Question Getting rid of unauthorised website

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by Puddy_Tat, Oct 12, 2019 at 10:05 PM.

  1. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    I am involved with a voluntary organisation (fairly long established, registered charity and so on) and one of the things I do is look after the website which was set up in the late 90's (and I took on about 10 years ago.)

    A year or two back, a member set up a second website (for reasons that have never quite been clear, nor is it clear whether they had the approval of the committee) - this member has since left the organisation in a huff, and did not hand over any information or passwords for this site.

    At the moment, this unofficial website is largely as they left it a year ago, and it looks a bit crap, but there is a risk they could bugger about with it and damage our reputation more than just having a crap website does.

    a whois search (it's a .com - and not the same domain as our long established one) shows it's registered via a US domain / hosting company c/o a PO box in Panama. :hmm:

    are we going to get anywhere contacting them and saying it does not have our authority / is mis-representing us or something like that?

    or can we only just wait (another 6 months) until it expires and hope that this individual doesn't bother to renew? Although if they set it up in the organisation's name, there's a risk we will get billed for renewal if we don't make contact and tell them to stuff it.

    Any bright ideas welcome
  2. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    It’s unlikely they will help.

    When does it expire? Assuming the person didn’t let said company save their card details you could just wait it out and let it die.
  3. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    expires in about 6 months

    part of me is inclined to just let it die

    although there's a risk this individual could bugger about with it

    fairly sure we don't have a credit card, although we do have a paypal account (and they could have set up recurring billing on that)

    but from a personal project a few years back, i'd assumed that a particular domain would die if i didn't renew, but the hosts in question made it clear that i had to give notice before renewal date to cancel and unless i paid up they would take me to court over it. i don't want to get in to that position.
  4. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    The hosts in question will probably have some contact details for copyright infringement and what not. They might be the best course of action. You could go as far as saying they are impersonating your company and see what they come back with.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  5. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Puddy_Tat I have heard of hosting companies renewing automatically and coming after you if you don't pay but not domain registrars. IIRC Domain registrars will send increasingly demanding reminders before the domain expires but if you don't respond they will cancel the account / domain.

    Who they will send the reminders to for this domain is a question, will they send them to the individual or your organisation?
  6. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Who is (in the WHOIS) it registered to - the individual at a personal address, or the organisation?
  7. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    yes, that's what i was thinking. if of course committee give me the OK to do this (getting any sort of decision out of committee is :facepalm: )

    i think the hosting / domain is via the same company

    i don't know, that's part of the problem

    it doesn't say - it's shown as 'protected' c/o the hosting company at a PO box in panama
  8. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Who's the hosting company?
  9. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh


    ETA - whois does show a 'Registrar Abuse Contact' e-mail, so I guess that contacting them would be the way to do it
  10. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    By far the easiest option is to resolve it with the individual.

    Domains are ultimately registered, via agents like Namecheap, with ICANN and they have a dispute policy that you should look at. It might involve getting a legal judgement in your favour first. Like I say, much easier to resolve with the person.

    Do not assume that it will gracefully expire and then become available to you. Even if it expires, someone may (by automated process) snap it up and offer it for resale for much more than it should cost.
    UnderAnOpenSky likes this.
  11. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    don't think that's an option - from what i gather, they are not on speaking terms with committee. i never had a lot to do with them (organisation is based where i used to live, i've been 150+ miles away for the last 15 years) and was kinda surprised when this website appeared. this person got the sulks with me after i locked them out of our twitter account when things started to go wrong


    not really an issue - we have a domain that's been around for 20 years or so and appears on all our publicity etc - can't see anyone trying to hold us to ransom over the second one, and meh if they do try.
    mauvais likes this.
  12. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint


    Yep take a look at the dispute policy of the Registrar or the agent. You might be able to lodge a complaint and get it taken down if you can prove it infringes any of your legal rights.

    If they have copied any of your text/pictures then you might be able to claim copyright infringement.

    Otherwise, I'm assuming your organisation doesn't have a trade mark registration protecting its name but if they do that would help.

    Ultimately it's very difficult though if you don't have any legal rights.

    I do this for a living so PM me if you want help.
    Puddy_Tat and mauvais like this.
  13. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    Good Luck Puddy_Tat - I had a similar problem with a guy over a charity website. During the dispute he published some very personally derogatory remarks (using my real name, which is unusual and quite traceable) and refused to retract as he claimed he could publish what he liked as his opinion on his website. After a lot of pressure and much time passing the personally offensive stuff became more hidden. And other local people told me he was thought to be so "strange" that anything offensive like this would be disregarded, especially as the real and true story was well known locally.
  14. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    thanks to all

    i have sent an e-mail along the lines of not authorised, copyright, do not want and so on. will wait and see what happens...

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