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Are domains really owned?
Technically speaking, domain names (a specific Internet addresses) are public property and cannot be owned by any person or company. However, they can be registered for a small fee at registrars like GoDaddy, Uniregistry, NameCheap, Enom and dozens of others.
Once a domain name is registered, the registrant has the exclusive rights to that specific domain name as long as they continue to pay the annual registration fee. Those rights are transferable and domain owners often sell their registration rights to others.
These transactions are commonly know as “buying and selling domains” or “domaining.”
Finding the domain “owner”
So, in order to “buy” a domain that is currently registered in someone else’s name, you must contact that person and offer to buy the name. Depending on the domain name the price may be anywhere from $10 to $10 million.
The way to find out who owns a domain is to check the registration, or “Who Is,” which up until recently was in the public record. Due to recent changes in the laws it’s harder now, than it used to be, to find a domain owner’s contact information. There is also the possibility that the domain owner has a paid for a privacy service which masks his/her identity.
To find out what information is available I recommend you start your search at one of these sites:
Send a message to any of the email addresses that are listed on the domain registration. If you have no luck there than do some detective work on Google and check the listings at domain marketplaces like Afternic, NameJet, Sedo and Flippa.
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