Domain names as "property"
Users of domain names are not "owners" in the strict sense; indeed, the Internet does not exist as a legal entity: it is an international co-operative arrangement between a combination of commercial, academic and military network operators.
There is no simple legal equivalent to this concept, since the domain name is recognised by the informal international agreement that has worked well for the past 35 years, and enabled the Internet to develop relatively unhindered by political or legal misdirection and interference.
So by applying for a domain you are becoming a "paid up" member of this community.
Domain names are issued subject to specific terms and conditions in each country where name registries exist. The full details for the two main registries cover the UK and the widely accepted International registries based in the USA and managed by ICANN.
This can be a tortuous process, and we seek to summarise the essential details here. There are few laws and regulations that apply to the process, and as far as the UK courts have been concerned, somewhat refreshingly, common sense has been the rule most frequently applied in contested cases.
The registries specifically operate a first come-first served principle, since any attempt to make judgements on who is entitled to what name will immediately lead to contention.
Similarly, although USP Networks may advise clients on strategies and availability, you are at liberty to register any name that is not currently taken, and you will not be advised prior to purchase that it may be the subject of contention or litigation.
You should avoid scope for contention where ever possible, and avoid the obvious pitfalls:
- You should not attempt to register a name for a trade mark that does not belong to you. Although it is possible to register a trademark separately in a number of separate categories
- You should remember that the usual laws of defamation and libel exist in the choice of domain names, even if there are no specific country laws pertaining the concept or process of the domain name.
- You should remember to keep us updated of your current contact information, as without it you will not receive a courtesy reminder of when your domain name is up for renewal.
Transfer of names
There is a "gentlemen's agreement" between (most) internet service providers that clients' domain names will be transferred at no cost.
However, as a result of a number of measures implemented to prevent malicious or careless transfer of domains, the process of name transfer is now far more complex than registration, and some service providers will require that a fee be paid to perform some or all of the procedures required. At the current time, USP Networks makes no charge for transfer of domains in the .uk
However, we reserve the right to charge for transfer of domains held in other registries, and this depends on the nature of the original application and the availability of the registered technical an administrative contacts.
Change of Registrant
The change of the registrant (note that the term "owner" does not apply) requires that the domain be cancelled and reissued. This will require a new registration fee to be paid.
Although USP Networks sends out domain renewal advice to customers for each domain it holds, USP Networks cannot be held responsible for the lapsing of a domain name's registration. USP Networks will make every effort to renew a domain but cannot be held accountable for any company or individual loss brought about by the nonrenewal of a domain name as it is the registrant's responsability to check that the domain in question has been positively renewed. It is the registrant that has responsibility to retain any and all domains upon date of registry renewal.
Terms & Conditions regarding webservers
USP Networks undertakes to provide an area on a designated USP Networks web server for use by the customer. USP Networks will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that data stored on a USP Networks web server is kept secure and access is only allowed to this data by persons authorised by the Customer. USP Networks undertakes to keep the Server available at all times for use by the Customer and the end-users of the Customer. USP Networks will provide suitable mechanisms to allow appropriate access to the data by authorised end- users.
The Customer will be responsible for insuring themselves against loss or damage to the data. In no event will USP Networks be liable for loss or damage to the data stored on one of the USP Networks web servers.
Effective Delivery Date And Anniversary Data
The effective delivery date for web server services shall be the day on which USP Networks send the access information to the Customer’s Technical Point of Contact, or the effective delivery or commission date of any accompanying USP Networks services, whichever is the later.
The Initial contract shall expire on the anniversary date, being one year from the effective delivery date, but the contact will continue in force automatically thereafter on the yearly basis unless three months’ written notice of termination is given by either party.
Price And Payment - all prices are subject to VAT
USP Networks will issue invoices in advance for VAT purposes and payment for domain name management and all forms of bandwidth provision will be billable in advance. Any installation fee will be invoiced on the effective delivery date, payment being due within 14 days. Accounts in default may be charged interest on the outstanding balance on a daily basis, at the rate of 3% over Lloyds Bank plc base lending rate in force from time to time, from the date of invoice until the date of payment before as well as after judgement.
