Signatures and consent to the Memorandum of Understanding 3
Appendix: Technical Requirements 4
This Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) is made on 2005
Nominet UK (Co. No. 3203859) of Sandford Gate, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6LB (“Nominet”); and
HM Government of UK Cabinet Office (.gov.uk Naming and Approvals Committee), Stockley House, 130 Wilton Road London SW1V 1LQ (“SLD Manager”).
Nominet is the operator and manager of the “.uk” top level country code domain name (“ccTLD”) recorded in the domain name system (DNS) root by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA);
SLD Manager is the manager of the .gov.uk second level domain (“SLD”) under .uk.
SLD Manager and its predecessors have operated the SLD since before Nominet was founded.
SLD Manager and Nominet have no prior agreement about the management of the SLD.
SLD Manager and Nominet therefore wish to record the situation between them in the non-binding format of a MoU, which has proven itself an effective mechanism in the co-operative environment of the Internet.
act as the Network Information Centre for the United Kingdom and manage and control the use of the Internet domain ".UK";
manage the .uk nameservers in a secure and resilient manner; and
remain informed about best practice and new developments in domain name technology implementing it where Nominet believes that it would be beneficial.
The parties note the obligations of Nominet under its Memorandum of Association which require it to operate in a commercial manner (but to apply any funds raised solely to the objects and not to distribute any profits to members) and its practice of consulting with the public and interested parties in relation to any changes to the operation to the .uk domain or the subdomains under Nominet’s control.
Nominet recognises SLD Manager as the manager of the SLD. Nominet will not redelegate the SLD to another party unless:
the SLD Manager requests the change (see clause 1.5); or
there is an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
SLD Manager may request that the delegation of the SLD to the SLD Manager be transferred to an alternative SLD Manager. Nominet must not unreasonably with-hold or delay such consent, but may request reasonable evidence or undertakings from the proposed SLD Manager.
Responsibility for the SLD
SLD Manager may permit a third party to operate the functions of the SLD on its behalf (“SLD Operator”), but remains responsible for the SLD. If the SLD Operator fails, it is the sole responsibility of the SLD Manager.
Nominet is not the default operator of the SLD. If the SLD Manager fails, or ceases to exist, Nominet is not responsible for the ongoing operation of the SLD but may:
whichever seems most appropriate in the circumstances bearing in mind the needs and desires of the local Internet community and the registrants under that SLD.
If the SLD Manager has failed or ceased to exist but the SLD Operator continues to run the SLD, Nominet may discuss with that SLD Operator how to minimise disruption for the registrants within that SLD but does not take on any responsibility for the SLD by doing so.
Nominet shall not hold any data relating to the SLD in escrow or otherwise be required to act as a backup to the SLD Manager or SLD Operator.
SLD Manager will indemnify Nominet against any claims of any nature arising out of the management or mismanagement of the SLD including any claims made by registrants in that SLD, provided that such claims are not caused by the actions of Nominet.
The nature of the .uk domain name system is currently such that each registration under a second level domain is intended for, or fully restricted to, a particular type of registrant and/or purpose. This is called its ‘Charter’.
The Charter for the SLD is entitled ‘The .gov.uk domain rules’ and is available on line from www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/e-government/domain .
The SLD Manager must inform Nominet of any change in the Charter for the SLD.
Nominet reserves the right to consult with the local internet community on the appropriateness of maintaining the SLD if a new charter is in conflict with other SLDs or Nominet policy.
Management of the SLD
SLD Manager shall have published policies for the registration of domain names in the SLD which contain whichever of the following information is applicable and which are available on the Web:
any entitlement requirements (e.g. requirements on the nature of registrants in order to comply with the aims of the Charter);
details of the form of the application to register, how it may be submitted, who it is to be submitted to and any other information reasonably likely to be needed by a prospective applicant; and
SLD Manager shall have a Dispute Resolution Policy commensurate with the number and type of disputes about the registration of domain names in that SLD. The policy must be publicly available from the SLD Manager’s website.
The SLD Manager will operate the SLD in accordance with the technical standards detailed in Appendix A. The SLD Manager and Nominet will meet periodically to update the Appendix in light of technical or legal changes or changes in political or social requirements.
In order to provide a more unified WHOIS system, the SLD Manager will either:
provide Nominet with standard text to be returned by Nominet’s systems to any WHOIS queries about domain names in the SLD; or
co-operate with Nominet to inter-connect the SLD WHOIS and the Nominet WHOIS.
It shall be the sole responsibility of the SLD Manager to ensure that any personal data (as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998) used in the WHOIS data for the SLD is being processed lawfully when used in the WHOIS.
If the technical standard known as WHOIS is partly or wholly supplanted by another technology, then the SLD Manager will co-operate with Nominet to provide a unified response to queries made under that new technology.
Contact Details and Nameserver information
Both parties must keep the other informed of their address and telephone, email and fax contact numbers.
Both parties must keep the other informed of authorised contacts at the other (e.g. persons at the SLD Manager who are authorised to request a zone file alteration).
SLD Manager will provide the following information which Nominet may publish in order to advise the public about the SLD Manager’s existence and role in the .uk DNS:
its full name and logo;
details of where the policies referred to in paragraph 4.1 may be found; and
details of where the DRP policy referred to in paragraph 4.2 may be found.
Nominet will process a valid zone file change request from the SLD Manager within [ ] working days. Given the serious effect that such a change can have on the operation of the SLD, Nominet reserves the right not to make any change until it has satisfied itself of the validity of the request. Nominet will not process requests by the SLD Operator unless it has agreed with the SLD Manager in advance that it will do so.
As between the parties:
Nominet owns the intellectual property rights (including database right and copyright) in the .uk register and .uk WHOIS and the registers and WHOIS information for other second level domains under its management or control (e.g. .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk); and
SLD Manager owns the intellectual property rights in the SLD register and SLD WHOIS.