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Why is Nic AG required to license their WHOIS information to third parties?

As an ICANN supported registry, Nic AG is required to create and maintain a WHOIS record for each domain name registered through its service.  Additionally, Nic AG must make available some information to requesting third parties who license the information from Nic AG.  As such, Nic AG maintains a data file of WHOIS information that contains only the Contact Information of those customers who choose to have their information listed.  Please note, however, that ICANN requires that all companies, businesses and organizations license their WHOIS Contact Information for use by inquiring third parties and therefore companies, businesses and organizations do not have the option to choose not to have their information listed. However, in some cases, any Registrant may choose to have their information removed from public view, usually by paying a separate fee for Private Registration Services.

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