USP Networks reserves the right to interrupt service to the Customer in the event of any default of payment. Such interruption does not relieve the Customer from paying any amount overdue and payable under this clause.
If the Customer terminates this contract at any time before the end of the first year USP Networks will charge a termination fee of six months annual subscription, payable at the date of termination.
If the Customer terminates this contract at any time after the end of the first year without giving three months’ notice as required above, USP Networks will charge a termination fee of three month’s annual subscription, payable at the date of termination.
If the Customer upgrades to a higher level USP Networks service at any time, they will not be liable to any termination fee.
A USP Networks server may only be used for lawful purposes by the Customer Storage on or Transmission to the server of any material in violation of any UK law or regulation is prohibited. Such storage or transmission includes, but is not limited to, copyright material, material legally judged to be threatening or obscene, and material protected by trade secret, whether or not the Customer was aware of the content of the material or of the relevant law.
The customer acknowledges that USP Networks is unable to exercise control over the content of the information passing over the USP Networks connection and/or the USP Networks network and /or the USP Networks server, and USP Networks hereby excludes all liability of any kind for the transmission or reception or storage of infringing information of whatever nature. The Customer hereby agrees to indemnify and hold USP Networks harmless from any claim brought by third parties alleging that use of the USP Networks network and/or the USP Networks server by the customer has infringed any intellectual property right of any kind or any applicable UK or international legislation or regulation. The Customer shall defend and pay all costs, damages, awards, fees (including reasonable legal fees) and judgements finally awarded against USP Networks arising from such claims, and shall provide USP Networks with notice of such claims, full authority to defend, compromise or settle such claims and reasonable assistance necessary to defend such claims, at the Customer’s sole expense.
The Customer undertakes to conform to the protocols and standards as recommended from time to time by USP Networks Internet Services in connection with the provision of this service. In the event that communications or use of the Server by a Customer do not conform to these standards, or if the Customer makes profligate use of the USP Networks network or Server to the detriment of USP Networks or USP Networks customers, USP Networks reserves the right to restrict passage of that Customer’s communications until they give a suitable undertaking as to use.
Without prejudice to the foregoing, USP Networks consider that any applications which transmit live video, live audio, or make similar traffic demands across the network or the Server by whatever means, will be considered to be making proliferate use of the network or the Server and as such are not allowed unless specifically authorised in writing. Use of IP Multicast other than by means provided and co-ordinated by USP Networks is likewise prohibited.
Restriction On Sub-Leasing/Re-Selling Etc.
The Customer in entering into this contact undertakes that it will not assign, sub-lease or in any other way transfer the USP Networks connection or web services. Contravention of this restriction in any way, whether successful or not, will result in the service being terminated by USP Networks, in which event the Customer will be liable for the termination fee.
Exclusion Of Warranties
Any condition or warranty which might be implied or incorporated within this contract, by reason of statute or common law or otherwise, is hereby expressly excluded so far as may be permitted by law. While USP Networks will use all reasonable endeavours to provide a prompt and continuing service it will not be liable for any loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, missed deliveries, or service interruptions caused by events beyond the control of USP Networks, or by errors or omissions of the Customer. In no circumstances whatsoever will USP Networks be liable for economic or consequential loss. USP Networks specifically excludes any warranty as to the quality or accuracy of information received through the services.
USP Networks reserves the right to put the names and other information from the registration form relating to its Customer into a computerised directory for internal use only, unless specific written instructions are received from the Customer.
Migration To Metered Volume Charges
The price quoted to the customer is currently based on the continued availability of "flat rate" Internet connection services from "upstream" service providers and telecommunication companies. In view of the continued escalation in consumption of bandwidth by internet users, there is a probability that the flat rate scheme will be changed to metered volume where the number of bytes downloaded from each server is monitored and forms the basis of charging, in the foreseeable future, and in such an event, due notice will be provided and the consequences will be quantified as far as practical.
These Terms and Conditions are governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the Laws of England.
