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BBC removes Star Wars, Austin Powers meta tags for no reason

...other than they're a bit stale, that's all

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The BBC has denied it removed three meta tags from its flagship Web site because they allegedly broke trademark laws.

The words "Buffy", "Austin Powers" and "star wars" were clearly visible among the source code of bbc.co.uk on Thursday.

A vulture-eyed reader who spotted the tags wanted to know whether their inclusion constituted a breach of trademark law.

His enquiry was based on a recent High Court ruling that ordered Tyneside reseller Mandata to pay £ 15,000 damages after it included trademarks belonging to its rival, Road Tech Computer Systems, in its meta tags.

Meta tags are key words -- invisible to the reader -- that describe the content contained on Web pages. Their inclusion helps Net users find different Web sites using search engines. They also help drive traffic to Web sites.

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "We are the biggest content site in Europe. They [the meta tags] just describe content on the site -- they've got nothing to do with the [Mandata/Road Tech] case."

However, she confirmed that the tags had been removed, although this was because the content to which they referred was no longer relevant, and for no other reason. ®

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