What's wrong with 'unelected.uk'
for the lot of them?
Dot-UK registry Nominet has been repeatedly attacked by some online businesses in Britain that have accused the company of trying to cash in on the seemingly unpopular arrival of second-level namespaces. Today, in an effort to add some much-needed princely polish to its domain names push, the Oxford-based firm said that it had …
> What's wrong with being in unelected in a position of power? Nevermind.
Think harder. Should you ever find yourself in court, would you prefer the judge be unelected or seeking re-election based on how many perps he can lock up for the longest possible time?
Despite what politicians who have just lost a case will tell you, judges don't make up the law as they go along. They merely interpret existing legislation through the prism of precedent. If a law has been badly drafted, then of course the judges may interpret it differently to how the politicians intended, but that's not the fault of the legal profession.
I can cheer as loudly as anyone when ministers are told to get lost by judges but..
"judges don't make up the law as they go along".
.. oh yes they do. Look at, to pick two examples...
1) Shaw v DPP  UKHL 1. Shaw published a magazine containing ads from some London prostitutes. Street soliciting had just been criminalised in the Street Offences Act 1959 and prostitution itself being legal in the UK, there was (and still is) a clear need for people to advertise.
He was charged with "Living on the earnings of prostitution" and "Publishing an obscene publication" - both offences created by statue law - and also the new offence of 'Conspiracy to corrupt public morals'. The courts decided that the latter was a Common Law offence, something 'everyone' knows is the law, despite the fact that it was based on no statue and had never come before a court before = they invented it.
One of the Lords said "Suppose Parliament tomorrow enacts that homosexual practices between adult consenting males is no longer to be criminal is it to be said that a conspiracy to further and encourage such practices amongst adult males could not be the subject of a criminal charge fit to be left to a jury? .. My Lords, if these questions are to be answered in the negative I would expect to find some clear authority during the past centuries which would justify such an answer. I know of none."
And indeed it was next used in 1970 against the magazine International Times which, in a small section, published gay contact ads. The behaviour was, by then, legal but because of those ads the magazine - part of the 'counter culture' like Oz - was closed down. I don't think anyone doubts it was a political prosecution, and it was done on the basis of a law that some unelected homophobic judges had made up.
2) Dica, R. v  EWCA Crim 1103. Dica was HIV+, and two of his sexual partners were infected. The original judge held that their consent to the sex was irrelevant, but this was overturned by the Court of Appeal. They did uphold the overturning a principle that was known for over a century, that unintentional transmission of an STI was not an offence, based on R v Clarence (1889) 22 QB 23 which established .
Basically, they invented a law that says that it is. (And did so, it turns out, by some very selective reading of Clarence.) This was despite a government submission to a then-recent Law Commission report saying that - for a variety of very good reasons - it should not be.
Now, it is open for parliament to pass a law re-establishing the previous position, but which MP wants to be the subject of Daily Hate headlines saying they want to more people infected with HIV?
You'll find more examples by looking at Lord Denning's career. What WP means when it says that "During his 38-year career as a judge he made large changes to the common law" is that he made it up.
> What's wrong with being in unelected in a position of power
Well, the only people in the UK who have positions of power are CEO's of multi-billion £££ companies (even they are severely constrained by their shareholders and regulatory bodies) and workers in The Treasury. All the rest are merely puppets, or straws blowing in the wind of
public opinion media headlines. Just how many financial civil servants and special advisors are ever elected - or who's names we will ever know?
Real power will always be anonymous and unaccountable.
They're not in a position of unfettered power. The whole system is constructed as a set of checks and balances, and interestingly enough the only abuses of that system seem to come from the elected ones, like Bliar, helped by his elected buddy Bush. Maybe you need to brush up on how the British constitution is designed to work?
Tough, you loose.
Nominet are discriminating against you, charities and non-profits by allocating in preference to .co.uk holders and against their long standing first come - first served policy.
Mind you, if I were in some type of senior staff bonus scheme and looking forward to the extra registrations generated by this scheme, I might think differently.
If .org.uk was the best choice for you in 1998, i.e. the domain is an organisation rather than a commercial entity (example rspca.org.uk - they bought .co.uk too but .co.uk redirects to the website at .org.uk) then it remains the best choice for you.
The smart move for you back in 1998 would have been to buy both to avoid predictable and inevitable confusion, it would only have cost about £5 a year. In the same vein it's smart to buy the matching .com if possible and major organisations register thousands of names simply to minimise the risks of future confusing competitive registrations - so tesco supermarkets have registered their name in most TLDs globally and some organisations will register things like example-sucks.com and easy typo variants.
The (possibly) commercial entity that bought .co.uk is best served by co.uk which was intended for businesses but should they choose not to take up the option of dropping the .co you will eventually get the opportunity, however it seems to me that Nominet's intention is to regard the shorter .uk as primarily an alternative for commercial entities.
More interesting might be to consider the plight of the relatively small number of businesses that bought the little known/used option of 3rd level names under .ltd.uk and .plc.uk without getting the corresponding .co.uk (google search for inurl:plc.uk to see examples).
Hindsight is a worderful thing - how rich would I be if I'd bought a few hundred more domains back in the 1990s? When I explored bitcoin as a possible micropayment option a couple of years ago why didn't I buy a few when they were around a dollar each?
The point of this article is not about the .uk rollout which has been covered before ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/20/nominet_shorter_domain_names_coming_in_2014/ ) - it relates to Nominet handing over selected .uk domains to entities that previously used .gov.uk domains, seemingly ignoring the existing .co.uk holders for those domains and going against the announcement they made about how the .uk launch would be done. For example, the announcement included the domain royal.uk - a term that is far from exclusively used by the royal household. If you run a web site in .co.uk, you'd better hope the term isn't on the list. Here's a link to the announcement itself: http://www.nominet.org.uk/news/latest/supremecourtuk-jcpcuk-royaluk-and-princeofwalesuk-domains-delegated
Sorry, I didn't agree to them dropping cookies in my browser so was unable to read the at important bit of information. <sarc>Maybe someone could point me at the non-cookie nominet site?</sarc>
Admittedly, I have always been uncomfortable with the naming of royal.gov.uk when it's not a governmental entity, and scottishparliament.gov.uk when it's not part of the UK government, at least that got changed to scottish.parliament.uk (significant punctuation) a while ago.
However, a quick check of other countries show they have justice.gov.whatever, supremecourt.gov.whatever, and other monarchies have royal.gov.whatever.
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