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Notice concerning .eu domains registered by UK residents (eurid.eu)
75 points by StanAngeloff 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 73 comments

Lesson learned: avoid ccTLDs. Reduce future risk by opting in for .com/.net/.org instead.

Imagine the thousands of people using X@Y.eu as a personal email address. Those domains will be made available for purchase soon thereafter:

> "Twelve months after the UK withdrawal, i.e. on 30 March 2020 00:00:00 CET, all the affected domain names will be REVOKED, and will become AVAILABLE for general registration. For security and stability reasons, the release of all affected domain names will occur in batches from the time they become available."

I work in this industry and this is good advice. gTLDs (especially the new gTLDs) provide way more protection to consumers. ccTLDs are essentially the wild west and the operators have little to no restrictions on what they can do, including taking away people's domain names.

Original gTLDs are subject to US law. There could hypothetically be legislation that directs the Department of Commerce (who technically owns the original gTLDs) to not allow registrations to non-US entities, which Verisign would be obligated to enforce.

New gTLDs are either corporate owned (.google) or were targeted at dotless domains (.diamonds). The ICANN SSAC killed the business model for the latter after companies had laid out millions, so they will likely face solvency issues in the coming years.

ccTLDs are dependent on the political future of the government they are tied to (.ly and Libya is a good example), but at least you have a good idea up front of what you are hitching your cart to.

The .eu rules aren't changing though, they are quite clear and have been since they started.

Brexit is all about a minority taking away other peoples rights. Blaming the EU for this is disingenuous at best


17/65ths and falling

This is not a wild west issue, though. This is simply an obvious result from the rules for this ccTLD.

And it is still possible to keep those .eu domains: simply make sure you're an EU citizen or transfer the name to an EU entity. I wonder if Estonia's e-residency might help here.

I suspect Estonia is going to get a lot more e-Residents if this happens.


Registering a .eu domain even through an Estonian domain registrar (I use zone.ee) using an Estonian e-residency ID (which I have) still requires a presence in the EU[0] so this probably won't help UK residents.

0 - One of the proposals to expand the .eu domain is to permit any EU citizen living anywhere on the planet to register a .eu domain but it's not gone into effect yet.

Estonia's e-residency website lists several companies who can provide a legal, physical address in Estonia. Wouldn't that work for EU domain registration?

No, one would need to incorporate a company in Estonia

Yes, that's one of the features of e-residency. The same service providers offer both incorporation and a physical address.

Is that a problem? And does it have to be a company, or can it also be a foundation or something?

The naming is a bit misleading, e-residency provides absolutely no residency, it's a convenient way to digitally authenticate yourself as a natural person and sign documents digitally in an eIDAS-compatible framework.


> Who in the UK actually has a .eu domain? It can't be that high.

leave.eu :)

The irony.

It's actually a smart domain registrar unsubscribe once the goal is achieved!

Even better for the person that re-registers the soon-to-be-deleted leave.eu domain.

Imagine that - a goldmine of email addresses of gullible people who will buy any old crap. A marketing wet dream.

Farage can do this thanks to his German residency!

Almost all of the leading quitters have European residency if not citizenship

> Old uneducated people

That's just needlessly dismissive.


Only if you associate 'uneducated' with 'lower ratio of university degrees'

No, it is not. There is a correlation in that the younger you are, and the more education you have, the less likely you were to vote for Brexit, but that doesn't mean that Brexit was only voted for by old uneducated people.

Of course it wasn't only. Some young phds voted to brexit, where some 70+ who left school at 15 voted to remain.

However time and again we see that ABC1, degree, young, guardian readers voted remain, and EDC2, GCSE, old, sun readers voted to leave, both in scientific polling and in anecdotes.

I seem to recall on Hacker news seeing an estimate of about 150k.

Well there's 317k UK registrations of .eu domains (!!)

How many of those will be to organizations that are pan-EU in any case, and it's a matter of transferring the registration address to an office/employee in a stable country.

[0] https://bfmbusiness.bfmtv.com/hightech/brexit-les-britanniqu...

This destroys confidence in the entire domain name system, for everyone, everywhere.

Sorry facebook but you can no longer have the facebook.com domain because blah blah blah reasons.

That's being a little bit hyperbolic. There's nothing new under the sun here as far as ccTLDs go. There's a long history of ccTLD operators taking away domains for reasons similar to this. It's what you're (knowingly or unknowingly) signing up for when you register a ccTLD domain name. And yeah, that applies to .io domains as well.

>> There's a long history of ccTLD operators taking away domains for reasons similar to this.

Any references for this? Not doubting but interested.

Here's one example:


The punchline is that there's no restriction on what a ccTLD operator can do under their namespace. They aren't governed by ICANN regulations. It's common to restrict domains on ccTLDs to be related to entities doing business in that country, and to require verification of such upon registration (and take it away later if it's found to be in violation).

