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You did some stuff in 2010 and nothing since other than keep the domain active. You had no hand in the site.
the father of one of my friends contacted me about setting up a website for a business he was planning. He specifically asked me for my recommendations...
I can see (now) that my friend's father has always perceived - as a matter of good faith - that the website (and the domain) belonged to his business. However, he has never explicitly approached me on this.
But the domain is in my business' name.It should have been in your friend's name- he requested you buy it FOR HIM and he subsequently paid for it.
My business bought it.No, your business bought it ON HIS BEHALF.
Do you really not see the disconnect here? First you say he specifically contacted you about a site, then you say he never did.
I said I would send him instructions on how to purchase that domain and set up the webspace. Or I could do it myself.
At what point - if I never approach my landlord friend to buy the property from him - does that property become mine anyway to sell to someone else?
joined:Dec 9, 2001
Now, it turns out, the money has not yet changed hands and there is a possibility that the purchaser might pull out entirely if he doesn't get the domain.
The website simply promotes the business.
But the domain is in my business' name. My business bought it.
My business has paid for it every year (albeit my friend's father's business subsequently reimbursed my business for these costs).
If registering and running a site on behalf of a third party vs. for a third party seems like a excessively subtle distinction, it's not
I clearly favoured his registering the domain over my registering it.
Let's try another devils advocate: If they registered it, would you have developed the site under the same arrangement?
How clear is the conversation? Would a layman believe that the choice offered was either they buy the domain, or you will buy it for yourself?
Whatever you decide, I can either give you instructions for free on how to purchase and set up your own domain and webspace, or, if you prefer, I can do this at my end.
or, if you prefer, I can do this at my end, in which case the domain and webspace will not be your own, it will join my business' portfolio of websites, it will be owned and maintained by my business, but it will still be developed and run on your business' behalf [...]
[edited by: ronin at 4:29 pm (utc) on Apr 21, 2016]
My next question is - how can I acquire ownership of the domain name?
I see I will have to pay back any charges which are deemed incorrect charges.
Maybe I missed it, but when in the last SIX YEARS did you explain to your friend and his father that this was YOUR website and that they had NO CLAIM to it?
You could have and should have settled this matter YEARS ago.
the new owners [... are...] not going to fancy doing that
[edited by: ronin at 6:41 pm (utc) on Apr 21, 2016]
I don't know if he thought he'd made it clear to me that this was his business' website.
Help me understand ... how did this site contribute to your business income?
[edited by: ronin at 6:58 pm (utc) on Apr 21, 2016]
it's rather doubtful I would have agreed to doing the re-write at all.
does that property become mine anyway to sell to someone else?
In terms of the domain name, why would you have issued an invoice for it if you were buying it for yourself?
That statement right there indicates they thought you worked for them.
the domain name is theirs, and has been from the first.
Yes, I did register the domain and webspace on behalf of my friend's father's business. But not for my friend's father's business.Semantics which will not get you anywhere. IMHO, you mislead your friend's father if you registered this in your company's name.
Given that in 2014 I had to take 2 days unpaid time away from the office to rewrite the site (I was doing a stint as an office employee to stay on top of domestic bills), had the site and the domain not been registered under my business' name, it's rather doubtful I would have agreed to doing the re-write at all.Your decision, your loss.