Recently, a friend of mine was pondering some existential questions about websites. She had started an own business selling customized arts and crafts over the internet. She found an appealing name for her site. She tells us on the site, how her real business grew from an unreal idea. The site offers to customers options to create the product they like to purchase. Sales have been taking off. The business shows all signs of success.
My friend is not a web expert and outsourced site development and administration. Now, questions arise about the ownership of the site. The details of site registration have fundamental implications for ownership, particularly when the site name is synonymous with the brand and the businesses vitally depends on brand recognition. The person who registers the domain name of the site with the registrar may actually own that name. This person may also own the administrative privileges to add and delete data and permit other parties access to site administration. The administrator can potentially read the e-mails on the site.
For those who are not savvy in the use of the terminal command line, I found an easy way to obtain information about your site. Go to Broadband Report's whois browser application, type in your domain name, that is the site name without "www.", and hit return. Check carefully that the entries match your expectations.