Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/20/million_pixel/
Million $ pixel site faces legal threat
Winner of eBay auction not happy
The student entrepreneur behind the milliondollarhomepage.com is facing the threat of legal action from the firm that paid more than $38,000 for the last 1,000 pixels.
Milliondollarweightloss.com secured the last slot on Alex Tew's website after he auctioned it on eBay.
But the FT reports that lawyers representing the weight-loss site are preparing to sue Tew in a US court for "breach of contract", among other things.
Lawyers representing milliondollarweightloss.com maintain that Tew told them they would receive "substantial free publicity" from the auction.
"Our clients won the auction and wired the money eight days ago and it took Mr Tew at least five days just to put up their pixels and to engage in any PR," they said.
"Our clients have lost the entire benefit of the bargain and were forced to incur expenses."
But Tew said that he never "guaranteed" that the winner of the auction would receive any publicity and hopes the matter can be resolved without having to resort to legal action.
Indeed, part of the problems stem from the fact that the site was floored by a DDoS attack, with the techo-extortionists demanding he cough up $50,000.
In his blog, he makes a point of congratulating milliondollarweightloss.com for winning the auction and that the FBI in the US and the UK's National High-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) are investigating the DDoS attack.
"My fingers are crossed we catch those responsible for the site attack/blackmail, but I'm aware it can be very difficult to track these types of people down, because they know how to cover their [digital] tracks," he wrote.
He added: "I apologise to all the advertisers on the homepage for the site downtime. However, I do hope all my customers will see that I acted in what I thought was the best way: to get the site back online without paying the ransom." ®