.me.uk is the new Nominet second-level domain name for individual persons within the UK. Following a vote by the members of Nominet, the new domain name went live at midnight on Monday January 14, 2002.

There have been some concerns regarding the wording of the policy for .me.uk domains that will undoubtedly result in litigation. Firstly, a distinction is made between natural persons and non-natural persons with regard to abusive registrations. A "natural person" (ie. a real, live human being) may freely register a name like "fuck.me.uk" even though no such person "fuck" exists, since the terms allow for the registration of aliases, pseudonyms and nicknames, but a non-natural person (ie. a company) cannot.

Given that personal names have always had precedence over trademarks in domain name disputes, this will have some interesting consequences, since if Fred Bloggs registers a company name like boots.me.uk, Boots The Chemist would have to prove that Fred Bloggs is not known by the nickname "Boots"... quite a mess, obviously.

Secondly, in order to prevent abusive registrations, Nominet has introduced a sliding pricing scale, so that .me.uk registrations today will cost you £50, but in July it'll be just £5. This is certainly an effective remedy against cybersquatting, but it does introduce an unfair advantage to those with money to spare - John Doe the company director is going to be able to register johndoe.me.uk before John Doe the street sweeper.

For more information, visit Nominet's website at http://www.nic.uk/meuk/.