Does this pass the ETHICAL test?

by Raydal
8 replies
I lost my domain name for my copywriting website registered since
2009. (Either my fault or Godaddy's, not sure.)


Now I see that someone else has snatched up the domain name and
is using my REAL domain name on their site and s far as I am concerned
is pretending that I still own that domain name.


What are your thoughts? Winner take all?
#ethical #pass
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    What do you mean they're using your real domain name?


    If I buy HowToWipeYourNose.com and there is no company registered with How to Wipe Your Nose, I'd call my website How to Wipe Your Nose.


    How are they pretending that you still own the domain? They're using your content? If so, they're stealing from you, report them to Google.


    If they just use your domain name and url and your domain name you did not registered / trademarked your domain name, they're not doing anything wrong.


    They do not know that your domain became available due to an error not intentionally.


    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    I lost my domain name for my copywriting website registered since
    2009. (Either my fault or Godaddy's, not sure.)


    Now I see that someone else has snatched up the domain name and
    is using my REAL domain name on their site and s far as I am concerned
    is pretending that I still own that domain name.


    What are your thoughts? Winner take all?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11696449].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author art72
    I remember something completely different with Kim Roach having her entire website, blog, and business hijacked by hackers years ago, whereas, they were collecting money from her customers, running her site as if to be her... and she was fighting to get it back last I remember - that I would constitute as highly UNETHICAL and ILLEGAL.

    But if you missed the window to buy back your domain for $80 from GoDaddy while 'in holding' (*which I think is UNETHICAL) and you lost the domain/URL - there's not a whole lot I am aware of that you can do, other than maybe try to buy it back from the new owner(?)

    I hope you can finesse ownership back into your courts, but I learned the hard way and let go of over 200 (*undeveloped) domains when I first entered these arenas, I wanted to cry... but, it was stupid for me to have put the domains before the skill sets to develop that many sites! That was the initial intention until I realized how much I didn't know back then! - I have 12 domains, 11 are sitting in wait, one is in process of being developed - so it sucks if you had a working site with time, energy, and money invested - hopefully you made more than you spent!
    Signature
    Atop a tree with Buddha ain't a bad place to take rest!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11696500].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
    Administrator
    If you lost the domain, I think you can buy it back. You might need to provide proof of ownership.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11696515].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    My explanation may have been sketchy so an example should help.


    Let's say that the domain I lost was Marswriting(dot)com. The new owner
    is using it as a copywriting website and using my name (Ray Edwards) on
    the site. The tricky thing is that there is another "Ray Edwards" who is also
    a copywriter and that is the person they are promoting.


    My domain name is like Mars-writing(dot)com and in their graphics
    and promotion on their site they are using "Mars-writing" instead of
    "Marswriting".


    As far as I see anyone going that site would believe that it is still
    run by me because I owned it for so long and my name and current
    domain name (in text and graphics) is still being used on that page.
    Signature
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11696528].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I don't think you can get an answer here - I've heard of several long term, excellent marketers who failed to renew domains and lost them. You have a period where you can pay more to get it back but once someone else has registered it, buying it back may be the only option .

    BUT, if any graphics, etc you used are being used by a new owner you may have a copyright issue. This is why people register their business name as a trademark but doesn't seem to be the case here. If you published custom graphics, etc, they may be considered copyrighted by you.

    I think it would be worth while to talk to an attorney (perhaps one that specializes in internet stuff) so you know if there is anything you can do to stop this from harming your business....or if you have to drop it and move on. I think it would be worth the money...if only so you know you've done what you could to change the outcome.
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog
    ***
    It actually doesn't take much to be considered a 'difficult woman' -
    that's why there are so many of us.
    ...jane goodall
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11696589].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    I lost my domain name for my copywriting website registered since
    2009. (Either my fault or Godaddy's, not sure.)


    Now I see that someone else has snatched up the domain name and
    is using my REAL domain name on their site and s far as I am concerned
    is pretending that I still own that domain name.


