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I've been reading the Terms of Service for different domain name registrars, and so far I see this worrisome indemnification theme in all of them:

They all seem to leave open the right for the Registrar to not be accountable if they themselves screw something up or are negligent regarding my registration. Like if my registration ever gets screwed up because of something beyond my control, the Registrar is never responsible, even if it is in any way their fault or they could have prevented it.

Is that something that is indeed prevalent of any domain registrar terms of service, and I'll just have to deal with from whichever registrar I use? Maybe I can't do any better with any of them?

This really makes me question how much right I have to a domain I register at the end of the day...

Here are some cited examples:

Google Domains:

Registrant will defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Google and the Registry Operator...
related to (a) Registrant’s registration and use of a Registered Name

onlydomains.com:

You indemnify and hold harmless OnlyDomains... in connection with:
a.  any claim or dispute pertaining to the registration of the Domain Name
  • Is there any website or service (online or otherwise) where they don't indemnify themselves? – Steve Aug 3 '15 at 4:16
  • @Steve Uhhhh.... Nope! Not that I know of... ;-) – closetnoc Aug 3 '15 at 5:44
  • Yeah seems like @Steve is right: After a while I've now noticed that Terms of Service for all registrars include this type of indemnification. So that infers the answer to my question is, "Yes, it's something you have to deal with from whichever registrar is used." – cellepo Aug 6 '15 at 3:00
  • You mean you don't always read the ToS of every site you visit? ;o) – Steve Aug 6 '15 at 3:01
  • @Steve, you caught me ;-) But domain registration is one thing I did want to read them for, as there's so many shady registrars that have shady fine print practices. One of the worst would be if I read a ToS [Terms of Service] and determine that registrar is actually just a middle man, and not truly a "registrar" & instead contract their own registrar. – cellepo Aug 6 '15 at 3:07
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This is not in case they screw something up, it indemnifies them against law suits and other claims that may be filed against the domain name registrant (you). This is normal stuff. Any agreement for anything will indemnify the service company from anything you might do. They are not interested in secondary claims, joint filings, third party claims, or any obligation for anything you may have done. In these cases, you would be the one responsible solely. It is fair.

  • Yes, the quotes in my question show the indemnification @closetnoc describes. But I don't see how the wording in the quotes do not also indemnify for how company for the company carries out its service itself (i.e: screwing up the registration itself). – cellepo Aug 6 '15 at 3:04
  • @cellepo In the U.S. and likely many countries, you would be covered under contract law. You paid for services and those services must be delivered. When you sign-up and pay for services, that is a contract agreement. The contract then follows the reasonable man, reasonable expectation, and other similar legal standards. If they screw up, regardless of any clause within the contract agreement, they are obligated to honor the agreement. They cannot absolve themselves from following the law even if you agree. – closetnoc Aug 6 '15 at 3:18
  • thanks for that further insight; that sounds like it makes sense. This answer, as well as the further observation in my own answer, both help to conclude that this type of indemnification is not worrisome. But this answer is more direct to my question as worded in my title, so I've switched to accept this now. – cellepo Aug 6 '15 at 3:27
  • @cellepo Thank you! I am glad to clear things up. I used own and run my own consulting company (of one), value added reseller (VAR commercial IT equipment), Web Hosting and other related services. I have a pretty good idea of the law and responsibilities that companies have. You also bring up a valid point! Anyone should deal with a quality registrar with a good reputation. Often resellers are limited in what they can do. They are just a middle-man and it is easy for something to go wrong. It could be a lot tougher to clear things up with a reseller. – closetnoc Aug 6 '15 at 3:36
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    Also FWIW on same side-topic: A good Do / Don't list for choosing a good registrar. The "Do: Register yourself as the owner of the domain name." describes the "middle-man" danger that @closetnoc commented too. – cellepo Aug 6 '15 at 3:51
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I'm answering here with the essence of what @Steve commented to my question, as it addresses the portion of my question asking about prevalence (I accepted a different answer though as it more directly addresses the main question in the title)...

I realized that every Domain Registrar Terms of Service I've subsequently read included the type of indemnification I asked about.

So the answer I've concluded from @Steve 's inference is -> Yes, the type indemnification I exemplified from the references in my question are indeed prevalent of all registrar's I've subsequently read Terms of Service on, and therefore seems to must to have to be put up with from whichever registrar is used.

  • Make sure to pay attention to how the accepted answer clarifies that "screwing up registration" is probably indeed not part of this type of indemnification. – cellepo Aug 6 '15 at 3:36
  • Maybe I should have answered instead of commenting ;o) – Steve Aug 6 '15 at 4:02

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