Weeks ago I had built a site for my friend and was and continued to be ready to have him do a DNS transfer to my current host. While he is technically capable his trust was misplaced in the hands of clearly someone who is highly incompetent. Today, go figure the day before he was finally ready to do what needed to be done, he noticed his website was a blank page (Adblock was blocking the advertising on HIS domain) with a red/blue favicon...his domain expired. Great, we'll just register it right?
I'm going to refer to the person who initially "helped" my friend setup his domain and hosting as Mr. Not-Winner. So I don't know if that Mr. Not-Winner was mentally deficient to register with <registrar name snipped> in the first place (which from what I've read is a sleazy domain registrar) or if the domain registrar transferred ownership to <snipped> when it expired. I do not know if Mr. Not-Winner put my friend's email and name on the domain name's DNS record (which is the only way to do business with domains legitimately) which is often the case for all Mr. Not-Winners either because they're mentally deficient, because they themselves are sleazing their way in to "owning" someone else's domain or both as I have seen with some of my clients that I have taken on. Now when I do a whois on his domain name it comes up as registered to <snipped> in the <exotic location>... nope, there is totally no way fraud could be involved in that association!
First what do I need to figure out in general and/or from my friend and secondly what do I need to do to metaphorically give <snipped> a high-five in the face with a chair so I can get my friend's domain name back (or finally initially) in his name?
[edited by: buckworks at 1:49 am (utc) on Oct 4, 2012] [edit reason] Remove identifying details. [/edit]
Unfortunately, I'm not aware of a uniform or "system approved" solution that applies in these situations, especially where the players reside or operate in multiple jurisdictions.
The solutions known to work are a) paying ransom (fees to restore/recover domains in the delete process); b) drop catching; c) reacquire the domain at auction; d) lawyer letters, preferably from lawyers/solicitors that have an office in the location where the "parties in control" operate.
As to the last scenario, a letter from a lawyer in Alaska is unlikely to faze a business with offices in the Caymans BUT a lawyer from a known/aggressive solicitor in the Caymans to a business HQ'd in the Caymans would likely get a different "look/response".
Money, sadly/happily, fixes a variety is problems.