From Nominet : The issuers of the .uk tag
Effective from 1 March 2016
Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration
These conditions apply to all domain names administered by Nominet, and registrars are required to make their
customers aware of them prior to registration of a .UK domain.
1. Definitions and interpretation
In these conditions, the following words have the following meanings:
'cancel' – Cancelling your domain name means that it will be deleted from the register, will therefore not
work as part of a website or email, and may be released for re-registration on a first come, first served basis.
'consumer' – Any natural person who is acting for purposes which are not business related.
'correct' – This means that the contact information you or your registrar provide us with must be good enough to
allow us to contact you quickly at any reasonable time, must not be deceptive, and must clearly identify you.
'data protection legislation' – The Data Protection Act 1998 implementing the Directive 95/46/EC on the
protection of individuals with regard to the processing of Personal Data, the Privacy and Electronic Communication
(EU Directive) Regulations 2003 and all current and subsequent applicable laws relating to the processing of
personal data and privacy including where applicable the guidance and codes of practice issued by the Information
'domain name' – An internet domain name ending in .uk operated by us.
'DRS policy and procedure' – The policy and procedure of our dispute resolution service.
'fees schedule' – The fees that we charge for the services we provide, which is set out in full on our website.
'good industry practice' – The exercise of skill and diligence which would reasonably and ordinarily be
expected from a skilled and experienced operator engaged in the provision of a domain name registry.
'personal data' – Has the meaning given in the data protection legislation.
'proscribed' – That the domain name in our sole discretion would on the face of it (i) tend to indicate,
comprise or promote a serious sexual offence and (ii) that there is no legitimate use of the domain name which
could be reasonably contemplated.
'register' – Our database of the domain names ending .uk that we administer.
'registrar' – An agent who acts on your behalf in the registration, renewal and other general administration of a
domain name and to whom we allow access to our automated systems and the register.
'rules' – Our rules which explain which domain names can be registered in .uk and which cannot.
'Searchable WHOIS' – A service we provide under contract which provides the facility to search WHOIS data
by registrant or for domain names where a particular string of characters appear in the domain name.
'special status' – Various special states your domain name may be in, such as suspended due to breach of
these conditions, or blocked from transfer or deletion due to the operation of the DRS Policy and Procedure or legal
dispute. This will normally mean that you will remain listed as the person who has registered the domain name
but the domain name itself may not work.
'we', 'us', 'our' – Nominet UK (company number 3203859).
Effective from 1March 2016
'WHOIS' – A free service we provide which allows members of the public to check whether a domain name
exists and if so, provides further details such as the registrant and registrar, creation date, name servers and,
subject to our WHOIS Address Opt Out Policy, a contact address.
'you', 'your' – The person who is entered into the register as the responsible person for the domain name and
who will be listed on the WHOIS.
2. What we will do
2.1 We will:
2.1.1 process your application to register or renew a domain name in accordance with the rules;
2.1.2 maintain overall ownership, control and responsibility for the register;
2.1.3 make changes to the register in accordance with your instructions to transfer or cancel your domain
name or to change registrar; and
2.1.4 provide the technical operation of the name servers for the .uk domain names we operate and make
entries in the appropriate zone file to delegate your domain name in accordance with good industry
3. What you must do
3.1 You must:
3.1.1 pay us directly or via your registrar the appropriate transaction fee in accordance with our fees
schedule from time to time;
3.1.2 give and keep us notified of your correct name, postal address, phone and email contact information.
This includes responding quickly to any request from us to confirm or correct the information on the
3.1.3 notify us promptly about any legal proceedings which involve your domain name.
4. Security and registrars
4.1 We do not have to take any action, or make any changes to the register, until we are satisfied that we
have received a valid request from you.
4.2 We will be entitled to assume that any action requested using your identification code and password has
been submitted by you or by someone authorised by you.
4.3 You must keep any user identification code, password or other piece of information used as part of our
security procedures confidential. We have the right to disable any user identification code or password, at
any time, if in our opinion our security procedures have been compromised.
