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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> WARNING!!! who "owns" your website...
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02/21/2013 03:01:29 PM · #1
I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who is living through a virtual nightmare.

Years ago, she used a domain registration service that promoted itself as a one-stop-shop: registration, hosting, site-building, email - everything you need. For years, things were fine: no hiccups, no unplanned downtime, no real performance issues.

However, little by little, as her business grew, she started wanting more out of her website. And she started to feel some frustration in not being able to customize things the way she wanted. So, she sought to move her domain to a different host.

That's when she took her first hit. Seems this registration company registered everything in their name, not hers. It wasn't a simple "blind" registration to protect her privacy - they simply owned her domain. And they wouldn't give it back. The most they offered was to let it lapse so that she could claim it.

Since she couldn't find any way around it, she agreed. They told her that it would still take a few weeks from the actual expiration date before she could have access to it. She agreed to live in limbo.

But wouldn't you know it...while she thought she was in limbo, someone else swooped in and snatched her domain!!! For a whopping $13.95. Just like that.

The guy that grabbed it knew that my friend would want it back because, well, it was "HerNamePhotography.com". So he offered her a deal: $500.00 and it's yours.

Yep, she paid the ransom. She's got things set up with another reputable host with automatic renewals. She owns it. And now she's building a site from scratch (well, not the site, but all the content). And she's lost all her web-based emails and email contacts (nope, she never thought she should download that online address book...why should she?).

A terrible, terrible lesson - one that I hope none you ever experience.
02/21/2013 03:05:48 PM · #2
yep, i came across this when i was researching who to buy my domain from. its one of the reasons i made sure i purchased it separately and not part of some hosting package.

opportunists like this guy are scum, at least he only charged $500.

Message edited by author 2013-02-21 15:06:02.
02/21/2013 03:08:54 PM · #3
Wow. How does that guy avoid severe injury?

What was the name of the registration service? (Or should I phrase it, is there a certain service out there you might not recommend, not necessarily connected to this incident?)

I use Godaddy.

Message edited by author 2013-02-21 15:10:29.
02/21/2013 03:12:31 PM · #4
Originally posted by mike_311:

one of the reasons i made sure i purchased it separately and not part of some hosting package.


Ditto
02/21/2013 03:16:37 PM · #5
FWIW not all hosting companies are this way, but like Skip's message says, make sure you know the terms.

Message edited by author 2013-02-21 15:16:47.
02/21/2013 03:16:41 PM · #6
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Wow. How does that guy avoid severe injury?

seriously. i could see him pissing off the wrong person and paying physically.

Originally posted by Strikeslip:

What was the name of the registration service? (Or should I phrase it, is there a certain service out there you might not recommend, not necessarily connected to this incident?)

I use Godaddy.

i'm not sure who she used, but they were pretty far under the radar.
02/21/2013 03:17:26 PM · #7
i buy the domain from godaddy and host with bluehost
02/21/2013 03:20:13 PM · #8
Originally posted by Skip:

Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Wow. How does that guy avoid severe injury?

seriously. i could see him pissing off the wrong person and paying physically.

If he does that on a regular basis, he's living on borrowed time. 8-o
02/21/2013 03:22:49 PM · #9
Sometimes I type in words to see if they're available, especially if they've just recently been added to the dictionary, or are viral buzzwords.

Squadoosh.ca and Unfriend.ca are available, but the .coms are taken, FYI.
02/21/2013 03:30:45 PM · #10

Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Sometimes I type in words to see if they're available, especially if they've just recently been added to the dictionary, or are viral buzzwords.

Squadoosh.ca and Unfriend.ca are available, but the .coms are taken, FYI.


You could always go for this one...it i available for a measly $9,975-06. Hmmmmm!
02/21/2013 03:40:58 PM · #11
when i went to buy mine i wanted MAPhoto.com or MAPhotography.com those were available for $2000.

i settled for my entire name since it was $13.

02/21/2013 03:44:25 PM · #12
Originally posted by mike_311:

when i went to buy mine i wanted MAPhoto.com or MAPhotography.com those were available for $2000.

i settled for my entire name since it was $13.