Well it's a pity. I guess ccTLD operators who want to continue to make monet need to behave in a way that gives as much confidence as possible.

In a lot of cases making money isn't their primary goal. Most ccTLDs are run by their respective governments, in which case the total revenue from domain sales is insignificant compared to the national budget. Or they're run by universities or other affiliated non-profits.

And even if they're behaving in a seemingly sane way now, they can always change policies down the line. With gTLDs there's real contractual protection; you have ownership rights of those domains that don't exist in the same sense for ccTLDs.


Relevant information starts from part 3

Like someone else has explained, ccTLD is particularly bad because the registrars have a lot of arbitrary power over users and appeal process is usually absent.

I know a lot of people who were burned by the .us registrars but the most malicious example has to whoever in charge of .tk: The domains are offered for free, however once you managed to build a consistent traffic they are often held hostage to sell premium services or worse, taken away from owners and sold to the next highest bidder.

To be fair, no rules have changed on the domain registry side. Just like new EU contries gain access to .eu registry, the ones that leave lose it, that was to be expected.

Personally I feel this goes against the spirit of what .eu should stand for. Your government not having their shit together doesn't mean you can't identify as european. They should allow anyone on the continent to own a .eu domain.

> Personally I feel this goes against the spirit of what .eu should stand for

.eu stands for EU, not just generic "europe".

> They should allow anyone on the continent to own a .eu domain.

Since when is the UK "on the continent"?

Ummm, since they invented the idea of continents, pretty much?



Which continent do you think the UK is on?

Depends on who you ask: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Europe

A popular term in the UK is "continental Europe" or "the continent" for the mainland, whereas the islands are considered to not be "on the continent". Continents are basically a made up structure anyway, their definition is more by convention than geology.

Yeah - in this context it's a pretty poorly defined term... Particularly since the original comment could be read as either " anyone on the continent (that geographers call Europe) ..." or " anyone on 'the continent' (where you get continental breakfasts instead of full English breakfasts) ... "

I'd probably rather question whether the ".eu" tld means "Europe" (in which case there's a reasonable argument to be made that UK residents should be permitted to use it even post Brexit) or if it means "European Union" (which'd mean the UK voted to opt out of being able to use it).

From the perspective of the UK, "the continent" means quite explicitly "not the UK". Geographic reality not withstanding.

They feel rather strongly about this and other issues that might not seem entirely correct to people with a different perspective. I suppose that's what ultimately caused this situation in the first place.


Well as a Dutchman I would have said they are, but indeed, it seems they do not see themselves as being on the continent. Unless convenient, I guess.

> They should allow anyone on the continent to own a .eu domain

The article is about the UK, which is leaving the EU? Do you think the western bit of Russia, where the majority of their population lives, should have a right to register .eu domains?

Yes. Who am I to decide who can and can not feel they belong to the European identify.

Out of curiosity, how (if at all) is the address you give when registering an .eu domain verified? What's to stop people living in the UK from giving a spurious EU address?

Domain squatting epidemic incoming.

See you in hell Tusk :D

UK residents will also no longer be able to say they live in Europe. /s

Norway is still allowed to register EU domains. This seems spiteful.

> This seems spiteful.

Not at all. The statement is in fact explicit on the subject: "Subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement..."

Norway has such an agreement with the EU. The UK is welcome to put such an agreement in place as well, but appears to be opting not to. Lacking any other agreement, after the exit date the UK will have, at its own request, no legal ties to any EU institutions so why should this one be considered any different?

Yes at all. There's something unnerving about the way the remain side of the debate all engage in this mafia boss style of low key gas lighting. Let's just not acknowledge the fact that you cannot merely just have have certain things easily. Suddenly rules and technicalities become extremely important to the EU.

Something else it is reminiscent of is joining a cult such as scientology. All reassurances and promises on the way in ... but when you try to leave... So in some sense of course Norway has X and Y. They gained these things whilst increasing integration with the EU.

Yes I know. Leave voters are less educated and somewhat racist statistically.

Rules and technicalities are extremely important to the EU. The EU exists by virtue of a set of treaties between the member countries. Legally binding documents that require the EU to adhere to said rules and technicalities.

They allowed favored nations to flaunt fiscal rules for decades and cannot get their accounts signed off. Plus if some rule doesn't suit then it can get changed. It's not meaningless what you are saying but it's hardly the whole story. In this example (I don't even particularly care personally) they could easily grand father existing .eu domain holders. It would not threaten the existence of the EU to do that, or undermine the integrity of the institution. In fact it would reassure all other holders that they have bought into a stable system.

The general EU position on rules is also deeply undemocratic in the sense that the unlimited commitment was not properly communicated or admitted to at the time all this was put into place.

