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Contract terms

Use of the WHOIS by any means is subject to these terms and conditions: you may not access the WHOIS if you do not agree to them and you may only use the data returned by a WHOIS query if the use is permitted by these terms. If you send a WHOIS query to us (or cause one to be sent) you are representing to us that you agree to these terms.

Who we are:

We are Nominet UK, the central, neutral registry for the .uk Top Level Domain Name and for the publicly available second level domains (currently .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .ltd.uk, .plc.uk, .net.uk and .sch.uk). Registered in England No: 3203859.

Our rights in the WHOIS:

The WHOIS database and underlying register are Database Right and Copyright © Nominet UK, 1996 – 2014. All rights reserved.

How we provide the WHOIS:

We provide the WHOIS free of charge through various channels, e.g. via our website, and via queries to our WHOIS server whois.nic.uk (as explained in the Detailed Instructions). If you use the WHOIS2, Domain Availability Checker systems or Public Register Search Service (PRSS) you must also agree to their specific terms of use.

Purpose of the WHOIS and no promises of accuracy:

  • We provide the WHOIS as a publicly viewable register solely to allow users to obtain information about the existence and status of the domain name and the identity of the registrant and registration agent of the domain name for the general purposes set out below but always subject to the restrictions listed below. At times it may lag behind the underlying register by several minutes.
  • We do not guarantee the accuracy or availability of the WHOIS records. Any WHOIS record provided is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties of any kind.
  • We are not liable for any damages or loss of any kind arising out of or in connection with the WHOIS or the records generated by the WHOIS or for any omissions or errors in the WHOIS records.

Use of WHOIS and data:

You may not:

  • re-package, compile, re-distribute or re-use any or all of the WHOIS database or data (unless you are a lawful user using an insubstantial part);
  • use any or all of the WHOIS data for advertising or as part of a process of identifying entities, names or addresses for future advertising activity of any sort (any such use may also be unlawful under the Data Protection Act 1998);
  • obscure, remove, hide or alter any part of the copyright notice and legal wording returned with a .uk WHOIS result; or
  • conduct queries of a nature, rate or volume prohibited by our acceptable use policy. Note that we record details about all WHOIS queries for the purposes of detecting and preventing unacceptable use

unless you show the user no part of the WHOIS output at all and simply report on availability or status (NB. if this is what you primarily do, it may be more appropriate for you to use the Domain Availability Checker).

Control of the WHOIS:

We are entitled to change the WHOIS records, or withdraw the service, at any time. We are entitled, in our sole discretion, to terminate or slow down your access to the WHOIS for any reason, particularly breach of the acceptable use policy or a failure to adhere to, or accept, these terms or any part of them.

Excluded Queries:

Domain names not under Nominet UK’s control (e.g. .com), not directly operated by us (e.g. .gov.uk) or created directly under .uk (e.g. co.uk, bl.uk) or which cannot be registered do not return valid results on this WHOIS. The operator of the .ac.uk and .gov.uk domain names operates a WHOIS service for them: see http://www.ja.net/services/whois/lookup.php

Guidance on proper purposes for the WHOIS:

This is not an exhaustive list, and is always subject to the restrictions above, but generally the WHOIS is intended to:

  • identify whether or not the domain name is registered, provided that you do not have access to the Domain Availability Checker system;
  • identify the person or host responsible for a domain name (e.g. to confirm that this matches the apparent provider of a website, email or other service related to the domain name);
  • allow registrants of .uk domain names to see information about their domain name;
  • show publicly if a domain name is in a special status; and
  • locate and contact the registrant and/or host of the domain name in relation to the prevention or detection of systems abuse, or to establish or defend legal rights (including an intent to use the Dispute Resolution Service).

Who has rights to a .uk domain:

You must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy and the Detailed Instructions.

© Nominet UK 2012-2014