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High Court comes to aid of Aunty Beeb

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The BBC has won a High Court injunction blocking any attempt by a British man to sell the domains bbc1.com and bbc2.com. The action was taken on the basis of "trademark infringement, passing off and breach of contract", according to a statement issued on Friday. In other words, the BBC reckons registered owner Stephen Taylor of Codsall, Staffordshire was cybersquatting. The Beeb also issued a claim for Taylor to hand over the domains and pay legal costs. The BBC added that the injunction barred Taylor from transferring the names to any third party, and ordered him to disclose the names of any third party to whom he had transferred them before the injunction, if indeed he had. According to a BBC statement, Taylor's solicitor confirmed he still owns the names and does not intend to defend the action. BBC director of corporate affairs, Colin Browne, said: "This demonstrates very clearly that we will take decisive action to stop people who try to exploit for their own advantage domain names which reflect brands belonging to the BBC and the licence fee payer." Taylor was not available for comment this morning. No one at the BBC was available to say by press time whether Taylor had tried to get the BBC to cough up a load of cash in return for the domains. Nor was any one available to say how negotiations were progressing over the domain bbc.org, currently owned a small Canadian computer club. ® Related stories: BBC demands URL from Canadian IT club

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