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Experience with Fighting Domain Farming 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gimme-malda-dot-com-dangit dept.
Lost_my_regs writes "I had a .com domain name relevant only to me, no legal trademark, registered and hosted at a provider that went bust. When attempting to re-host the domain I discovered, to my unpleasant surprise, that the domain is now registered by a domain farming company (name removed). My question is: Is there any way to claim back my domain?"
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Experience with Fighting Domain Farming

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  • In a word, no (Score:5, Informative)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Saturday December 15, 2007 @11:51AM (#21709120) Homepage Journal
    I longer words, if you are prepared to devote vast amounts of your time and effort then there is a very slim chance of your success.
    • Re:In a word, no (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:11PM (#21709314)

      If the registrar was ICANN certified, the domain registration should have reverted to ICANN or another ICANN provider when the company went bust. If the company was a subsidiary of another, the registration reverts to the parent. You do not lose the registration, you just get moved to a different registrar (though there can be some period of time while it all gets worked out). Sounds to me like you failed to follow the transfer or failed to pay when it came time to renew. Perhaps your spam filter shitcanned their instructions on how to start using the new registrar.

      The relevant ICANN policy

      j. Ensure that the registrar's obligations to its customers and to the registry administrator will be fulfilled in the event that the registrar goes out of business, including ensuring that SLD holders will continue to have use of their domain names and that operation of the Internet will not be adversely affected.

      SLD is second level domain.

      ICANN policy [icann.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ls -la (937805)

        If the registrar was ICANN certified, the domain registration should have reverted to ICANN or another ICANN provider when the company went bust. If the company was a subsidiary of another, the registration reverts to the parent. You do not lose the registration, you just get moved to a different registrar (though there can be some period of time while it all gets worked out). Sounds to me like you failed to follow the transfer or failed to pay when it came time to renew. Perhaps your spam filter shitcanned their instructions on how to start using the new registrar.

        The relevant ICANN policy

        j. Ensure that the registrar's obligations to its customers and to the registry administrator will be fulfilled in the event that the registrar goes out of business, including ensuring that SLD holders will continue to have use of their domain names and that operation of the Internet will not be adversely affected.

        SLD is second level domain.

        ICANN policy [icann.org]

        Very good find and post here. You should have logged in so people would see it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You should have logged in so people would see it.

          If people don't read AC posts that's their own problem. Read at -1, Nested!
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            you know - when i first came to /. i spent ages and a day trying to figure out who this prolific anonymous coward chap was - ha!
            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward
              We have met the enemy and he is us.
                  -- Pogo
      • Re:In a word, no (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nametaken (610866) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:44PM (#21709576)
        I was wondering myself about how this happened to the poster. I assume they used a host and ALSO used the host to do the domain registration.

        I've always used a separate registrar from the hosting co's. The sad fact is every jerk in the world is a hosting provider nowadays, but you know some hosting co's and registration co's aren't going out of business any time soon. Sometimes that means spending $10/yr instead of $6/yr for the domain, and then do your bargain hunting for the hosting. The name can be important... where it's hosted is a much more flexible affair.

        So to the poster... make it a lesson learned, you're not getting the name back.

        The most important part, perhaps, is that there are reasonable ways to make sure this doesn't happen... WE DON'T NEED MORE RULES AND REGULATIONS!
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by whoever57 (658626)
          They did not go bust, but lots of people lost domains that were registered at Registerfly due to mismanagement (and possibly fraud) by the owner(s) of Registerfly
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by billcopc (196330)
          Yep, having your domain and hosting with the same company is asking for trouble, because they basically control your site end-to-end in that scenario. Having them as two separate companies makes it much more difficult for any one party to kill your site, and I'm not even talking about uptime issues - this is purely political.

          The other issue is do you know what happens if/when you move your site to a different hosting provider ? Will you encounter resistance, either in the form of a blanket policy restrict
        • Re:In a word, no (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2007 @04:19PM (#21711406)
          WTF? Domain-squatting should be eliminated, and it's perfectly reasonable to expect there to be a process by which a case of domain-squatting can be resolved properly.

