Domain regis'd for client, need advice

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by sparkie7, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. sparkie7 macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #1
    We have registered a domain name for a client. They want to set-up emails for it etc. How do we do this without transferring the domain to them?

    For the website, we can just point to their nominated DNS. But not sure what needs to happen re the emails set-up. We don't want to have to get involved with setting up emails for them etc.. – is there a way around this?

    Any advice appreciated
     
  2. whatsgooddan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    NY, USA
    #2
    Set up MX entires for Google. This way they can have a gmail interface, with pop and imap, and you don't have to worry about a thing!

    Most registrars have automatic options for Google nowadays. But if not, start here: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/group/index.html
     
  3. ezkimo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    #3
    I use this all the time, great recommendation.
     
  4. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for this. What is MX entires? -- will this work with the Godaddy domain we have registered?

    Also note:

    1. we own the domain name (so don't want to transfer the domain to them), we will just license it out to them annually for right of use.

    2. we don't want to host for them, and get involved in all that stuff

    3. we just want them to be able to set-up their emails at their end (they have an IT dept) with minimum of involvement from us - and without giving them the account details and password to our Godaddy account. how do we go about doing this?
     
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
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    #5
    You just need to setup their DNS server accordingly. Then point the domain name (in your GoDaddy account manager) to the correct DNS servers (otherwise known as nameservers).
     
  6. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #6
    Ok, what's involved here please? -- i'm not a web tech

    Do I ask the client's IT dept to give me their DNS, and then I assign this in my Godaddy account?
     
  7. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    If your client has an IT department, I would definitely think they would want to have ownership of the domain name itself. That would definitely be what I would recommend... maybe there is something else you haven't told us?

    If you have to keep the domain name with your company, they yes, ask them what DNS servers to use.
     
  8. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #8
    We prefer to keep ownership of the domain. Not hiding anything

    Will this solve the email setup & management as well?
     
  9. jtara macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #9
    Wow, there are still web developers that hold clients hostage like this? Wel, at least you are disclosing that to the client. If somebody will fall for this, more power to you, I guess. Right up there with graphic artists that never release the Illustrator "source files" that clients don't usually realize they need. (if for no other reason than "artist hit by a train" insurance).

    Myself, I start any client relationship with a stern lecture about how important it is for them to control their own domain name, and explain that, no, I won't register your domain name for you, and here's why you should never allow anyone to do that.

    OK so you're going to hold your client hostage, now let's at least do it professionally. First off, get a real domain registrar with decent support for managing multiple domains and actual customer service. That would not be GoDaddy. My own preference is Moniker.

    Now, get a separate DNS service, and point the domain to their DNS servers. I like DNSMadeEasy. Give the client the password for the DNS service, and then they can manage DNS themselves. Or simply have them get the DNS account themselves. Their IT people will be able to deal with MX and other DNS records releiving you of that duty.

    When you get in a snit over some payment or delivery issue, you can still yank the rug out from under them by going to the registrar and pointing away from the client's DNS servers.
     
  10. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #10
    We created the brand (naming, design etc), hence we own the IP. We also secured the relevant domains.

    How are we holding the client hostage? We charge a reasonable annual license fee for usage.

    If they want to, they can buy the domain from us out-right at a higher fee of course, but don't see any reason, we aren't going to ruin a client relationship by black mailing them

    No different to photographers, owing the image rights. They will license you an image for x years or months. But they hold the IP/copyrights unless negotiated and sold outright. Even if you commissioned them from the outset!

    Client asked us to secure all the major domain names. We did as requested.

    Their tech dept I'm sure can handle this, well versed.

    Thanks for the advice. But the client's IT dept will set this up themselves no doubt.

    Yes, this has crossed my mind, and hopefully it will never come to this
     
  11. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    Location:
    California
    #11
    Not only are you carrying a lot liability, but you're also putting them at risk if something happens to you or your business. In my opinion it's very unethical and I can't stand it when we have other firms holding our clients domains over their head.
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    If you don't know the basic settings / ways to set up email servers, you probably should not admining the domain.


    Any work for hire belongs to the client.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_for_hire
     
  13. ezkimo macrumors regular

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    Sep 12, 2002
    #13
    That is not always the case (which it even says in that article). In many of these situations the true author of the material can retain the IP.
     
  14. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #14
    It's only true for the OP if he made a contract that specifies that client owns no part of the work.
     
