co.uk domain names that are developed or their undeveloped portfolios may be devalued or their brand being reduced by the .uk introduction, for me the fact that people are concerned shows that people think the names have potential and could be a challenger to the .co.uk domain market place. I missed out on the original boom when the majority of the large domain name holders registered their names, is this a chance for a new domain portfolio holders?