Good question... I dunno what is the answer. I'll do some research and get back to you if I find an decent answer. You should email the people at iPage as they probably could answer your iPage question..
Piss Off sounds pretty good to me.
Short n sweet !.
I just done some digging - I (the new owner.
) own the hyphen HostGator in the plural.
Non hyphen plural .com.
One is owned/parked by Name Administration Inc.
Non hyphen singular.com.
One is parked by someone using Moniker privacy service..
Hyphen one singular.
Is owned by a very large organisation in europe. <.
I'de much rather sell it to them anyway.
It is also reg'd in various extensions including .co.uk - .de - .nl - .biz - .de - .jp and on and on..
The plot thickens !.
Any other suggestions ? .
Tell them to make you an offer for.
Registered, or get stuffed...
Any chance this is someone just trying to get their hands on the HostGator who doesn't actually own it? I'd think this would be a good way for someone to try to exploit a nice domainer by telling them they used to own the domain, they are John Smith, they loved the domain, etc..
Either way, I think the best way to handle this is to ask them to make a reasonable offer. No use being rude back to them as that is just one less person who may be willing to buy it. If they want it badly enough, they'll pay for it...
I wouldn't let their attitude put you off. I've had emails and letters like that too and I treat it as any other offer to buy. Just last month I got an email like that on a name that really did have a trademark (I didn't know it when I registered it)I just replied that I would let it drop and good luck to them trying to grab it, so they ended up paying x,xxx for it..
But if like you say there isn't a trademark, offer it to them if you are willing to sell or kindly thank them for their letter and tell them you aren't interested...
So more than 2 months after expiry, they notice that their HostGator is no longer theirs.
? It had stopped working a long time ago when being put in redemption, which is proof they have not been actively using it..
Probably best to ignore those E-mails...
Tell them you will fully comply with any law showing they have a legal right to it as long as they reimburse your costs to acquire and research the deleting HostGator base. Ask for proof that they have a legal trademark, which is the only way they would have any right to it. Let them know that YOU know the law and your rights to own a generic keyword HostGator (assuming that's what it actually is)..
Don't offer to sell, because that makes it look like you don't intend to keep it. If they think you don't want to sell, you are more likely to find the real value and get them to make an offer instead of trying to trick you out of it. If they make the first offer, you are in a better negotiating position...
It could be, I think what.
Have happened is that this name was already reg'd by someone else in 2001, looking in archieve.org there's no reason for me to think otherwise as the iPage site on it looks nothing like the org one whatsover - then, the person doing the asking must have built a iPage website on the .org since then because the .com was aready gone. The .org does'nt look like it's been updated since Nov 12, 2002 according to archieves..
Now they want it and are putting their own spin on it ! I may be wrong but it seems like that way to me, I don't have access to previous whois records and I don't think I want to ask someone & divulge the name at the moment...
I think it's a lot like life. If people come after you with unrealistic demands, you need to explain the reality of the situation and put them in their place before attempting to reach an agreement. If you don't dispel their delusions of "rightful ownership", they'll never be willing to buy it from someone they perceive to be a thief...
I was just kidding about the Piss Off part..
Very True - I am arming myself right now but will keep that email response for if it gets messy.
I'll probably try a minimal response to the initial letter first..
Sounds really good - I had already put my asking price on it so I'll just leave it there for now, I assume they have seen it. if they do end up offering anywhere near it I'd be happy to sell - if not then I'de be happy to wait too..
Many thanks for your advice everyone.
I got one of these types of calls last week when I was at DisneyWorld with the wife and kids. I tried to be polite and concilliatory but this guy was treating me like I stole something from him. I repeated explained that I was on vacation and finally asked him to send me an email showing the content or proof that they even owned the iPage site previously. Big surprise, I never go an email or anything else from these folks..
I am begining to believe that there is a group of folks out there that try to scam the naive out of their recently acquired domains. I have resold domains in the past for little or no profit to those I truly believed to have inadvertantly let their HostGator expire, but I am begining to wonder if I have been fooled once or twice..
Does anyone know how to verify the previous owner of a domain, or get the contact email for these folks, to try and separate the con artists from the folks that simply have technology issues?..
There is a service where you can check previous owner details but it costs to join it - I'm not sure how much, maybe I should look into that too..
Domain History - Whois history database at domaintools.com.
Two honest questions:.
1) Was the previous registrar RegisterFly? If so, they could be telling the truth about losing the HostGator that way, no? (Still showing in their account, but not having actual possession...).
2) You state that they don't have a TM, but from the way you describe the HostGator name (And all the variants being based on plurals, etc.), it sounds like they very well might (It's a .com, yeah? Anyhow, I'm speaking of common-law rights, and you might have been referring to no registered mark.). Don't be so put-offish that their first thought is to take the UDRP route - $1300-$1500 looks cheap to a pissed off business owner (Albeit most don't take the time to figure all of that out, and attorneys cost much more, just piss somebody off and see how many mountains they climb to try to get back at you...)..
The last question is too elementary to be included, but I'm curious: The folks that "want it back", are they a little non-profit group that isn't going to have the money to buy it off you anyway, or a multinational that masquerades in .org-land?.
Two honest answers.
