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    Reclaiming .com domain


    I've taken on a client who is in dispute with his former web developer - client says the web developer fouled up causing them to lose important emails, web developer says the client owes them money. The web developer set up their domain (it's a .com)and the registration details show them as the registrant, not the client.

    The web developer won't release control of the domain until such time as they have been paid, but despite repeated requests will not get in touch with the client to tell them how much is owed! Has anyone been in a similar position or does anyone know of a process by which the client can re-establish control over their domain?
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    Sounds like the client needs to add the resources of a legal staff.
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    Whose credit card was used to make the domain purchase - your client's, or the previous web developer's?

    If it was your client's card, you should be able to contact the registrar to settle the dispute.
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    Should this be moved to Business & Legal ?
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    I would suggest that it is moved there.
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    *I am not in any legal position to offer pure legal advice.

    Unfortunately, whether there is a dispute or not, the only thing that
    matters here are two things:

    1.) Who was the person that made the transaction? Whether the web
    developer used the client's credit card and or not. Who's name is
    on the registrants info? Who's credit card was used?

    2.) Should the domain name legally belong to the web developer,
    is the domain name the name of a legally registered business name?
    If so than there can be a case for cyber-squatting if the
    domain matches that of a legally registered business name.

    *I am not in any legal position to offer pure legal advice.
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    1. The web developer made the transaction, registered the domain in their own name and paid on their card. The cost, however, would have been passed on to the client as part of the overall invoice for the development work.

    2. The domain name is quite specific to the trading name of the client. However, I don't think that it is a legally registered name - not a limited company (UK based).
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    Originally posted by John AlphaOne
    1. The web developer made the transaction, registered the domain in their own name and paid on their card. The cost, however, would have been passed on to the client as part of the overall invoice for the development work.

    2. The domain name is quite specific to the trading name of the client. However, I don't think that it is a legally registered name - not a limited company (UK based).
    I don't know what to say... if your client has a line-item invoice which shows they were billed for the registration transaction, you might have a good case.

    I really think your best bet is to determine if its worth fighting over first; if so, contact a trademark or property rights lawyer; if not, move your site to a new domain name.
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    Thanks - I think you're right - it's only a small company, so it's got to be cheaper to get stationery reprinted etc than to get the lawyers involved.
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    Another option


    You didn't mention how much is allegedly owed to the developer. It may be cheaper to pay him off, especially if he really is owed the money. They may be able to reach an agreement for less than the developer wants but more than the client wants to pay. The client would get to keep his indetity, which I think would be worth quite a bit.
    Last edited by fube11; August 29th, 2003 at 11:21 AM.

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