Domain regis'd for client, need advice

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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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
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,038
106
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
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?
 

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
6,034
35
The Land of Hope and Glory
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?
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).
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,038
106
You just need to setup their DNS server accordingly.
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?
 

designguy79

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2009
306
2
Michigan
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?
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.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,038
106
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?
We prefer to keep ownership of the domain. Not hiding anything

If you have to keep the domain name with your company, they yes, ask them what DNS servers to use.
Will this solve the email setup & management as well?
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,859
455
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.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,038
106
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.
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

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).
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!

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

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

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

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.
Yes, this has crossed my mind, and hopefully it will never come to this
 

ChicoWeb

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2004
1,120
0
California
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.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,291
14
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.
It's only true for the OP if he made a contract that specifies that client owns no part of the work.
 

designguy79

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2009
306
2
Michigan
Will this solve the email setup & management as well?
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?
 

ezkimo

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2002
216
0
It's only true for the OP if he made a contract that specifies that client owns no part of the work.

Wikipedia: However, when a work is created by an employee as part of his or her job, or when certain kinds of works are created on behalf of a client and all parties agree in writing to the designation, a work may be a "work for hire"
US Copyright Act: A "work made for hire" is— (1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or (2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. (17 U.S.C. § 101)
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.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,038
106
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?
Thanks for the info.

The site will be hosted with their service provider or own servers
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,038
106
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.
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
 

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
6,034
35
The Land of Hope and Glory
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.
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).
 

ezkimo

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2002
216
0
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).
That is true, but my initial point is still just as valid.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,038
106
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.
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,859
455
How are we holding the client hostage? We charge a reasonable annual license fee for usage.
What happens if the client decides they no longer want your services?

If they want to, they can buy the domain from us out-right at a higher fee of course
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.

but don't see any reason, we aren't going to ruin a client relationship by black mailing them
See below.

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).
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!
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.




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

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.
Yes, this has crossed my mind, and hopefully it will never come to this
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.
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
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.....
 

ChicoWeb

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2004
1,120
0
California
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
You just said that you wouldn't give it back to them unless they paid a higher fee??