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TheInternet LawCentre

UK Domain name solicitors

How To Change Domain Ownership

If you discover upon a search of official records, for example, that you do not own the domain name for your company, it means that somebody else does.

Domain names are property.

They are in fact intellectual property, and as the case is with tangible property, your ownership requires registration.

There are no rules on who is eligible to register a domain name. Almost anyone can do it, which means many domain names are registered wrongly, and many people who believe they own them in fact do not.

You should concern yourself not only with the possibility of theft of your domain name, but also with the event of insolvency, illness, or simply bad faith on the part of the person who is registered on record as the legal owner of your domain.

You might find it very challenging to take possession of the domain if the records do not show you as the Registrar. Eventually you will succeed, but the process could take weeks, and is likely to be expensive and disruptive to your work.

1. I found out that I am not the registered owner of my .com domain name. What do I do now?

Make a note of the Registrar of the domain as it appears on the official records. See if you can recognise this person or company. If you know who they are, ask them to change the WHOIS records in the domain account to ensure that your name appears as the registered owner.

2. I found out that I am not the registered owner of my .co.uk domain name. What do I do now? Is it the same procedure step as 1?

The .co.uk domain names are subject to a separate official record. They can only be changed directly with the company responsible for administering .co.uk domains, namely Nominet.

Whenever a .co.uk domain name is purchased, anywhere in the world, Nominet automatically place it into an account and sends an email notification to the email address which was given, along with a password, upon registration.

All the domain names registered with the same contact email address are automatically placed under the same Nominet account, and the user name for this account is the email address which was given at the time of registration.

So you will first need to ask the person who manages your domain names to change the details of the Registrar on the WHOIS records and ensure that they provide your up-to-date email address.

You can then go to the Nominet website and change the ownership records yourself.

Remember, you will not be the registered owner of the domain until it is reflected on the Nominet records.

 

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