4.4 Your registrar acts on your behalf in registering and maintaining the registration of your domain
name so that any communication to or from your registrar is taken as being to or from you. You should
always contact your registrar first with any request or question about your domain name or changes
5. Non payment
5.1 We do not have to start any process until we have received the correct fee for that process.
5.2 We may cancel your domain name without further notice if any debt relating to your domain name
remains unpaid after the due date for payment.
5.3 We will not provide credit notes or refunds unless we have made a significant mistake or condition 11.5
Effective from 1March 2016
6. Your promises and indemnity
6.1 By registering your domain name you promise that:
6.1.1 you (or your registrar) have the permission of any person whose personal data is to be held on the
register in line with condition 8;
6.1.2 any identity and contact information you (either yourself or through your registrar) send us is correct
and kept up to date;
6.1.3 by registering or using your domain name in any way, you will not infringe the intellectual property
rights (for example, trade marks) of anyone else;
6.1.4 the alphanumeric characters which constitute the domain name are not proscribed; and
6.1.5 that you will not use the domain name for any unlawful purpose.
6.2 Unless you are a consumer, you will pay us any and all reasonable costs, claims and expenses (whether
direct or indirect) arising out of any claim that you have broken any of the promises in condition 6.1.
6.3 Our right to rely on the promises in condition 6.1 and indemnity in condition 6.2 will continue to be
available after the domain name has been registered and will not be affected by the cancellation or
transfer of the domain name.
7. Nature of domain names and the register
7.1 A domain name is not an item of property and has no 'owner'. As a result:
7.1.1 we will not be bound by, or record on the register, any mortgage-related obligations;
7.1.2 we own and keep all copyright and database rights in the register.
8. Personal data
8.1 We will make your personal data available in the following ways, but not release it for any other
purpose to any other person.
8.2 We will:
8.2.1 include it on the register;
8.2.2 include it on the WHOIS and Searchable WHOIS. You may be able to opt out of address publication
in accordance with our WHOIS Address Opt Out policy;
8.2.3 give your personal data to people with a legitimate reason for asking for it (based on the exemptions in
the data protection legislation), including law enforcement agencies;
8.2.4 give your personal data to your current or proposed registrar (or both); and
8.2.5 use it as set out in the DRS policy and procedure.
8.3 You may write to us to ask for a copy of the personal data we hold about you or you can ask your
8.4 By registering a domain name with us you agree to us using your personal data as set out in these
9. The dispute resolution service
9.1 You agree to be bound by the DRS policy and procedure.
Effective from 1March 2016
9.2 We (including in this case our directors, officers, staff of all types and any DRS expert) will not be liable to
you or anyone else for anything done or not done in connection with any proceedings under the dispute
resolution service, unless the act or lack of action is shown to have been in bad faith.
10. Cancelling or altering the domain name
10.1 We may cancel or put a domain name into a special status by notifying you if:
10.1.1 in our sole discretion we believe that you or your registrar have provided significantly inaccurate, not
correct, unreliable or false contact details (including names), failed to keep your contact details up to
date, or failed to give us those details at all;
10.1.2 in our sole discretion we believe the domain name is being used in a way that is likely to endanger any
part of the domain name system, other internet users (including but not limited to the distribution of
viruses and malware, phishing activity or facilitating distributed denial of service attacks), or our systems
and internet connections; or
10.1.3 you have broken any of the conditions (including the rules, DRS policy and procedure) and (in the
case of a matter which it is possible to put right and which is not covered by condition 5.2, 10.1 or 10.2)
you do not put it right within 30 days of us notifying you.
10.2 We may (but do not have to) transfer, cancel, alter or amend the domain name, put it in a special
status or prevent its renewal:
10.2.1 on your instructions;
10.2.2 if we reasonably believe that the changes to update the register or to correct any error, ambiguity or
inaccuracy relating to the domain name registration (including any error in making the domain name
available for registration or an error in a previous cancellation of the domain name) would make it more
10.2.3 if you withdraw your permission for us to process your personal data for any or all of the purposes
described in condition 8;
10.2.4 to carry out the decision an expert has made under our dispute resolution service; or
10.2.5 if we receive a complete and valid court order which we or you (or both) must obey, or if not making the
changes the court orders would be a contempt of court by us or you.
