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We're not stamping on Web dissenters, says Easy Group

All to do with intellectual property infringement

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The director of corporate affairs for the Easy Group, James Rothnie, has been on the blower, taking issue with our story yesterday The Easy way to crush dissenting voices in which we reported the corporation has made legal threats against the owner of Easyprotest.com.

Richard Lowden, also owner of Easycar.com, set up EasyProtest to offer advice to other "easy" domain name owners who it appeared were being targeted by the EasyGroup. Yesterday, both Easycar and EasyProtest redirected to Easy Group's car rental site EasyRentacar.

Mr Rothnie was annoyed that we had represented Easy Group's legal threats against a number of "easy" domain names as a Napoleonic crusade. "There are currently around 18,000 companies with "Easy" in their title and we have issue with only about 100 of these," he told us.

Asked how some of the cases lost at WIPO (easyescape.com, easygetaway.com, easycrossing.com, easypeazy.com, easymaterial.com, www.easy-jet.com) related to this, he told us: "We do pursue companies that we deem are cybersquatting and passing off."

Asked why the company now uses legal threats instead of ICANN resolution policy, he confirmed the group's new policy. "We don't use ICANN any longer - which is an unfortunate and expensive position. We prefer corresponding directly with the people themselves and not set ourselves up as the judge."

We advocate ditching WIPO as well, but for different reasons. Making the Easy Group's stance clear, Mr Rothnie concluded: "If people infringe our intellectual property, we will chase them. And we ask the law to judge whether that is the case."

Fair enough. ®

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