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Privacy Laws Could Make Domain Investing More Difficult

21

Andrew Allemann wrote about the changing privacy laws that could mark the end of public Whois information. If Whois information is no longer available to the general public (domain investors), I think the business of domain name investing is going to become much more challenging.

I acquire the majority of high value domain names my company owns via email with the owner. The contact information is almost always found via Whois lookup, and if the information is private, I might use a tool like DomainTools Whois History Tool or DomainIQ to find the correct owner information. If Whois information is no longer accessible, it will be far more difficult to acquire domain names in private.

If a domain name doesn't resolve and the Whois information is not listed anywhere, it will become much harder to contact the owner of a domain name.

Domain sale platforms will likely be the beneficiaries of disappearing Whois lookups. Domain owners will need to be more proactive with the sale of their domain names, as the Whois inquiries will → Read More


Do You Subscribe to DomainTools?

6

I think DomainTools' Whois History tool is the most important domain tool I use, and it is only available to people with active DomainTools memberships. The History tool allows me to see who previously owned a domain name, and it can be used to make sure there hasn't been any suspicious activity on a domain name.

To be blunt, I don't know how anyone would be comfortable buying an expensive domain name in the aftermarket without doing a proper search using this particular history tool, since there don't seem to be any competitors.

Earlier today, someone asked me to run a poll to see how many people here have DomainTools accounts, and I think that's a pretty decent idea. Check out the poll below:


→ Read More


Monitoring Whois Searches

5

Network Solutions Email Header


A domain investor friend of mine forwarded me an email he received from Network Solutions today, with the following message:



Subject: The Domain You Searched For Is Still Available: On Sale Now!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.net      Buy Now for ONLY $19 >>
Available as of 11/09/2009


Domain names are how people find you online, how you express yourself through email or your website, and it's what customers think of when trying to find you. Register yours today while it's still available!

nsWebAddressâ„¢ packages include your domain name registration plus:"
....
etc

I always assumed that domain registrars and companies used Whois lookup data for internal purposes, but I didn't think a company would use it for marketing purposes. My friend doesn't believe he did the look up from within an account at Network Solutions, so he was even more surprised that his search was emailed to him.


I know that companies monitor searches and other research, and I've warned people to be cautious when doing research, but it just seems a bit → Read More


Use Caution When Updating Whois Information

0

Mike Berkens wrote an important post today about keeping your Whois information current and updated. ICANN regulations require that Whois information is accurate, and if the information isn't accurate, there is a chance that your domain name could possibly be taken. There are also many legal reasons to do so, which Mike outlines in his post. It just makes sense to keep your information updated, and if you are worried about spam emails or privacy, just buy the privacy guard.

In this vein, I think it's also important to note that some UDRP panels have ruled that a change in registration information can be seen as a brand new registration. One recent case (although it didn't really impact the decision) was on the BME.com case, which the respondent lost. The respondent had changed his Whois information (between his own entities), and they still cited this changing Whois information.

In addition to this issue, Godaddy also seems to still lock domain names for 60 days when the Whois information is updated.   While this can usually → Read More