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GreatXscape 'infringes copyright' -- allegedly

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The telco behind Screaming.net is threatening legal action against Manchester-based Telnet Ltd unless it withdraws CDs and all marketing materials promoting Telnet's GreatXscape ISP. Surrey-based LocalTel alleges Telnet has infringed its copyright and that it has made claims about its service that are in breach of the Trades Descriptions Act. "LocalTel has today put Telnet Limited of Sale, Manchester under notice for infringement of LocalTel's copyright," the company said in a statement issued on Friday. "LocalTel has also informed Telnet that, by their claiming to be the UK's first nationally available free time on-line Internet Service Provider, they are acting in breach of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. "LocalTel has required Telnet to withdraw from circulation all CDs, packaging and any marketing or advertising information that may bear the false or misleading statement." LocalTel launched Screaming.net at the end of April 1999 in conjunction with electrical retailer Tempo as the UK's first Internet access service that offered free time on-line. Less than a fortnight ago Telnet launched GreatXscape, a similar service backed by Planet Online, prompting some to describe it as a Screaming.net clone. A spokesman for GreatXscape said he was unaware of any legal action and was unable to confirm whether the Manchester ISP had received any official correspondence from LocalTel. ® Related Story Toll-free ISP in orbit around Planet Daily net finance news from The Register

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