© 2001 Butch Pujol http://www.safeInternetbusiness.com http://www.safedomainsolutions.com
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Let me ask you some questions that may sound "obvious" but can have downright scary answers. Did you buy your domain name from a service? Do you know who is in control of your domain name? Have you done a "Whois" search to find out? The answer may very well shock you!
Buying a domain name is a very easy thing to do. But if you buy a domain name without any knowledge of "ownership" vs. "control", you could very well be headed down a bumpy road.
Unfortunately, most Web site owners are unaware that "ownership" does not equate to "control." Just because you paid for your domain name does not mean you have access or authority to make changes, transfers or other necessary functions. But if not you - owner - who does?
There are 4 components to a domain name:
1.Registrant: you - person who registered domain name 2.Billing Contact: could be anyone 3.Technical Contact: could be anyone 4.Administrative Contact: could be anyone
The registrant is you. You might assume that items two, three and four are also you. A natural assumption. Guess what… most of time they are not! THIS is where you get into trouble.
Who's In Control?
So whose names are listed in "control" spots? Nine times out of ten, it is a person within organization you purchased your domain name from. Any inquiries about billing, technical issues and administrative questions are sent to this arbitrary person. The domain name registration company has FULL control over your URL. What does this mean?
Even though you are owner, and you make a request for changes, confirmation request will go to administrator for verification. This person has full authority to approve or reject changes to your domain name.
Keep one thing in mind, domain registrars can, and do, go out of business. They get bought and sold just like other organizations. They are not legally required to notify you of any changes within their firm. This fact alone can cause unlimited problems with renewals, changes, sales or transfers. But that's not all.
Let's say you put in a domain transfer request. A time sensitive confirmation will be sent from registrar of your domain name to administrative contact. This confirmation must be answered within a certain timeframe. Now, if administrative contact is someone at business you purchased your domain name from we could have a serious problem. That person might be on vacation, sick, fired, or even under orders not to respond. In any case, your transfer will be denied. Think it doesn't happen. I'm horrified to tell you it does - every single day.