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Need advice on a co.uk domain that has been stolen.

Labeled as question in Legal Discussion, started by RENATA BARNES, Sep 30, 2020

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  1. RENATA BARNES

    RENATA BARNES Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    I have a client that has changed website designers and asked his previous web designers for his branded domain name to be transferred to me. The previous website designers have said they sent him messages to renew his domain and that they did not get a reply and as a consequence the electrical keyword domain name is no longer with them and is pointing to a clothing website owned by someone else and have given my client options to register similar domain names. By coincidence the domain name is registered to someon in India which is the same location of the previous web designers. (Who in India would want a .co.uk domain name unless they were specifically targeting the UK, just saying).

    I have sent a cease and desist letter to the website designers and will be asking for proof of the emails that were sent including email source codes.

    My client is established and has a carbon foot print of his domain name which now points to a clothing site which will ruin his business.

    I need advice what I should do to help my client and what the next plan of action I should take or my client should take?

    Thanking you in advance for your comments.
     
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  2. SpotOnDomain

    SpotOnDomain Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    Hi Renata,

    For a dispute like this you will need to contact Nominet who are the official registry for .co.uk domains.

    If you contact them by phone, they will guide you on the process.

    I will send a DM to you also.

    D
     
  3. BrandPlease

    BrandPlease BrandPlease.com VIP Gold Account

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    Are you able to identify the business using the name, phone, email, anything of the current end user? It may make sense (I'm not a lawyer, so dont really know) to notify the end user - maybe they are unaware?

    just curious as to the timeline of events - regs send lots of updates and renewal reminders. Did the contract with the prior agency have domain ownership defined in it? Is there any contractual language that may help you client?

    Did the client ever have actual ownership of the domain name?
     
  4. Lord Antares

    Lord Antares Top Contributor VIP

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    So wait, his domain expired and someone picked it up?

    Nothing you can do. It's not his domain anymore. Happens all the time.

    He won't get it back unless he has a trademark for the name.
     
  5. bulkdomainz

    bulkdomainz Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I am not sure someone located in India is allowed to hold a uk domain. The rules may have changed as regards eligibility, so check.
     
  6. premkumar

    premkumar Top Contributor VIP

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    You have to first cross check the facts
    1. First check the whois and see when the domain registered
    The guy said domain expired and registered by someone, in that case the whois should show you new creation date.
    Else if the domain show old date, then the guy is lying

    Don't contact nominet without first gathering full detail about the domain:
    1. Like if the domain is in your client name or in the webdesign company name

    Best thing, cross check fact and talk to the web design guy with fact and ask him to transfer the domain to the client name. Try to solve issue with web designer itself or bug him daily. I don't see any other way esp which is economical.

    As far as, Who in India would want a .co.uk ? Anyone can register and own co.uk domain for any reason like they may have studied in uk or have business interest in uk, or that domain have seo value or he is a domainer etc.


    2. Incase, the domain actually expired and someone else registered, All the best, case closed. At max you can try to buy it back from the new owner by paying a premium price.
     
  7. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  8. Digital Kush

    Digital Kush Established Member

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    Look for another one...
    Criticize.co.uk
     
  9. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    Expired and lost. Not stolen. Another misleading thread title at NamePros.

    If these guys hadn’t picked it up someone else might have.
     
  10. RENATA BARNES

    RENATA BARNES Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    To everyone it this thread as it will take too long to reply to you all.

    1) The domain has been with my client for the last 15 years he has made it into a brand and has miles of carbon footprint and backlinks.He has his domain name on all his vehicles. So simply changing the domain name for a similar one is not an option.

    2) The domain was not dropped by my client and I have found out it has simply disappeared from the website designers inventory (they claim and blaime the coronavirus lockdown for this) so yes that means it is stolen.

    3) The person who has this domain has made a clothing website and is ususing my clients Electrician Keywords in the domain name aswell as in the footer saying this website is powered by electrians.......
    This is someone clearly registering the domain in bad faith.

    4) The website designers are in India they are a big company of over 100 staff any one can have changed the dns records.

    5) I am currently gathering all the data and previous invoices etc from my clients domain registrar to prove he was the owner until the web designers asked him for the authorisation code in which unknowingly he did not realise that the domain had been transferred away from him, he thought this was what he had to do to have a website with this company so any notifications he would have had from his domain registrar he ignored, thinking it was all under control. He never gave the website owner permission to change his name for whois purposes.

    6) Someone in this thread mentioned about domain restrictions and I will look into this as well as gather all the data for nominent.

    Thank you all for your kind and useful advice, although I have to say I do not appreciate unsolicited domain name suggestions in this thread.
     
  11. Lord Antares

    Lord Antares Top Contributor VIP

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    But you said that the name expired and that the web designers asked him to renew the domain, which he didn't. How does this fit into the story?
     
  12. CraigD

    CraigD 360promo.com VIP

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    You stated in point 5 that that your client provided transfer codes and domain was transferred away.

    I think this is a civil matter, and given that it appears it was transferred to someone in India?, there is probably not much your client can do to recover it short of contacting new owner and buying it back.

    Edit:
    The website link in your signature suggests that you a domain broker.
    I would expect that if this is your profession you should really be on top of this type of thing. The information you have provided is a bit wishy washy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  13. NickB

    NickB Wales.org VIP

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    Yeah.... expired is not the same as transferring....mixed messages coming across, if it expired then it is your clients fault, they should of renewed it...if they provided a transfer code then in the eyes of any official body it looks like they gave it away voluntarily and in good faith......either way that domain is gone, never to be seen again...

    BUT

    Without seeing any of the emails or paperwork all anyone can do here is speculate....
     
  14. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  15. RENATA BARNES

    RENATA BARNES Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Thank for your help all. I am not responding to any more messages!

    I have spoken with Nominet and they have advised me how to proceed.

    FYI anyone around the world can register a .co.uk without any restrictions.

    Also the previous website owners failed to notify my client that the domain was expiring, my client did not know as he was not informed.

    The website looked live showing his electrician details until one of his clients informed him that his website was a clothing site.

    This is the end of my messages.
     
  16. bulkdomainz

    bulkdomainz Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If they gave the transfer code to the Web designers who requested under some pretext, and who later claimed the registrant ignored emails to renew, it shouldn't be difficult to get the name back.

    WHY does a web designer need to have the transfer code for a domain? No need at all for any of his work. Unless they just wanted to be able to hold owner to ransom in the future?

    Since when did UK domains start needing transfer/authorisation codes? 🤔 🤔 I must be so out of touch with UK domains ... 😂
     
  17. Ankush De

    Ankush De Established Member

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    In UK all domains are centrally managed by nominet. There is nothing like transfer code. You can visit nominet site using the registered email id or visit their customer care.

    No one can change the owner name without paying name change fee to nominet.
     

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