Domain Name Life Cycle – Availability

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Managing your domain name. First in a series.

Do you know the key dates and time periods in owning your domain name?

Here is the domain name governing body ICANN’s chart to show you some key times.

Domain Name Life Cycle

Domain Name Life Cycle

So here we go from Left to Right..

Availability.  Domain names aren’t like addresses, or phone numbers or store merchandise, where a list of them is made available for sale. Or as with the post office, numbers are approved and assigned to properties.   Any combination of 63 numbers and letters and (-)’s – for some a dash, for some a hyphen; can be registered.  One exception, the  “-” cant be at the beginning or end.

Every combination is either shown as taken, ie registered – or not taken, and thus available. The registries who run the domain name systems don’t have to carry any inventory. You create a sell-able and buy-able product when you register a domain name.  Nothing is off limits as a potential registration. No one will self govern what you can register. However, you cant take the fact that a domain name is available to mean its ok, legal or effective to buy it.

Sometimes you can run afoul of rules when you buy a domain name, but most of the time you are at legal risk by the way you USE a domain name.  However, if by the way you use a domain name, you place yourself at risk of your domain being taken form you. The mechanism to take your domain name away comes into play the moment you register a name. You’ve agreed to the terms and conditions.

So, in short, the registrars – your gateway to the registries who mind the master list, will sell you anything, and there no limits, or red lights, or “last call”. Want 10,000 – go get em, want names that don’t make sense, go get them. Misspell a name, and buy it, thats on you. Think you have a valuable name, maybe yes and maybe no, but there no gatekeeper.  Buy a trademarked name, you “can” then your also responsible for what may happen next.

So names are either available, or taken. That is all the registry will tell you.

Go to Part II – Registration.






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