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does the domain owner also own the content?

transfer of domain



8:05 pm on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

A few years ago, I started a hobby blog. A friend hosted it for me on her account. I did all the work on it - wrote the content, did the graphic design, paid for a web designer to do upgrades. The friend had nothing to do with it at all. The blog did reasonably well, for a starter blog. I'm getting ready to implement some changes, and it would be much easier if I owned the domain. The friend said she would transfer it to my hosting account. But suddenly - for reasons I don't know - she is really dragging her feet. This completely surprised me. (The site hasn't even generated any revenue - it isn't set up for that.)

If she doesn't give me the domain, can I take the content and move it to a new domain? Or does she own the content?

Better yet, do I have any legal recourse for getting the domain from her? If I have to move my content to another site, I lose my subscribers, my logo, and my page rank.

Lesson learned... the hard way. It's really a small blog, but I didn't expect it to do as well as it did.

Thanks for any advice.


3:56 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

I think I speak for everyone* when I say: TALK TO A LAWYER.

* And that's not something I say every day.


7:47 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It is really quite simple. If you created the content then you hold the copyright so yes, you do own it.

Talking to a lawyer costs lots of money and since this is a non commercial situation at present I suspect that this may not be an option.

I think it all depends on what you mean by " a friend" and "dragging her feet". Is she being deliberately obstructive to your attempts to get the domain transferred or is she just giving it a low priority?

How clued up is she about domain name registration and website hosting? It may be that she is not sure how to action the transfer and doesn't want to admit to this. If you can find out who she is hosting the domain with, read up on their transfer process then point her to the instructions on how this is done then she may be more willing to do this?


8:45 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Hello Waiting1,

Welcome to Webmaster World! We hope you find this a useful place to hang out!

Some of your wording is a bit vague. What exactly did you ask her to do? Was it in fact the right thing to ask for?

I'm wondering if there are practical reasons for her apparent hesitation, rather than a lapse in good faith. Among other things, do you have your own account with a domain registrar? That's not clear from what you said, but if you want the domain transferred to your control there needs to be an account to receive it. The steps for the transfer might take a few days, but it's not complicated as long as both parties know what they're doing.

Be sure you make regular backups of the site's content, which is good practice in any case. If things did reach the point where you decided to move the content to a different domain, do you know the steps for doing so?

Lawyers do have their uses, but I suspect that some technical clarification would be more help here than calling in the lawyers. At least, not yet ...

Above all, don't get mad and fracture a friendship on the basis of something that you're not understanding accurately. That would be lose-lose in every direction.


3:14 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks, everyone, for the advice. It is resolved! It was definitely a case of us misunderstanding each other. My friend had some concerns about the web developer I hired, but they cleared that up. Steps had already been taken to transfer the domain, but none of that was showing up on my account. Now the domain is under my name, on my account. Huge relief... ready to move forward.


3:46 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

That's good news. Glad it turned out right for you. :)


4:10 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

now, change your passwords and change webhosts

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