          Take GoDaddy.com, a domain registrar who fairly often blackmails their customers for hundreds of dollars on domains they keep that should have been allowed to expire and been available publicly again. ICANN should warn them, and revoke their license if they continue in anti-trust behavior. It shouldn't be allowed in the first place, I'm saying, and ICANN should make sure it doesn't happen secondly.

          Of course 'the market' should stop going to GoDaddy and thus 'the market' should decide, but that shouldn't prevent ICANN from implementing something effective to stop problems at the source.

          Registrars in the habit of making you check a box agreeing to a service arrangement with a clause basically giving them power of attorney 'on your behalf' should find in court that such a clause, at least, is void. Likewise, GoDaddy's clause that they will keep a domain you do not renew 'on your behalf' but ask for exorbitant fees for doing so should been seen for what it is.

          And if GoDaddy was forced to release expired domains back into the public pool there would still be this problem of domain snipers picking up the domain from the public pool to do that same exact thing. Just because someone else will do it doesn't mean GoDaddy should be allowed to. I do wonder how one could demonstrate that domain squatting is what is occurring without squatters finding a loop-hole or way to appear legit, or otherwise what rule would help solve this problem, but that doesn't mean none exist.

          You YELL that we don't need more rules and regulations, but the majority of domains registered today are squatted hoping to make money on advertising from inadvertent visitors or selling the domain to someone who wants to use it, actually, for real. This is a shit-situation that should be counter-acted.

          If you let your domain expire, it should go back to being available to the public. The fact that it doesn't go back into the public pool makes me sick, and more-over hurts the public while being illegit. Half of the domains I want to register have place-holder pages as they wait to ask hundreds of percent of the registration cost for the domains use. That fact indicates their is something broken with the domain name marketing system.

          The stock markets may be much more detrimental and there are probably some larger issues there, but they do occasionally convict for insider trading, and ICANN should take a tip from that and not allow domain sniping. If you know that someone is potentially interested in a domain available to the public and you go and register that name in order to get that person or entity to buy it from you, that's wrong and should be illegal. What reason do you have for saying we shouldn't have a process for resolving the illegitimacy of that action?

          As for all the squatters betting on domain names that have general appeal, it's true that this is just as illegitimate, but at least it doesn't target individual persons or entities. I'm not convinced that you should be able to hold on to a domain name (reserve it) for longer than a year without having a particular use for it. This is a less black-and-white situation though.

          It's true that we've heard horror stories from the days of supposed trademark holders taking away legit domains from legitimate domain holders - let's learn for those lessons, and from lessons of today, and create namespaces (fix the ones we've got) that have more common sense and repel more detrimental registrations...
          • Re:In a word, no (Score:5, Interesting)

            by nametaken (610866) on Sunday December 16, 2007 @02:02AM (#21714972)

            If I let one of my domains expire, it's really none of my business who or why it gets picked up afterwards. All I need to know is that I let it expire.

            If I don't like that GoDaddy picks them up after expiration... then I shouldn't use GoDaddy. If I use GoDaddy, and it gets picked up by them after I willingly let it expire, it really isn't your place to complain that you can't have it. It was never yours, and you're not entitled to it. Sorry.

            The fact that someone bought the domain you want and put ads on it may tick you off... it's happened to me... but I don't think it's illegitimate. So long as they're paying for the name and hosting, I don't get to cry foul. Similarly, if I buy a site and put a lame site up that maybe only three people in the world are interested in, tough... that's my business.

            Again, we do not need more rules and regulations.
      • by pokopoko3k (874262) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @03:08PM (#21710748)
        A friend missed renewing her domain and it was snatched up instantly by a farmer who wanted her to make an offer to reclaim it. it was definitely a unique name that would be of no use to anyone who didn't have her (very unusual) name and her line of work.

        A lawyer friend sent a letter to the new owner, basically saying the obvious: you have no use for this domain, and you need to give it back or we'll come after you.

        The company returned the domain to her instantly, with apologies for their "mistake".

        I'm sure the letter arriving on stationary from a huge, powerful international law firm didn't hurt.