  15. designguy79 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    I am intentionally skipping the other half of the discussion on whether or not to keep the registration in your name or not.

    The DNS servers will direct the e-mail, so yes, assuming their IT department has DNS servers running (or are purchasing that service from someone) then they can set it up however they like. Also, the DNS servers resolve the IP addresses for the rest of the services like "www" and any other sub-domains.

    Where is the web site going to be hosted anyway?
     
  16. ezkimo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    #16

    Also mutual agreement that a work is a work for hire is not enough to grant copyright to the client. It must also be in 1 of 9 categories (a contribution to a collective work, a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation, an instructional text, a test, answer material for a test, an atlas) and the work must be specially commissioned.
     
  17. whatsgooddan macrumors member

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    NY, USA
  18. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #18
    Thanks for the info.

    The site will be hosted with their service provider or own servers
     
  19. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #19
    Explain how we are holding it over their heads, its no different to any form of licensing. We're not asking for 5 or 6 figures payments before they can use it
     
  20. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #20
    That assumes that the contract is made in the US. If the company hiring the firm is not US based then the copyright law of the hiring firm may well be in effect.

    This is exactly the reason why lawyers are required for international business contracts.

    Most companies tend to state that the terms of the contract can only be disputed in their home countries (and state in applicable).
     
  21. ezkimo macrumors regular

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    #21
    That is true, but my initial point is still just as valid.
     
  22. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #22
    Cromulent, Ezkimo - both your points have some validity. Thanks for your posts

    It really comes down to individual contracts and agreements, country specific or not. In the absence of a contract or agreement, my understanding is IP/copyright ownership automatically remains with the original creator, commissioned or not.

    And if commissioned, if there is a specific buy out or transfer of rights to the client then this will make it obviously clear for all parties involved.
     
  23. jtara macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #23
    What happens if the client decides they no longer want your services?

    That's what I'd advise them to do. It almost never makes sense to "lease" a domain name. For one, there is no technical or legal mechanism provided in the Internet registration system to give somebody control of a domain for a specific period of time.

    See below.

    I'm quite aware of U.S. "work for hire" laws. So, let me clarify. It's not uncommon for graphic artists to withhold AI files until the very last minute, even when they have agreed that they are creating a work for hire. They feel that the AI file is their key to payment. That's unfortunate. Yes, there are bad guys on the other side as well. I had a bad experience with this, and my policy is now that I expect graphic artists to follow the same procedures that I do as a programmer when I do a work for hire: source files go in MY (the client's) revision-control system at minimum daily whenever they are changed.




    If the client's IT department is going to set this up, then why were you asking here in the first place? Oh. Want to shield client from your lack of knowledge. You didn't even know that they could do this, did you? It looks like you didn't (and perhaps still don't) know the difference between DNS and registrar, and assumed that they are married. You thought that you had to use GoDaddy's DNS services.

    See above...

    -------------------
    Here's the basic issue: what you are doing is probably legal, assuming you have fully disclosed to your client. (Unfortunately, this often happens WITHOUT disclosure. Many clients have little technical knowledge, and have no idea how registration works, either legally or technically.) But it's borderline unethical, and not in the best interest of your client. And in any case, IMO, it's bad business. It's an adversarial relationship from the git-go.
     
  24. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #24
    I think some of this rather interesting debate got sidelined into who owns the IP, the commissioner or the design firm. However, I don't think we are talking about IP here - at least not the kind of IP the debate is about.

    The issue is, who own the domain name - and the domain name is not the same as the logos, branding, artwork etc that give a company their presence - at least imho.

    I believe the design firm provided a service to locate and acquire a tangible product - the address. It would be the same thing as a big developer, rebuilding an entire city block, to determine what civic address is the best one to use to market the building. The designer might decide that 248 Main St is preferable to 264 Main St, and might even be the entity that applies to the city for official recognition of that address. And the designer might (or might not) own the IP around the visual look of the address used on marketing materials - the font, colouring, placement of the elements, etc. But the actual address is not something I think the designer can own.

    I realize that this is not a perfect analogy - for example there is no civic entity that has specified what the dozen or so possible addresses could be. But there is an internet entity that specifies that addresses are not possible.

    Just my 2.2 cents worth.....
     
  25. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    California
    #25
    You just said that you wouldn't give it back to them unless they paid a higher fee??
     

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