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I run a website for a local club that I helped start, they are currently setting up the club as a non profit organization with the state and they want me to turn over the domain names that go with the club, the guy that came up with the club name is talking about taking me to court to get the names, I told everyone the site can stay running with me paying for it but they for some reason want the domain addresses. I registered them and made the site and continue to run the site, do they have the legal rights to take the names from me..

Only one address is the same as the Club Name...

Comments (10)

Is there a contract involved? Best way to resolve this is to work this out between the two of you...

Comment #1

No contract, I made the site and told the club they could use it..

Comment #2

What are the other names involved? As far as I see it, they don't have any rights to names you are essentially lending use to.

-Steve..

Comment #3

The club name is Western Ohio Reef Club and the addresses are www.woreef.com, www.westernohioreef.com, www.westernohioreefclub.com the second one being the main and the other two are forwarded to www.westernohioreef.com..

Comment #4

But all of the names appear to clearly represent the club as abbreviations.

I would think you could at least get the registration fee back on them.

-Steve..

Comment #5

Ok hmm, I was not sure since the club is not set up with the state or anything, maybe I can get in a contract or something before they become a legal corp...

Comment #6

This could be tricky, even though there is no contract, it seems you help setup the club (but may no longer be a member of the club, or not in an official position with the club. Thats how I am reading it). But this could be subject to oral contracts. IE- You setting up the club, you say, "I'll register the name and setup the site". With all members agreing that you are doing on the behalf of the club. So your work would be that of the club and not yours.

As far as the club wanting the addresses, I don't blame them, I would want control of my addresses too. But I will have to ask, if you were willing to pay for the names and the services on the behalf of the club, why would have have a problem if they paid for it and owned it?..

Comment #7

When we got together we used a forum on another club site to do everything. I took it on myself to create and run the site. I have but all the money into it and run the server myself and have done some upgrades to it because of the site. At this time I am still a founder but once they hit state and get all the paper work I will be out and just be a regular member. The problem is I wanted support and they do not want to give it so I told them I would just turn it off. The main problem is the group has a control freak and we do not get along.

I told them if they wanted it in there name to give me back the money I invested in it but they do not want to so I see no reason to give it to them.

I guess it all comes down to this, I started the site with out them wanting it and paid 100% of the fees, start up cost, and everything and I am just a little upset that now they want to come in a take it away when I am a founding member and keep the place going..

Comment #8

I figured that is what happened. As a founding member, all work you did may belong to the club. But that does not mean that any future work would be free. If you are hosting the site, doing maintenance or anything else in the future, you could charge for it. But then they would be able to go elsewhere. As far as the domain goes, if you did it on the premise as being part of the club, actual ownership maybe the clubs in the absence of an agreement.

I would hope there is some documentation at startup (business plan,articles of incorporation or even just simple agreements on how to start the club), if not, then ownership is open to interpretation. So it can work for you or against you. You could say you did things for free in the hopes of getting a payoff down the road and they renegged. But they could argue that you knew you were setting up a nonprofit organization and you worked out of the labor of love and offered to pay the expenses as you way of contributing.

This is why it is always important to get things in writing before proceeding with any venture. Never take things upon yourself without the protection of documentation in case a situation arises that you did not intend.

I wish I could give you a black and white answer, but it is tough to do at this point since there more than likely more to the story than we know. That is why I had to broach it from 2 different views. Your best bet is to contact an attorney if you really wish to pursue the matter...

Comment #9

Pretty much was I started the site to get the club off the forum we were using. Now a year later the other founders are going to the state and becoming a corp. and they do not feel like letting me be in control of the site anymore and at this point I am not een being considered for anything to do with the group. We had no direction in the beginning because no one could make up there minds. I think at this point before they do anything I am stepping out and creating my own group and documenting everything. I am just going to turn the site off and tell them to buy the addresses from me and then pay someone else to do it. Thanks for all the help..

Comment #10


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

 

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