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MisterP

Website Intellectual Property

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Regular lurker here, hence this is my 1st post, as I don't feel I have much to contribute regularly, but I do read the forums reasonably frequently. We have a problem at work with the company that hosted our websites. Namely that they have gone into liquidation. It turns out that they were only renting server space from another company within the group, and the liquidators have given the still trading company permission to write to all affected customers offering them the chance to pay to have their data transferred off the server or coontinue with hosting at exorbitant rates.

They maintain that the only contact they had with the company that's in the process of liquidation is on a contracted supplier basis. How can this be true when the same person is listed as a director of both companies, and the company in liquidation is registered to a company number that previously held a very similar name to the company that are trying to hold our website data to ransom?

Any light people could shed on this would be much appreciated. If anyone with any knowledge of intellectual property and/or liquidation could let me know if the data currently being hosted is ours, whether we have to pay these inflated charges, and also if the company still trading can legally deny all knowledge being as they are part of the same group and share/have shared a director in common that would be great. I'm aware there are some IT-related people on this site so thought asking this here would be worth a shot.

I feel we've been done up like a kipper here and this has all been planned to be legally watertight, but would be interested to see what others think. Never thought my 1st post here would be about this sort of thing, and I apologise if it seems a bit ranty.

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I would personally consider getting in contact with someone at theregister.com if this is a fairly sizable organisation that is doing this to you.

Might be worth a trawl through their back stories as well, similar things have been known to occur.

As mentioned by trickster, for the future - Always keep an offsite backup if you can!

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Its quite normal for a web design company/pr firm to use another companies web hosting.

I don't know about the legal side but I would assume that the actual data belongs to your company.

Having said that, the hosting company may well consider it to be your responsibility to backup your data and if they go bust then its byebye data.

My advice would be to get a copy of your data off the server as quick as possible so that your site can be hosted elsewhere.

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If your website is anything more than a pure vanity thing, your priority must be to retrieve it and cut your losses. Get your data and find alternative hosting. If you need a quick recommendation, gradwell.com are exceptionally helpful and competent.

I expect that's what they're expecting you to do. Not nice to pay a ransom, but what to do about that is lawyers territory. It sounds like sharp-practice, and you might have an effective legal remedy if you feel motivated to pursue it.

Meanwhile, name and shame!

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Your company should have been backing up data on a twice weekly basis anyway (or nightly if it's that time sensitive)

We do back up most stuff nightly. To the best of my knowledge everything on the internal server here is backed up nightly. However we have not done so with the website as that is hosted elsewhere. I now know that we could have handled things so much better and that would have meant that we would probably not be in this situation.

We don't currently have any backup of our sites, never mind a recent one. If we did we would tell them to go forth & multiply. It's not only the amount of the charges that is causing the problem, we were only informed of them 3/4 of the way through migration as well. They have us over a barrel it seems, and my guess is that at least some of this was planned in advance, especially once the profit-generating aspect of this became apparent to them.

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If your website is anything more than a pure vanity thing, your priority must be to retrieve it and cut your losses. Get your data and find alternative hosting. If you need a quick recommendation, gradwell.com are exceptionally helpful and competent.

I expect that's what they're expecting you to do. Not nice to pay a ransom, but what to do about that is lawyers territory. It sounds like sharp-practice, and you might have an effective legal remedy if you feel motivated to pursue it.

Meanwhile, name and shame!

Thanks to all that have replied. This may well be the way to go for us. We are just waiting on the solictitor to get back to us. I think we may have to get the data, and then work out what to do legally after the event if such a thing can be done.

Not sure about naming and shaming as our site is rather useful to us, and I'd rather not name and shame until we are up and running with the data and a new host.

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Don't you have an FTP account by which you can simply copy your website to your local hard drive? Then set up a new hosting account and get your domain name ported over by them from your old ISP to the new one.

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check to see if your site has been archived by:

www.archive.org

if so, you may be able to get back the graphics and content with a little work.

If your site contains any database or back-end administration (like a CMS system) you'll never get a copy of that without FTP access (as someone else mentioned).

If your site is still live then you can take a copy yourself of the publicly accessible data using an offline reader of some kind

searching download.com by FREE license types finds quite a few (I can't vouch for any though)...

copy and paste this into your browser:

http://download.cnet.com/1770-20_4-0.html?query=website+downloader&searchtype=downloads&rpp=10&filter=licenseName=Free|platform=Windows&filterName=licenseName=Free|platform=Windows&tag=pe-searchFacetsTile;navForm

Perhaps 2011 is the year you get a new website! They are not too expensive these days, but shop around! I've used :

www.webcreationuk.com << OK - wouldn't use again

www.sitewizard.co.uk << excellent - would use again

www.ekmpowershop.co.uk << excellent - would use again

good luck!

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Even with FTP access you won't necessarily get to the database. To to that you'll need something like PHPmyAdmin or HeidiSQL etc...

You don't just copy a database file, you export it, and then import is somewhere else.

Most web hosts won't have your database in the same place as your website, so FTP will probably get you top-level access to the site files, but no more.

If you can get access to the files, and you are indeed running a CMS site then there will be a config file giving database login details for the site to use. You can use those details to connect to the database.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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