Is That Domain Actually Yours ?

So, you’ve arranged for a new domain name for your blog/work/whatever.  .co.nz, .kiwi, .com, .net………….

Everything is ticking along happily until one day you decide to change host or move the domain to a new provider.

You get told “But you don’t own that domain, it belongs to XYZ Web Design Company” or “Bob Bobby Bobs with [email protected]”.

Welcome to the world of domain ownership conflicts……

When you register a domain, I highly recommend visiting a “whois” website and check the records.

Registrar :

This is the company that manages the domain you purchased – this is NOT always your web host, it can be different.  ie: I purchased my domain via 1stDomains, yet my hosting is by Voyager.

Registrant :

This is the person who effectively requested the domain. This name is the overall “owner” and can request the UDAI to be able to transfer it elsewhere. ALWAYS make sure that this is your name, or your company name with a VALID 3rd party email address as a contact.

If this is showing as someone else’s name/company, then they have ownership and can take the domain away and do what they want with it. Even if it is showing as your web designer, I would request they change this to your details ASAP.

Use a 3rd party email address such as Gmail/Outlook – this ensures you will always be able to receive any requests etc on the domain. If you use your domain email address, and the domain is suspended for any reason, you will not be able to access the email to verify you are the owner.

Admin / Technical :

These can be anyone really, usually it will be your IT support/web designer – this does NOT give them access to request the UDAI etc, it is only to show 3rd parties who to contact for any queries on the domain itself.

 

If you find that you are in conflict with someone about the ownership of the domain, the best thing to do is contact the Domain Name Commission. DNC are there to help in resolving such issues via mediation.

Most such conflicts are usually between parties when certain contracts have gone sour (including divorce), but occasionally large corporations may try to take a domain from you for one reason or another. If you are blatantly using their brand name as part of the domain, most of the time the DNC will hand the domain over to the corporation.

However there are some interesting cases out there where you have used a name innocently enough, but only to have someone like Microsoft come after you. One such story is here.

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