The operator of the site promoting the names has hit back, arguing that it is open about what customers are buying when they register a .sc name, although no mention of the Seychelles is made on its homepage.
In an article headed “Don’t be .conned,” Nominet explains that all .sc domain names are subject to the rules of the Seychelles Registry, “including the fact that local requests for domain names get priority over international requests.” Nominet’s rules, which apply to all names ending .uk, do not apply.
"There is currently no country code domain name for Scotland," explained Dr Willie Black, managing director of Nominet UK, and himself a Scot. "While there is nothing inherently wrong with having a web address which ends .sc, people should be aware what this means before they sign up."
The .sc domain names are being promoted to Scottish businesses by a company called SC Registrars. Its homepage, at scregistrars.sc, makes no reference to the Seychelles. Indeed, its tag line is “.SCotland’s premier domain reseller” which appears next to an image of the Saltire.
Mention of the Seychelles is made in the “About Us” and “FAQ” pages of the site. David Flint, CEO of SC Registrars, said yesterday:
"SC Registrars has been explicit about the Seychelles connection. If Nominet UK had taken the time to refer to our website then it would have discovered that we state clearly that the suffix .sc is the ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) for the Seychelles, in respect of whose registry SC Registrars has negotiated this unique opportunity for Scotland and that all registrations are subject to the rules of the .SC ccTLD."
There has been some support for a Scottish domain suffix for some time. Scotnom Ltd, a non-profit making company, was unsuccessful in an application to Nominet last year for a second level domain name, .scot.uk.