Who owns the domains

Started by Newyorklimous, Feb 13, 2023, 09:49 AM

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NewyorklimousTopic starter


Could you clarify who owns the domains and how they are distributed among registrars? Additionally, I'm curious about the discrepancies in pricing between registrars, some fixed and others fluctuating.

Is there a base cost for domains? I understand that some entities may purchase valuable domains and resell them, but how is the price determined for subsequent years? Who profits from the rental fees and what are the amounts typically like?

To put it simply, I am interested in learning more about the ownership and pricing structures of domains and how they vary depending on the registrar.


The process of managing domain names and IP addresses is overseen by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is responsible for managing the domain zone - the entire Internet namespace. Within ICANN, it is possible to purchase the right to create and manage a Top Level Domain (TLD), however it should be noted that not all TLDs are available for purchase as some are reserved for geographical zones.

The owner of a TLD creates an office for the technical registration of names, which is carried out by a single technical registrar responsible for making changes to the database. While the technical registrar may sell the right to accept applications from end customers to other offices (referred to as registrars), it is worth noting that those offices do not actually register anything - they only submit applications to the real registrar.

It is important to understand that when renting a domain name, you don't BUY it - it has no resale value and can be terminated at any time by the registrar. The terms of the lease agreement are determined solely by the registrar, who is responsible for paying a certain amount to the "real" registrar while keeping the remaining profits.

The pricing for domain registration and renewal is predominantly influenced by market conditions, rather than any intrinsic value possessed by the domain name itself. It is possible to become a registrar and set your own prices, provided that you sign a contract with a "real" registrar. As for establishing one's own zone, this is generally not feasible for the average person.


When discussing top-level domains (TLDs), they are managed by ICANN as detailed on their Wikipedia page. In contrast, if you are referring to a second or higher level domain, it belongs to the individual or organization that registered it. The cost of owning a level 2+ domain name can vary depending on either the registrar or the current owner if it is a domain with a particularly desirable name.

It is worth noting that the value of a domain name is subjective and can fluctuate based on numerous factors, including cultural trends, market demand and even current events. Additionally, as previously mentioned, renting a domain name is more accurate term than purchasing one, and the conditions of that rental agreement are defined by the registrar.