You know which country got most of the exceptions, right? The UK. They got a discount on their membership, they're not in Schengen, not in the Eurozone. They got nearly everything they wanted out of the EU.

No, schengen was another irreversible progression that we opted out of like the euro. The discount is because the rules so heavily favoured continental farmers. The UK was always the 2nd biggest net contributor after Germany (and top 5 per capita), but without the influence to match it. This is despite being told we are 20% less productive than the french ...

What we wanted out of the EU was a consensual free trade arrangement not to support an expansionistic political project that ultimately wants to disolve it's constituent nations.

What do you mean: "without the influence to match it"? The UK has always been incredibly influential in the EU. A lot of the things the EU implemented, were things the UK wanted.

Well that is subjective, but traditionally the leaders have been France and Germany and there has been an animus against the UK and its interests.

Then if you break it down, there is the question of eurosceptics. Where is their influence? Have they ever successfully reigned in the EU or got it to reverse anything? They are represented in the parliament but it is a toothless/show organisation.

Well, the EU was founded specifically around France and Germany. The UK did not want to join originally. They only joined later, and were for a long time considered the third most important and influential member, before Italy.

Rules and technicalities have always been important to the EU. Nothing about this is gas lighting; the UK wanted out[0], so that's what happens. It's pretty clear they never really considered the consequences of leaving, and listened to lies about what those consequences would be. Gas lighting is a serious issue, but this isn't it.

[0] Or at least, the people currently in charge of the UK government want out. According to polls, many of the people of the UK have by now acquired a better sense of the consequences. The government seems unwilling to listen to them, though.

Rules and technicalities have always been important? Because the EU is a technocracy and not a democracy in essence. Government is meant to control the rules not the other way round. In anycase this is a weak line given the EUs inconsistent stance on this. Preaching a morality for others that they don't themselves subscribe to.

The reason I said gas lighting is because of the lack of acknowledgement of another point of view, and essentially 0 concession or charitability. We can have different values, and if you are honest you have to allow for the fact that that means I can value the bad in the EU project greater than the good. But instead you just say, no it's stupid, it makes no sense to want to leave, rules are rules.

The population are marginally agreeing it was a bad idea (something like 48%-42%) because of the difficulty of the process and the embarassment of the national government. That is it may not be worth our while getting out. To me however it proves that you should get out since it is not a consensual or honest project. If it had been I wouldn't be wanting to leave ...


"A .eu website tells customers that the brand concerns a legal entity in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway and, as such, is subject to the trading and consumer laws of these countries."

Norway is part of the single market with the EEA and follows EU commercial laws.

The UK, as far as we know, won't.

If they really wanted, the UK could still stay in the common market. It would be a bit late in the process, and a sudden reversal, but I think a lot of people would be really happy if they'd at least stay in the common market.

The problem is that they don't want that. They'd prefer to pick and choose which parts of the common market they get to stay in, while leaving other parts of the common market, and it just doesn't work that way.

The majority of people would be really happy if they just cancelled the whole process and stayed in the EU

No it doesn’t. Norway has a relationship with the EU, anchored by treaties and all.

The UK explicitly rejected it in favour of hard Brexit as it currently stands and won’t.

> As reported above, the full communication highlights the fact that this information is subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement, which is an ongoing negotiation between the United Kingdom and European Commission.

That’s because Norway is part of the EEA.


The U.K. can’t join the EEA (or get a similar deal), Norway stated that it won’t support it and they have veto rights.

Fortunately the UK is already in the EEA, so there's an easy fix for this.

Norway can keep the UK out of EFTA, with is an intergovernmental organisation representing Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland in negotiations with the EU, and EFTA members are in the EEA through a treaty between EFTA and the EU. (Except Switzerland, which has their own bilateral agreements with EU members, which is horribly complicated and nobody wants to do that again.)

Even if Norway doesn't want the UK in EFTA, the UK might still be able to negotiate their own agreement to stay in the EEA despite leaving the EU, if they wanted. But they (or at least the government) don't want that.

The EEA is comprised of the EU and EFTA countries.

If UK leaves EU (which it will), and doesn't enter EFTA (which doesn't seem likely), it will be out of the EEA as well by consequence.

At this moment the future relationship between the EU and UK is not defined: as other people mentioned, if it ends up with a deal with keeps the UK in the single market, and subject to EU laws, there is no reason why it shouldn't be allowed to keep using the .eu domain.

> The EEA is comprised of the EU and EFTA countries.

Not quite. It doesn't include CH

> At this moment the future relationship between the EU and UK is not defined: as other people mentioned, if it ends up with a deal with keeps the UK in the single market, and subject to EU laws, there is no reason why it shouldn't be allowed to keep using the .eu domain.

Sure, just ensure that .eu is part of the deal.

However as it stands the UK parliament does not want to agree any sort of withdrawal agreement, let alone a future trade deal.

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