[lug] Need Advice on Domain Registration Services

Paul E Condon pecondon at mesanetworks.net
Fri Jul 22 17:14:09 MDT 2005

Perhaps the person whose web site is at issue has died. In which
case, I can think of a couple of possibilities:

They died without a will, or the will did not say what to do with
the web site.

They died with a will and the will specified what should be done
with their web site (IMHO, most unlikely).

There are other logical categories, but these two are most likely
and serve to illustrate the underlying difficulties. What should
be done with an abandoned web site? How can concerned individuals
determine if a web site has been abandoned? It is different from
an  old auto, or a rental property. There is not a lot of case
law to guide a well meaning manager. 

I have not heard of any case law that decides who inherits a URL
registration, especially without a will. How would an inheritor of a
registered URL establish control over the URL? What court has

The problem will be resolved when the registration period expires.
If no one has come forward by then to claim the URL then it will
become available for purchase by someone else, sort of like property
that is sold by the county for unpaid taxes. In the meantime all
concerned parties get to try to limit their liability by whatever
strategy they each think best.

On Fri, Jul 22, 2005 at 03:48:27PM -0600, Bear Giles wrote:
> Hugh Brown wrote:
> > 
> >>I contacted GoDaddy's customer service and asked if they could
> >>correct the records.  We're on the fricking record as providing
> >>both of this DNS servers, send us mail at hostmaster so we can
> >>verify that we're the ones who should be listed as technical
> >>contact.  This should not be a problem, esp. in those cases where
> >>the same person is listed as all contacts.[*]
> >>
> >>They can't do that.
> >
> > This is the behaviour I would want from a registrar if I were the domain
> > holder.  I wouldn't want them to make any changes unless one of the
> > contacts requested it.  I know its obnoxious, but the domain owner is the
> > one that needs to be responsible for making sure the dns servers are
> > accurate.
> That works fine if you're in a perfect world.
> In this one, who knows WTF is going on.  Maybe the domain owner is
> on an extended trip in Europe.  Maybe he contracted West Nile and
> has been in a hospital for a month.  Maybe his home was destroyed
> in a fire and he's been too overwhelmed with that to check his
> email or non-critical postal mail.
> We don't know why he isn't responding, but we know that there are
> hundreds - thousands - of legitimate reasons why he may not be
> responding.  That's why you want humans in the loop, so they can
> make intelligent decisions when the regular mechanisms break down.
> Personally I would much rather have my registar do the "wrong
> thing" in an exceptional situation than for them to be legalistic
> pricks that let my domains crash and burn because "rules are
> rules."  (Note: not "laws" or "regulations" or even "contractual
> obligations."  Just some rules somebody made up so the help desk
> monkeys have answers when people ask questions.)
> > I wouldn't want them to make any changes unless one of the
> > contacts requested it.
> That's the point, actually.  Hostmaster at dns.server is an implicit
> contact, but it may not have been listed in the whois data since
> it's a given.  Or it was when the whois data was first laid out.
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Paul E Condon           
pecondon at mesanetworks.net

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