Nominet, the domain registry for the .uk ccTLD, has published a draft “member code”.
Nominet’s structure means that its registrars are also “members” of the organisation, so this move is quite an interesting one. You can read the draft text on the Nominet site here.
From an initial reading the “code” appears to be quite “light” and doesn’t impose any onerous obligations on Nominet members, though some will probably take issue with it. That’s to be expected when you have a large and diverse membership!
The wording of the code suggests that it would be obligatory for all members and that members that breach it could face penalties. However the penalties in the current draft do not appear to have any impact on a member’s ability to register and manage domain names, so it might be a bit “toothless”.
Where the committee decides that a Member has breached the Code, it may, having taken all relevant circumstances into account:
require the Member to remedy the breach; and/or
require an assurance from the Member, or any associated individual, relating to future behaviour, in terms determined by the committee; and/or
suspend the Member’s voting rights without any reimbursement of membership fees in whole or in part; and/or
suspend the Member’s right to make use of the Nominet member logo and associated member marks; and/or
at its absolute discretion, publish part or all of its decision.
Considering the low turnout in Nominet elections and votes removing a member’s voting rights is unlikely to weed out any “bad actors”, though, as this is but a draft, the language may change significantly before being finalised.
Members are invited to provide feedback on the proposed code by February 23rd.