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I have requested the designer to transfer the domain names to me so that I donít miss the renewal, and because they are actually mine since I specifically paid for them. However he has not responded.
I have approached the registrar for the uk domain but they suggested snatching it back when it becomes due for renewal - a tactic that does not instill confidence as I am well aware that my competitors have a very aggressive stance and will undoubtedly be watching the developments themselves. I have invested a great deal of money building up a presence and feel infuriated at the risk associated for the sake of a combined $20 renewal fee.
Can anyone help on my course of action? I do not wish to take a legal course but perhaps....
People don't understand the value of a domain name and the importance of making sure you have control of your own domain name. And sometimes they are intimidated by the technical aspects of it.
And, so they allow others - web designers, programmers, web hosting companies - to register domains for them.
In some cases, they failed to read the fine print and, unfortunately, they really have no right to the domain they thought was theirs.
In other cases, they have a right to it, but they've put themselves in an awkward position where they now have to find the person it's registered to and get them to change the registrant information.
Please - register your OWN domain names directly with a major registrar. "Free" domains aren't worth the cost. And it may be easier to have somebody else handle the messy details for you, but it will eventually bite you.
Registrars don't know and don't care what went on behind the scenes of the domain name being registered. Disputes happen every day, and it boils down to being able to prove your claims.
It's not made any easier if the domain name was not paid using your credit card.
If he were to be contactable by telephone do you not think I might have done so by now?
Unfortunately I didn't ask him to register a domain on my behalf - I had already registered other candidates. The man simply took it upon himself to register it.
In that case, it's unclear to me that you have any claim on that domain name.
If anything, you should have long ago sent him a letter: "please stop pointing your domain at my website!"
It's amazes me how cavalierly some people treat domain names. Somebody registers a domain name you didn't want, in their own name. You then go ahead and use it (and presumably promoto it?) for an extended period of time without clarifying ownership.
Now you want control of this domain that you say you never wanted in the first place.
I'm not so sure there is any new law or code of conduct needed. What's needed is for people to read the fine print and understand the basics of domain registration.
I doubt you have any recourse through the registrar or registry. If it were me, I think I'd be embarassed to even ask them, given the circumstances.
It would seem a valuable lession, though, if nothing else. :)
In an earlier posting you clearly stated that a domain is an asset, a fact which I do not dispute and, consequently, the gentleman in question has defrauded me of an asset in the event that he does not register it in my name. This would be conceived as pilfering or, ultimately, theft.
If there is an alternative to seeking legal counsel I would rather pursue it. But it would seem that you are unlikely to add to the body of knowledge.
An enforceable code of conduct would simplify matters and offer protection for consumers. It would reduce the risk from a "just anyone" setting up and calling him/herself a web designer.
He was appointed to do a job and repaid specifically for the cost of the domain - his invoice specifically states that.
In that case, I'd make another diligent effort to locate the fellow, and if you are unable to, forward the invoice to your registrar. Hopefully, they will accept the evidence that you have. Otherwise, you can try ICANN, and see if THEY will accept the evidence.
It doesn't really sound like a matter of fraud, but one simply of having lost contact with the developer.
The problem with pursuing a legal course is that you will have to locate the guy. Locate him, and you've probably solved your problem without need for legal recourse...
You really are best off trying to locate the developer. If he's still practicing his craft, he can't be THAT hard to locate. He has to have some sort of online presence. Did he "sign" his work in any way? (Either visible or hidden text, comments, etc.?) If so, you should be able to turn up other web sites he has designed -perhaps more recently - by doing a search.
I think your sh
It seems even if you sent that invoice to Nominet (the uk Registry), they'll tell you to seek legal advice anyway. Registrars and registries receive things like these every other day, and they don't want to spend time and money understanding a gazillion legal jurisdictions when they've got better things to do.
Let me make sure I understand this: the webdesigner registered the domain and paid for it, then you paid him and he issued you a receipt. What does it say exactly?
Unfortunately if the invoice isn't that specific, that's when you'll have to legally prove your claims if forced to.
Should that not be effective - I think there is no point chasing the designer legally as you cannot find him (but keep looking - that is your easiest route). I think you will have to take legal action against the registrar :(
Or give up on the domain :(
Perhaps locate a solicitor familiar with internet issues? Someone here may be able to recommend a UK one (not publically)
Just have someone approach him for you and buy off the domain.