Wednesday, January 18, 2012

in which she exposes that the mafia is live and well in denmark

16/1.2012 - every new venture requires new moo cards

about two months ago, i made a big mistake. like many mistakes, i didn't realize it at the time. i decided to purchase a domain ending in dot dk. i am starting a new business providing all kinds of services in english - from writing to translation to teaching - with a couple of friends.  since our target audience for the business is danish, i shrugged off my preference for dot com domains and decided to buy a danish one.

the first red flag (which i blithely ignored) was that you cannot buy a .dk domain through a large international provider like GoDaddy (where i've bought all of my other domains). so i went to a danish provider called DanDomain and for 123.75DKK i purchased i figured that afterwards i'd just move it over to GoDaddy where all of my other domains reside and then manage them in one place. (oh, how wrong i was).

minutes after i purchased the domain, i got another email from something called dk-hostmaster, telling me that i needed to go to their site to complete registration of my domain. they gave me new log-in and password to do so (if you're counting, this will now make 3 different log-ins and passwords to get to my domain once i move it to GoDaddy  - which at this point, i still believed was possible). but, having been in denmark for going on fourteen years, i figured ok, this is just danish bureaucracy at its best, so i dutifully signed in and activated my new domain.

then, i proceeded to look through the help on both DanDomain and dk-hostmaster (which is in english until you really need it) to find out how to move my domain over to GoDaddy. by now the red flag had become a red flashing light, and as i got a back and forth conflicting answers with DanDomain telling me to ask dk-hostmaster and dk-hostmaster telling me to ask DanDomain, the flashing light began to sound alarm bells as well.  still i brushed it all aside and thought i would be able to solve it. i found on GoDaddy's site that i had to own a domain for 60 days before it could be moved, so i decided to just try to point the domain at our servers from where it was.

again, i was so naive. i dutifully entered the server name on dk-hostmaster, where it said that they had to approve such a move. they then proceeded to ask the most intrusive and unnecessary questions of the server admin in the UK (where our site resides) that they decided they didn't want anything to do with it! what happened to the openness of the internet?  i began to think of dk-hostmaster, a rather mysterious organization, as The Godfather, at about that point.

turns out that dk-hostmaster is a godfather of sorts. i thought they were a state organization, but they aren't, they are a consortium of all of the private web hosting providers in denmark and they keep tight-fisted control, like any good mafia boss, of all use of .dk domains.

by this point, i wanted to create the website on google sites, where it would be FREE and where they surely couldn't say no to that. at last i talked to a support guy at DanDomain who sounded sensible (in retrospect, i should have asked his name, as i'm quite sure that corlione was there somewhere). he said that if i purchased a DNS-forwarding subscription for a mere 120DKK per year, i could point the site wherever i wanted it. what he neglected to mention was that it was wherever i wanted it as long as it was in denmark and i was paying through the nose for it). so i dutifully fronted up the 120DKK and tried to point the domain.

by now, you can guess what happened. nothing, that's what. despite having entered the IP address (we had returned to the idea of the UK servers) of our servers, all that showed was a redirect to the mob boss at dk-hostmaster.

so last monday, in resignation, i finally purchased web hosting to the tune of 923DKK per year from DanDomain. of course, for this premium price, i then learned that i couldn't even have a PHP-based website, as that would require another 50DKK per month. yes, the danish web mafia was trying to squeeze even more money out of me, just so i could use open source programming on my own friggin' domain!

happily my business partner's husband brilliantly stayed up late converting our PHP-based site to javascript and it's now up and running. have a look if you'd like. it's here at

and the lesson in all of this? never, ever, ever buy a .dk domain. the real world wide web is freer than that (unless, of course, they get their way with this SOPA thing).


celkalee said...

tears and pain! to recognize the red flags is probably the most difficult part. you keep thinking it will work out. the site looks very professional, best of luck to you in this venture.

Miss Footloose said...

I read this breathlessly ;)and can only offer you my sincerest condolences for the loss of your innocence and trust in the Danish dot dk mafia.

Who says bureaucracy is most convoluted in third world countries? I do hope you did not have to do paperwork in multiple copies with fancy stamps everywhere.

The site looks good though. Wishing you lots of success.

kristina said...

what an ordeal! I'm sorry to say that is not working yet, but works fine. looks great!

Lisa-Marie said...

Fucking hell. excuse my language, but well!

I hope it all works well from now on!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Good lord! that's crazy. I'm a GoDaddy fan and will now say with them forever!
Sorry for your hassles.
xo jj

Sammi said...

Yikes! How scary!!!!

Reading that I was going to suggest my brother took a look at changing your website to whatever it is it needed to be (he speaks like 20 computer languages) but you're all sorted there!

Good luck with it! I hope everything else in your new venture is much, much simpler than getting the website up and running!