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Q: Help Decipher Status of Web Site Ownership ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Help Decipher Status of Web Site Ownership
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: prpro-ga
List Price: $40.00
Posted: 13 Aug 2006 17:53 PDT
Expires: 12 Sep 2006 17:53 PDT
Question ID: 755668
[NOTE TO GOOGLE: The name "Mark Prague" and site information I give
here is fictitious; the domain cited ? -- does not
really exist, nor is the contact information cited below real.  I am
presenting this fictional information so the researcher can help me
determine the solution to my problem. PLEASE DO NOT ERASE THIS


I have an issue regarding a Web site domain that I once owned and have
now lost track; to be honest, I don?t know if I own it or not!

Let?s say my name is ?Mark Prague.?  When I purchased the domain, I put nothing on it; I simply had reserved the
domain.  My ownership of the domain may have lapsed (am not sure);
however, when I visit, the site now features a
travel Web site.

The travel Web site aggregates links to other travel sites and related
information; it appears to be similar to a site that a domain
aggregator may put up.  Except for the fact that it features
travel-related info, it is virtually identical to

When I check, here is what the ownership record reads:


Registration Service Provided By: Domain Notification
Domain name:

Registrant Contact:
   The Daily Register
   Mark Prague (
   Fax: +.
   5555 Any Street., Suite 555
   Any City, CA 55555

Administrative Contact:
   Domain Notification
   Domain Notification (
   130 Church Street
   Suite 280
   New York, NY 10007

Technical Contact:
   Domain Notification
   Domain Notification (
   130 Church Street
   Suite 280
   New York, NY 10007

Status: Locked

Name Servers:
Creation date: 24 Nov 2003 14:34:38
Expiration date: 24 Nov 2008 14:34:38

At the bottom of the page at, there is a link that
reads ?WHY AM I SEEING THIS WEB SITE??  When I click on the link, an
email popup appears.  It is addressed to ? with
the subject line ?Inquiring about the domain '', with
status: Registered?

Do I own this domain or not?  I am listed as the registrant contact;
am I still the owner?  How can my site have been hijacked by this
other company (whoever it is?)  And if I don?t own it, who do I
connect with to get it back (if possible)?
Subject: Re: Help Decipher Status of Web Site Ownership
Answered By: guillermo-ga on 15 Aug 2006 19:16 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello prpro-ga,

I've been working on your question and what I've found out seems to be
good news for you -- at least this can be deduced from your fictional
"whois" verification, as long as it reflects the real thing

What can be inferred from your description is that when you registered
your domain name you did it through Domain Notification Center
( ) or one of its related
registrars (see list at )

In it Terms - Registration Agreement page
( ), under the
section "USE OF FREE SERVICES", you can read: "In consideration for
providing additional optional Services for which we do not charge an
additional fee, including, but not limited to, URL forwarding, email
forwarding, free parking page (...) you agree that, if you use such
Free Services, we may display advertising in conjunction therewith
through the use of pop-up or pop-under browser windows, banner
advertisements, audio or video steams, appendices to emails, or other
similar advertising means, and that we may aggregate related usage
data by means of cookies and other similar means." If you have a
domain name for which no actual website has been built yet, then you
*are* using one of the free services mentioned in the Agreement: free
parking. Thus, what you see when you type your domains URL is not a
"real" webpage, but advertising that you "agree that (...) (they) may
display". Then, you don't have a site that has been hijacked --
instead, you hold a domain name registration which is parked for free
by a company who holds the right, under its agreement with you, to
place advertising at the domain you have registered, while you don't
upload a website for it. This is good news already.

More good news is that since the whois information shows your name in
the registrant contact field and the expiration date in 2008, it seems
that you are still the registrant and this is not going to change for
a long couple of years yet. (You probably purchased a five year
registration period.) Also, the fact that when you click on the link
"WHY AM I SEEING THIS WEB SITE?", the appearing popup email subject
line shows the status "registered" confirms it. The same occurs with
the real example you gave Conversely,
for the domain , the popup-email subject
line shows the status "expired". Please try asking for confirmation
sending the popup email correspounding to the page at your domain

Finally, please have into account that, technically, when someone
registers a domain name doesn't *own* it, but holds a registration. As
you can read at the Registration Agreement page mentioned above
( ), in the
section "OUR SERVICES"; "You further agree that domain name
registration is a service, that domain name registrations do not exist
independently from services provided pursuant to this or a similar
registration agreement with a registrar, and that domain name
registration services do not create a property interest." Instead, you
are the legitimate registrant for the registration period that you
purchased, what gives you the correspounding right to use the domain
name, until the expiration time, which you can extend by purchasing a
new registration period.

I believe this information should answer your question. Please ask me
if you need clarification.

My search strategy was "domain notification".



Request for Answer Clarification by prpro-ga on 18 Sep 2006 23:17 PDT
guillermo, I am so embarassed... I did not get an email notice that
you had answered!  Your answer is perfect... I am going to try to pay
you now!!  My deepest apologies!

Clarification of Answer by guillermo-ga on 19 Sep 2006 05:22 PDT
Hi prpro-ga,

Thank you for the rating, your opinion on my answer and for your
concern as well. We've been experiencing some difficults with the
notification system, but, please do not worry, I will have my earnings
unless the customer rejects the answer, which is obviously not the
case :)

I'm glad that my answer met your needs. Thank you.


prpro-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
guillermo, I am not sure you are gtting paid because this answer was
closed.  If not, how can I make sure you get paid?

Subject: Re: Help Decipher Status of Web Site Ownership
From: writeline-ga on 24 Aug 2006 13:23 PDT
I think something more serious may be going on than your answer
suggests. The same thing has happened in the last few days to my own
(fully active) company web site, the domain name of which is
registered to me and has not expired. My ISP/web site host has been
unable to give me a satisfactory explanation. At the moment my web
site seems well and truly hijacked and I have no idea what to do about
Subject: Re: Help Decipher Status of Web Site Ownership
From: jimwhyman-ga on 25 Aug 2006 09:39 PDT
I have had exactly the same experience as writeline-ga.  

We use an external webmaster to operate our site.  It is used both by
colleagues working from home, my office and the public.
Most external colleagues and the webmaster find the correct company
site without any problem.
Office browsers, however, get nothing but the rogue site described by
"Mark Prague" whatever page of our website they may seek to find.
One or two external colleagues get the rogue site sometimes and only
on some links.  This variation makes it appear that the problem is not
with our ISP allowing the rogue site to usurp our own.
It has been suggested that our office network may have been infected
with some form of spyware that is behaving like a cuckoo and putting
the rogue site up in place of our own on our own machines, and this
spyware may have been transmitted to those external colleagues who
also find the rogue site on some pages.

Scans and checks on our office systems have found nothing wrong: we'd
welcome some new ideas.
Subject: Re: Help Decipher Status of Web Site Ownership
From: jimwhyman-ga on 27 Aug 2006 00:53 PDT
Further to my posting on 25 August, with the help of an IT boffin,
we've discovered that our ISP was returning  the wrong IP address and
thus sending us to the rogue site.
It looks as if the ISP's server had been corrupted, presumably by
hackers, in such a way that it returns an erroneous IP address
whenever we attempted to access our own site.  Others must have
complained of the same problem as everything had returned to normal
before I had had a chance to report our findings to our ISP.

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