10.3 If you are an natural person, your domain name will be cancelled if you die and the person legally
appointed to deal with your assets after you die does not transfer your domain name (either to
themselves or someone else) within a year of your death (or the end of their appointment, whichever
10.4 If you are not an natural person, your domain name will be cancelled if you complete a liquidation or
disbandment process or otherwise no longer exist, even if (where possible) you are later restored by an
official or court order or decision.
11. Duration, renewal and transfer
11.1 We will register your domain name for a period between one and ten years in accordance with your
Registrar's instructions. Registrations made directly with us may only be made for fixed terms of two
years. You may renew your Domain Name at the end of its term in accordance with our renewals
11.2 We may transfer our rights and responsibilities with respect to your domain name to anyone else in our
11.3 If you want to transfer your domain name to someone else, you must:
11.3.1 use our current published transfer process; and
Effective from 1March 2016
11.3.2 make sure that the person taking over your domain name accepts these conditions in full.
11.4 If you do not transfer your domain name in accordance with our published transfer process there will be
no valid transfer of your domain name, and no document or agreement attempting or claiming to
transfer your domain name will have any effect.
11.5 If you are a consumer, you may have a right to cancel your domain name under the Consumer
Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 or similar laws amending
or replacing it.
12. Exclusions and limitations of liability
12.1 Nothing in these conditions limits or excludes our liability for fraudulent misrepresentation or death or
personal injury caused by our negligence.
12.2 By registering the domain name, we are not acknowledging that you have any rights in any words
within the domain name.
12.3 We will not be liable for:
12.3.1 any loss of profit, revenue or other type of economic loss (whether direct or indirect);
12.3.2 loss of business or contracts;
12.3.3 loss of expected savings or goodwill; or
12.3.4 any losses which a court categorises as 'consequential', or 'indirect' arising out of or in connection with
your registration of a domain name with us, including but not limited to:
184.108.40.206 any mistake or missing information in the register; and
220.127.116.11 loss of registration or use, or both (for whatever reason and whether temporary or otherwise), of the
12.4 Implied terms are, to the fullest extent permitted by law, excluded from these conditions.
12.5 Our total liability to you, whether under these conditions or otherwise (including liability for negligence),
will be no more than £5,000.
12.6 If you are a consumer, conditions 12.3, 12.4 and 12.5 do not apply to you. Your statutory rights are not
affected - for information contact your local authority Trading Standards Department or your Citizens
12.7 Conditions 8, 10.3, 10.4, 12 and 13 will continue to apply after your domain name registration has
ended for any reason.
13.1 If a court rules that any of these conditions is invalid, unenforceable or void, the remaining conditions will
continue in full force and effect.
13.2 A person who is not a party to these conditions shall have no rights to enforce any of these conditions.
13.3 We reserve the right to make reasonable changes to these conditions (including the DRS policy and
procedure and rules) at any time.
13.4 Except as set out in the DRS policy and procedure, any notice in relation to your domain name
will be considered to have been served if hand-delivered, or sent by prepaid post or by email, to you or
your registrar at any postal or email address on the appropriate register entry, and will apply from the
date it was delivered, or if not delivered the date it was sent or posted.
Effective from 1March 2016
13.5 Any notice to us may be hand-delivered or sent by prepaid post to our registered office, or sent by email to
13.6 These conditions, together with the rules, DRS policy and procedure, are the basis for the entire
agreement between you and us for the domain name, and replace all previous contracts,
understandings and representations about this domain name, whether spoken or written.
13.7 No failure or delay by us to exercise any right or remedy provided for in these conditions shall constitute a
waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor shall it prevent or restrict the further exercise of that or
any other right or remedy. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy shall prevent or restrict the
further exercise of that or any other right or remedy.
13.8 Except as provided below, your domain name registration, these conditions, and any dispute or claim
arising out of or in connection with it shall be governed by and construed with in accordance with the law
of England and Wales. The courts of England and Wales shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to settle any
dispute or claim arising. If you are a consumer in Scotland or Northern Ireland, we will accept your local
law and courts.