Who is the actual owner of your domain ?

Who is the actual owner of your domain ?

Over our experience, we found that, in many corporate/ industries the Domain name would have been registered by some of the employers at – sometime might be long long ago. At the time of registering one of the employees registers the domain name, under his name and his email address would have been used as admin email for the domain.

So what we have noticed that even the employee quits/ leaves the company, the ownership of the domain name remains with the corporate house itself.It’s quite nature that employees shift jobs and may leave the company. When they do so, if they didn’t transfer the admin rights of the domain name, then the company may lose the domain.

In the second case, the domain registration service provider might be the owner or he may not allow you to manage your domain (i.e. updating MX Records, A records, NS records etc..,), completely at your wish, or if they charge you for such kind of updates, then for sure your domain is not owned by you.

Every domain registrar should be provided with a domain control panel, where he can manage the domain’s record and everything as he wish. If your domain registration service provider didn’t provide a control panel or if you’re not able to update the records by yourself, you can ask your rights, if you didn’t get so, you can move/ transfer the domain to other service providers who provide the control panel and rights to manage your domain like Smart eDesigners.

All too often businesses discover, after investing significant time and money in using the web address, that their web designer actually owns it, not them.

Make sure you’re the “Registrant” of the domain name.

Who is the actual owner of your domain ?

Every domain name has a Registrant, Administrative, Technical, and Billing contact listed for it. The Registrant is the legal owner of the domain, so you want to be sure that you (or your company) are the Registrant. Also make sure that the mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address listed for it are yours too.Use “WHOIS” – www.who.is check if you’re the Registrant or just contact Smart eDesigners Team and find out how about our professional service.

All domain registration companies, such as www.GoDaddy.com , www.NetworkSolutions.com and www.Dotster.com to name a few, are required to make a “WHOIS” page available to the public, so that anybody can look up the details about a domain. Among these details are the contacts for the domain.

Go to any of these registration companies’ websites and look for the WHOIS link – it’s often at the very top or bottom of the web page.

Why wouldn’t you be listed as the Registrant?

Most business owners are shocked to learn that they don’t legally own their own domain names. After all, they paid to have the websit e created in the first place, plus pay ongoing fees for web hosting and domain registration. How can they not be the owner if they’re footing all the bills?

What commonly happens is that when your web design company created your website, they registered the domain for you. While registering the domain however, they listed themselves, not you, as the Registrant (i.e. owner).

Why would they do that? Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I suppose it’s possible that they just don’t know better. A more cynical view, however, would be that they do it to keep you “hostage” to using their services forever (or at least make it difficult for you to switch).

The Administrative contact – “hands-on” power

Many people and companies operating web sites do not control their domain names and are unaware of that fact. The parties that control internet domain names are the “Registrant,” and, to a lesser extent, three types of agents/contacts called the “administrative contact,” the “technical contact” and the “billing contact.” The term “Registrant” means the person or entity that owns the domain name according to the records of the Registrar. The term “Registrar” means the entity that is authorized by ICANN to issue domain names.

The initial Registrant and the administrative, technical and billing contacts are the people or entities listed on the original Domain Name Registration Agreement filed with the Registrar of the domain name to obtain the domain name. Typically the internet service provider or web site developer applies for and obtains a domain name and designates the Registrant and the administrative, technical and billing contacts. It is common for a party submitting a domain name registration to name the party or some person not affiliated with the company operating the web site as the Registrant or one of the key contacts. Incorrectly designating the Registrant and the administrative, technical and billing contacts could be a very costly mistake.

Would you give a construction company the title to your land?

If all this talk about domains and contacts is still a little fuzzy, let’s compare it to a more familiarsituation. Say you’re having a house built. Imagine that the builder said to you, “Hey, just sign your deed over to me so that I can take care of all those annoying details like applying for permits, etc. But don’t worry, I’ll let you live on the land after the house is built and use it just like you still legally owned it.” You’d think that was a ludicrous proposition of course, regardless of how well you knew and trusted the builder.

Well, the same goes for letting somebody else own your domain, regardless of how much you trust them.

User name and password

There’s one more element to be worried about. When a domain name is registered, most registration companies will assign you a user name and password. You use these to log into your account at the registration company in order to make changes to your domain. So, even if you’re listed as the Registrant and Administrative contact, if somebody knows your user name and password (like a disgruntled or ex-employee), they can still wreak havoc with your domain.

What do you do if you’re not the Registrant?

If you’re not listed as the Registrant, but are on good terms with the person or company that is, just ask them to make you the Registrant. It’s an easy process if they know what they’re doing.

Who is the actual owner of your domain ?

However, if your relationship with the Registrant has become adversarial, all hope is not lost. The organization that oversees domain names, www.ICANN.org, has developed a “Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy” for such cases.Under this policy, a company that owns a domain name that’s completely unrelated to its core business may have a hard time holding onto it. So, if you need to reclaim ownership of your domain name, investigate this dispute resolution policy. Of course, it might also be a good idea to consult with an attorney who specializes in Internet law.

Why do business owners not check to make sure the registration shows their business as the owner?

Mainly because of they don’t know how. If you registered your own domain, then you know you’re okay. Just make sure,

1. your domain information is up to date,
2. correct email address used for the account
3. howthe registrar will let you know that it’s time to renew your domain.

If someone else registered your domain for you, then check withInternicto make sure that your business is listed as the owner. If it’s not, then work at it until you see the registration changed to reflect your ownership, not the web design company as the owner of your name.

There is just one more little detail… if your domain was set up with a private domain registration; there is no way that you can view the details of the registration without the password into that private registration account. Make sure you have it, because even the registrars themselves can’t help you if you lose that information and your email address is no longer valid in that account. It is absolutely essential that you keep this information safe.

Who is the actual owner of your domain ?

An ounce of prevention

As with most things, the best solution is to avoid the problem in the first place. This means registering the domain name yourself. Just go to a domain registration company, pick the domain you want, and choose to “park” the domain for the time being. For more information on how to do this, just contact Smart eDesigners Team and find out how about their professional service.

The actual owner of the domain is the person or legal entity whose name and contact information appears in the “Registrant” portion of a domain’s WHOIS record. If your information doesn’t appear as the Registrant contact for your domain, then you are not the legal owner.

Smart eDesigners Experience about Domain Registration

It has happened many times… someone calls and tells us; the person who designed their website and who has always done their web maintenance has disappeared. Their domain is now up for renewal, they don’t know how to do it, and they also want to switch hosting. So we take a look at the information for the domain, and find that the registrant for the domain is their web person, not them. So now they can’t get into the domain registration without herculean effort. What can be done?

Solving this dilemma can be a really tough one, since the registrant information determines who actually owns the domain. The most important part of that information is the company name, since we all know that companies can be bought and sold and the owners and administrative people may change, but chances are good that if the company is viable, that company name is going to remain the same.

All too often, those “cheap” amateur web designers register the domain in their name and company name, even thoughyou paid for it and it’s your website. You originally decided on using the guy/gal down the street who does web design in his/her spare time because they won’t charge you as much as the pros. You let him/her register the domain for you and put together your website (and it’s usually not very well done, either, not meeting standards… but that’s a whole other bag of worms). And he or she now owns your domain.

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