The ZoneFile (ZF) from Nominet has been released, it also appears nominet have gone for “zonefile 2.0” by including domain names without name servers assigned, in the form of a database dump in addition to the zone files for all the Nominet controlled second level extensions (.net|org|me|plc|ltd|co.uk).
I believe the zone access is available to Nominet Members only, and like other zone files it includes only the domains, and name servers. You can access it by going to your account, and then under “Account Settings” there is an option to sign up to zone file file access. You have to agree to about 29593 pages of small print, but as a member you would already be aware of the basic rules so they need only a speed read.
What is interesting is, Nominet appear to keeping historic copies, its not know exactly how many days, weeks or even indefinitely worth of records. Which means Diffs and other comparisons between snapshots can be made.
The other main use for this data is if you wished to build a drop list from it, or some other application you would need to be a member with DAC access, not to mention able to write the relatively simple application to query the dac, and build a database.
Such an app is as simple as preparing and opening a socket, connect to Nominets DAC (Domain Availability Checker), send your string, read the reply, parse the domains 1 by 1 within the quota (432,000 per day, would take approx 25 days to scan whole zone), then write the result to the database, then search said database.
There are a bunch of rules surrounding data retention and distribution; I think these rules maybe due for a review given the release of the NZF. For now there are kind of controlling rules.