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Subject: UKNM: Firm accused of net name piracy
From: RAJ GODFREY- MAHAPATRA
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 16:40:37 GMT

I'm sure alot of you will already have seen this but for those who have not . . .

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A company has been accused of piracy after bulk buying the internet names of thousands of British villages.

Webhound Ltd spent 75,000 in purchasing the valuable 'co.uk' versions of 15,000 village names.

The company paid 5 for each name from the UK licensing authority Nominet and has now offered to sell them back to village groups at a minimum cost of 500 each.

The move has infuriated politicians and community representatives who have demanded a review of internet name licensing.

But Webhound has denied the accusations and said it saw itself as a web "pilot" and not a "pirate".

In a statement on its website, company director Angie Barrow said it was policy not to give anyone a discount on the registered names and she "did not care" what the world thought of its actions.

Names included in the buy-up included the famous Scottish villages of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce defeated the English, and Crathie, where the Royal Family attends church when at Balmoral.

The sale only came to light when people in the Scottish village of Balfron sought to register the name 'Balfron.co.uk', only to find that Webhound got there first.


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