        Anyway, what they are doing is obviously cybersquatting, which is illegal. And if they're trying to make a quick buck here and there, they certainly can't afford to defend themselves against thousands of lawsuits.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Buran (150348)
          What did they do that was illegal? Your friend didn't pay her renew fees, and so the domain expired. Meaning, it was free for anyone else to register.

          The new owner should have thrown the letter into the recycle bin, as your friend knew that not paying would cause her domain to be released for re-registration.

          I don't like domain squatters any more than you do, but I like "look at me, ME ME ME ME FIRST!" I'm-entitled-to-everything jerks even less.
        • by phoenixwade (997892) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @03:51PM (#21711192)

          A friend missed renewing her domain and it was snatched up instantly by a farmer who wanted her to make an offer to reclaim it. it was definitely a unique name that would be of no use to anyone who didn't have her (very unusual) name and her line of work.

          A lawyer friend sent a letter to the new owner, basically saying the obvious: you have no use for this domain, and you need to give it back or we'll come after you.

          The company returned the domain to her instantly, with apologies for their "mistake".

          I'm sure the letter arriving on stationary from a huge, powerful international law firm didn't hurt.

          Anyway, what they are doing is obviously cybersquatting, which is illegal. And if they're trying to make a quick buck here and there, they certainly can't afford to defend themselves against thousands of lawsuits.
          Either you left out an important bit of information in your anecdote, the "Cybersquatter" blinked in the game of chicken, or this is a cute story that propagates a myth.

          I can register any domain I want (and do look at the recently available lists most registrars offer to their clients) without any legal ramifications... The only time it's illegal, as I understand the rules, is when a domain is grabbed up with the intention of profiting off of someones trademark and bad faith registration can be demonstrated (I remember the Mike Rowe Soft thing from a few years back... He was fine until he offered to sell the domain to Microsoft, at that time, the extraordinary fee (Several grand for the domain I believe) was proof of bad faith...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2007 @11:51AM (#21709124)
    ...kill them, wait two years and reclaim what is yours.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Since they're probably in the Cayman Islands, you can have a nice holiday while you're at it.
    • by IBBoard (1128019)
      And then either:

      a) Repeat the above after it expires and some other automated domain farm snaps it up

      or

      b) spend the next 25-to-life* being careful about not dropping the soap

      I guess killing the domain squatter may have its momentary element of fun, though.

      * Apologies for the Americanism
  • No.

    Unless your are big with lots of money and lawyers, it is not going to happen. You will have to buy the domain back from them, that is how domain farmers stay in business.

    Ever hear of auto renew? Standard option on any halfway decent domain registrar.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      His provider went bust and he was probably buying the domain through his provider. Sorry, auto-renew wouldn't have saved him.
  • I'm no lawyer, and I don't know the details, but I seem to remember reading that these creeps have to make some use of the name, they can't just scoop it up and squat on it forever. I'm sure somebody here can give you chapter and verse on this.
    • by Spazmania (174582)
      That's trademarks. You have to use trademarks to keep them. A domain name you can squat on forever, or at least as long as you're willing to keep renewing it.
      • by hyades1 (1149581)
        That sucks. Can we just take a couple of these leeches out an stake 'em to an anthill or something?
      • by Thuktun (221615)
        And even if that weren't the case, they would surely try to argue that the "search" pages typically hosted at a squatted domain meant they were using the domain.
  • Trademarks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I can't give you any real advice, and IANAL, but do keep in mind that trademarks do not have to be registered in order to be valid - rather, they become trademarks when you use them, even if you don't register them.
    • by Spazmania (174582)
      You're thinking copyrights. Copyright vests as soon as you create the work.

      For a trademark to be valid, you have to declare that its a trademark. You generally do this by placing the letters "TM" after the mark or R in a circle if you've registered the mark. If you just use the name and don't include that notification then it's not a trademark and you have no protection under trademark law.
  • Keep Offering (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stevesh6 (1018130) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @11:55AM (#21709170)
    They may not take the 100.00 offer right away. They'll probably come back with a ridiculous counter offer. Keep offering the 100, and they'll eventually take it.
    • by iknownuttin (1099999) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:12PM (#21709330)
      They'll probably come back with a ridiculous counter offer. Keep offering the 100, and they'll eventually take it.

