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I recently started making a website for a company and they gave me ftp and cpanel access to the hosting which used to work alright. This domain was purchased by their former developer, so he was the only who has access to the domain management tools.

So the problem came a week after starting to work on the new site. Suddenly the domain name doesn't get resolved anymore so the ftp, web and cpanel access don't work anymore too. We suspect that the DNS records have been deleted but we are not sure. We have domain and hosting in different companies and we don't know if we can get control back over both. As it normally happen with this sort of small companies, they didn't store any details to manage domain and hosting, and the ex-developer doesn't want to give the details back to them. So all the info we have even of the hosting and domain companies comes from a regular WHOIS.

I'm sure someone has come through something similar before. Is there any way to get the domain back? (I don't mind the hosting to be honest, we just want to point it to the new website wich is being done at the moment).

For the record, the domain itself is rotulosfarina.com

Thanks a lot in advance for shedding some light on this.

EDIT: From the technical point of view, is there any way to know what is exactly going on? I mean, there are no dns' attached to the domain name, and in the whois the domain still appears as active. I'm not an expert in this matter, so I would like to know what information could I get with whois and this kind of tools. Thanks again!

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Run a DNS report on the domain at www.intodns.com. –  joeqwerty May 4 '12 at 18:53

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The legal owner of a domain is the entity who registered it - in this case, the developer owns it, the company does not.

If it was purchased using the company's money, or there's some other contractual agreement in place or laws in Spain governing the employee's relationship with the company and ownership of what's ostensibly a company resource, the company may be able to take legal action to reclaim it.

Contact a lawyer, and good luck!

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You made a good point there. I'm not really sure if they still have at least a contract or an invoice demonstrating they purchased the money. I will try to find it out. Thanks! –  Javier May 4 '12 at 18:34
    
You can also avail yourself of the UDRP - I don't believe there's specifically a provision for your case, but you could make an argument that the domain is being registered/used in bad faith. You would really want to have a lawyer around for this anyway though, preferably one familiar with the UDRP. –  voretaq7 May 4 '12 at 18:50
2  
Posession is nine tenths of the law, as they say. –  joeqwerty May 4 '12 at 18:52

If rotulosfarina is a company name (trademark, copyright, etc.), you could be able to get the domain back legally.

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Since you don't own the domain, there's nothing you can really do about it. If this "former developer" legally owns the domain (which is a HUGE mistake on your company's part), then he could choose not to give it back at all--or even to sell it back to you. Your best bet would be to work with the current legal owner to gain control of the domain, and then make sure that the payment/ownership information resides with the company, not an individual.

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This is exactly what I thought. I know is a big mistake from the company, but sadly is a very common one. Thanks for the answer. –  Javier May 4 '12 at 18:32

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