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Harry Potter domains - expect lawyers on your case

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Warner Brothers' intimidation of the owners of Harry Potter-named Web sites continues. Not only is the harrypotterguide.co.uk situation still going on but several other owners have been in touch to relay their anger over how they've been treated.

We've been talking to Claire Field's dad, Les (she owns the www.harrypotterguide.co.uk domain), and he tells us he's sick with worry over Warner Brothers legal bullying of his daughter's Web site. As Les says, he doesn't have the money to work through the legal system. But then he's equally furious at the treatment dished out by the multinational conglomerate.

We decided to do a bit of research into Harry Potter domain names as a whole and were appalled at what we saw. It would appear that since Warner Brothers gained the rights to the Harry Potter movie, it has embarked on a policy of intimidation against anyone that has the effrontery to register a domain name including the words Harry Potter.

Worse than that, Warner Brothers hasn't had the commonsense to register Harry Potter-related sites - which would cost far less than one lawyer's letter each. For example, the owner of www.harrypotterisawizard.co.uk has been forced to hand over his URL but EVERY OTHER domain, including .com, .net, .org etc etc etc is still available. What about www.harrypotterwizard? All available - every TLD.

We can't decide whether it's maliciousness or just plain stupidity that have stopped the multi-billion pound company from picking up these domains. Either way, we're not impressed. If WB wants to escape a charge of bullying then perhaps it shouldn't blatantly bully people. ®

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