      I would say start lowering it. They come back with $5,000: come back with $50.

      Those people are out for easy money. Easy money should be peanuts or less.

      Be prepared to walk so that they'll lose and they'll lose because the domain name is only good to the person who's responsible for this article. Meaning, after they're registration time is up, they'll abandon it themselves. Paying them is to only get it back sooner.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Spazmania (174582)
        Believe it or not, those people are human beings too. They can be insulted and almost anyone can afford to walk away from $100 because the person offering insulted them.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Believe it or not, those people are human beings too.

          That is unlikely. The kind of creature who does this, knowing that they will at best be taking advantage of another party's reputation and at worst actively damaging them to make a profit, is probably a lower life form. Even if their actions are technically legal and, at least for now, permitted by the domain registration authorities, those actions are still unethical at best. In other contexts, analogous behaviour would be bordering on criminal.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Spazmania (174582)
            Nevertheless, you'll find that they respond to insult the same as any real human being. If you want to convince one of them to take a particular action, tossing an insult his way is not an effective strategy.
        • Believe it or not, those people are human beings too.

          No they're not. The biggest question when dealing with them should be whether the assault charges are leveled by the police department or PETA.

  • Sue (Score:5, Funny)

    by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @11:56AM (#21709184) Homepage
    Sue, sue everybody. Sue the now defunct company that lost your domain. Sue the company that bought your domain. Sue the owners of said companies directly. Sue their parents, their wives, and their children. Sue their pets. Sue everybody!
    • In this course of action you're bound to find somebody that's wronged you. Dumped by a girl in high school, thats a cool million for pain and suffering. The basketball coach laughed at you for trying out, another cool million for discrimination against your geek heritage. Your parents kick you out of their basement... that's a tricky one... ah! Sue your mother for medical malpractice all those times she gave you chicken soup instead of taking you to a real doctor. By this time, you're so mega rich that you'
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by whoever57 (658626)

        In this course of action you're bound to find somebody that's wronged you. Dumped by a girl in high school,
        This is a /. reader we are discussing. In order to be dumped by a girl in high school, he would have had to have had a girlfriend in high school. As a /. reader, this is implausible.
    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      Sue, sue everybody. Sue the now defunct company that lost your domain. Sue the company that bought your domain. Sue the owners of said companies directly. Sue their parents, their wives, and their children. Sue their pets. Sue everybody!
      Is this what happens when Keyser Söze goes down the legal route?
  • IANAL but surely if you had registered the domain then it was, at least until time for renewal, yours? So even if the hosting company went bust you should have been able to move it to a different hosting company.
  • by Nomen Publicus (1150725) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:02PM (#21709232)
    It's too late for the person in the article, but if your domain name is important and doesn't infringe any existing trade marks, trade mark it immediately.

    The domain now has no value to another as they cannot use or sell it without violating the trademark. You also have a much stronger position in the various appeal processes.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)
      Trade marks are regional. Domains are not. Internet knows no boundaries; even if you register your tradermark in, say, the USA (this being Slashdot), it may not be valid in Hong Kong (where I happen to live). Or in Japan. Or any European country. So it may be a good idea in the first placve, it's not necessarily going to get your domain back cheaper or so.
    • On the other hand, you're obligated to vigorously protect against any misuse of your trademark or else it's quite easy to lose it, in which case it does you no good. One should consider beforehand whether the domain will be worth the added legal expense. IANAL, not legal advice, etc.
    • by pongo000 (97357)
      It's too late for the person in the article, but if your domain name is important and doesn't infringe any existing trade marks, trade mark it immediately.

      Doesn't quite work this way, as the article submitter indicated that the domain name is meaningful only to the submitter. Might I suggest a more authoritative source, such as this link [uspto.gov], instead of depending upon Slashdot for legal advice?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      First, never let a web host be all the contacts in a domain registration. It's hard to prove you're the registrant, admin, or billing contact when you're not the registrant, admin, or billing contact. Register the domain yourself, and configure the DNS to point to your web host's servers. If they don't like that, then move on, as many other big boys are okay with this.

