Whois public contact information is necessary
As a site owner, I'm as concerned as anyone about keeping my private information private. I've gotten a few phone calls and emails I didn't want because of whois data. But not enough to be that much of a concern to me.
I'm also an independent writer and artist who makes very little money, and I still need a means to protect my intellectual property online with little expense.
Just today I had to contact the owner of a forum to inform him that a user had plagiarized my work by reposting eight of my poems on that forum and crediting himself as the author. If the whois information hadn't provided me a current email address for the site owner I could not have resolved this as easily as I did today, and I might have had to pay a lawyer to help me protect my work -- an expense I cannot afford. Today the site owner immediately removed the offending posts and apologized to me, as soon as I contacted him. Situation resolved, no money spent, and we're both happy. If I hadn't found his email address through a whois search, I would've had to hire an attorney, and may have had to go to court. It could've gotten very messy and expensive, when it didn't need to be.
Please keep at least some form of site owner contact information available at no charge, so situations like these can be resolved quickly and without involving more parties than necessary. That way artists can still protect our intellectual property online, on our own, to some degree.
Thank you, Barbara W. Klaser http://spiritblooms.gaiastream.com/ http://barbarawklaser.mysterynovelist.com/