Stolen #domains and squatters : Confusion about the obligations of a registrant

Domain names are digital assets that depend on a basic act of maintenance: they must be renewed in order to be kept.

Even to this day, domain registrants fail to grasp that concept, and often act shocked when their expired domain is re-registered or acquired by another party.

By failing to pay its renewal fee on time, the risks of seeing that domain being auctioned off, or backordered, or simply re-registered due to its qualities, are quite high.

In a fresh domain thread at Reddit, titled “My domain was stolen,” the person sharing the story, wrote the following:

“I started an affiliate site back in late 2016 that was growing steadily over the course of the next few months. To make a long story short, I took some time away from the site to prioritize other aspects of my life, and stupidly let the domain renewal of the site lapse.

A squatting company has (understandably) purchased the domain and is trying to sell it back to me for $800. Other than shelling out the money they’re asking, what other options do I have? I’ve poured lots of time into the content, more than anything, and I’d like to somehow at least recover it, if possible, even if it means switching domains.”

At least, the poster realizes that it’s their fault alone to have allowed the domain to lapse. Their surprise is more or less centered around the fact that someone else grabbed that particular domain.

Quite often, registrants are under the impression that their invention of a domain is unique – that no one else might have an interest in it. They expect that, once they fail to pay for its renewal, the domain will somehow disappear completely, and become available to register by them alone, the next time that they remember about it.

In this case, it’s obvious that the domain was re-registered or acquired based on its prior traffic or search engine qualities. Its prior content and existing backlinks might also dictate its value, and in this case the $800 dollar asking price by the current registrant seems to be reasonable.

Not everyone has this type of budget, however, and the Reddit discussion reveals the poster’s negligence with safeguarding the domain asset, along with the WordPress content he’s looking to recover.

Stolen domain – or not. Photo by Reinhart Julian on Unsplash


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Comments

One Response to “Stolen #domains and squatters : Confusion about the obligations of a registrant”
  1. Data Glasses says:

    Domains are like Cars, you need to pay the registration fees

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