      Registering your trademark or servicemark (for services) with the USPTO helps, as long as someone else doesn't already have the domain in

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pharmboy (216950)
      Have you ever trademarked a name? Several thousand dollars (our last was $8000, legal fees and all), and it takes a while. Not smart for the average joe. And as for the appeals process, the average trademark infringing case will cost you $100k or more in legal fees alone, which is why most people avoid them.

      Sorry, but your advice is not good advice for the masses.
  • IANAL, and I have no idea what the domain rules are with .com, what arbitration and so on you have to jump through first, but if it gets to court then it will help to go get a trademark, even if your business looks even close to real then it will look better than a farmed domain.
  • So what I think you are saying is your registrar/hosting went bust and some other one picked up your registration (before it expired) and now claims it as wholly their own.

    Is that what you are saying?
  • I may be wrong but I think as long as the domain is kept current the registrar is owns the domain and nobody could take it, even if the host goes bust.

    Falcon
  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:17PM (#21709366)
    Disclaimer: I don't currently own any domains.

    Things like this are why all the domains I've bought in the past have been bought directly from a Registrar.

    Hosts going out of business is not the only danger with domains. There's also the practice of hosts keeping the domain if you ever choose to switch hosts.

    As for registrars, the only advice I can give is to avoid GoDaddy [slashdot.org], as they cave to big corporate interests.
  • by J. T. MacLeod (111094) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:22PM (#21709412)
    Domain farming causes me no small amount of anger in principle, but it recently bit me, as well. Due to problems with my registrar (joker.com--which after years of service without complaint I now would recommend NO ONE use), a domain I managed for some one else was snagged by a domain farmer.

    This was upsetting enough by itself, but what really caused me to become enraged is that the same company that bought it and sold it back to me [i]IS A LICENSED REGISTRAR[/i]. Granted, they do it under a couple of different names, but it's quite clearly all the same operation, or at least willing co-operation. The fact that this sort of thing is allowed to go on shows that either ICANN allows it or is completely inept in regulating it. The only question is whether they are incompetent or swayed by money at some point in the process.
  • by Hexedian (626557)
    The real solution involves finding the domain farmer's home address. The real solution also involves burly men and baseball bats.
    • by couchslug (175151)
      "The real solution also involves burly men and baseball bats."

      My first reactions to that are "yuck" and "ouch".

  • by dpm67 (258482) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:23PM (#21709424)
    I have a fair amount of experience with such situations, mostly from helping various clients, and in my experience it largely depends on how it happened. Did you simply allow the domain to expire and then someone else snatched it up? If so, you are pretty much just plain out of luck. If it is not a pre-existing trademark of yours, then you really have no basis for trying to reclaim it under ICANN dispute resolution policies. If the new registrant somehow took control of it under false pretense - like submitted falsified statements and/or documentation to dispute the domain, then you most certainly have grounds to file your own dispute. If that's the case, then you should initiate a dispute via the registrar you normally use for your domain registrations. If it doesn't really fall into those extremes, then an ICANN dispute is probably not going to lead anywhere and your only option would be some kind of legal action, but that is not likely to have any different kind of outcome either.
  • by thatseattleguy (897282) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:25PM (#21709444) Homepage
    I have some experience here. My strong advice for now:

    Wait. Don't contact them. Don't make any waves.

    Often - very often - a domain farmer picks up the domain for just a week or so (no matter how long the WHOIS says it's really registered for) - and waits to see if the pay-per-click ads generate enough revenue to make it worth keeping. So often the best thing you can do is...nothing. Don't visit the site (generates traffic), don't contact them (tells them they have a chance of milking you for $), don't do anything - just sit and wait. Often the name will get dropped and another farmer will pick it up immediately - but if you're patient and check back in with the WHOIS, you should eventually see it free again for long enough to grab it.

