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I am interested in purchasing a .ca domain name. It was taken, and when I did a WHOIS it showed me that GoDaddy (a registrar) has control of it, however when I go to GoDaddy to purchase it, I have no such option.

I have always wondered - why do registrars do this? I've come across this situation before with other domains as well.
Is there any way to actually purchase a domain like this for yourself?

If anyone can shed some light on this issue, I'd greatly appreciate it.


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Are you suggesting that you should be able to have the rights to buy up any domain name the registrar owns? Would this mean and are up for grabs by anyone? – Zoredache Apr 20 '10 at 23:02
up vote 5 down vote accepted

With many registrars you can have the registrar listed as the contact. This is in order to provide privacy for the person or organisation that has actually registered the domain.e.g. I have a domain with DynDNS but you won't find my details listed anywhere. A whois on my domain will only show DyDNS as a contact.

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lol. how exactly does a person get privacy from this? thats funny. – djangofan Apr 20 '10 at 22:07
How is it funny? Instead of their full name, personal phone number and address that is showing it simply says GoDaddy. Makes sense to me. – barfoon Apr 20 '10 at 22:27
@djangofan, if I register normally my home address, phone number and all is available for the world to see. Using "secret registration" anyone wanting that same information is going to have to do a bit more than a simple whois. I really thought that would have been obvious. – John Gardeniers Apr 20 '10 at 22:29
heres an analogy: just because Facebook has privacy settings doesn't mean that Facebook itself doesn't have access to your privacy. – djangofan Apr 21 '10 at 0:29
@djangofan, don't worry about it. I'm sure everyone else understands. – John Gardeniers Apr 21 '10 at 0:55

If you do a WHOIS and it shows that GoDaddy has control of it, this usually means that someone else has ownership of the domain name but has subscribed to GoDaddy's privacy service. This means that GoDaddy does not really own it but is a proxy for someone else.

You could try contacting the original owner of the domain using the contact details provided. The email contact listed is usually a random hash string that maps to the original owner's email.

However, the domain is unlikely for sale unless it is owned by a domain squatter.

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