Hello all! :-)
I'm looking for a solution where my home address does not show up in the WHOIS fields and I, at the same time, retain full ownership so that I can sell the domain with all the servers and code should I decide to do so. It's actually not domain parking or anything like that, but a real project of mine that is behind the domain.
The WHOIS Guard and private registration features of many registrars didn't impress me, since you don't really retain full ownership.
I cannot easily register a PO box in the US, since I'm not a US citizen and live outside the US. And doing it locally has its own pitfalls and difficulties.
I was finally intrigued by a couple of US companies offering relatively cheap and (for me) affordable mail forwarding to outside the US. For example, with these I'd get a real street address (the one of that company) and mail could be sent to me like this:
My Real First and Last Name
123 Street of Company #MyMailID
City of Company, State of Company ZIP
They'd open or forward all my mail and send it to my real home address. I would have to give them an ID (Passport, etc) to prove it's really me and fill out a form that permits them to collect my mail.
Now my questions:
When, exactly, do I own the domain according to ICANN? If I use an address like the above for my domain registration, admin & tech contacts in WHOIS, etc, would I lawfully, technically and in the eyes of ICANN own the domain? Note that my first and last name, telephone number, and email address would still be mine. Only my address isn't my personal home address, but the one of the mail forwarding company.
If a dispute arises or if it is ever in doubt that I am the owner of the domain, would it suffice to show the registration papers with the mail forwarding company and proof that I'm the owner of that mail inbox and hence also the owner of the domain?
Is there a legal loophole, the mail forwarding company or anyone else might exploit? Like, arguing that since I'm not really a US citizen and do not really physically live at this address, I'm not the owner of the domain (but e.g. the mail forwarding company or the registrar itself or no one else)?
I'd really be intrigued how ICANN defines ownership and if I'd actually own the domain if I go along with this. Personally, I still think I'd own the domain, since there is IMHO no reason why ICANN wouldn't respect the right of an individual to hire a company to do mail forwarding/sorting/junk filtering, and my name, email, and telephone is still there. But since I'm not really sure, I'm asking here.
Any hints and insights are highly appreciated,