Domain sniping

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Domain sniping is the practice of an individual registering a domain name whose registration has lapsed in the immediate moments after expiry. This practice has largely been rendered moot through ICANN's addition of the Redemption Grace Period (RGP), which allows registrants 30 days to reclaim their domain name. By law there are no perpetual rights to domain names after payment of registration fees lapses, aside from trademark rights granted by common law or statute.

Although domain registrars often make multiple attempts to notify a registrant of a domain name's impending expiration, a failure on the part of the original registrant to provide the registrar with accurate contact information can make an unintended registration lapse possible. Unless the original registrant holds a trademark or other legal entitlement to the name, they are often left without any form of recourse in getting the domain name back. It is incumbent on registrants to be proactive in managing their name registrations and to be good stewards of their names.

Prior to the Redemption Grace Procedure (RGP) individuals could engage in domain sniping in order to extort money from the original registrant to buy the name back. The addition of RGP has largely abated the ability to 'snipe' names and therefore has moved the battle for expiring domain names to the domain registrar level, where companies such as GoDaddy or eNom retain names for auction through services such as TDNAM or Snapnames.

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