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New challenger enters Bill Gates domain sale ring

Tongue-in-cheek (we presume) three year old cybersquatter will take £1.5 million

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Following swiftly on from the weekend's ludicrously over-hyped billgates.com 'sale' (see story) Register readers were quick to point out that prestige vanity sites seem to be ten a penny, and not always of the slightest concern to the owners of the name they're using. Writes one: "My three year old son, Earl, owns the domain www.bill-gates.co.uk. He hasn't decided what to do with it yet, but I'm sure he would be interested in a price war with the owners of billgates.co.uk. Yep, I've just spoken to him and he will take a mill and a half if it helps get the deal done. Canny lad, that one." Regrettably we fear Earl would be advised not to hold his breath on this one, but under the circs, perhaps it would be a kind gesture if His Billness, or even his representatives on earth at MS UK, could see their way to putting a small sum in Earl's building society account and shipping him a Nintendo. Mail us, Microserfs, and we'll pass on any offers. Meanwhile we've also been alerted to the existence of stevejobs.co.uk, which is registered under the relative anonymity of "Dan H," and which mysteriously points to microsoft.com. This isn't necessarily a Microsoft plot, we should point out - poor old MS can't help it if people point at them for satirical purposes. The moral of the tale is of course (and we're sorry to have to break this to you, Earl) that although the odd domain might turn out to be worth a packet, this is usually because somebody screwed-up on branding and registration (hello, Alta Vista, for example). The only point to having a domain called Bill Gates is if you are Bill Gates, so it's only ever going to be worth whatever Bill Gates thinks it's worth. As his Web site is at www.microsoft.com/billgates/ that suggests he doesn't think it's worth anything. And domains that are similar to big, established domains are of dubious value too - you can only profit from them by pretending to be the big domain, which is then going to sue you, right? ®

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