Even if they aren’t a bad person, something could happen to them.
I’ve written many times about disputes over domain names between web developers/designers and their clients. Usually, these are cases of a web developer registering the domain in his or her name and holding it hostage if the client ever wants to get control of the domain name. There are similar disputes with employees who register company names in their own name.
It might be difficult for a client to explain to their developer that they want to register a domain in their own name because they don’t necessarily trust the developer. So here’s another, simpler argument for always registering a domain in your company’s name rather than the developer’s: the developer might get hit by a bus.
In a recent National Arbitration Forum case, Ohio company Thermotion, LLC claimed that its web developer ceased operations, apparently because of the death of its operator. The company is now having difficulty getting control of the domain name. The case was denied because Thermotion didn’t show that the registrant lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain.
So the next time a web developer pushes back on who controls the domain name, clients have something other than “I don’t trust you not to screw me” as an argument. They can point to this case as an example in which the client couldn’t access the domain despite an apparent lack of mal intent by the developer.