Those domains for re-sale are people's hopes of hitting the lottery, which is what I'd be doing if I ever bought some silly word.
02/21/2013 03:45:12 PM · #13
Originally posted by Judi:

Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Sometimes I type in words to see if they're available, especially if they've just recently been added to the dictionary, or are viral buzzwords.

Squadoosh.ca and Unfriend.ca are available, but the .coms are taken, FYI.


You could always go for this one...it i available for a measly $9,975-06. Hmmmmm!

THe link doesn't hit a name. :-(
02/21/2013 04:11:33 PM · #14
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Originally posted by Judi:

Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Sometimes I type in words to see if they're available, especially if they've just recently been added to the dictionary, or are viral buzzwords.

Squadoosh.ca and Unfriend.ca are available, but the .coms are taken, FYI.


You could always go for this one...it i available for a measly $9,975-06. Hmmmmm!

THe link doesn't hit a name. :-(


Oops. The domain name is sh*t.com (but with an i instead of the asterisk...obviously...lmao!) But it is available....hehehehe!!
02/21/2013 04:16:04 PM · #15
I did that by serindipity once.

I bought my friend a URL for his birthday...his [name]World.com

Cost the usual low rate.

It turns out someone was waiting for that name for their business, I just got lucky while I was shopping. A short time after I gave it to my friend, they contacted him, and they settled on over $300 for the URL.

My $15 or so present turned out to be quite a big one!

Message edited by author 2013-02-21 16:16:29.
02/21/2013 09:45:03 PM · #16
if i could go back in time i'd squat google, i wonder if they would have paid up or picked option B.
02/21/2013 10:15:08 PM · #17
Originally posted by mike_311:

if i could go back in time i'd squat google, i wonder if they would have paid up or picked option B.


We may be Boondoggling instead of googling to find things on the web!
02/21/2013 10:28:06 PM · #18
Originally posted by mike_311:

... or picked option B.

Like spelling it correctly?
02/21/2013 11:54:28 PM · #19
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Wow. How does that guy avoid severe injury?

He doesn't live in Vegas and drive a Lamborghini, does he?
02/22/2013 08:52:10 AM · #20
Originally posted by dtremain:

Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Wow. How does that guy avoid severe injury?

He doesn't live in Vegas and drive a Lamborghini, does he?

Haha, I saw that headline.
02/22/2013 01:35:47 PM · #21
I remember when personal websites started becoming a big thing. As I recall, some early scum geniuses started buying up domains like ford.com and the like. They were getting them on the cheap, and extorting huge sums from big corporations to get their own names on their domains.

I don't remember exactly how it shook down, but somehow the corporate giants put a stop to it.

It would seem to me that your friend would have a case for harassment or abuse under the same terms as what happened years ago, especially if it was something like hername.com .

It pretty much sucks how mean people can f*ck things up just for a hobby.

Message edited by author 2013-02-22 13:37:13.
02/22/2013 01:56:36 PM · #22
it was called "cyber squatting" i made reference to it in an earlier post, i think legislation went out to end it but but i don't know the details.
02/22/2013 02:40:18 PM · #23
Originally posted by mike_311:

it was called "cyber squatting" i made reference to it in an earlier post, i think legislation went out to end it but but i don't know the details.

I think people were prohibited from claiming a domain name which was the same as a "well-recognized" company or one with a trademarked name.
02/22/2013 03:08:00 PM · #24
that was back in the day when id dint care how the net worked only that it had porn and chatrooms.
02/22/2013 03:14:21 PM · #25
It goes both ways.

Remember when Nissan was Datsun? A man named Uzi Nissan had used his family name as part of his business name in N Carolina back when the cars made by Nissan Motors were sold under the Datsun brand name.

Mr Nissan registered the domain Nissan.com in 1994 and Nissan.net in 1996 for his computer business which was established in 1991. When Nissan Motors decided it would be a great idea to take the Nissan.com domain, what followed was an epic court battle. Read Mr. Nissan's account of it here

Message edited by author 2013-02-22 15:16:00.
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