[Wolves] Off topic - travelwm

sparkes sparkes at phreaker.net
Thu Jan 15 19:31:09 GMT 2004

On Tue, 2004-01-13 at 18:35, gary at walsall.uk.com wrote:
> I have only posted a few times here, but hope that someone may be able to help.
> This may be a little different to what's normally talked about, but did anyone see the front page of the express and star yesterday, regarding travelwm not owning the .com domain and the owner of the domain redirecting it to a dating/adult site ??
nope didn't see it

> This news was also on heartfm. To update you, I own the domain in question and travelwm say they are going to be seeking legal advice regarding this.
you don't really own the domain ;-) but that is a different matter ;-)
No business really has any claim over a name except .ltd.uk

> I have done a little research and believe that they have no right to the domain or the use of the domain unless I am infringing a registered trademark, which travel west midlands don't own. Looking at companies house, 'travelwm ltd' is a non-trading company, as they are trading as 'travel west midlands ltd'.
this might not be the case if you are considered to be trading on the
good name of another company or person.  this also goes for common
mispellings of a popular domain.  If you are not running a site to do
with travel then you could be in trouble.  travelwm (as a name) doesn't
really have anything to do with dating/adult services but does have a
hell of a lot to do with travel west midlands.  It's not like travelwm
is a made up name (like cahoot) so you could claim they have no more
claim over it than anyone else.

The short answer is they have more money than you and to a lay person
(or judge) it looks like you are trading on the name of travelwm ltd. 

Explain to them they have no claim over the name but you are willing to
either sell it to them for the money you would make on it over the next
two years (be reasonable) or offer to add a link to your home page
linking to thiers ( here by mistake? click to visit travel west
midlands) for free.

you won't earn a fortune off them and as soon as it looks like you are
trying to get money from them they will cry extortion and you will look
like you are abusing the domain name system even more.  It might be
cheaper in the long run to give them whatever they want as long as you
are not out of pocket.

> Does anyone have any thoughts on whether their is any loophole in the system where they might be able to take the domain from me ??
yeah there is one great big legal loophole those with the most money win
and they can do it with little outlay if they can get others to look
upon you as a pirate.  The e&s story could have been planted by their
people as it is not really front page news.  Try getting 10 lines of
positive news about your business without taking out advert (or ten) and
see how responsive the e&s are.

you have been made to look like a domain name squater even if this was
not your intention this makes it very easy for the legal bods to see it
as a black and white case.  Domain name squating is wrong and they
always lose in court.  you look like a domain name squatter thus you are
wrong.  Whatever your reason for purchasing the name in the first place
you will always look like the baddie.

> Any thoughts from you guys would be appreciated. Appologies, for the off topic subject :S

give up and offer them the name at a reasonable price or a link.  Make
sure you don't ask for more than a couple of hundred unless you have can
prove your name was not registered to profit from their business.

now onto a little story.  

Just over two years ago I did a freelance website for someone.  It was
one of those shitty little jobs that pay the bills but are always worth
less than you earn.  But, you have to do them to stay afloat and with
christmas coming I had to get some more money in the bank.

The bloke in question was really nice and turned his nose up at my
standard contract.  Now the contract I used was really nice and pretty
much allowed anyone to back out at any time as long as they reembursed
the other party.  A small amount of money upfront followed by the
balance at the end of the project after successful sign off.

The sign off bit was part of the contract and included all the parts of
the site worked as expected, the name was registered and the site was
live on the internet.  Not a lot trouble and it allowed a lot of leyway
for the punter to stay my work was shite and he wasn't paying and I
would walk off with a loss of pride and the small deposit and they would
get the domain name and the free consulting.

Anyone who has worked like this will tell you there are a lot of time
wasters out there and you get a sixth sense on spotting them. I didn't
think this dude was a con man and he didn't think I was.  He haggled
over signing the contract and the deposit (I think it was about a ton). 
In the end we settled on no contract (always a bad thing) and fifty quid
upfront to cover my direct costs and the petrol money.  He claimed he
never paid anything up front and I should take this as sign that he
trusted me.  I said if we trust each other then there is no reason not
to sign the paper work but he didn't want to.

Anyway to cut the long story short.  I did the work, and he was very
happy.  I got him to sign off the design, hosted it for him and
registered the domain name (I always use the clients name when
registering domains and put me as the technical contact as this looks a
lot better when the client wants to know where the money has gone) and
he gave me a cheque.

Later he showed the site to a mate who told him he had been ripped off
and his lad could do better.  He canceled the cheque and when it bounced
I gave him a call to expect his bank to tick him off.  I asked when I
should represent the cheque which is a nice thing to do considering he
was paying for services already rendered to which he said 'never, the
site was crap and a freinds son is doing it for £75'

He then wanted his deposit back and I explained how the deposit was none
returnable and was used to cover fixed costs.  This pissed him off
totally and he went off on one.

A couple of days latter I got a solicitors letter saying how I had
registered the name without there permision and was now demanding
money.  I sent the solicitor a copy of the sign off document (the last
couple of pages of my contact) all signed and dated, a photocopy of the
cheque with it's bank stamps all over it, a print out of the site and a
copy of my invoice all covered by a letter saying if he honours the
contract he signed (the signing off portion) I will supply him with the
domain name, the site and two years hosting.

I never got a second letter from the solicitor ;-)

the moral of this story is simple if he had honestly said he didn't want
the site and there was nothing I could do to part him from his money I
would have probably given him the domain name and walked away but cos he
was underhanded with me I wasn't going to give him anything.

if you believe you are right (and can prove it to dummies who sometimes
wear wigs) fight it but you would probably be better off looking for a
way to walk away with your finances and character intact.
> thanks
> Gary


More information about the Wolves mailing list