Feeds

Reg to fight for Harry Potter ‘cybersquatter’

We won't have huge companies bullying young girls

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Following our story on Friday regarding 15-year-old Claire Field, who was served with a legal letter from Warner Brothers ordering her to hand over her www.harrypotterguide.co.uk domain, we have been inundated with angry readers pledging their support.

It's certainly not the first time that Warner Brothers has used legal might to scare innocent members of public and it won't be the last, but we feel - as you apparently do - that involving a teenage girl in such shenanigans is out of order.

Claire is a fan and went out of her way to point to the official Harry Potter sites, but this clearly wasn't enough for Warner Brothers - which owns the rights to the upcoming movie of the famous book series.

Well, we've decided to stand up for Claire and her right to run her fan site. She has every right to the URL: she didn't register it in bad faith, she makes no money out of it, and it is just what it purports to be - a guide to Harry Potter. The question isn't even a question of the UDRP (universal dispute resolution policy) - described as "flawed" by a leading member of Britain's policy board for domain disputes.

The UK has not accepted UDRP as a method of deciding domain disputes - a policy that has led to rich companies and famous people having undue influence over domain names. The company that does offer an arbitration service, Nominet, will rule against WB's claim to the URL, we are assured.

So that leaves the option of WB going direct to the courts - if, that is, the conglomerate doesn't scare Claire into handing it over before then. Apart from a number of readers pledging money to a war fund, we have also had a man offering a ".ca" Harry Potter domain to Claire, an ISP offering to host the site if her ISP gets cold feet and various emails from other people that have been harassed by Warner Brothers for their URLs.

We see this as an appalling move by the grey suits at WB and are sure that they will leave Claire alone once they realise the disgust that most people feel towards this sort of bullying. Claire has yet to tell us what exactly she plans to do, but hopefully we can get behind her and nip this in this bud before so-called cybersquatting extends even further into social injustice.

We'll keep you in touch, as well as have a word with the lawyers in this case - London-based Theodore Goddard - and see what it has to say. ®

Related Stories

Warner Brothers bullies girl over Harry Potter site
Some anti-Warner humour from Groucho Marx

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.