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  1. #1
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    My Legal Position

    Hi guys i'm kinda new to this site and would rather not start out with this type of thread but I would like to know your opinions.

    Ive been working for this company for over 5 years now. I mostly been like a consultant for all the companies technology needs. Basically the way everything works is he tells me what he needs and I get it for him and invoice him for any charges. Ive purchased a number of domain names under my own personal register account along with a server and things like that. I get paid for certain projects I setup along with a base salary. Just recently ive been coming into some problems. The guy has turned out to be someone Im thinking twice about working for. Hes become a real cut throat type of person to where he will use an employee tell them all these stories about how much money they will make, this and that, but never delivers on his part. Its gotten to where I know he owes alot of people money that use to be employees. Well I im not going to let myself become one of those people. I just want to know if Im the true owner of the domain names I registered under my account and have owned for years or is he? Now ive invoiced him for the purchases but we never have had a signed contract stating he owns anything. Its only invoices ive given him for certain things. Basically im just looking to see what kind of leverage I have incase somethings turns sour. Ive been an hard working loyal employee for over 5 years now but Ive just seen to much change in this guys additude.

    If you have any kind of thought on this please post a reply. Thanks alot guy.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast Unleashed Ideas's Avatar
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    well, if you registered the domain names with your account, then in all reality the domain names should be yours. Do you use your credit card when purchasing them or the companies?

  3. #3
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    Would you consider the server yours? Or other items you've purchased on their behalf and invoiced them for? I don't see any reason to view domain registration any differently.

  4. #4
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    I purchase the domain names with my account and my credit card. Then I invoice him for it. Invoice says (Domain Registration). I also invoice him a server fee every month which is also under my name and billed to my credit card.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Well, unless you had a contract with him I'd say the domains are yours. For all anyone knows you could've been charging him for the right to USE the domains, which he's gotten. Unless there's something in writing stating that he owns them, or the registrant information is in his name (which you said it wasn't) then he really doesn't have a claim to the names.

    Now, whether or not that's right (morally) is a different story. Did you both have an understanding that he was purchasing the domains? If so, then do you really think it's right to keep them?

  6. #6
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    As far as being moral I feel ive more then a loyal employee for him. Actually out of the 3 business he owns I am the longest person thats been working for him. (which you can see from my story why). There was never any contract for anything. There was never any understanding that when I purchased the domain that he rightfully owns it, was never talked about ever.

  7. #7
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    Yes, that's really the key. Legally, the domains may be in your account and in your name, but if the understanding was that you were acquiring them for and on behalf of your employer (or client, that part's not clear), and your employer/client paid you for them thinking that he was buying them, I think you need to consider the ethical and moral side of this.

    I have a client right now who is having to switch to a new domain name for their company because a former employee had, while employed there and as part of her duties as an employee, registered the company's domain, but in her own name. Things turned sour, she left the company and took the domain with her. Legally, she may (or may not) have had the right to do so, but if even if she did, that doesn't make it right.

    You're complaining about this other person and suggesting that he's doing things and treating people in ways that aren't right. Do you want to do what's right?

  8. #8
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    Im not worried about doing something right im worried about doing something that is illegal. Basically if it comes down to it I want to be able to show him "what comes around goes around" type of deal.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist bronze trophy Derek Sheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluentdesigns
    Im not worried about doing something right im worried about doing something that is illegal. Basically if it comes down to it I want to be able to show him "what comes around goes around" type of deal.
    Fine. I hope you're saving money. It's usually very expensive to make this kind of point. Lawyers charge by the hour and you're going to need one, whether you eventually win or lose in teaching him this lesson.

    His own attorney has very good arguments to make:

    1. You are an employee, doing work for your employer.
    2. He has assigned you tasks which you have paid for out of pocket, but he has reimbursed you those expenses.
    3. He is entitled to all the fruits of the labor he has paid for. These things are the life of his business.
    4. It's irrelevent who's name what is in or who's server what's on. You bought these thing as his agent. You would not have done so had he not hired you and paid you to.

    You may be able to make an argument concerning #4, but I can't see a strong one.

    A better strategy would be for you to seek other employment and extricate yourself from the situation. When you start arguing over what's right v. what's legal, it looks to me like his ethics are starting to rub off.


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