When you register a new domain, do you own it or does GoDaddy own it (while you just lease it from them)?
If you own it, why would you have to pay a yearly fee?
If GD owns it, can they take it off you anytime, or are they contractually bound to let you do whatever you want during the year of registration? In effect, it would be a lease. Is this the case?
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The domain registries are administrated by different companies, like VeriSign for .com. Though a domain may seem intangible they require servers to work. So fees are needed to cover the operation of the domain systems, maintenance, oversight, and of course businesses are in the market to turn a profit.
Just to tag onto what @Nate here is an article from GoDaddy that explains it a bit further.
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Greetings @Jetheat ,
There are some good answers here, but while I have the chance I want to say something important to me here, right up front.
The person that "owns" the domain during the active life of the registration is the currently listed registrant.
Please pay close attention to that. If you put the domain in your webmaster's name or your partner's name or your professor's name, will that still work for you a few years from now?
I wish I had a $.25 for every heart-wrenching story I've heard of a successful entrepreneur having to deal with someone else controlling their domain name when all that success they worked so hard for finally came to fruition. My advice? It's your domain, wear it proud (and if you need privacy, get it) but don't give away your hard work.
I hope that helps,
Thomas D. - GoDaddy | Community Moderator
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