Feeds

Reg to fight for Harry Potter ‘cybersquatter’

We won't have huge companies bullying young girls

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
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.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.