Some of you may have noticed that my site is now hosted on a new domain:

The old domain got squatted. I whined about it on reddit at the time.

The squatter is currently hosting my copyrighted material. I wrote to the registrar to complain but haven’t received a reply (I should probably contact the hosting service too).

So, if you could update your backlinks/bookmarks etc that would be cool. I know that it’s my fault though.:-(

The old domain was actually worth quite a lot to me. It provided my email address which was the way that people contacted me for work. That email address has provided all of my work for the last five years. There’s no way I can replace it. I’ll just have to start again.

Update: I’m now in contact with the new owner of the domain and it looks like it may be returned to me. Fingers crossed!

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As long as the current owner’s name or persona (which would have to be proven that the current owner has used the persona for a while) isn’t Dean Edwards and he isn’t planning on making use of the address, I think it’s against the .name registration policy and may be revoked, but I could be completely wrong. If I’m right, I don’t think I should be allowed to own

Wow! This really sucks! Did you or your registrar forget to renew the domain? I actually purchased a .name domain because of you too. You also lose all your Google Pagerank with the new domain, which will make it harder for google searchers to find you now.

  • Comment by: Neal G
  • Posted:

If you traded under that domain, and it’s strongly associated with your business, then it may possibly count as an unregistered trademark of Dean Edwards. In which case the squatter would be guilty of ‘passing off’ (I think that’s what it’s called) under English law. If they’re hosting your copyrighted material, I should think that would make a trademark stronger, as it sounds as if they are trying to steal your trade, or trade on your repuation.

Of course, I’m not a lawyer so I’m not sure how strong that is. I heard it from a trademark/copyright lawyer years ago when domain squatting was a new phenomenon on t’internet.

If you can’t get your old domain back, why not register or You could just make your email address be instead of

I’m also not a lawyer, however I can tell you from past experience that your best course of action is to contact the hosting company about copyright infringement. This person is using your content without your permission, and hosting companies are very sensitive to copyright issues because they can get dragged into court for it as well. You likely won’t be able to get the domain back, but you should at least be able to prevent him/her from masquerading as you. Good luck!

@Neal, my registrar was They did not send me a renewal notice. I also had other problems with my .name domain. I strongly advise against using for .name domains (and probably any other registration).

  • Comment by: -dean
  • Posted:

I had noticed this but assumed it was some kind of hosting issue…

Well my guess is you shouldn’t worry that much. Having to sell no all the time because you are a busy man isn’t fun either;-)

  • Comment by: Marijn Huizendveld
  • Posted:

A friend of mine just sent me this url…

1. I did not steal your domain! It was free at the specific moment and thus available to register for everyone!

2. Sorry to write that, but I’m still not sure whether we’re dealing with real Mr. Edwards. In the middle of February (as I see now, about a week after you wrote that post on reddit) I got an e-mail signed “Dean Edwards”, with an offer of €5000 for the domain… It was almost as “legitimate” as except for one thing: the message was sent from a Russian IP…

3. I did not receive any e-mails from you, and did not get any messages recorded on my phone.

4. And LBNL, as we can see on your main page: “This work is open source (…) you can rip-off any code you want”. So how the heck could I steal your content if you grant permission to do almost whatever one wants??? As you’ve made some great and useful stuff here, I told my employees to recreate it, when I registered the domain. We did not put any ads, we did not add any links. Just imagine, what would happen, if we were the “bad guys” and put some p0rn here…

As you have now my e-mail address, I won’t continue the discission here. Please, prove me, you’re not a Russian scammer trying to grab the .name domain and put some v.ia-g;ra stuff there…

I was wondering how I got this update until I realised you had your RSS hosted elsewhere. I host RSS from same server so I would have lost all ability to maintain continuity.

That said, saying the domain is “stolen” is a bit of a stretch. You let it expire and somebody legally bought it.

It’s a bit of a pain, but hard to say it is the fault of the provider given that they sent you an email reminder. Since the current owner contacted you, hopefully you can come to some agreement on this.

Best of luck.

but hard to say it is the fault of the provider given that they sent you an email reminder

They didn’t send a reminder.

  • Comment by: -dean
  • Posted:

That sucks Dean! I wouldn’t want that to happen to me. A domain name, once you are using it, is an important personal asset.

That indeed sucks.

They didn’t send a reminder.

Want to let us know who you registered with, so we never use them? Hopefully you can reach an amicable solution, otherwise there’s always the dispute resolution policy:

C.E.D: even with his ambiguous phrasing open sourcing ones code is not the same thing as waiving trademark on his name, copyright on the images, blog, etc. That is clear right? Either way, don’t be disingenous, with that site up as it is now it looks like you are trying to either pass yourself off as Dean (steal his clientele and otherwise trade on his good name), which is obviously actionable, or squat it to blackmail him with it, which courts have ruled against pretty decisively.

  • Comment by: Tim Connor
  • Posted:

Didn’t know you are celebrating the April Fool’s Day there in Great Britain too. It’s a good joke for the april first, Dean!:)


  • Comment by: Peter
  • Posted:

It’s not an April Fools.:-(

And for those interested, my domain was registered with

  • Comment by: -dean
  • Posted:


  • Comment by: neal
  • Posted:

What I would do is try to get the domain back, hopefully whoever registered it won’t extort some stupid amount out of you.

Generally most registrars have a grace period where they will hold onto the domain for a few weeks after it expires to give you the chance to keep it, obviously register dot com doesn’t do such a thing.

If that fails send google/yahoo/msn AND the hosting company a DMCA take down notice and get the old site removed from search engine results for having stolen your website. Then its a matter of submitting a sitemap to google and getting this new one indexed.

Oh, I’m sorry, Dean. Thought the world is a better place…

  • Comment by: Peter
  • Posted:

[…] Previous post: ← […]

Regarding comment #8:

I’m not sure so much detail was required with regard to what could have happened to this site.

  • Comment by: Warica
  • Posted:

I had the domain name for 5 years. One day, the tiny Christmas Island group that controls the names issue decided to make more money by selling out to another management team. Suddenly I could no longer log on, my site was gone, and they sold the name to another for more money. I was unable to change content and they refused my offer to pay for another five years renewal. All of this was done with no prior notice to me. Contacting the domain registers did no good – they said there was a “change in government” and they could do nothing about it. So sometimes these horrible things do happen to responsible and nice people. Good luck to you.

  • Comment by: Jim Duyer
  • Posted:

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