    This may sound ridiculous, but it's how the domain name economy is currently working, courtesy of weak ICAAN rules. Make it work in your favor - you want that one name, but they want 100,000 that generate enough revenue to make up the low ($3.50/year? can't remember) ICAAN fees necessary to hold on to it. (They know WIPO arbitration is going to cost you $1500+legal fees, so in that route the numbers are on their side.)

    This has worked with the .com versions of two different domain names held by non-profit clients of mine just this year. Good luck.

    /thatseattleguy/

    • If any post on this topic deserves a +5 Insightful, this is the one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bert64 (520050)
      It might be fun to show fake interest in worthless domain names...
      If you can make these squatters think your interested in some pointless domain, they're more likely to hold on to it for longer and try to sell it back to you for an extortionate rate.
      So we find some worthless domains, offer well below what they want, and when their counter offer comes in just say you'l wait for it to expire... Get them to renew the worthless domains for a few more years.
    • by fermion (181285)
      This also happened to me. I wanted to me when I wanted to transfer a domain. I tired to so do, and was not able to get a release through the web interface. No problem, i thought, i will just wait for it to almost expire. That led me to learn that I could not transfer a domain within 30 days of it expiring.

      When it expired, it was immediately converted to a ad/spam/link farm type of page. After several weeks it was released and I was able to get it back.

      I am not sure how businesses deal with this. O

    • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @01:25PM (#21709852) Journal

      Wait. Don't contact them. Don't make any waves.

      Often - very often - a domain farmer picks up the domain for just a week or so (no matter how long the WHOIS says it's really registered for) - and waits to see if the pay-per-click ads generate enough revenue to make it worth keeping. So often the best thing you can do is...nothing.
      This is excellent advice -- I would add one more comment -- don't even visit the web page.

      I was able to pick up a domain that I wanted this way recently. I knew that the domain would not be renewed (defunct company) so I put an order into goDaddy's domain backordering service. Someone else snagged the domain, but after a week, it was available again and I got it.

      This works because of a huge hole in the registering process -- the registrars have 1 week to pay the fee or give up the domain. Thus a registrar can "test-drive" a domain for a week. If ICANN got rid of this ability to return the domain without payment it would go a long way towards removing registration abuses.
    • by Bartab (233395)
      I had a domain name that has no universal meaning, and had no website or usage attached (I didn't even get mail at it). DNS did nothing but point it at my static-IP address, which was "Hi! Welcome to Debian Apache!"

      I let it lapse, and within 48 hours it was picked up by a farmer company, and still is to this day, four years later.

      I like their webpage. "This domain name has just been registered for one of our customers. If you're interested in purchasing this domain name please contact..."
  • Please Clarify (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chill (34294) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:28PM (#21709464) Journal
    Names are registered with Registrars. Hosting is done at ISPs. Are you saying your now-defunct ISP where the site was hosted was also a Registrar?

    If that was the case, when your site was registered was it in your name or the ISP's name? Who was Technical contact, you or the ISP?

    If it was in the ISPs name and they went defunct and were bought, then you're screwed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772)

      That would depend on the agreement between customer and ISP. I.E. Whether the agreement b/w ISP and customer states that the domain belongs to the ISP or the customer.

      Or whether the ISP is merely acting as an agent or bailee of the customer in registering and managing the domain on their behalf.

      I guess if the ISP has already been liquidated; the time for the customer to file any necessary legal paperwork to claim THEIR property in possession by the company being liquidated has probably come and

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:44PM (#21709572)
    If the domain was owned by you, and you haven't signed any forms to transfer it, then you should ask your registar to please show you the document signed by you that approves of the transfer.

    If they can't show it, then threaten to sue and then sue.

    Registars need a signed transfer document from the owner to transfer domains. However if the domain was never on your name anyway then your shit out of luck.

    A few months back this even got stricter because domain squaters where sending out transfer forms to companies with a bullshit letter that they should sign it. (it still amazes me that that actually worked) So now a days you can also lock your domain name, which means that before the domain can get transfered even more hoops have to be jumped. And i believe depending on where you are, theres a quarantine time, before the name can be released again.
  • by NetSettler (460623) <kent-slashdot@nhplace.com> on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:44PM (#21709584) Homepage Journal

    I had a .com domain name relevant only to me, no legal trademark, registered and hosted at a provider that went bust. When attempting to re-host the domain I discovered, ...