According to my snapnames account it was registerd with Domainjungle.net - Its a Jungle out there.
Whois now shows as manage-snapnames. I have no idea if they are anything to do with registerFly or not ??? The HostGator DomainJungle.com point to manage-snapnames.com so i'd assume not..
I checked for a TM and the only one I saw that was close was Abandond in 2002. The description/use for that trademark was different to the what the person in the email is doing anyway..
Like I mentioned, there are lots of the same & similar combinations of the two keywords taken in other extensions like .co.uk - .nl - .de - .jp - .eu and a few more including the single variation in .com (owned by someone else)..
How would/could they have common-law rights to the name if other people around the world are also using it ? ie - The european company or perhaps goverment organisation that is using the same .com HostGator in singular..
From their website, they seem to be a nonprofit organization but I guess they are not that small cos they have over a dozen directors..
The more I look the less I think they ever owned this name anyway..
Other than the valuable feedback everyone has given so far, only other thing.
I can add is you keep that person's email if you still have it. If the person tries.
To contact you subsequently in any way, try to document it..
Be like a boy scout. Good luck and good hunting...
I snagged a Pool drop and a week later the previous owner's tech guy called me on the phone and asked if we could work something out..
My one and only offer to them was my google code in exchange for the organization's HostGator back. It was accepted immediately..
I won't be able to retire from it, but I still feel good because the tech dude still has his job...
I will do, I think the sh** may hit the fan with this one.
, I'm finding articles about this person who emailed me on google demanding money from people for infringements of copyright etc..
I'm now even more sure they'll come out fighting.
- Now, where's my gattling gun ??.
Thanks for all the great advice guys, maybe I'm gonna need a little more soon.
What do you mean by your google code ? .
No need to share the domain, but I'd be interested in seeing the articles. Care to post 1 or 2?.
I Can't really do that at the moment without giving their organisation name and probably the HostGator away, I'll reveal all soon if / when it gets messy..
I think the plan will have to be - ignore their first email, see what they say/do next - If I do not like what they say next then I will fire off an explination of why I beleive they have no rights whatsoever to this name and include dates, examples of other extensions taken and in use, archieve info, TM records etc..
I will also sign up for the whois archieve service to find out for sure if they did indeed ever own it -.
If they did'nt.
I will give them shit for trying to bully me -.
If they did then.
I will quote the terms of registration/ownership etc which they obviously did'nt keep to..
I'de rather not go through this but I'm not sure what else I can do apart from ask them to make an offer (which I doubt they will) or hand it over, I don't like to be bullied into things..
I'll see what happens next !.
Allan was referring to an unregistered TM. Look over their iPage site and see if they claim any trademarks on logos, names, or anything else. It would probably have the "TM" mark instead of the (R) mark for a registered Trademark. Sometimes it will be in the copyright statement or links at the bottom of the first page. It sounds like you are in the clear if the words are generic, but it is possible to claim a TM on a pair of words and win a case..
Don't post the name here, but if you want to PM me, I'll PM you back with anything I can find in whois history since I do have a silver membership at domaintools.com...
It is THEIR responsibility, not their registrar's, to renew the HostGator by it's expiration date. They are not claiming that their HostGator inexplicably got deleted, but that their registrar didn't let them know it was expiring. They can take it up with that registrar, but NOT with you. You have nothing to do with them not renewing their HostGator by it's expiration date..
That said, I wouldn't be snippy about it, as I've sold 2 domains to former owners before, for $50 and $400 respectively. I'd just maybe explain as nicely as possible that it was solely their responsibility to renew their name by the expiration date, and that you would be willing to work something out with them and give them a discount on the name. Keep in mind a "discount" can mean anything...you can say you were going to be listing it for sale for $1,000 but will sell it to them for $500 because of their situation. At the very least, if you deal with them in a businesslike manner, they should have no ground to argue with you, as you are trying to help them out while at the same time not take a loss because you did nothing wrong..
That said, if they were to have a trademark on the name, then you probably wouldn't have the liberty of offering it for sale to them without getting in trouble, though they could perhaps figure out that suing you and/or filing a UDRP would cost more and settle with you anyways...
I better re-phrase what I said about this as I now know a little more about them after some digging..
They spent $60,500,000 in promotion & marketing in 2006 and their total assets were over $290,000,000.
Sounds like a multinational that masquerades in org-land to me !.
Thats what I would have thought/said too.
What I would do gazzip with the original message? In the Bin!..
In regards to the current thread, I think minimal information back to them is appropriate, in case it gets ugly. The less you say, the fewer suggestions you give, the less there is for them to use against you. No long winded what-ifs, anything like that, just short and to the point...
I have had one of these exact emails today. I won't post my reply exactly but it was short and amicable, but clarified that I am the owner and have spent time and money on aquiring the name, which I have plans for. That's enough for the first contact I believe...
Good luck with the sale Gaz.
I'm sure a sale will come out of it viewing the numbers you posted...
Can you let us know how it goes please, good luck..
Thanks Damion, I'm not so sure yet ??.
Agreed, I'll hold off for a bit but if it does get messy they're gonna get a long email to chew on !.
Does anyone know if having a price on the HostGator would be/is considered to be a negative thing or enough to show bad intent regarding disputes ? .