Feeds

Stelios faces his domain Waterloo

Easy domain crusade ends

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Stelios Haji-Ioannou has backed down in his Napoleonic crusade against owners of "easy" domains, telling legitimate print-selling business Easyart.com that he is too busy suing other people to bother it - just weeks before court action was due to start.

However, while the self-titled man of the people has threatened to renew his "passing off" claim against Easyart when he has more time, under the law he would now have to apply to a judge for permission to do so. He would also have to produce further evidence that Easyart was in fact trading on the back of his name, which means highly dubious vox-pops are out the window.

Easyart CEO Simon Matthews is delighted and relieved. "Stelios has surrendered and we
have won." Mr Matthews had vowed to fight Stelios all the way in order to protect his business, something that he was warned would cost him £50,000. "This was a David and Goliath fight. It is a good day for smaller companies who stand up to bullying tactics from large corporations," he said.

Mr Matthews also hopes this his victory will see others prepare to stand up to EasyGroup's universal claim on the word "easy". "We hope that this gives hope to the many other companies out there who are trading legitimately under the 'easy' name who have been threatened by this man," he said.

Over the past few years, EasyGroup has threatened a large number of "easy" domain owners, claiming that by even registering their domain, they are hoping to trade off the series of companies that have made him rich and famous - EasyJet, EasyCar, EasyInternetCafe. After the company failed to win an "easy" domain at arbitrator WIPO, it then threatened owners will immediate and expensive legal action.

Only two cases have even gone to court, one was settled and the other EasyGroup lost, but the sheer cost of the action has seen many domain name owners hand over their property.

When Mr Matthews became the object of the group's attentions, he vowed to fight all the way to the High Court to protect his business, which, he happily tells us, turned a profit for the first time at the end of 2002.

Whether Mr Haji-Ioannou will return to bullying domains out of hapless owners after his current legal problems with the OFT and British Phonographic Industry, we don't know, but for anyone willing to stand up to the multi-millionaire, Easyart's case adds another level of defence against hostile intentions. ®

Related stories
Easyart.com to face Stelios in 'easy' court action
Stelios faces challenger in easy domain name crusade

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?