    This account seems somehow wrong. Did you leave out some material information from the story?

    Did this happen to you on a yearly boundary? If not, and if you had a registration on the domain that was good for a year, why couldn't you just go to another domain provider and identify yourself for a transfer? Was the account in good standing? Am I confused, or is this information not a matter of public record that extends beyond the end of your term of registration? Is the registrar at which you bought it the only source of record for such information? That would sound terribly dangerous as a single-point-of-failure for the web in the case of any kind of disaster, much less bankruptcy.

    Additionally, did you get no notice? Did you just come in one day and find that your domain no longer responded and that all domains at that registrar were up for grabs? If so, that again seems very weird. I thought a bankruptcy required some court intervention at least for the purpose of asset divvying, and the notion that the registered domains were not an asset that required deliberative action seems odd to me. Possible, certainly--I'm not a lawyer and don't know the process. But odd nevertheless.

    Did you act at the moment of the bankruptcy--or did you wait? That is, was your problem the result of the bankruptcy or your failure to act quickly? I realize these issues are probably sad and embarrassing, and I'm not meaning to rub salt in a wound. But Slashdot articles inform people about how the world works, and in exchange for the attention and good advice you offer, I think it's good to offer a complete accounting of the story.

    Are you sure you're not leaving out some information? Perhaps the left-out information is not relevant to the question you were asking, but implicit in the question you were asking is alerting people to something that might happen to them. And I'd like to understand better the process by which this could happen to someone else so that we all, as a community, might understand if there's a process issue that needs fixing to assure proactively, rather than reactively, that this shouldn't happen in the future.

    Sorry about your problem, btw. Losing a domain happened to a friend of mine by the more usual means of just failing to pay for it for a while. Someone scooped it up and they were left paying a couple hundred dollars to get it back. I agree that's a nuisance, but it does argue for keeping payments up to date on things you care about.

  • One problem that many people run into is finding a 'non-parked' domain to register...

  • I'd say, follow their story and see what they do... http://4chanstatus.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
  • Types of registrars (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @01:39PM (#21709942) Homepage
    Domain registrars come in several types:
    • ISPs who register domains in their name on your behalf. Many "free domain with hosting" deals are like this. This is strictly for throwaway domains, not for anything serious.
    • Resellers of domain registration. These are "affiliates" of actual registrars. Don't use them.
    • Accredited ICANN registrars who are primarily domain speculators. There are hundreds of these, most of them false fronts. "enom1.com", "enom2.com", ... "enom471.com" are examples.
    • Real registrars, consumer grade Go Daddy is at this level. Low rates, bad service, policies that give the registrar discretionary authority to delete the domain.
    • Real registrars, commercial grade A bit more upscale. Network Solutions is at this level. They're good enough for "ibm.com".
    • Real registrars, national brand grade MarkMonitor is in this business. They register domains like "google.com" and "ford.com". If anything goes wrong with your domain, alarms go off, and technicians and lawyers descend on the problem. If you have to ask, you can't afford it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pongo000 (97357)
      What a silly, inaccurate post. Despite what the parent is inferring, no ICANN-accredited registrar can simply steal a domain name you rightfully own and appropriate it for themselves or someone else. A "throwaway domain"? What, exactly, is that? A domain I register might be very dear to me, and I certainly wouldn't consider it a "throwaway domain." Properly registered and locked against transfer, it doesn't really matter what registrar you use.

      Sure, there are differing levels of customer service, but o
  • I totally sympathize with Lost_my_regs' dilemma because I've had the same thing happen to me. I'm still fighting!

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Apple X. Ibm
  • Something I didn't see mentioned, but some seem to be wondering about, is how his hosting and registrar were the same. They probably weren't the same, but he might have chosen a host that offers to register the domain name for you at a bargain rate. If you read the fine print, the domain name is tied to their service or even owned by them and leased to you as part of the package. To keep it, you have to keep hosting with them.

    What I described above is always a bad idea. Register your domain through a st

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