Playing nicely across the .UK domain

22nd June 2017

Russell Haworth

Russell Haworth

There can’t be many organisations that worked on behalf of Anne Summers, Facebook, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and Jaguar Land Rover in 2016. But such diversity is not surprising for Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS).

As a registry for the .UK domain, we play a pivotal role in the upkeep of the country’s internet infrastructure. We impact the lives of the millions of people and businesses who use the country’s domain name space for their endeavours. Whether a .UK registrant runs a football team or the world’s most popular social media site, we facilitate their operations and support their efforts.

We also offer a shoulder to cry on (in a manner of speaking) when domain names, very occasionally, provoke disagreements. This happened to just 0.0074% of our Domains Under Management (DUM) in 2016. Mostly our registrants play nicely, but when disputes arise, our award-winning DRS can help.

The DRS was established in 2001 as a swift and low-cost means of resolving .UK domain disputes without having to battle it out in court. We estimate that the DRS saved over £7m in legal costs in 2016.

Those I’ve mentioned were just some of the 703 complainants who used our DRS in 2016 to make a complaint about a .UK domain name. The vast majority of complaints (91%) concerned sites and came from people within the UK, but we also saw complainants from 28 different countries and respondents from 35. Likewise, our DRS honours international laws and takes into consideration any legally enforceable rights worldwide. The main industries cropping up were the automotive (14) and internet (14), but retail (12) wasn’t far behind.

We place mediation at the heart of our resolution process, creating the opportunity for an amicable settlement in preference to a painful divorce. Only if mediation fails does the case progress to an independent Expert – lawyers who generously support the DRS by giving their time and professional expertise to help resolve disputes when needed, and who are an integral part of the service we offer.

Finding equitable and affordable means of resolving disputes is something we take seriously at Nominet. Our award winning DRS helps to keep it a level playing field for all parties involved.

See the full 2016 DRS report here.