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Cosmopolitan wins £4000 damages from porn-threat cybersquatter

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A cybersquatter who threatened to sell celebrity name URLs to porn sites has been ordered to pay damages in the High Court. Jaei England was told to pay £4000 to Cosmopolitan after it was revealed he sent a letter to the magazine's editor demanding cash for domain name cosmopolitan.co.uk. England had threatened to sell the URL for "adult entertainment purposes" if Cosmo failed to cough up. He was also ordered to turn the domain name over to Cosmo's publishers, the National Magazine Co. This is the first time a British Court has acted in the grey area of cybersquatters targeting stars with porn Web site threats. England had sent similar letters to TV presenter Carol Smillie and TV doctor Hilary Jones, and also owns jefferyarcher.co.uk, specsaver.co.uk and childrensbbc.co.ukl. He said he planned to appeal against the judgement. His defence was: "I am struggling to set up a firm for myself and do not need something like this fine right now. As far as I am concerned, I wasn't trying to blackmail anybody. I was quite willing to sell the sites for just £50 each, in the end." That's not the way it was seen by Smillie's solicitor, who said: "I thought it was an outrageous letter and put it straight into the bin", the Sunday Telegraph reports. In related smutty cybersquatter news, The Ritz is battling to shut down a site using its name for unsavoury activities. The swanky London hotel has lodged a High Court claim against the owners of ritz-casino.com a site displaying adult porn images. Parm Holdings was hit by the writ after the Ritz's legal eagles claimed the site had sullied the establishment's "pre-eminent reputation for quality, luxury and elegance". Down the road in Knightsbridge, Mohamed Fayed has had his own cybersquatter row to deal with. He has managed to evict the American squatter who registered dodialfayed.com, named after the Harrods-owner's late son. Robert Boyd, of Dayton, Ohio, had put the URL up for auction at £250,000.® Related stories BAA attempts to shaft sheep site US outlaws cybersquatting

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