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Buying an expired domain and copying the previous content. Issues and legality?

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by LotteMae, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. LotteMae

    LotteMae Newbie

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    I'm new to this game so treat me as such - Utter Noob.

    I bought an expired domain name which has a PR of 4 and a fair amount of links. The content was from a PhD researcher and is excellent. I realized after buying the domain that the previous owner was unaware it had expired and was still adding content. The transaction has now completed and from her Twitter account she is livid, stating that someone has appropriated her domain as if it was some sly evil transaction.

    Before her domain expired I backed up all the content and created a WP site. A lot of the content references other sources which I can use without copyright issues, but a number of the posts are her own writings on a subject. The website also had a Creative Commons statement, which may/may not be of note.

    What are my rights in using the previous content to maintain the website? If I didn't buy the domain then somebody else would've and plastered it with click-ads. I'm interested in comments about the moral aspect as well.
     
  2. NeoPat

    NeoPat Power Member

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    She forgot to renew it you bought it thats business i guess, if it was the other way round she wouldnt give two shites whether or not you had that domain since you were born.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. LotteMae

    LotteMae Newbie

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    Yep, but I bought the domain. I didn't buy the rights to the content I suppose?

    A friend said the same - it's business. I shouldn't be concerned about her being upset, it was her fault for not renewing the domain.
     
  4. GodaddysDeadElephant

    GodaddysDeadElephant Registered Member

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    You just ripped off and stole years of someone's hard work. Why don't you offer to sell it back to her, I am sure she would be desperate to buy it back. Then you can both sorta win... kinda
     
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  5. LotteMae

    LotteMae Newbie

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    Maybe I should offer to sell half of it back to her under the condition that they can run the blog and I'll get any revenue. I have no desire to fill it with click-ads, only a few relevant affiliate links.
     
  6. ADHD-Dude

    ADHD-Dude Power Member

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    The content is not yours, she can send a DMCA to your hosting company and take the site offline.
    Just put other content on those url's and you are cleared.
     
  7. Pilot

    Pilot Junior Member

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    You bought the domain, not the content. The domain is fair game--but create your own content or else you're in danger of a DMCA complaint.
     
  8. infoasian

    infoasian Supreme Member

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    It's her content. You have no rights to use it.
    Did you have any contact with her?
     
  9. NeoPat

    NeoPat Power Member

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    If your clever enough read through her content and rewrite it in your own words, problem kinda solved there
     
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  10. maddy

    maddy Junior Member

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    Taking the content is wrong. Domain bit not wrong.
     
  11. LotteMae

    LotteMae Newbie

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    Update - I offered to sell the domain back to her for cost plus $100 (to cover my time wasted). She got the hump.

    I created my own content but obviously utilizing link juice from the old site. I've used none of her content accept a book list with Amazon links.

    I have no end of abuse from her and her twitter followers (who are many). I've been accused of infringement of copyright, plagiarism, harassment(!?) and so on, and emails calling me a c*nt.

    I had an email from her copying a couple of publisher companies, telling me to remove my website within 24 hours or she would take legal action. I replied to clarify what laws I'd actually broken or what content I'd supposedly 'copied'.

    A week later I had another email from her copying the police and a solicitor, and requesting my personal details. I said I would only respond to authorities, and had no reason to give her my details.
     
  12. efodix

    efodix Newbie

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    Remove her content so she can't sue you for copyright. I suggest you store it somewhere safe so you can sell it back to her. You might also write a notification on the site that the owner has changed, so that you can't be accused of impersonating her or false advertising or something. Maybe she'll come back to her senses and buy the domain back. If not, it's her problem. Save her insulting messages and sue her for insults or harrasment or something :)
     
  13. social engineer

    social engineer Regular Member

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    any chance of posting the site address for shits and giggles
     
  14. dario111cro

    dario111cro Junior Member

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    Just make sure that you don't copy even a little bit of her content and you are safe. :)
     
  15. hawgbert

    hawgbert Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I'd post the threatening e-mails so that her colleagues can see what a peach she really is.
     
  16. philly3

    philly3 Regular Member

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    $100??? Screw that man...make it at least $500. You will make that much if you just use the site on your own if there is still traffic going to it. Good niche too.
     
  17. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    Well, you own the domain and selling it back for $100 is dirt-cheap. If she wants to hate anyone, she should hate her former webhosting service. You'd think they would have sent her some notice. Besides that, she's (supposedly) a PhD. 1) She bears all of the responsibility for the loss of her domain, and 2) She ought to have plenty of money. She can afford $100. She can afford $1,000.

    Who was the former webhosting service, btw? It would be good for the Membership to "out" this company for several reasons.

    You should start ratcheting up the price of the website by $100 increments every time they annoy you. The $100 offer was a generous courtesy and the retarded twit (and her retarded friends) should have been grateful. You gain nothing by catering to that level of hostile stupidity now. Eventually she will figure out that as far as the domain is concerned you are bullet-proof. Plus, I doubt the PhD actually ran the site. She probably had some underpaid nit-wit responsible for all the "details" of the site, or an unpaid child. It's easier for her to blame an unknown stranger than to take responsibility for her own actions, as well as those that are closest to her. I also think making her write a letter of apology for her and her friend's actions as a precondition of any sale would be a good idea.

    Lol, or you could list the domain on flippa. Let her decide between those 2 choices, lol.

    Given the level of harassment, you are completely justified in shielding your identity. Stupid people are capable of almost anything.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  18. MarkWW

    MarkWW Regular Member UnGagged Attendee

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    If I were you, and doing her a favor by selling the domain name back, I'd expect her to be respectful.

    But if she starts calling me names and starts being an asshole, I'd simply tell her to fuck off and that you will not sell the domain name. You should be fine, just make sure you do not use her content. Buying expired domain names is legal, otherwise Godaddy would receive 80,000 legal complaints per day.
     
  19. Catt Mutts

    Catt Mutts Junior Member

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    ppcrns.jpg

    There goes her whitehat business
     
  20. DeathWisher

    DeathWisher BANNED BANNED

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    The domain is yours cause you have bought it. There is nothing she can do with that!