GoDaddy customer reviews : Recommend I go GoDaddy?? How to get a domain back

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A former employee of mine offered to run one of my neglected sites in exchange for a cut of the profits. For reasons that are irrelevant to this post, it was best that the domain be registered in his name, so I transferred it to him. Both of us agreed though that it was fully owned by me and I could take it back at any time.

After a couple of months our relationship went sour and he decided he wanted to keep the website and domain and tell me to go fly a kite. Now I want to get the domain back and I have no idea what to do.

I emailed GoDaddy and they told me to take him to court, though he's on the East Coast and I'm in California and the whole thing is worth less than $20k anyway, so I don't really see that being a viable option.

Isn't there something else that can be done? I have verifiable email and chat transcripts where the whole plan is laid out and he acknowledges it is my domain and then later where he tells me he is keeping it etc.

Thanks for any advice on this...

Comments (11)

Do you have any written agreement btw? as far as the whois is concerned the domain is owned by him..

Comment #1

Get an attorney to write a strong letter on your behalf. Usually that's enough to get them to comply...

Comment #2

I can't give legal advice, but if it was me I would get an attorney like GF said, send him a threatening letter, and be ready to start a lawsuit against him; if he has no case he is likely to concede to some agreement. In a settlement agreement, you could potentially pay him some money for lost future revenue (since he might have put some work into it), but not $20K!.

The loser in the case of litigation would have to pay the cost of litigation. If he didn't pay you (transfer you any cash or property) anything at the time of transfer, your version of the story is most likely to stick in the court of law; and since you have the transcripts, the more.

If however, you choose to buy it back from him, make sure you use an ESCROW service (just search for escrow domain names in any search engine). This untrustworthy person might just take the $20K and not give you the domain name back...

Comment #3

What did you have in writing? or was it an oral contract? What evidence would you have showing your controlling interest in the domain? can you prove about anything?.

Unfortunately, it is what you can prove vs what actually happened...

Comment #4

Thanks for all of the feedback guys,.

"What did you have in writing? or was it an oral contract? What evidence would you have showing your controlling interest in the domain? can you prove about anything?".

We never spoke about it on the phone or in person. It was all 100% negotiated via email and I have all of the emails that explicity and specifically outline that we agreed the domain was mine. In that regard I suppose you could call it an oral agreement since we don't have an actual contract, but every word of the oral agreement is transcribed via emails.

I have spoke with an attorney friend and showed him everything I have and he said it is MORE than enough to prove in a court of law that I am the rightful owner and he stole this domain from me.

Are there any other routes to getting it back than sending him a threatening letter and then suing them?..

Comment #5

You could try WIPO I think they are faster then a court?:

But it's not free:

Comment #6

Email is good Unfortunately, to enforce anything, you have to pay. UDRP may not be the correct route since this has to deal with contract law, not TMs. You would need to go to civil court. Good luck...

Comment #7

Buy a plane ticket and a baseball bat!.

* OK, don't actually do this. But it's what I'd do...

Comment #8

Haha well he lives in boston if anybody wants to earn a few bucks.

J/k I think.....

Comment #9

Send the emails to him and explain how your taking the issue further, then let him send his really rude F ' you replies, thats all you'll need, then find a good lawyer to make the letter offical lol.

Good luck buddy..

Comment #10

I'll try to remember the exact one, but I read of such where the complainant.

Had shown the respondent reneging on their agreement as bad faith, yet met.

The first 2 requirements...

Comment #11

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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