GDPR has been in force for over a month, and it is creating some complications for domain investors. This afternoon, a friend emailed me to get some advice. His company is close to selling one of its domain names, but the buyer wants to confirm that the company owns the domain name. Because of GDPR, the Whois record shows “Data Protected” as the registrant. It’s challenging to prove ownership when the Whois information does not reflect this.
I made two suggestions to my friend, assuming that the buyer had contacted his company via the contact link on the landing page and the fact that he replied was not sufficient to the prospect. Here’s what I would do if I needed to prove ownership of a domain name:
1) Take a screenshot of the domain name in my registrar control panel. Take a second screenshot of the actual page where I can modify settings for the domain name.
2) Forward the domain name to a destination of the prospect’s choice temporarily (ie for a few minutes or hours).
I would also explain to the prospective buyer that I would sign a purchase agreement stating that my company is the registrant of the domain name and has the rights to sell the domain name. If necessary, and if the deal would be enough to justify additional costs, I might also reach out to a domain industry attorney to verify that my company owns the domain name.
GDPR is a pain in the you know what. Fortunately, there are still some registrars that show registrant information even with GDPR in force. People might consider this when deciding where to register their domain names if they aren’t based in Europe.
If you have other suggestions on how to prove that you’re the registrant of a domain name, I invite you to share them here. I am sure it could be helpful to other readers.