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The Cursed Domain

the cursed domain

The sad story of a domain name that never was owned by the right people.

Once upon a time, maybe 10 years ago, a small folk band hired me to build them a website.

Jubilant Bridge.  Harmony driven acoustic music on guitar, harpsichord and vocals.  Anyway, there was trouble right off the bat when they registered the domain.

jubilant bridge

They went to Godaddy and registered jubilantbridge.com, like I advised them to, but there was a problem.  Due to some never identified internet glitch, they ended up with the domain name of some small company in Alaska and the owners of that company somehow got jubilantbridge.com.  After many fruitless phone calls to Godaddy, the 2 business owners finally just talked to each other and agreed to cooperate.  The domains got pointed to the appropriate servers and all was well.

I built the website, set up the hosting, and things were good for a number of years.

Eventually I got a call from the band saying their site was kind of old and stale and they had someone else who was going to build them a new site and move the hosting.  I was disappointed, of course, but cooperated with their efforts.  They discovered that the company in Alaska had gone under, but managed to contact the owner and got the domain name transferred to a small ISP/hosting company in anticipation of moving the site.  

At about that same time, my preferred hosting company got sold to a new startup.  They asked me to move everything to new servers.  I didn’t bother moving the Jubilant Bridge site because they were no longer clients.  I figured their new site was still being developed and when the old server got unplugged, they’d have to move anyway.

A year or so later I got a call from the band asking if they can come back.  Their “new site” had never come to pass.  I discovered that the old site was still sitting on the old server and was still working!

We set about building a new site and launched it after a few months.  Anticipating problems, I built it at the domain jubilantbridge.net.

When we went to launch the new site, we discovered that the ISP controlling jubilantbridge.com  had gone out of business and nobody was answering their phones. We had no control over the domain.  But, thankfully, it was still pointed to the old server, so I set up a redirect there to the new site and things were fine, for a while.  I figured that the .com domain name would expire in a few months and I could simply grab it on backorder and regain control.  Not long after that, though, someone finally unplugged the old server. There was still no choice but to wait for the domain to expire. So we waited.  After all, who would want this domain name: jubilantbridge.com?

Apparently, a chiropractor in the midwest did.  Someone had eventually acquired the assets of the defunct ISP, including domains, and instead of contacting people who probably wanted those domains really badly, they sold them to whoever wanted them and this one ended up in the clutches of a chiropractor in the midwest.  That’s where it still sits to this day.  The band has contacted the chiropractor and asked nicely, but they aren’t getting any response.

I think they would have a good chance at taking the legal route, but the cost is just more than they want to pay.

What a disaster!