    What are your thoughts? Winner take all?
    My thoughts, Raydal...

    It sucks when this happens (I know that's not a very deep or profound thought) but I'm not sure how much you can do about it now.

    To answer your headline question...
    Does this pass the ETHICAL test?

    Ethical is a subjective term.

    I've never found godaddy to be an ethical business in the first place. I've seen and heard way too many complaints about them screwing people over, and shrugging it off.

    As for this other guy who now owns the domain? Sounds like he took advantage of a situation that was presented to him.

    From your point of view it's unethical.

    From his point of view maybe not.

    From my point of view, I don't know all the facts of the case so I can't ethically pass judgment on it one way or the other. But since I don't know this other guy, and I now know you (at least from this forum) I'm on your side...


    In a semi-related story... I lost a domain name about 10 years ago when the registrar allowed it to expire then sold it out from under me because somebody offered them a few hundred dollars for it.

    Talk about unethical.

    For years it was always set to "auto-renew" but they got an offer for it, let it expire, and sold it to someone else. I only found out who the new owner was when they offered to sell it back to me for $1800

    Of course it was my own fault for blindly trusting the domain company, and falling asleep at the wheel. But I still find an undeniable comfort in blaming them for being scumbags.

    My lawyer told me I could sue the registrar and probably win but it would have cost me more to fight it than I would have ever gotten from the lawsuit.

    So I did the next best thing...

    I complained about the company on the internet until I got bored. (I guess I showed them who's boss, right?)


    In your case... If this other guy is pretending to be you, then there might be some fraud / identity theft charges that can be brought to the table.

    For a small amount of money you can have a lawyer send him a cease and desist letter, and you can file a DMCA complaint and try to get the site delisted from search engines.

    If it's genuine fraud you can contact the FBI fraud dept. and file a complaint. You might not get anything out of it, but even a simple investigation by the feds can give this other guy a nice case of heartburn for his troubles.

    Other than that you can try to sue everybody involved, but it might cost you more to sue than any amount you'll win in court. So you'll have to balance that one out on your own scale.


    But win, lose or draw, Raydal... I'm on your side. In no small part because I know what it feels like to lose a domain that you've worked so hard to build up.

    For me it was anger and frustration, followed by fantasies of medieval style revenge taken out on the offending parties.

    But I eventually resigned to reality and moved on because, as the saying goes, holding on to resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

    Whatever you decide to do Raydal, I hope it works out for you...
    Signature

    Grow Your Copywriting Skills & Network with Other Copywriting Professionals - Join us at the Copywriters Forum

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11696883].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Sad though it is...

    my advice is if you lost your domain name you weren't using it that much anyway.

    Now, if they're using your material or your name without your permission you do a DMCA.

    My guess is...since you probably weren't using the domain, they won't have much success either.

    A DMCA is your best option
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11697458].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
    Hi Raydal,

    I've been out of commission for quite a while, and am just starting to come back.
    But as far as your domain name issue is concerned:

    To the best of my memory, while you and the "other" Ray Edwards are both copywriters,
    your approach to your business and what you market to whom is quite different, so I can't
    quite see how the other Ray would want to pretend to be you (or vice versa)!

    If he were to actually do that, you would have an identity theft case you could file... Of
    course what others have said above still applies: The cost of the lawyer would probably
    be more than what you would get. Unless you happen to have identity theft protection. If
    you do have that (the right kind), you could have them work it out.

    For what it's worth, I had let quite a few domain names go (some I had used as redirects
    for affiliate products) and a lot of them were bought by some kind of Japanese
    pornography site. I was horrified when discovered that, and had to do quite a bit of going
    back to old stuff to change the links etc.
    Signature

    FREE Report: 5 Ways To Grow Your Affiliate Income

    Let Me Help You Sell: Sales Letters, Email Series, Pre-Sell Reports... PM me & we'll talk!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11700284].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics