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Domain Names Forum

Returning domain name back to a nonprofit
From a miffed, former volunteer webmaster

 9:48 pm on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

A local nonprofit group I belong to, something akin to an animal rescue group, has replaced their current volunteer webmaster. When he took over, he transferred their existing domain to his wife's name instead of the groups name and only he seems to have the registration password. The domain is the exact unique name of the group, they reimbursed him for the registration, and they had their web site on this domain for years prior to his taking over the webmaster roles.

Now he has been replaced, evidently with some pretty hard feelings all the way 'round, and has been ignoring repeated phone calls and emails from the group to give up the password to the domain.

I am not asking for legal advice. I have a web savvy attorney who could send a letter and I know the ICANN procedure for getting the domain back, which I feel would almost certainly be found in the group's favor. The problem is these options all cost money, money that would otherwise be spent on homeless animals, and would result in even more hard feelings.

What do you think would be the most diplomatic (and least expensive) way to proceed? Phone the wife since the site is technically in her name? Just start the domain transfer process and see what they do? Send a registered letter from the group president and ask for cooperation?

I'd appreciate any thoughts. I am not asking for legal advice, just pre-emptive diplomatic advice.



 10:17 pm on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

I myself would go over there for a face to face meeting. Tell him in a nice way this is going to be going to the next level and if he wants to spend the money hiring an attorney that is fine, but tell him this is his choice make it now or lets get this done.

Get him to log into the register and do the transfeer then. Then have him change the admin email to your email.

Be nice but firm then if he doesn't comply hire an attorney and make him pay for all incurred expenses.

be sure and keep a good time sheet of your time and fees so all this can be used against him.


 10:24 pm on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

There must be a reason why he (or his wife) volunteered to be the webmaster for a non-profit organization. The first thing I would do is appeal to his compassionate side and see if he agrees it's best for the organization for him to comply.


 1:09 am on Mar 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would certainly opt for the face to face approach. If you have an mp3 player with voice-record capability, I'd use that too (but it might not be legal so just keep the recording to give to your lawyer if it goes that far).

Depending what country you are in, recording a phone conversation is almost certainly illegal unless you inform the person at the other end at the start of the conversation.



 4:10 am on Mar 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

The best person would likely be whomever hasn't "lost affininity" with him/his wife and who still remains loyal to the organization. He/she will likely be seen as the messenger but, hopefully, respect will be shown - understanding that it's a dirty job but someone had to do it . . .


 10:23 pm on Mar 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all of your suggestions. So far the situation isn't resolved but I'm working on it.

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